Award-Winning filmmaker Joe Russo has seen his short films featured in festivals both domestically and internationally, garnering praise from top film critics. His years of production experience includes work on commercials, web-series, television and feature films for such companies as Nike, FOX, SyFy, A/E, Lionsgate Films and Universal Studios.
In 2010, Joe joined Level 1 Entertainment where he worked for five years with CEO and Hollywood producer, Bill Todman, Jr. (X-Men, Wild Wild West), working his way up to Director of Development, where he was charged with managing a slate of feature films and television programs, working hand-in-hand with major motion picture studios and television networks such as Fox, MGM, Showtime, SyFy, History and Amazon on projects including the sale of the Antonio Banderas and Ben Kingsley thriller, Security.
During his time at Level 1, Joe worked on projects with companies and talent like Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison, the creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Academy Award winning writer of A Beautiful Mind, the writer of Black Hawk Down, the creator of The X-Files and the director of Captain America.
Joe has been recognized for his “firm grasp of the craft, solid storytelling, and compelling characters,” working with writers to develop many acclaimed projects over the last several years, which have been selected by film and television executives for the Young & Hungry List, The Blood List, The Hit List and The Black List - Hollywood’s most prestigious list of the best unproduced screenplays.
After leaving Level 1, Joe became a Development Consultant for Christina Aguilera and Matthew Rutler’s MX Productions, advising the company on their feature film division and their first-look television deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, during which the company produced the pilot Tracks for Spike TV.
In 2015, Joe and his writing partner, Chris LaMont, placed Top Ten for the Horror/Thriller category in the Final Draft Big Break competition - one of the world’s largest screenwriting contests with over 7,000 entrants.
In 2016, industry peers named the writing team one of the Top 100 New Writers working in Hollywood on the annual Young & Hungry List. Shortly after, the duo had their first screenplay sale to producer Mark Burg (SAW 1-8). Their feature script Soul Mates was selected by film and television executives as one of the year's Top Ten Horror Scripts on The Blood List and one of the best overall scripts on The Hit List. The project is scheduled for production in 2019.
In 2017, Joe directed the Valentine’s Day digital short, Be Mine, for Eli Roth and Jason Blum’s Crypt TV, and Midnight Clear, which debuted on Entertainment Weekly and was featured on Nerdist, io9 and more.
Shortly thereafter, Russo & LaMont sold their action screenplay, Open Source, to financier Emmett Furla Oasis (Lone Survivor).
For the second consecutive year, the writing duo was again recognized on The Blood List for their script The Red Pill, one of the top thirteen horror screenplays of 2017, as voted on by industry executives.
In 2018, Joe’s award-winning short, Take-Out, appeared as a featured segment in the horror anthology feature film Dark Deadly & Dreadful, released on Amazon from the digital horror studio Fun Size Horror.
As a producer, Joe wrapped production on the horror anthology feature film, Nightmare Cinema, starring Academy Award Nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), working with several acclaimed filmmakers like Joe Dante (Gremlins) and David Slade (American Gods). The movie recently debuted as the opening night movie at the 2018 Fantasia Film Festival to rave reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter calling the film, “a gore crazed romp boasting gruesome fun”.
He launched the interview series Post Mortem with Mick Garris on The Blumhouse Podcast Network, featuring in-depth filmmaker-to-filmmaker conversations with genre legends like John Carpenter, Rob Zombie, John Landis, Roger Corman, Bryan Fuller, Michael Dougherty and many more.
Joe is represented by The Gersh Agency, Fictional Entity and Morris Yorn.