Current Status: Author, playwright, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Retired professor and former chair, Film Studies Department, UNC Wilmington.

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.

Education: Colgate University, B.A.; The University of Miami, M.A.; Colgate Rochester Divinity School, M.A.; The Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Ph.D.

Professional Work Summary


  • FIFTY-EIGHT courses taught in seven fields at both the undergraduate and graduate level
  • EIGHTEEN teaching awards and citations
  • TWO distinguished awards for scholarship

Artistic Achievement & Scholarship

Womb of the Moon

  • THREE BOOKS affecting change, cited nationally, and which resulted in documentary films
  • FIVE play readings and productions, THREE national playwriting honors, & NINE print interviews and reviews
  • TWENTY-SEVEN research grants and initiatives
  • SIXTY-THREE published essays, Op-Ed Pieces, and Journalism
  • NINE reprints in a college writing text alongside James Baldwin, Annie Dillard, and Alice Walker



  • SEVENTY-ONE examples of service to community people, campus-wide committees, on-campus speaker, and service to other departments

Higher Education

  • FIFTY print, radio, & television stories about my work, my involvement in the community, and other significant activities
  • FIFTY-FOUR university committees, chair or member of, including Vice President of the Faculty Senate

State, Regional, & National Affairs

Included with authors Annie Dillard, James Baldwin, and Alice Walker
  • FORTY-FOUR lectures addresses, and presentations, from community groups to Harvard, Brown, and Syracuse universities
  • NINETY-THREE radio, TV and print interviews and analyses on Politics, Film, etc.
  • FORTY-SIX print, television and radio interviews on my work, Film, and other significant activities

Pro Bono, At Cost, and State, Regional, and National


Dr. Buttino conferring with Chancellor Jim Leutze on a shoot in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • THIRTEEN Pro Bono and At-Cost Films and Documentaries
  • TWELVE State, Regional and National documentaries: SIXTY-FOUR premieres, screenings, broadcasts; FORTY-FOUR announcements and review; TWENTY-THREE awards and honors
  • Inauguration of a Special Manuscript & Film Collection, William M. Randall Library, The University of North Carolina Wilmington.

International Travel

  • Sixteen countries in Europe, Africa, Central, and South America. Few were vacations, most were for newspaper work or research.

Current Writing & Filmmaking


  • A Cloud for Kate is about love and loss between a grandfather and his adolescent granddaughter. Grieving is hard, but not when the sky can teach things that open up the heart to starting over. Under review.


  • Carmen Basilio in his legendary fight again Sugar Ray Robinson

    Shadowboxing the Mob: The Carmen Basilio Story earned ten consecutive screenplay competitions before being optioned by Ridgerock Entertainment Group, Memphis, TN. The Group’s executives were the main force behind the production of Black Mass, the story of Boston’s corrupt Whitey Bolger and his

    Teddi Mervis, age nine

    manipulation of the FBI (played by Johnny Depp). In production, 2017.

  • Pray April Comes Early This Year. A feature-length screenplay based on my biography (third edition published in 2016) of a 12-year-old child wrote who inspired what is today the fourth largest organization in the world that deals with all aspects of childhood trauma, from cancer to gun-related violence.

Documentary Film

The feature documentary film Going Home: Memoir of a Small Town GH2is in post-production. I am in the final edit while simultaneously fundraising and seeking national broadcast and distribution.
This story is not about outrage or the outrageous things we do to one another. It is, instead, a reminder that places still exist where caring and community matter, and where even loss can provide perspective and the gift of humility.



Fathers Who Changed America—And the Children They Left Behind.
Being fathers changed Lincoln, JFK and this change resonated outward to the world— like Lincoln at Gettysburg; JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Their childrenBook Trio were never free to allowed to live their life, independent of fathers, who in death became larger than life.

A fuller portrait of Lincoln, JFK, and King begins with this book. A greater understanding of their children’s’ plight has its start in these pages. And the writing of American history may never be the same.


  • Rise of the Hybrid. A thriller science “faction” feature film. Science has factually proven that a warming planet is causing the animal kingdom to evolve faster than we humans. Deep in the Maine woods, a new hybrid has emerged which combines the cleverness of the raccoon with the fierceness of the Black Bear. The outlook isn’t good for the home team.
  • Orphaned Earth. Another thriller science “faction” feature. The puncturing and plundering of the earth for water, coal, oil, gas, minerals and the like for centuries has put the world on the brink of the greatest calamity it has ever known. Fault lines interconnect beneath cities, volcanoes, and across the ocean floor. Sinkholes begin to swallow cities. Dams around the world begin to break. But that’s not even the worse part.