“Grey’s Anatomy” star Giacomo Gianniotti is getting candid about the difficulty of maintaining a healthy relationship in the age of social media.

The 29-year-old Italian-Canadian actor debuts his new film, “Acquainted”, at the Whistler Film Festival on Saturday and while off-screen he’s happily engaged to longtime love, Nichole, he says he’s aware “the list goes on,” when it comes to the hurdles of modern love, a key theme in the romantic drama.

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We are so proud to announce that @acquaintedfilm will have its world premiere at the @whisfilmfest this December. We are so excited to share it and can’t wait to see you all in Whistler. Please follow along for insight into the making of the film and who and what were looking forward to seeing at the festival! @acquaintedfilm is written and directed by @hometeamnatty and stars @laysladeo @giacomo_gianniotti @rachieskarsten @raymondablack @adelaidekane @_mounatraore @jonnykanyon and @yoparveen was shot by @eianm, cut by @katwebber_ , produced by @_stephaniehooker_ @jonnykanyon @giacomo_gianniotti @peterharveyfilm @jamesodonnellfilm @canaidan executive producer by @adelaidekane @romanbuilder @dmills333. The trailer was cut by the film’s editor @katwebber_ with soundtrack from @erezzobarymusic. #acquaintedfilm #whisfilmfest #WFF18 #ittakesavilliage #standforstory

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“With social media, we’ve never had our next best option so close,” he told ET Canada, while wrapping up production on the film in February. “It’s at our fingertips and within one swipe is what we could potentially be having tomorrow night instead of what we’re having tonight.”

“In the old days there wasn’t even a telephone – you had to meet someone in public and you would maybe get their address or write them a letter and there was all that anticipation,” he continued. “Our world is so different now and we’re constantly stimulated by people’s lives and, unfortunately, forced through social media to compare our lives and relationships to other people’s relationships. So, on social media, where everyone’s selling only the best version of themselves – never the negative, the down days or the hard moments – it becomes very simple to look at your life and relationship as not good enough. I think a lot of good relationships end because of that.”

Exploring such challenges faced in relationships today, the film was directed and written by former “DeGrassi: The Next Generation” star, Natty Zavitz, and marks the debut feature film from Gianniotti and co-star Jonathan Keltz’s production company, Fired Up Studios.

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Set and filmed in Toronto, Gianniotti, best known for playing Dr. Andrew DeLuca in “Grey’s Anatomy”, and actress Laysla De Oliveira star as former classmates who reconnect, igniting forbidden sparks.

Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival

“It’s about two couples hitting 30 and they’ve been in relationships for a while and the man from one of couples and the woman from the other meet by chance at a bar and get talking,” explained Gianniotti, who was born in Rome, raised in Toronto and is now based in Los Angeles. “In the beginning you see that there could be romantic possibilities, but they quickly reveal to each other on the walk home that they’re both in committed relationships, then they try to drag on this seemingly-plutonic relationship that they know is a lie.”

“They’re attracted to each other, interested in each other and stimulated by each other, so we use this film to talk about how difficult it is to be in a relationship today and how much work it takes,” he continued. “It’s very different from our parents’ and certainly our grandparents’ generation and yet we’re still trying to act like them even though our world has changed so much.”

Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival
Photo: Courtesy Whistler Film Festival

Gianniotti and Keltz started Fired Up Studios as a way to give the many talented writers and directors they know a shot at bringing their films to fruition. After making a call for submissions, they became hooked on “Acquainted”, a submission from mutual pal, Zavitz.

“We don’t have millions of dollars to play with, but it’s about finding something that we feel is a good story with good characters that we can tell truthfully,” Gianniotti said. “This script came to us and we just both immediately responded to it really well.”

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