Bronx filmmaker wins student Oscar Award

Joffee with his Student Oscar from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science for his short film set in the Belmont, The Bronx Balletomane. A ‘balletomane’ is a person who admires ballet. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Joffee

A filmmaker from Allerton has achieved his dream of creating a short movie recognized nationally as one of the best student films.

After winning a student Oscar, he is hoping to make a full-length feature.

Filmmaker Jeremy Joffee won a Student Oscar for his short comedic film,

The Bronx Balletomane, at the 36th Annual Student Academy Awards. He took home a silver medal in the Narrative Category.

The Bronx Balletomane, starring Federico Castelluccio of the television hit The Sopranos, is set in Belmont and chronicles the story of Joey, an Italian widower whose eight-year-old daughter sparks him towards a journey of courageous self-discovery.

Joffee said that growing up in the Bronx gave him a unique perspective that he feels helped him achieve success at City College film school and beyond.

He said that he likes the Bronx as a setting for his films.

“Any opportunity to make an film in the Bronx is a very exciting because I think it has a certain amount of grittiness, but also a sense of being a family,” Joffee said.

“So when I decided to make a film about a man with a love for ballet that he is keeping in the closet, I chose the Bronx’s Little Italy as the film’s location.”

The film chronicles the life of Joey, a tough Italian widower. For years, Joey could not bring his fascination with ballet or being a balletomane to the forefront of his life. J

oey fears of being ridiculed.

Eventually, Joey is inspired by his daughter to take a ballet class, and finds he must keep it up after having a wonderful experience, where he learns a lot about what makes him tick.

Joffee said he thinks The Bronx Balletomane, which he directed and wrote, has what it takes to become a full-length motion picture. Joffee said he is rewriting his script into a feature-length film.

“The theme of never giving up on your dreams really pushed me to write the story,” Joffee said. “So Joey’s story of being a regular guy from the Bronx who had a dream, lost it, and finds it again many years later resonated with me.”

Jeremy Joffee grew up on Westervelt Avenue near Allerton Avenue and E. Gun Hill Road.

Joffee’s film company, Happy Herbie Films, is named after his grandfather, who Joffee said always made him laugh and inspired his first short film, The War of the Lawn.

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