Former Genesee Community College Student Directs Independent Film

Film to Be Released on DVD in February

Former Genesee Community College student, Philip Sacco knew he had an eye for film while he attended classes in the Multimedia program. Known in the film industry and more commonly as ‘Joe Black’, he is set to release his first film on February 9, 2010. His novice film, “When Soldiers Cry” will be released on DVD across the world via popular websites, retail stores and movie rental locations. Joe Black wrote, directed and briefly starred in the Vietnam War era independent film.
Joe attended Multimedia classes at Genesee both full and part time study throughout 2001 to 2005. He originally enrolled at Genesee because he was interested in a Physical Therapy degree. He knew he enjoyed photography and film and decided to take a few classes in Multimedia.
“I loved photography and film so I wanted to give that a try,” Black said. “Five minutes into the program I was hooked.”
Under the instruction of Barry Chow, Director of Learning Technologies at Genesee, Black learned about media and film making.
“Mr. Chow showed me the tools and how to use them, from there it was up to me to bring the tools to life,” Black noted. “I think we both sat down one day and said something like, ‘don’t just take a picture, make one.’ To me, that’s all you need to start with. Mr. Chow pushed me in media by critiquing my work and projects. He's a tough teacher but also a good friend. He has been my mentor throughout this entire endeavor.”
The film has been a labor of love for Black, taking over three years to develop and complete. From writing the screenplay, reviewing, planning, casting, shooting and editing, Black has learned an incredible amount of knowledge about the film industry. He built the film from the ground up, using much of his own funds to produce the film, working out deals for props and costumes, and making many contacts with actors and local film makers. He managed to film the entire movie in about 45 days filming locally, throughout Batavia, Rochester and Syracuse.
“When Soldiers Cry” is based in1965 South Vietnam, Private David M. Church awakes from being rendered unconscious to find all of his squad killed by the Vietcong. During his lonesome journey to the Landing Zone for extraction, Church mistakenly shoots an American Tunnel Rat who is disguising himself as a Vietcong. Mentally broken, Church starts carrying the Tunnel Rat to save his life fully knowing it may end his own. Trapped in the jungle with a war surrounding them, the only thing keeping them alive is the promises in their hearts they kept to their families—to return home at any cost.
“Creating this film has been a tedious process, Black said. “I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned that nothing happens over night, to be cautious each step of the way and that some people make films to make money and some make films to tell their story. I want to tell my story and hopefully the money will follow.”
With the success of “When Soldiers Cry” Joe is working on his second film, an action/drama entitled “Bunker nVa”, a prequel to “When Soldiers Cry” and is set to start filming this summer. He is also busy trying his hand at writing and illustrating a children’s book about monkeys.
Joe Black currently resides in Rochester, NY and enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, bodybuilding, photography ping pong, and drawing. “When Soldiers Cry” will be available February 9, 2010 through several online and retail locations including Walmart, Netflix, , Blockbuster and Best Buy. To find out more visit or To contact Joe Black directly, email him at

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Editor’s Notes:
A photo of “When Soldiers Cry” Official DVD cover:

A photo of Joe Black filming “When Soldiers Cry”:

A photo of director Joe Black: