Woman writes, directs, produces and stars in feature-length movie with Oscar-nominated actor, Robert Vaughn

(WTNH) — On this edition of “Nyberg,” you will meet a young filmmaker from New Haven.

Victoria Negri wrote, directed, produced and starred in her first feature length movie and she managed to cast right alongside her Oscar-nominated actor, Robert Vaughn.

Negri’s movie would be his last screen appearance. Vaughn passed away shortly after it was made.

The film is about her much older father, Carmine, who is played by Vaughn. Her dad was born in 1924 and went to Lee High School. Her mother was 37 years his junior. Her dad died at age 88. He had Parkinson’s Disease. A stroke then left him speechless and then pneumonia.

Her film, “Gold Star,” is dedicated to him and the struggles she had caring for him as she was coming of age in her 20’s. It is also about the gift received in the turmoil.

“What’s it like acting opposite Robert Vaughn?”

“So surreal. I grew up watching him with my father. My dad was a fan of his. Magnificent Seven, my dad loved cowboy movies. You saw the shot of me with the hat? I couldn’t believe he said yes,” Negri said.

“What did he teach you?” 

“He taught me to trust myself. He said yes to the film because he believed in it and he believed in me. I kept feeling impostor syndrome. It’s my first film. I didn’t feel like I belonged a filmmaker because I came from an acting background. I was really battling that, “do I belong?” “should I be doing this?” I really wanted to, but should I be? and him saying, “yes” and trusting me completely on set really changed me forever. I feel like I owe him for the confidence I bring to the film,” Negri said.

Negri’s small-budget debut film, shot mostly in Connecticut, has already won several awards. You can see it this Friday at the New Haven Film Festival at Gateway Community College at 8 p.m. For more on the film, you can click here.

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