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Athlete Turned Lawyer Russell DePersia Writes First Screenplay

Russell Anthony DePersia
Russell Anthony DePersia, Suzanne DeLaurentiis

Hailing from New Jersey, Russell Anthony DePersia loved sports from an early age. DePersia was raised in a supportive household where sports played a major role in his family. He took after his parents by having a passion for football at an early age and later played collegiate basketball.

While pursuing a law career, the driven DePersia was a semi-pro football player and professional boxer. DePersia graduated from Rutgers School of Law and has maintained a criminal defense practice for over twenty years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

DePersia is now adding another occupation to his resume – screenwriter.

Fueled by his passion for sports and his desire to educate society on the dangers of contact sports, DePersia wrote the compelling sports dramaSeasons Change. The film follows a gifted high school football star Rex Sarcone who is on a path to play professional ball. After a devastating blow to the head mid-game, Sarcone is forced to give up football, leaving him unable to cope with an uncertain future as friends and family try to help him realize a new dream.

DePersia has a deep passion for sports, particularly because of what a positive effect it can have on athletes through meeting challenges and developing discipline. “However, my lifetime involvement in sports also makes me aware of the many risks and dangers,” DePersia said. “One theme of Seasons Changeis risk awareness to create a healthy athletic experience that improves the athlete’s path in life… we should first count all the concussions [athletes] may face in sports through their youth, high school, college, and if lucky enough, or unlucky enough, the pros. Parents and coaches may think they are doing their best for the athletes when they may be merely throwing them again and again into the lion’s den.”

While writing Seasons Change, DePersia investigated concussions, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and second impact syndrome. DePersia has observed on numerous occasions, including personally, players thrown back on the field after being seriously hit. DePersia has seen its traumatic effects as some of his teammates have become so mentally damaged from sports injuries that they struggle with their day-to-day lives. DePersia realized how many of his childhood sports heroes were also so badly hurt after seeing the list of plaintiffs in the NFL concussion lawsuit. DePersia knew he had to educate society and was inspired to write Seasons Change.

DePersia is excited to share his love of the sport while simultaneously showing the importance of safety on the field. He has been developing the film with thirty-year independent producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis. DePersia is also working on a book he hopes to have published this summer.

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