It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
Mental health affects many actors and performers as well as one-in-four of the general population. Julia Verdin will speak about how actors can stay physically, emotionally and mentally healthy and her experiences while working with the subject in her remarkable career as a producer.
Veteran filmmaker Julia Verdin is a multi hyphenate – she is known as an accomplished producer, award-winning Director, and has written a number of screenplays.
Having been in the film industry for 30 years, Julia has established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading independent producers, with over 36 critically acclaimed feature films produced to date. She founded and has been running Rough Diamond Productions since 1995.
Julia is known for developing great material and has hands-on produced many films from inception all the way to release. Julia has an excellent knowledge of all aspects of filmmaking including story development, casting and packaging, budgeting, financing, on set production skills, festival strategy, and getting films sold and out into the marketplace. She has great creative instincts and is very passionate about each film she makes.
Some of the memorable, acclaimed theatrical releases, and top film festival favorites Julia has produced, include the recent 2 Jacks, directed by Bernard Rose and based on the Leo Tolstoy short story “Two Hussars.” The film starred Danny Huston, Jack Huston, Sienna Miller, Jacqueline Bisset, and Billy Zane; Stander, directed by Bronwen Hughes and starring Thomas Jane, Deborah Unger, Dexter Fletcher, and David O’Hara; Sony Pictures Classics released The Merchant of Venice, directed by Michael Radford and starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Joseph Fiennes; and Riding The Bullet based on a Stephen King story, directed by Mick Garris and starring David Arquette, Jonathan Jackson, Erica Christensen, and Barbara Hershey. Julia’s faith-based film, The Least Among You was a Lionsgate release, starring Lou Gossett Jr., Lauren Holly, and William Devane. It was featured in major festivals and was nominated for two N.A.A.C.P awards. Julia also Executive Produced the 2015 Lionsgate release Born of War, directed by Vicky Jewson and starring James Frain and Sophia Black D’Elia.
Julia currently has 2 films she co-produced in post-production, 7 seconds directed by Jeffrey Obrow and starring Dwight Yoakam and Christopher Lloyd and Pursued directed by Jeffrey Obrow and starring Sam Trammell, Molly Ringwald, Angus Macfayden, and Miesha Tate. She also recently produced the just released The Unwilling starring Dina Meyer, Lance Henriksen, and Jake Thomas, which has won many awards at top horror festivals.
Julia’s films have been selected for many major film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Venice, AFI, Raindance, Vancouver International, and London.
Her directorial debut, Lost Girls starring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols, and Jamie Harris has been doing well on the festival circuit and has won several awards including Best Social Impact film at The Culver City Film festival. The film has also been broadcast as part of an educational program on the sex trafficking of minors and has been screened by organizations and communities.
She will next direct and produce Angie: Lost Girls, a feature film set around the world of sex trafficking again, this time focusing on a victim’s difficulty re-integrating with her family, and rediscovering her self worth while combating ongoing threats to herself and loved ones from traffickers. The film is slated to go into production in 2018.
Julia is also currently directing a documentary on sex trafficking as a companion educational piece to her Lost Girls film series.
Some other films Julia produced earlier in her career include: I Witness, directed by Rowdy Harrington and starring Jeff Daniels and James Spader; Green Mail starring Steven Baldwin and Tom Skerritt; The Shipment starring Mathew Modine, Nick Turturro, and Elisabeth Berkley; The Contaminated Man starring William Hurt, Peter Weller, and Natasha McElhone; STYX directed by Alex Wright and starring Peter Weller, Angus MacFayden, and Brian Brown; Ballad of the Nightingale starring Virginia Madsen, Maria Cuccinota (Il Postino), Seymour Cassell, Michael Madsen, and Harry Dean Stanton; Lone Hero directed by Ken Sanzel and starring Lou Diamond Philips, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Robert Forester; Slipstream starring Sean Austin and Vinnie Jones; The Set Up, a bank heist thriller based on a James Hadley Chase best-selling novel, directed by Strathford Hamilton and starring Billy Zane, James Coburn, Mia Sara, and James Russo for MGM/Showtime; and Temptation, an action-packed revenge thriller for Dino De Laurentiis Communications starring Jeff Fahey, David Keith, and Alison Doody, also directed by Strathford Hamilton.
Julia is known as a leading educator in film: her book Success in Films, a guide to developing, funding, producing, and marketing indie films is on many college syllabuses around the world and has helped many filmmakers. She speaks regularly on film for many organizations including BAFTA, Women In Film, WGA, AFM panels, and Story Expo. Julia is also a top indie film consultant and has helped many filmmakers get their films made. She has an MA in film from Staffordshire University.
Julia received the La Femme 2015 Executive Achievement Award and was honored for her work in film and supporting female filmmakers. She served as a judge at the 2015 LA Shorts Festival, speaks regularly on film festival panels, and supports up and coming filmmakers. She served on the board of BAFTA LA for 10 years, chaired the film committee, and was instrumental in starting up the BAFTA newcomer program and encouraging mentorship of up and coming filmmakers. Julia is also the founder and director of Artists For Change, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission of raising awareness on key social issues through film and media and encouraging filmmakers to think about the content that they make and the effect they have on the world.
Julia is passionate about raising awareness on key social issues through the powerful medium of film and encourages filmmakers to think about making content that contributes to a better world.