Growing up in Rhode Island, Michael Corrente was exposed to the movie by his father who regularly took his son to see whatever foreign-language films were playing in the area. Those motion pictures and a high school field trip to Providence's Trinity Square Repertory Company to see a production of "A Man for All Seasons" convinced the youngster to pursue a career in the arts. Following completion of his studies at the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in 1981, Corrente bartered his abilities as a contractor in return for rehearsal spaces and production opportunities, mounting over 25 productions. In 1984, he set out for Manhattan where he wrote the one-act, semi-autobiographical "Federal Hill" and eventually established the Studio B Theatre Ensemble. Eventually he expanded the one-act to full-length and produced and directed its Off-Broadway premiere. Drawing on his experiences living in a slightly insular Italian-American community, he crafted a story about a group of buddies--small time hoods whose lives are upended when one falls for a coed. Knowing he had strong material, Corrente teamed with film director Bill Durkin to shoot "Title Shot" (1989), a nine-minute reel which they hoped could be used for fund-raising purposes. Over the course of the next few years, the script for Corrente's debut feature, also titled "Federal Hill" took shape. Shot in less than a month in 1993 on black-and-white stock and a very low budget, "Federal Hill" utilized the city of Providence as a major character as well. While modest in scope, the film's expert cinematography and Corrente's spin on what could have been familiar material won over critics. There was a slight brouhaha when Trimark, the film's distributor, made public its plans to issue "Federal Hill" in a "colorized" version, claiming that contemporary audiences wouldn't go to see a black-and-white movie. While the director was willing to consider such a move for a video release, he greatly opposed tinting the theatrical release. Eventually Trimark backtracked and agreed to let the release print remain in black and white and allowed Corrente to oversee the "colorization" of a home video version.