The film also features fellow Hobokenite and funny man Artie Lange (Howard Stern, Mad TV), who plays Charlie's lawyer.
The film opens nationwide on Friday, August 11.
Award winning movies
Capelli's first movie as director, actor, and co-screenwriter was "Rules for Men" (1999). The cast included seasoned actors Vincent Pastore, Jackie Martling, and Frank Gorshin. It was entered into the Atlantic City Film Festival and won two awards including Best Comedy and Best Actor.
Then in 2003, Capelli co-wrote the film "Mail Order Bride,"which won two awards including Best Comedy in the Moscow East Film Festival, and Best Comedy in the Back East Picture Show Film Festival.
Capelli had directed and starred in that movie with Danny Aiello, Artie Lange, and Vincent Pastore.
Capelli also started a production company, Baxter Films, which produced "Waltzing Anna" in association with Evolving Productions, Ursa FilmWorks, and K Sera Sera.
For his latest movie "Waltzing Anna," Capelli co-wrote the script with Doug Bollinger and Guy Shockey. According to Capelli, in the immediate future he plans to focus on acting.
"I love acting the best," said Capelli. "The last three movies I've done, I've had to wear so many different hats. It takes a lot out of you, but it has its advantages too."
According to Capelli, his latest role as Dr. Charlie Keegan is loosely based on two characters, Sam Malone from "Cheers" and Harrison Ford as Han Solo from "Star Wars."
"In the beginning he is such a cocky guy, but by the end of the film there is a nice redemptive factor involved," said Capelli.
Another main character in "Waltzing Anna," Mo Keegly (played by well-known veteran character actor Pat Hingle) was influenced by Capelli's grandfather Baxter Giongrete, who served in WWII and worked the docks in Hoboken.
"He was one of the most generous people I've met in my entire lifetime," said Capelli. "When people like that shook your hand and looked you in the eye, it meant something. Their integrity was more important to them than anything else. People aren't like that anymore."
The film is a little bit of a tribute to his mother's father, who died a year ago.
"I was very fortunate to be close to my grandfather, Baxter Giongrete," said Capelli.
"Waltzing Anna" addresses the issue of mortality and care of the elderly.
"I really feel that the movie has a message," said Capelli. "When I did the research in nursing homes I found out that some places are poorly run. It's one thing if you have the money and can afford a well-run facility."
He added, "You can work all your life, have a good life and some possessions and yet you can end up in these places where your life is reduced to a bed, a nightstand, and a closet. All of your life is put into these three places. And people end up putting their whole life on the wall. My hope is that people will come away thinking that maybe they will treat people with a little more care and respect."
According to Capelli, people from his grandfather's generation were reliable. Capelli's mother and aunt cared for his grandfather before he died.
"I pray to God that I have kids that would do that for me," said Capelli. "I hope that if people see this movie they can learn something from that."
Life in Hoboken
Capelli was born and raised in Hoboken and loves life in the mile-square city. Although he lived in Manhattan for a while, he moved back to Hoboken two years ago.
"If you are a single person living in Hoboken, there is so much to see and do," said Capelli. A few weeks ago, Capelli watched the movie "Walk The Line", which is part of the free series sponsored by Mayor Roberts and the City of Hoboken at Pier A.
"You have the beautiful backdrop of Manhattan, and breeze from the water," he said. "What could be better?" Many of the scenes in "Waltzing Anna" were filmed in Hoboken and Jersey City. The main setting for "Waltzing Anna" is at a (fictional) nursing home in upstate New York called Shady Pines. The location of Shady Pines was actually filmed at the old Jersey City Medical Center before it was turned into condos.
According to Capelli, he particularly enjoyed working with Artie Lange again.
"I love working with Artie Lange," said Capelli. "We just have a ball with each other on the set. We have a good chemistry together. People laugh. It's always fun to work with Artie."
Capelli said there are lots of talented people in Hoboken.
"That's why I like shooting around here. You never know who is going to show up."
Capelli was named film commissioner in Hoboken by former Mayor Anthony Russo to oversee filming in town. According to Capelli, the film office had some problems with companies that came to Hoboken, but didn't give back to the town. As a result, the film office kind of fell apart. Yet, Capelli said Carmelo Garcia, Director of Human Services in Hoboken, has focused on getting the office back on track.
Capelli also appeared as a guest on Garcia's local show "Across the Hudson" several months ago. Capelli's next project is a film titled "Who's Got the Gazoo?," due out in theaters in 2007.
Although Capelli has enjoyed co-writing screenplays, he plans to take a break from writing scripts for a while.
"I have three scripts already done that I really want to do before I write anymore," said Capelli. "I really just want to focus on the acting part."
"Waltzing Anna" opens on Friday, Aug. 11 at Village East Cinemas in Manhattan. The film will also be shown locally at South Cove Stadium 12 in Bayonne on Aug. 18. For more information, visit: www.waltzinganna.com.