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Crossing the Line &
Calasanz Physical Arts

1

Crossing the Line

C

alasanz stars as Jose Fernandez, a hard hitting kick-boxer and martial arts instructor. Jose rises to

stardom after winning the world championship. His popularity attracts the attention of Jimmy Scarfone,

a local hoodlum and owner of some sleazy strip clubs, becomes obsessed with the fighter’s new celebrity
status, and begins to stalk him. Jose’s every move becomes the subject of Scarfone’s “America’s Most

Violent Videos”. Soon Scarfone finds the ordinary life of a fighter is not exciting enough and sets about to

change that. A series of violent encounters lead to the eventual kidnapping of the champion. Awesome fight
scenes make Calasanz’ debut a must-see for the martial arts enthusiast.
2

Get Your DVD or VHS today!
Run time: 1hr. 23 min.
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Director: Marcello Bue
Executive Producers:
Calasanz & Stewart Press

3

Producer: Nick Manning
Music: Stephen Melillo
Cast: Calasanz,
Tom Ellis, Will Miller,
Glen Rothenberger

W

thing more than jumping into a ring and beating up on his
opponent. There was a spiritual aspect to the martial arts

alk into Calasanz dojo or visit his website and

that drew him to it. From that point on, he did everything

you can’t help but notice the posters for his movie, Cross-

he could do to make his dream come true. Calasanz went to

ing the Line. Most students and visitors can’t resist picking

the city to pursue

up a copy of a movie that was made right here in Fairfield

his academic stud-

County. In the film, Calasanz stars as Jose Fernandez, a

ies and quickly

hard-hitting kick boxer and martial arts instructor. Jose

found a tradi-

rises to stardom after winning the world championship. His

tional martial arts

popularity attracts the attention of Jimmy Scarfone, a local

school. He trained long, hard hours, studied and worked

hoodlum and owner of sleazy strip clubs, who becomes

at a bank to support himself. All along, he kept his goal in

obsessed with the fighter’s new celebrity status, and begins

sight. As a valued employee, the bank wanted to invest in

to stalk him. Jose’s every move becomes the subject of Scar-

his future, so they agreed to send him to the United States

fone’s Americas Most Violent Videos. Soon Scarfone finds

on a student visa to study English as a second language.

the ordinary life of a fighter is not exciting enough and sets

Once he set foot on U.S. soil, Calasanz never cracked open a

about to change that. A series of violent encounters, lead to

book, but instead jumped head first into the martial arts.

the eventual kidnapping of the champion.

 

What you may not know about the film is what led up to its

Calasanz made his desire to make a movie well known

making and why it was so important for Calasanz to put his

to anyone who was willing to listen. All his students and

neck on the line to produce an independent movie.

colleagues knew that his sole purpose for coming to Amer-

 

ica was to make an independent martial arts movie without

Calasanz was born in the Dominican Republic and like

having to deal with the politics of the mainstream movie in-

most boys his age, enjoyed action movies. In 1975, his fa-

dustry. He’d heard about how Bruce Lee had to actually leave

ther took him to see Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and he

the United States and make movies in Hong Kong because

was hooked. His mission in life from that day forward was

the industry had a hard time respecting a foreign actor. But

to come to America, make a movie and become as famous

in order to do get this movie made, Calasanz needed money

as his matinee movie idol. While his father wanted him

and time, two things that are in short supply for a martial arts

to become a competitive boxer, Calasanz wanted some-

teacher busy building a business from the bottom up.

4

5

 
Eight years had passed since Calasanz came to the U.S. to

The price tag quickly escalated from a budget of $350,000

make his movie and it seemed that that time was slipping

to almost a million dollars. Calasanz did whatever he could

away. His students goaded him constantly, asking him, “Hey

to raise the funds to make the movie, including borrowing

Calasanz, when will we ever see this film?” Even though the

from friends and students. When the movie did not pro-

time and circumstances were not ideal, Calasanz felt com-

duce the financial rewards expected, Calasanz was left with

pelled to act and realize his dream.

a pile of debt. Advised by many to discharge these debts
in bankruptcy, Calasanz refused, and made it his mission

One of Calasanz private students, an aspiring filmmaker

to pay back all his investors with cash, memberships, or a

who we’ll call Mike, wanted to help Calasanz with the film.

combination of both.

So the team started by making a few commercials and

 

eventually turned

In the eyes of the world, Calasanz may have failed because

its attention to

his movie wasn’t a blockbuster. In fact, Calasanz doesn’t

producing an

look at it this way. The making of the movie had many suc-

independent

cesses beyond what you see on the screen. Calasanz was a

film. One of the

pioneer in making movies in the State of Connecticut. Now

first things they

in 2009, Connecticut is one of the premiere locations in the

needed was a good script. Calasanz had been developing his

country for moviemakers. Calasanz made his vision come

version of the perfect script for over 10 years, but needed

true in the 80’s and saw the potential for creative works in

his ideas to be formalized by a professional. Another stu-

this state. Calasanz also used the making of the movie and

dent who was a Hollywood scriptwriter gave Calasanz some

the publicity surrounding it to promote his name, which has

good ideas, but it needed more work. Mike agreed to get the

proved to be invaluable as far as promoting the goodwill of

script in working order. This would require many revisions

his martial arts business. He also learned there were many

and Calasanz was assured that it would be ready.

people who believed in him. That’s why it was so important

 

for Calasanz not to file for bankruptcy.

Sounds good up until this point, but many obstacles got in

 

the way. Calasanz suffered a shin injury in a bizarre situ-

Not many people out there can say that they actually made

ation that hampered his ability to train as well as keep his

their own movie and paid for it. The movie played in the-

business afloat. On the day that production was supposed to

aters on the East Coast and also in the Dominican Republic,

start, the script was nowhere near completion. Frustrated,

where Calasanz is a national hero. In the end, Crossing the

Calasanz took his original script out of the director’s hands

Line was a great success. It all really depends on how you

and from that point on; the movie became an improvised

measure it.

production.
 
Financial problems also plagued the movie. The first version
of the film was not up to Calasanz standards and the only
way to improve it was to invest more money into its production. While many involved in the making of the movie were
well intentioned, inexperience proved to be very costly.
6

7

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9

W

artist and I never abused that gift. Most of my fights were
won without fighting, anyone that wanted to discuss martial

hen I first came to the United States I wanted to

arts with me understood my skills and knew that I required

make my mark, I wanted to make a name for myself. Upon

and deserved respect. There were some cases where I won

entering this country I had a goal in mind and I said it over

a fight but I was fortunate that it was not too serious a fight

and over again, “I came here to make a movie.” I heard

because even though I was in good shape maybe my diet

what Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others

was not so good, maybe I worked too hard, put too much

had to go through in Hollywood with the politics involved

pressure on myself, or made too many mistakes. When you

in making it big and I did not want to follow that path.

are training hard and put that amount of pressure on your-

Even Bruce Lee went back to China because of those same

self, regardless of how good a shape you are in, you would

politics. I kept going and would not falter on my decision, I

not be at your strongest with all that stress.

wanted to make this movie in the U.S., not my home coun-

 

try of the Dominican Republic. Besides, I was only training

When I was eight years old it was when I taught my four

in martial

year old brother how to hurt another kid who was bullying

arts in the

him. Between eight and 12 years old I knew how to take a

Dominican

big step forward and deliver the hardest kick to a cow that

Republic part

connected on its belly. There is an empty space that this

time. I was

animal has, I would love to know the name of that specific

respected the

muscle, you hit it hard and they go down for at least one

first time I entered a martial arts school because of my nat-

minute! I used to do that all the time, until one day I got

ural ability and most of all I never slacked off. You should

caught, before the cow got up my father came and knew

also understand that I was a bit of a show off, if someone

exactly what happened.

wanted to take a photo with me or asked me to do a full

 

split, I did it immediately. All that showing off surprises me

As I start training in martial arts, all my friends realized

when I look back at it but I enjoyed showing off my skills

that I had a talent for what I was doing. They realized that

and I do have a strong respect for martial arts and the in-

no one on the farms in the Dominican Republic could trade

structors that had a hand in my training, especially Tamey-

kicking with me including his elders. I could easily win a

oshi Sakamoto. I gained the trust and heart of Sakamoto

fight just by kicking. Fighting was something came easy to

because I possessed a gift to be a naturally gifted martial

10

me, I could look at a person and immediately knew

11

12

13

when to strike, bite, punch, or kick them. I would take ex-

the idea I had long ago to make a movie would finally be

had always spent lots of time with various people to discuss

and Marcello on that account. The first budget for the movie

amples from today’s self defense techniques like MMA and

reality.

business deals to prevent those bad things from happening

was gone after two weeks so this was the reason for opening

Wing Chun Chi Sau and I would know where to strike just

 

if I could. I don’t believe in contracts but instead in mutual

another account. Within two weeks the money was gone.

by looking at a person‘s body. I loved martial arts but my

In 1987, two students came to my door and signed as

agreements. I did everything I could in those eight years

There were checks written to buy products that I never

father begged me to get into boxing but I wanted more than

private students, their names are John and Marcello and a

to prevent any mistakes and I know now that everything I

knew about. Two years later, somebody close to the pro-

just beating someone as a sport.

friendship between us started immediately. Marcello who

did was taken for granted. “Marcello,” I said time and time

ducer came and told me that over $100,000 was taken and I

 

later became a director of commercials, wanted to do the

again, “This movie determines my success and my career.”

was so trusting and sincere that I believed that these people

 In 1975 my father and I went to see a movie made famous

same for me and he did. This is where Marcello got his start,

We were best friends, such good friends that when he

were just human. Even without knowing the producer, I

by Bruce Lee titled “Enter the Dragon.” I knew right away

he did not charge too much money because he needed the

moved to the city he sent me letters to tell me what he was

trusted him, he was Marcello‘s friend. One thing I noticed

that I wanted to make a film. I started planning a trip to the

experience. He knew that it was my dream to make this

doing, how his life was, and how hard and how much skill

that when the first budget was gone, the producer felt so bad

U.S. I knew that I could make a business out of movies and

movie and we started to collaborate. Marcello and I went to

he was going to put into my movie.

that he gave me his credit card for to charge $10,000 which

acting. I did not want to just teach anymore, I knew that I

restaurants to talk about the movie, we always talked about

 

I paid him as he finished shooting the movie. That should

wanted to be on the big screen. I wanted to do exactly what

the movie, I told him of my dream to make a successful

What I did not know about Marcello was that he was

have told me that something was not right because people

Bruce was did. At this point I already had a diploma and a

film. I told him countless times that if this movie failed that

working for one thing, to make a trailer for himself in

do not do that. Did the producer feel bad or did he just not

job at a bank. I was able to convince my job to let me take a

it would shatter that dream. My father always believed in

order to sell himself as a movie director. So much money

want me to look into where the money had gone?

break to go to the U.S. to study. I applied for a visa and got

preventing a bad thing from happening and those words

was wasted on the first attempt at making this movie and

 

accepted to the University of Bridgeport. When I got to the

stuck with me. Marcello never had a finished script but I

Marcello wanted a second attempt at it. I did everything to

Two years before the movie process, Marcello started

university I didn’t open a book, I was more focused on any-

trusted him and he always convinced me by saying some-

get more money and gave Marcello a second chance like I

writing the script and Richard Venture, a script writer from

thing and everything to do with martial arts. This journey

thing like “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing.”

always do because I don’t believe in giving up on people. As

Hollywood, trained with me. Venture was the first to write

to get to the U.S. and make something of myself was real-

 I thought about this movie for eight years and asked myself

we started the movie, I opened an account where the money

this movie for me, he got busy and still gave me a good

ized when I opened my school. After opening the school,

all the time, can this young guy direct it? Over the years I

to make the movie would be deposited with the producer

draft but not enough to make a movie., That is

14

15

where Marcello came in. Marcello wrote many drafts but

also persuaded me to do this demo at the restaurant, all I

none could be used. He said, “Calasanz, the China Town

was really there for was to convince someone to train at my

script was redone more than 30 times and that was why it

school, but the people with me wanted to see me in action.

became the best.” He convinced me that nothing was wrong.

I am sure they wanted me to prove myself, which was the

Many obstacles happened even before starting the movie.

last thing I needed, by this time I proved myself enough.

For example, I got hurt; it was one of the biggest blows to

Someday I will get into the rest of what went on that day at

my career because the injury did not have to happen. It

the restaurant.

could have been prevented by these people who convinced

 

me that I was safe in the place they brought me to, but

This injury caused a delay in the making of the movie and

they could not help me escape from a demonstration with

lots of money but not compared to the money that Marcello

someone who almost cost me my life and my dream. I built

cost me. The day we started filming the movie we did not

my name by doing demonstrations for people. I never had

follow a script, I took my story away from him and he came

to hurt anyone and no one hurt me. But on this day my skill

up with something that was done at the spot. The script

was so beyond my opponent’s. I got pushed to stand up and

was no more and it was mostly improvised. The movie was

do a demonstration with a chef who was a Thai boxer. I hu-

supposed to be a low budget film and already $350,000 was

miliated him

spent during the first two weeks. By the time the movie

so much that

was finished over $1 million dollars had been spent and

he could not

we owed money to everyone. I knew that I would pay up,

take it. The

but the toughest part to take was all the people that we let

people with

down, including grocery store owner Stew Leonard who

me knew that

helped us the most. But Coast Entertainment Corporation

I did not want to participate in any more demos, not until I

did not have to file bankruptcy. Everyone, one way or the

finished my movie. I built my name by humiliating people,

other got paid. Some were compensated with a membership

especially street fighters, without hurting them.

to my school, some of them received a membership and a

 

cash settlement. Many of the investors came to me and asked
As I got to this restaurant, the only thing that I could think

why I did that, or that I should close the company. I did not

of was that I did not want to participate in any demos until

close, but I paid everyone personally.

after the movie. I already knew that many people were jeal-

 

ous of my skills plus, I had a popular show on Cablevision’s

You should know that in order to pay everyone faster, I came

public access channel. The chef was following the Calasanz

with these ideas. Every time something has gone wrong, I

Show for a long time and recognized me and planned for a

have proved that I can come up with some source of idea or

demo. His intentions were to humiliate me. In the end he

advertisement in order to recover. I have never been wrong,

was the one who became the victim of humility without

but 95% of the time, those that I have dealt with let me down.

me having to hurt him. The chef set his mind to wanting

It does not mean that those people did it purposely. Those

to hurt me no matter what. He was cooking for us and as I

that know me are aware of my strong personality and loud

go to sit down, this guy, at close range, delivered a kick so

voice, sometimes I make people angry. Those two things have

hard to my ankle that I injured my tibia. I tried not to go to

cost me a great deal. Today, I understand that I overwhelmed

any bars or restaurants until the movie was complete and I

some of those that worked with me, including my students

did anyway. These people who convinced me to go had the

that I have always done business with since day one.
16

17

18

My vow to make a movie in the U.S. caused me to go this far

chose not to. I could have just as easily gone back to my coun-

with this film. I should have known to back out when the

try, taken a great job, and lived the “good life,” but I chose to

director could not come up with a script. I never stopped say-

stay and do what I know and love and that is teaching martial

ing to all my students, “I am making a movie.” I gave myself

arts. I knew that 3-4 years down the line, this movie would

a timetable that by 1994 I must finish this goal in order to

promote my name regardless if it failed in the past.

move on, otherwise I cannot start anything. I remember Stew

 

Leonard telling me more than asking, “Why you don’t take

Marcello ran the master trailer which was the best part of

that money and open another school?” I said, “Stew I must do

the movie and a box of the most memorable pictures of me.

it, I have spoken too much, now I am forced to do it, it is just

Even when Marcello tried to hire someone to work with him

ego, but everyone is starting to make faces like Hahn!”

on the movie, when interviewing this prospective employee,
this man named Andrew had a dog bite him on the ear in

I have come to the conclusion that I do not blame anyone

Marcello’s apartment. Even Andrew tried to get money from

other than myself. It makes me angry that I will never forget

us. That was just another speed bump during this whole

as part of this process that we owe a person $105,000. This

movie process. Nothing went the way it was supposed to go.
I know now that Marcello did nothing wrong, he felt sad

man was not working, he was sick, and owed creditors

and ashamed that he let me and many others down. I never

hundreds of thousands of dollars. He came to work for

wanted to blame Marcello because he did so much work on

me on the film and even when I paid him, he still
would have had to file bankruptcy and later did.

this movie to try to get it right but he lacked the experience.

A few years after he filed, he was rebuilding

Marcello felt that he made all the mistakes but I feel that the

his home in Greenwich. To this day I

mistakes were all my fault and not his. Marcello’s issues were
not having a solid plan and not taking the time to learn his

still find that hard to believe. What

craft.

makes me the angriest is that

 

his wife of this person told
her husband that he would

So many people who believed in what I was doing were let

lose money and talks bad

down. I did nothing wrong other than trust those that were

about me still. She failed

my friends, and that is why I believe that I deserve the blame

to be an honest person as I

for all that happened during the making of this film. Crossing

paid everyone. Some of the

The Line was a nightmare for me. Marcello has since vanished and we have not heard from him. I would like to thank

people that received checks

all my students that stuck by me and showed their support

asked, “What for? “You lost out with this movie,

during this time.

dummy.“ I kept my word that everyone would be
compensated.
 
This movie turned into the biggest humiliation of
my career. This low budget movie went from costing
around $250,000 to over $1 million. I could have
taken the easy way out and just filed bankruptcy but I

20

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Calasanz

507 Westport Avenue, Norwalk CT
www.calasanz.com 1-800-414-9544


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