Joseph Zolfo, the producer of the hit television crime drama “NCIS: New Orleans,” will serve as the principal speaker at the University of New Orleans’ fall 2015 graduation. The ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. in the Lakefront Arena.
The New York City native has worked in the television and film industry for more than two decades with some of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors and actors. Now a New Orleans resident, he produces the wildly popular CBS series, which shoots at UNO’s Nims Center Studios in Elmwood. When the show debuted in the fall of 2014, it was the top-rated new series on TV in total audience, averaging 18.1 million viewers each week, counting digital plays.
Zolfo began his film career on the set of Woody Allen’s “Husband and Wives.” Early in his career he worked for other directing luminaries, including Sydney Pollack, Mike Nichols and Nora Ephron. Then Zolfo set his sights on producing features and television. Some of his early work includes “Marie and Bruce,” starring Julianne Moore and Matthew Broderick, “Wedding Daze,” starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher, and “The Girl in the Park,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Kate Bosworth.
Zolfo continued his film work by teaming up with writer/director Boaz Yakin, first with the critically acclaimed Sundance film “Death in Love,” starring Josh Lucas and Jacqueline Bissett, and followed by the thriller “Safe,” starring Jason Statham. His next feature was the action film “Dead Man Down,” starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace and Terrence Howard.
Zolfo moved into television and teamed up with Ian Edelman on the HBO series “How to Make it in America,” starring Luis Guzman, Bryan Greenberg, Lake Bell, Victor Rasuk and Kid Cudi. Zolfo, Edelman and Guzman reunited with the buddy cop comedy “Puerto Ricans in Paris,” starring Rosario Dawson and Rosie Perez, which is due to be released in June 2016 by Focus Features.