image commercially licensed from
image commercially licensed from

A filmmaking couple makes an award winning Italian Mob Movie instead of having a wedding

06 2023 – “BLESS ME FATHER” is now available on Prime Video in the United States & Great Britain. Milly-May & Gianni McLaughlin debut their award-winning feature film,BLESS ME FATHER” The movie is a raw crime drama-thriller depicting the mob, the Catholic Church and family life in New Jersey. The cast is composed of all New Jersey locals/non-actors, making this one of the first modern neorealist Italian mob films. 

Vinny Dapello confesses his sins and unveils the ugly truth of his life; he is a hitman for the New Jersey Italian mob. Will he follow in his father’s footsteps in the organized crime family or sacrifice his life to save his soul? BLESS ME FATHER” was made to show the dark side of a gangster’s life, not the glorified part like most films focus on, but the pain and suffering that really comes with the lifestyle. Exposing the stark reality of what living the “thug life” really means.  

The journey began when Gianni and Milly-May met backstage on the first day of rehearsal for the off-Broadway play “D.O.A.” (Dead on Arrival). It was love at first sight. A young man from Hoboken and a young woman from East London bound together by the passion for storytelling. A short five months later, the two got married and anticipated a lavish destination wedding celebration in August 2020 which, of course, was canceled due to Covid-19. Before the disappointment could settle in, Milly-May suggested that they take the money saved from not having a wedding and make the movie BLESS ME FATHER,” a screenplay Gianni had written three years earlier. The couple took the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and got right to work, starting the production of BLESS ME FATHER” in the summer of 2020. The six-week production served as an outlet for all the cast and crew members. A sense of community was created on the set when the world had shut down around it.  

“Falling in love with someone that shares the same passion as me is all I could ever dream of.” – Milly-May McLaughlin 

The young couple’s passion and defiance isn’t the only interesting aspect of this story. What makes this film unique is the local New Jersey cast members and iconic New York City scenery from the N.J. waterfront featured throughout the picture. Being heavily influenced by legendary Italian & French neorealist film directors Antonioni, Fellini, and Truffaut, Gianni & Milly-May made the bold decision to cast non-actors as the principal cast members. Not only did they hire non-actors, but the entire cast were family members and friends. The mother in the film is Gianni’s mother, Yolanda Cuomo. The priest in the film, Joseph McLaughlin, is Gianni’s father, and it wasn’t the first time Gianni had to confess his wrongdoings to him. The grandfather in the film is Gianni’s grandfather, John Cuomo, he is now 97 years old, and the story his character tells in the movie about arriving in America with $15 in his pocket is a true story. Giacomo Vanacore, who plays Antonio, is Gianni’s god-brother because John Cuomo is Giacomo’s godfather. Gino and Nino, whose real names are Bekim and Betim, are brothers that Gianni met while playing football in college at Rutgers University & Kean University. The production was a family affair and a labor of love from start to finish. A group of family & friends from Hudson County came together in their native hometowns and created the fictional story Bless Me, Father.” 

Now Gianni and Milly-May continue making films and taking care of “Pop” John Cuomo, who is now 97 years old. The three live together as one big happy family, as it should be. “We do not have any children yet, because we already have a 97-year-old one we love and take care of very much!” – Milly-May & Gianni McLaughlin 


To watch the movie, please visit the following links  


TUBI –  

For the film trailer and more information about “Bless Me Father,” please visit our official website, or   

Please follow us on Instagram or 

Share this article


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Artist Weekly.