By: Judy Shields
Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) 1/23/2020
THT: Share your background.
Teresa Nardozzi: My background has been varied. I began my career in the New York Fashion Industry. Next I moved into event planning and was lucky enough to spend three years working at Windows on the World in the Trade Center. It was an experience I will always treasure. From there I spent time in the education and non-profit fields, writing policy and sitting on Boards of Directors. My interest in theater and film really grew when my son became a Broadway and film actor. During my time supporting him, I realized that this was an area I wanted to delve further into. I now split my time between being a Trustee for The Westport Country Playhouse, serving as a member of the panel that chooses the recipients of the JONATHAN LARSON GRANTS for the American Theatre Wing, producing projects and investing in others. My goal is to support as much new talent as possible, and to open up the world of entertainment to as many deserving performers as possible.
THT: Tell us a little about your film Relish.
Teresa Nardozzi: Relish was a labor of love for myself and Justin. We had discussed working together for some time and were batting around ideas when Justin came up with the concept of a coming-of-age road-trip film for our time. We each discussed things that were important to us to bring out in the film – inclusion, self-discovery, acceptance of others, kids being kids – and Justin wrote a real and moving film.
THT: When was your first break?
Teresa Nardozzi: My first break in this business is with this film. It is my toe in the water of the film business. I have always been a believer in jumping into the things you want with both feet and that is what I did here. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by such amazing mentors as Brad Wilson, who was our consulting producer; Bernie Gewissler, who was our line producer; and of course Justin and Laura Ward, writer/director/producer and casting. They made the process easy and fun. The fact that Relish is getting such a warm welcome is so exciting and encouraging. I hope to have the chance to produce many more.
THT: Did your upbringing influence your decision to direct/produce?
Teresa Nardozzi: My upbringing was very traditional Italian in some ways, but very non-traditional in other ways. My mom is a strong woman who always encouraged me to be independent and seek my own path. My dad owned his own landscaping business most of my life and was a great example of doing things on your own terms.
THT: When did You discover your love for cinema?
Teresa Nardozzi: As a kid I spent countless hours watching movies. I could watch the same film over and over if I enjoyed it. Now I watch them with a different eye, but the films I love, I will always love.
THT: What is the best advice you ever received?
Several come to mind: “Don’t let how long something is going to take stop you, the time will pass anyway;” “Be your own cheerleader, because some days you will be the only one;” “Someone is going to accomplish that thing, why not me”!
THT: Did you face any challenges in making your movie?
Teresa Nardozzi: The film was made on a shoe string budget, so there was not a lot of room for mistakes. It was shot in nine days and if it was not for Justin’s vision and professionalism and that of the cast who always brought their “A” game, we would never have been able to meet the challenge of completion.
THT: What film are you most proud of?
Teresa Nardozzi: This one–my very first.
THT: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Teresa Nardozzi: I can’t imagine there is anything that would surprise people. I’m pretty much an open book.
THT: What is next for you?
Teresa Nardozzi: I have a documentary series project that I am working on, as well as some theater projects in development and another possible film. I have just signed on as executive producer for Al Pacino’s next film King Lear.
THT: What did you ask Santa for this past year?
Teresa Nardozzi: The last few years have brought unbelievable people and opportunities into my life that I could not have seen coming. My wish is that Santa keeps them all happy and healthy and keeps me worthy of it all. Oh, and some jewelry (or award hardware) never hurts!
Relish Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RelishTheMovie/posts/661834714335841?comment_id=661963340989645