It's Christmas Eve in East Jesus, Ohio and 15-year-old Sophia (Raychael Lane) discovers, to her horror, that she’s pregnant. Completely snowed by this revelation, Sophia sets out to find comfort and glad tidings from family and friends. She shouldn’t have bothered. Her over-medicated grandpa (Rick Montgomery Jr.) is the highest functioning member of her dysfunctional family. Her baby daddy Trey (Leonardo Mancini) is a lug head who’s cheating on her. Stir in a derelict mall Santa on a crime spree (Craig Brophy) and City Hall shenanigans, and you’ve got the makings of the Worst. Christmas. Ever.
ItaliaScope is independent cinema on the verge. Formed by filmmaker Johnny Chechitelli and based out of Youngstown, Ohio - a city deeply rooted in Italian heritage - this indie production company was born in inspiration of the many renegade voices and influential styles of film auteurs who came before. The company’s lone previous title came in 2010, with the feature documentary, Youngstown: Still Standing.
Director, Producer, Writer: Johnny Chechitelli
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, not far from East Jesus, Johnny left for Orlando, FL at the age of 18, where he went on to graduate from Full Sail University with a degree in film production. He then moved to Los Angeles, California and proceeded to work his way up the production ladder in Hollywood for over a decade, while raising a family and also steadily working as a freelance screenwriter.
In 2010, he directed the feature documentary Youngstown: Still Standing, about life in the former mafia hotbed and steel-making mecca that is his hometown. Johnny also spent 6+ years as a Writer, Director and Producer of various television shows for Fox Sports. They included FOX College Football, UFC on FOX, Barfly and FOX Sports Live to name a few. In 2016, he decided to relocate with his wife and sons back to Youngstown, where he proceeded to write the film based in fictional East Jesus, Ohio. aka Worst. Christmas. Ever. It was shot in the dead of winter. Johnny put a lot of his own blood, sweat and tears into the production and even broke his elbow during one particularly icy day on-set. He produced the film through his company ItaliaScope LLC in association with Akron-based production company, Red Point Digital.