MASTER MAGGIE tells the story of a celebrity acting coach (Academy Award® Nominee Lorraine Bracco) who is interrupted by an unknown actor (Neil Jain) begging for her help for a TV audition. What follows is an unexpected journey for the both of them.
LORRAINE BRACCO (Maggie/Executive Producer)
Lorraine Bracco’s multifaceted performances in all arenas have earned her a global fan base. She is perhaps best known for her role as psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, who treated New Jersey Mafia heavyweight Tony Soprano on HBO’s hit series, “The Sopranos.” Her concise, understated portrayal earned her multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Additionally, Bracco is an Academy Award nominee for her performance as a mobster’s wife in Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas” and the author of a best-selling memoir, “On the Couch” and a diet and nutrition book, “To the Fullest,” published by Rodale Books in Winter 2015. Bracco also launched Liv4Mor, a cleanse that was inspired by her journey as an out of shape woman in her 50’s seeking good mental, physical, and spiritual help. In addition to film and television, Bracco starred on Broadway as Mrs. Robinson in Terry Johnson’s adaptation of “The Graduate.” She stars in the much-lauded BBC comedy, “Jerk,” which started airing this month.
Bracco was born in Brooklyn to an Italian-American father and an English mother. Though she was voted the ugliest girl in sixth grade, she nonetheless became a Paris fashion model represented by the Wilhelmina Agency. She worked as a disc jockey for Radio Luxembourg and began to act in film. She appeared in several French comedies and worked with Italian film director Lina Wertmuller. Returning to the U.S., she studied at The Stella Adler Studio and the Actors Studio in New York City.
Bracco made her American feature film debut in Ridley Scott’s 1987 thriller, “Someone to Watch over Me.” Other film credits include “Riding in Cars with Boys,” “The Pick-Up Artist,” “Switch,” “Radio Flyer,” “Medicine Man,” “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” “Hackers” and “Basketball Diaries.”
Bracco recently recurred on “Blue Bloods” as the Mayor of New York and formidable match for Tom Selleck. For seven seasons she starred in TNT’s smash hit, “Rizzoli & Isles,” playing the Rizzoli family matriarch.
Bracco lives in New York. She is on the board of The Felix Organization/ Adoptees For Children, which provides opportunities and experiences for kids growing up in the foster care system. Additionally, she works with the Center for Discovery.
NEIL JAIN (Graham)
Neil Jain was raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Molecular Biology followed by grad school, and attended New York University to pursue film & television. His breakthrough came when he landed a supporting role in “The Deep and Dreamless Sleep” directed by Sundance Jury Prize winner Matthew Harrison. A guest spot on NBC’s “Law & Order Criminal Intent” followed.
Neil played the supporting role of ‘Frank’ in 2014’s “The Quitter” opposite Film Independent Spirit nominated director/producer/writer/actor Matthew Bonifacio and producer/writer/actress Julianna Gelinas Bonifacio. He teamed with the pair again in 2019’s “Master Maggie,” this time in the leading role opposite Academy Award nominee Lorraine Bracco. Neil resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
KENAN THOMPSON (Kenan Thompson/Executive Producer)
Kenan Thompson returns for his 16th season on “Saturday Night Live,” making him the show’s longest-running cast member.
Thompson has made numerous contributions to the show with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and by playing memorable characters such as DJ Dynasty Handbag, the scathingly fierce co-host of “Deep House Dish,” boisterous second wife Virginiaca Hastings, and “Weekend Update” correspondent Jean K. Jean. In 2018, he received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the “SNL” song “Come Back, Barack” and a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Thompson recently garnered praise from audiences for playing “SNL” characters Lorenzo McIntosh, a convict who uses “scare tactics” with delinquents, and D’Andre Cole, the disruptive singing talk show host on the wildly popular sketch “What Up With That.” Thompson received an Emmy nomination in 2017 for co-writing “Last Christmas” from the popular “Jingle Barack” sketch.
A native of Atlanta, Thompson made his television debut as a member of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series “All That.” He and his partner, Kel Mitchell, debuted on the spinoff “Kenan and Kel” in 1996. Thompson also had a recurring role on the WB’s “Felicity.”
Thompson showcased his voice talents as Greedy Smurf in the animated films “The Smurfs” and “The Smurfs 2.” His past projects include starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in “Snakes on a Plane,” “Wieners” and “The Magic of Belle Isle” with Morgan Freeman. Thompson has also lent his voice to the animated films “Wonder Park,” “The Grinch” and “Space Chimps,” the television series “Sit Down, Shut Up” and the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James Nike puppet campaign during the 2009 NBA Playoffs. Other feature film credits include “Fat Albert,” “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” “Good Burger,” “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Brother Nature, “ “Heavyweights,” “My Boss’s Daughter,” “Barbershop 2,” “Going in Style” and “They Came Together.” He was the voice of Austin “Impresario” Sullivan in the Hulu animated series “The Awesomes” and Riff in the film “Rock Dog.”
CHRIS HENRY COFFEY (Tom)
Chris Henry Coffey is pleased to be returning to Tribeca Film Festival after having appeared in Dylan Allen’s “Epilogue” in 2013 and Neil LaBute’s “BFF” in 2012. Other recent films include “Impossible Monsters,” a psychological thriller currently making the festival rounds, and Mike Doyle’s “Sell By,” to be released later this year. He also starred in the film “Trust,” the David Schwimmer-directed film also starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis in which Roger Ebert praised his "tour-de-force performance...giving a shockingly convincing performance that is equally perverse and plausible" in his "Best films of..." compilation.
Recent television appearances include HBO’s upcoming “Mrs. Fletcher” with Kathryn Hahn and “Instinct” with Alan Cumming. He has had guest-starring and recurring roles on all three versions of the “Law & Order” franchise, “The Good Wife,” “Cupid” and “Billy & Billie,” among others. Additionally, Coffey has originated roles on & off-Broadway and regionally in numerous world-premieres including Eric Simonson’s “Bronx Bombers” (Circle in the Square and Primary Stages), Neil Labute’s “Happy Hour” (LaMama), “Water by the Spoonful” (Second Stage), Gina Gionfriddo's “Can You Forgive Her?” (Huntington), Richard Nelson’s “Frank's Home,” directed by Robert Falls (Playwrights Horizons, Goodman), and “How Shakespeare Won the West” (Huntington) and working alongside Arthur Miller in his penultimate play, “Resurrection Blues” (Old Globe). Additional appearances at the Alley, DTC, Yale, WTF, Dorset and many others. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
BRIAN DENNEHY (Brian Dennehy)
Brian Dennehy has maintained a strong presence in film, theater, and television for three decades. He has twice won the Tony Award for Best Actor: honored for playing James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's “Long Day's Journey Into Night,” and for playing Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's “Death of a Salesman.” The latter production was also filmed for Showtime by director Kirk Browning, with Dennehy executive-producing. The television version subsequently earned Dennehy a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Emmy Award nomination. He revived the role of Willy Loman in London's West End in 2005 for which he received the coveted Olivier Award for Best Actor. He recently played Matthew Harrison Brady in the Broadway production of “Inherit the Wind” for which he received favorable reviews. Most recently, Brian performed in ENDGAME, for which he received critical acclaim.
Dennehy is well-known to audiences worldwide for his performances in such popular films as Michael Ritchie's “Semi-Tough,” Colin Higgins' “Foul Play,” Blake Edwards’ “10,” Ted Kotcheff's “First Blood,” Ron Howard’s “Cocoon,” Robert Mandel's “F/X,” Alan J. Pakula's “Presumed Innocent,” Peter Segal’s “Tommy Boy” and Baz Luhrmann’s “William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.” His other notable screen credits include “Gorky Park,” “Never Cry Wolf,” “Finders Keepers,” “Silverado,” “Twice in a Lifetime,” “Best Seller,” “The Belly of an Architect” (for which he received Best Actor honors at the Chicago Film Festival), Spike Lee’s “She Hate Me” and Robert Moresco's “10th & Wolf.” He also voiced the role of Babe Ruth in “Everyone’s Hero” and was the voice of Remy’s father, Django, in the hit feature film “Ratatouille”. Most recently, Dennehy has starred in films such as “The Big Year”, Terrence Malick’s film “Knight of Cups”, “The Seagull” and “Tag.”
Dennehy has starred in a wide range of television projects, receiving Emmy Award nominations for his performances in the miniseries “Burden of Proof,” “Murder in the Heartland,” “To Catch a Killer” (in which he played John Wayne Gacy) and Stephen Gyllenhaal's telefilm “Killing in a Small Town.” His characterization of police investigator Jack Reed anchored a successful series of telefilms that he starred in for NBC throughout the 1990s, several of which he executive-produced, co-wrote, and directed. He also directed and starred in the telefilms “Shadow of a Doubt” (which he co-wrote and co-produced) and “Indefensible.” This year he starred opposite James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams in the upcoming second season of “Hap and Leonard” for the Sundance Channel as well as NBC’s “The Blacklist” alongside James Spader, Megan Boone, and Ryan Eggold.
Dennehy has been associated for two decades with Chicago's Goodman Theatre (on whose Board he serves), where he has starred in numerous leading roles. His other notable stage work includes the Broadway production of “Translations”; “Hughie,” at Trinity Repertory; Peter Brook's production of “The Cherry Orchard” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; “Trumbo,” which he starred in Off-Broadway and then went on tour; Wisdom Bridge Theatre's production of “Rat in the Skull;” “Says I, Says He” at The Mark Taper Forum in L.A. and The Phoenix Theatre in N.Y.; and Bob Balaban's production of “The Exonerated,” which he starred in Off-Broadway and toured with. He also starred in the Court TV film version of the latter production, directed by Bob Balaban.
MATTHEW BONIFACIO (Director/Writer/Producer)
Matthew Bonifacio is an award-winning director, producer, writer, and Film Independent Spirit Award nominee. His directorial feature film debut, “Lbs.,” was an official selection of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Alfred P. Sloan Award. “Lbs.,” co-written and produced by Matthew, had a limited release in 2010 with the #1 per-screen-average in the country its opening weekend. The film went on to play in seven cities, earned a 90% Fresh rating by Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and was selected by Bilge Ebiri as a New York Magazine Critics’ Pick. In 2011, “Lbs." was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Matthew directed and produced his second feature film, “Amexicano" (Raul Castillo’s feature film debut), which made its world premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. The film had a limited theatrical release and was highly praised by critics from Variety, The New York Times, Village Voice, and New York Daily News.
“The Quitter” marked Matthew’s first film as an actor and director. “The Quitter” had an exclusive theatrical engagement with Regal Cinemas in 2014, and received positive reviews in The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, Film Journal International and many others. “The Quitter” was picked-up by Cinetic Media’s FilmBuff (now Gunpowder & Sky) and released across all platforms (iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, GooglePlay). HULU acquired and released The Quitter for streaming. “The Quitter” made its Television debut on PBS/WNET.
Matthew’s award-winning short films have screened at the Tribeca Film Festival (2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2019), Palm Springs International Shortfest, Aspen Shortsfest, Florida Film Festival, Williamstown Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, Maui Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, and many others.
His short film “The Watering Hole” won the first-ever Tropfest@Tribeca Film Festival. A jury of Naomi Watts, Matt Dillon, Darren Aronofsky, Caroline Baron, Famke Janssen, Anthony Lapaglia, and Charles Randolph selected it as the winner.
His shorts, “Migraine” (featuring Nathan Lee Graham and Laverne Cox), and “Fortune House” (starring 2017 Tony Award Winner Michael Aronov), are distributed by Shorts International and are available on iTunes. “Fortune House” won the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award for Best Short Film.
Matthew also directed, wrote and produced the short documentary, “Libero (Free),” which was commissioned by DICK’S Sporting Goods/Tribeca Digital Studios and world premiered on ESPN. Matthew and his wife, Julianna Gelinas Bonifacio, have written a feature-film screenplay inspired by this doc.
“Last Pick-Up,” starring 2016 Tony Award Winner Reed Birney, made its world premiere at the 2018 Outfest LA Film Festival and is currently on the festival circuit.
Making its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, Matthew directed “Master Maggie,” starring Lorraine Bracco, Neil Jain, Brian Dennehy, Kenan Thompson, and Chris Henry Coffey. Matthew co-wrote and produced the project with his wife.
He has directed and produced commercials that have won Telly and Cine Golden Eagle Awards. Matthew also won a Special Achievement Award for Direction at the Intercom/Chicago International Film Festival.
Matthew is also a professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University. He teaches (BFA) Acting for Film and Television. He is also recognized as one of the top on-camera acting coaches and teachers in New York City, and frequently guest lectures at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
As an actor, Matthew studied at The William Esper Studio. He made his film acting debut as the lead role in “Pishadoo.” The film won the Princess Grace Award (from the Princess Grace Kelly Foundation) for Best Narrative Short in the country, and was distributed by Canal Plus Europe, Sundance Channel, Atom Films, and United Airlines. Matthew also played various roles in the New York Off-Broadway hit show, “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” for several years.
Matthew was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he currently lives with his wife.
JULIANNA GELINAS BONIFACIO (Writer/Producer)
Julianna Gelinas Bonifacio is a writer, actress, and award-winning producer. Julianna began her film career in distribution at FilmRise founders the Fisher brothers’ City Lights Pictures & Home Entertainment, releasing films such as “The Ten,” “Manda Bala,” “Brooklyn Rules,” “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation,” and others.
Her producing credits include short films “Migraine” (featuring Nathan Lee Graham and Laverne Cox; premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2012), and the award-winning “Fortune House” (starring 2017 Tony Award Winner Michael Aronov; premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2013). Combined, those films played at over 20 film festivals, won four awards, and are both available on iTunes, distributed by Shorts International.
Julianna produced two other shorts: “Libero (Free),” commissioned by DICK’S Sporting Goods and Tribeca Digital Studios (world premiered on ESPN), and “Last Pick-Up,” starring 2016 Tony Award Winner Reed Birney (world premiered at the 2018 Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival).
World premiering at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, Julianna co-wrote and produced “Master Maggie,” starring Lorraine Bracco, Neil Jain, Brian Dennehy, Kenan Thompson, and Chris Henry Coffey. “Master Maggie” marks her screenwriting debut.
“The Quitter” was her second feature film as a producer and her first feature film acting in a leading role. “The Quitter” received positive reviews in The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, Film Journal International and many others. The Hollywood Reporter praised her acting performance as “complex and engaging.” “The Quitter” was released across all platforms (iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, GooglePlay and HULU). “The Quitter” made its Television debut in 2016 on PBS.
Julianna’s feature film producing credits also include “Delivering the Goods,” in which she also played the role of ‘Nina’, opposite Thomas Ian Nicholas and Dominick Fumusa.
Julianna produced several music videos, including one for a cappella group Straight No Chaser.
As an actor, Julianna spent nearly seven years performing in the long-running Off-Broadway show, “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.”
She is currently writing two feature screenplays, one which is inspired by she and her husband, director-writer-producer Matthew Bonifacio's short documentary, “Libero (Free).” They are also developing multiple film projects together.
Julianna is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and lives in Brooklyn.
BEN GOELZ (Cinematographer)
Ben Goelz grew up in the redwoods of Northern California, where an early interest in drawing and painting developed into a love of visual storytelling. At NYU, he majored in cinematography with a minor in art history. He grew fascinated by the processes of lighting and coloring that help define an image. After graduation, Ben honed his skills by working in the lighting department for major motion pictures like Lynn Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” and color correcting a host of films including Emma Seligman’s “Shiva Baby,” which premiered at SXSW. These skills have defined his process as a cinematographer, which embraces a start-to-finish approach to image-making. He recently collaborated with Hard/Femme Dances on the film "After You've Gone," which premiered at this year's I <3 Gibney dance showcase. Using the frame as a canvas, Ben has developed a diverse portfolio of commercial, experimental, and narrative works, and is excited to share “Master Maggie” at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
AVI EDELMAN (Editor)
Avi Edelman has been collaborating with Matthew and Julianna Bonifacio for nearly a decade, beginning with “Migraine" (featuring Nathan Lee Graham and Laverne Cox). He served as editor and script supervisor for “Fortune House” (starring 2017 Tony Winner Michael Aronov), “The Quitter” (with Dan Grimaldi, Deirdre O’Connell, and Natasha Lyonne), “Libero (Free),” and “Last-Pick-Up” (starring 2016 Tony Award Winner Reed Birney). Together, his projects with the Bonifacios have screened in theaters, played at film festivals across the county, aired on national television networks, and been released across digital platforms. Other credits include “Anna Smile,” “Tess,” “Through Your Eyes,” “The Walk,” and Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse.”
He leads outreach efforts for the Athena Film Festival, which celebrates courageous and audacious women leaders on both sides of the camera. When he is not working on films, Avi is an experiential educator, currently serving as Columbia University’s Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs/Manager of Diversity Education. He has worked with individuals and organizations across the county to build inclusive communities, foster dialogue, and cultivate transformational relationships. He is an amateur juggler with waning professional circus aspirations.
MICHAEL BACON (Composer)
Michael Bacon is an accomplished composer for film and television, with numerous awards to his credit. His recent film score projects include “RX-Early Detection” for HBO, “Finding your Roots,” “The Henry Lewis Gates Series” that has been a staple of Public Television for many years.
The feature film “Losing Chase” premiered at Sundance and won 2 Golden Globe Awards.
Bacon won an Emmy for his original score for “The Kennedy’s,” an Ace Award nomination for his original score for “The Man Who Loved Sharks,” as well as the BMI Television Music Award and The Chicago International Film Festival Gold Plaque Award for music in “LBJ.” Shows he has scored have won three Academy Awards and numerous Emmy Awards.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Carlene Carter, Peter Yarrow, and Claude Francois are just a few of the artists that have recorded songs written by Bacon. Bacon has a degree in music from Lehman College where he studied composition and orchestration with John Corigliano. He is now an Associate Professor of Music teaching film scoring at Lehman College and Mannes College of Music.
He lives in New York City with his wife, Betsy, and son, Neil.