A Memoir Of Montauk Love Will Become A Feature Film - 27 East

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A Memoir Of Montauk Love Will Become A Feature Film

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Geraldine Brown and Mark Giomblanco on their wedding day.

Geraldine Brown and Mark Giomblanco on their wedding day.

Geraldine Brown and Mark Giomblanco on their wedding day.

Geraldine Brown and Mark Giomblanco on their wedding day.

The happy couple.

The happy couple.

Book cover of

Book cover of "Geraldina & the Compass Rose."

Marisa Valentino on Jul 31, 2020

At the age of 50, Geraldine Brown had reason to doubt she would ever find love. After all, she had been involved in a series of disastrous relationships that would have been enough to leave most people dejected.

But instead, she held on to faith sparked by her late grandmother, Rosaria Gentile, who had died several years earlier. This faith guided her to true unconditional love as the compass rose guides sailors through the sea. Mystical signs like roses, doves, and even bumper stickers helped her stay on the right path.

So when Brown took the hand of Mark Giomblanco to board his 45-foot yacht one fateful day in Montauk in 2015, she knew it was meant to be. The story became the basis of Brown’s new memoir, “Geraldina & The Compass Rose,” and soon, it will also become a movie to be filmed around Montauk and the East End.

Brown and Giomblanco were introduced to one another by a friend of Brown’s mother, Eunice, a woman who knew Giomblanco because their boats had been docked next to each other in Connecticut. Brown and Giomblanco exchanged phone numbers and began talking before they even met in person.

“I told him that I was a fish out of water because I'm a Pisces and don't throw out the bait unless he's serious,” said Brown.

Eventually they had their spontaneous first date. Out of the blue, Giomblanco invited Brown to spend the upcoming weekend with him in Montauk. He promised it’d be filled with beaches, nice restaurants, sunsets, and star filled nights.

“He said it'll be like a scene from a movie,” said Brown, who recalls the offer was too good to refuse, despite the fact it was a very long drive to Montauk from Westchester where she was living at the time.

“It was very romantic,” said Brown about the drive to Montauk and her meeting of Giomblanco on his boat. “I put my hand out and he held my hand to help me out of my SUV... And it was as if we were just hand in glove. I use that expression because we fit together from that moment. It was this excitement, but it was bigger than that it was deeper than that. And it's what movies are made of.”

Brown, who now goes by the name Brown Giomblanco, always wanted to share her miracle-filled story of love because she wanted to connect with and inspire others. She hopes her memoir and the upcoming movie will encourage people to share their own stories embracing their vulnerability as she did.

“I've always pictured this being a movie,” said Brown Giomblanco, noting the romantic interludes she and her husband shared in Montauk advanced this idea. “Our love was beautiful and beyond special.”

So she contacted her friend David Tilman, a writer for Hallmark and Lifetime. He loved the uniqueness of the story but before being a film, he recommended she write the memoir first to gain credibility.

The new author took his advice publishing “Geraldina & The Compass Rose” in 2019. Now, the movie version of the memoir is on its way.

“As in my whole life experience, when the timing is right the connections appear,” Brown Giomblanco said.

In Montauk last year the couple met Rob Simmons of JARS Media, who is now working on the movie and introduced them to director, writer, producer Ante Novakovic, whose films include "Leaves of The Tree,” “American Fright Fest,” and “The Fix.” Brown Giomblanco is writing the screenplay which will be completed in a few weeks. The team is also collaborating with actress and director Diane Cossa, known for “Wherefore Art Thou,” and “Law and Order,” and with David Platt, who directed the series “Law & Order” and “The Good Wife,” among others. Once the screenplay is completed, Brown Giomblanco and the production team will finalize the story and start production, though they haven’t yet set specific dates to begin filming because of Covid-19.

But Brown Giomblanco is confident her story will translate well to the big screen and connect with viewers’ emotions.

“They're going to go on the ride with the protagonist and feel the triumph even through the sorrow,” she said.

These days, Brown Giomblanco and her husband are happily living on their boat, named the Geraldina, which is docked in Montauk for the summer. During their stay the couple have been spreading the word about the memoir. On August 19, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the East Hampton Library will host a Zoom book talk with Geraldine Brown Giomblanco, who is now working on a sequel to her “Geraldina & The Compass Rose.” When the couple isn’t living aboard the Geraldina, home is on the shoreline of Clinton, Connecticut. In addition to being an author, Brown Giomblanco is also a motivational speaker and a strategic mentor coach. To register for the book talk, visit easthamptonlibrary.org.

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