Director of photography Joe Passarelli’s most recent film, Anomalisa, premiered at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival before taking home the Grand Jury Prize at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. It quickly gained kudos for its stunning visuals and Passarelli’s ability to make an animated film feel like a narrative feature.
Based on a play of the same name by writer/co-director Charlie Kaufman, the stop-motion story follows the poignant story of Michael Stone (David Thewlis) and his relationship with Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The critically acclaimed film opened in the United States on Dec. 30 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film 2016.
Passarelli recently completed principal photography on the feature Profane Language, the story of a son seeking vengeance for the death of his father, who was murdered by a loan shark. He has also lensed features such as: The Jonas Project; Dirty Little Trick; Beatdown; and Beautysleep Symphony, as well as television series Runner and Cartoon Network’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole.
In 2006, his work as director of photography on the short Marrying God (with Anomalisa’s co director Duke Johnson) earned him the Jury Award for Best Cinematography at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. He had previously worked on films including Walking out on Love; Once in the Gun and Barbershop 2: Back in Business.
Born and raised in a small Midwestern town, Passarelli graduated from Columbia College Chicago, studying on the set of The Weatherman under cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC. He continued his studies in cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
Passarelli is represented by Dattner Dispoto and Associates (DDA).