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AN INTERVIEW WITH Julia L. Rosengren, Actress & PRODUCER
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Julia Lima Rosengren, I live in East Texas where I moved from Europe 6 years ago.
It has been an exceptionally long journey from the tiny, northern Brazilian town of Timbuaba to the great cities of the world following
my dreams and working as a model. Ours was a very simple and poor family, but with plenty of love. My father always dreamed the best for us.
I am the third of five children and right in the middle of two boys and two girls. As far back as I can remember, I always dreamed
extremely big and felt, even though I was not the eldest, that I had the most responsibility to look after us all.
Each day it was me that walked the two miles to town to get the two largest jugs of fresh water that I could carry in my hands.
I wasn't very old when I realized that to make a better future for our family I could not stay in that little town. There were probably
many boys and girls there, and the thousands of other towns like it, that harbored similar dreams.
For me though, it was always much, much more than a mere dream. Such ambitions were hardly encouraged there. In school,
I was curious about everything, One day, as we looked at a map, I asked the teacher where Japan was.
The teacher replied that it did not matter because I would never be able to go there.
At fifteen, my father, who knew I had to leave, gave me permission to move to the big city of Sao Paulo where I became a model
and from there, I had my opportunity to come to America (Miami). Swimming in the extremely competitive modeling waters of Miami,
I decided that although I may not be the greatest model in the world, no one was going to work harder.
Others noticed and I began to get work with many different agencies. Soon trips to Europe and then Japan followed.
I could not resist the urge to send my old teacher a postcard from Japan (Tokyo).
It all cemented my conviction that you should never allow anyone else to set your limits or expectations My career continued to expand,
and I caught the eye of the movie world. I moved to Los Angeles and I appeared as Teri Hatcher’s body-double in the
TNT movie of the week ‘Running Mates' and that led to the same role for Kate Beckinsale in the blockbuster, 'Pearl Harbor'.
From there, I became the international spokesmodel for a Top Shelf vodka, 'Brilliant'. Based in Las Vegas, it was all a great deal
further than the mere distance from my hometown but I was able to provide for my family in a way that made me very happy.
For me it was still not enough. I had to keep learning, keep experiencing. I walked away from the glitz and neon glamor of my life
in Vegas and immersed myself in the glorious beauty of Tuscany, Italy.
There can scarcely be a starker contrast of lifestyle, but I wanted to not just visit countries now but become part of them
and have them become part of me. I felt that language was the most obvious way to show that and I found I had
an affinity for them, becoming fluent in Italian in less than a year. It was a glorious time and place.
My old life was not to be so easily left behind though. An offer came in to take a class hosting a season of a television talk show in London.
It was an opportunity I felt could not be turned down, even if it presented no obvious new language challenges
At the conclusion of the show in London, I moved to Paris and took a job as Fashion Consultant for Galleries Lafayette,
the celebrated Department Store chain. The job was not so thrilling but Paris certainly was, and I even found
time to enroll in Master Chef classes, which I loved. It was at this point that I found myself needing to help more people than just my family.
I started to get deeply involved with what would become the driving force in my life: Philanthropy.
I started a few years earlier by running half marathons for charitable sponsorship or donations but then began to become
more interested in where the money was going and what actual help was needed.
I began to raise money for causes on my own, almost always benefiting under- privileged children. My new interests took me back
to the United States, to Texas, where I met and married my husband. The love of languages persisted. My husband had good
connections at the University of Central Florida, which had a Modern Languages department. I decided to get involved and first joined as a student,
studying Russian, and then endowed the department with a scholarship for deserving students.
I became the standard bearer for all the University languages. I now speak and write my native of Portuguese, and English, Spanish, Italian, French,
Catalan, Danish and basic in Japanese and Russian. I was blessed to receive the University of Central Florida Honorary Alumni Award in 2019.
I now oversee more than a dozen major philanthropic projects, including one particularly close to my heart.
I am a founder-member of a Brazilian team of activists and artists that have formed UNIAO GAIA, a collective that
concentrates on issues affecting the planet. I am also an ambassador for a global company based in Europe, the ‘SUSTAINABLE FILM FUND’ which
raises awareness of what must be done to help make life on this planet sustainable. My goal with the short films is to support
the love of Mother Earth through the building of friendships and shared awareness. I am also an Actress on the
short film ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ that was made during the quarantine, filmed entirely on an I-phone at my home in Texas
and directed remotely, via phone, from Brazil. I played all five characters of the film. Another of my favorite Non-Profits is MoviesMakingADifference Inc. a 501c3 that makes feature films to highlight social issues and give back to the
communities profiled in them. When a powerful Mexican cartel leader was needed for a film about trafficking, I happily accepted the part.
Maybe villains are always more fun to play! The film, 'Cult Cartel', is presently in post-production. As to what comes next, anything is possible.
It continues to be an amazing life’s journey.
Why you became as film producer?
I always loved Cinema and the entertainment world. I've had some work as as an actress but being a filmmaker and producer is all new for me
and I love it. My first experience as a producer was in the movie ‘ CULT CARTEL', mentioned above. It was wonderful being able
to be behind the scenes and learn something new every time we had to film a scene. There is so much more
to it than most people realize. So I created the story of the short film ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ and produced, as
well as partnered Helena Riul as Writer who introduced me to the Director, Rogerio Takashi who was wonderful to work with.
Give some more information about yourself and the films you have made so far,
about your experience in filmmaking?
Making ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ during the pandemic lockdown was an amazing and challenging experience.
I learned so much and my love for film-making grows every day. I think working as a model in Japan for almost four years gave me my
curiosity for the world of Cinema beyond whet we all just see on the screen. All my photoshoots in Japan were with a lot of preparation
and professionalism from my photographers and I think their culture's love of cinema was present in all of them.
Particularly one session for a Book about Woman and Nature where I was the only model. It took a month to shoot.
That really felt like making a movie!
What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a producer?
My first film as a producer and an actress was ‘CULT CARTEL’ produced by Diana Davis. Her work with Movies Making A Difference
is incredibly strong and her passion to coach people through the movies inspired me. The film
was written and directed by Paul Davis who was always happy to answer my questions about the process.
You have produced "Before Sunrise" which was Officially Selected in the
"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".
Why you decided to make it?
Being in quarantine and unable to see my friends, or my family because they are overseas, I thought why not transform these
empty feelings of missing them into something that will inspire friendship and loved ones? Inspire them
not to lose hope and think that this virus is going to separate us forever.
So I wanted to spread a message of love and joy, showing that distance doesn't have to mean separation.
With all the difficulties of making ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ every moment was a beautiful feeling of making this short film.
What were some of the challenges you faced in making "Before Sunshine"?
The film is completely filmed with an iPhone and remotely directed from Brazil with ROGERIO TAKASHI that I never, whom I had never met before we spoke on camera about the project.
HELENA RIUL helped me produce the film. She is also from Brazil.
The person I had to help film and show my scenes to Rogerio and Helena is my friend here in Texas, Jessica Chambers.
She had to be on a camera call showing my iPhone to see if the light was ok and checking sound and she never had done anything like that. She did a great job! Waking up very early to catch the Sunrise to film right when the sun appears, it was a huge challenge, because I was seeing how the scene was developing.
And then of course I live on a lake in East Texas and sometimes the internet was not so good, so we sometimes we would have to re-shoot over and over again. But it was all filmed in my home.
I would just transform different parts of the house to match each character's scenario. And the changes for each character was also
a huge challenge, but all so worth it. I FEEL BLESSED.
You have played in 5 roles in the short film "Before Sunrise" Let us know more about your experience?
It was something I always dreamed of; to see myself in different characters. I am a very passionate person and I love the different personalities of people. SOPHIA was the easiest since she is funny and expressive and loud, and is much like me. MARIA is the way
I was growing up in Brazil. Praying, going to church and always worried. CHARLOTTE is a part of my experience living in France and realizing life changes in time. She is extremely sensitive and calm. SELENA is mostly the emotional and funny And JULIA is
the part of me that dreamed large. Together, all of them bring a message of inspiration and hope, not lose faith in seeing their
friends and family again.
The cinematography and acting supports the drama in effective way.
What was it like to work with the whole team?
The team was amazing, we all had great since of humour and especially I had to translate English to Portuguese and Portuguese to English between Rogerio Takashi and Helena Riul, to my assistant Jessica. When we had the rehearsal over the computer cam, we had a friend of
Helena, Maria Fernanda, read the script in English for me to rehearse the scenes, because the script was written first in Portuguese by HELENA RIUL. Then I had the privilege to have my friend ‘Paul Davis’ who is the writer of ‘CULT CARTEL’ and all the movies from “MoviesMakingADifference” to highlight any issues in the transition from Portuguese to English so that it read correctly.
And I cannot thank enough my dear friend MICHELLE CHIASSERINI, the pianist from Italy who helped me with music that defined
the sense of my surprise to my friends on the film. I am extremely blessed to have worked with everyone on this team.
And we all are in a different world, overcoming extreme difficulties to make things happen.
‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ is the evidence of patience and courage and inspiration to the world.
For you what was the biggest lesson you had to learn after acting and producing this film?
I learned that sometimes a message in film can be more powerful than in a book. I feel that no matter what was going on,
it is never too late to plant a message of hope in this world.
What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?
The world inspires me. However the Festivals and professionals like
AMERICAN GOLDEN PICTURE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL,
has a huge impact because I believe it can help new filmmakers show our ideas and continue inspiring one another.
What are your filmmaking goals?
To continuing making short films, hopefully inspiring the world and to never stop a project because of obstacles.
I love short film making.
What is your next project?
After I created UNIAO GAIA, with Helena and Takashi we already have made ‘BEFORE SUNRISE’ and a new video of hope is about
to come out called UNIAO GAIA, inspired with a Song about healing the planet.
We have more than 24 Countries participating in the video singing the song “VOU BANINDO”.
I will be playing GAIA mother Earth. This a an amazing, beautiful video. We also have other projects in pre-production.
Life is busy and beautiful. Remembering myself as the little girl from the tiny town in Brasil who carried the water jugs for miles,
I would not have it any other way.
GOOD LUCK Julia
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