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 business 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. She has also recently made her mark as a writer and director and has just completed directing her second film.
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 overall 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, excellent people skills, good at problem-solving and solution orientated and knows how to run a set smoothly and bring the best out of everybody involved.
Some of the memorable, acclaimed theatrical releases and top film festival favorites Julia has produced, include the recent 2 Jacks, directed by Bernard Rose, 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 starring Thomas Jane, Deborah Unger, Dexter Fletcher, and David O’Hara; Sony Pictures Classics released The Merchant of Venice, directed by Michael Radford, 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, and featured in major festivals, being nominated for two N.A.A.C.P awards. Julia also Executive Produced the 2015 Lionsgate release Born of War, directed by Vicky Jewson, starring James Frain and Sophia Black D’Elia.
As a director, her former acting background has given her the tools to support her actors and bring out amazing performances, and her producing background enables her to stay on budget while bringing out the best creative results.
Her directorial debut, Lost Girls starring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols, and Jamie Harris has been doing well on the festival circuit and 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 sex trafficking of minors and has been screened by organizations and communities and is currently in distribution.
Julia is currently in post-production on a feature film she directed, wrote and produced, Lost Girls: Angie’s Story, set around the world of sex trafficking again, this time focusing on a victim’s difficulty re-integrating with her family, re-finding her self-worth whilst combating ongoing threats to herself and loved ones from traffickers. The film stars Olivia d’Abo, Dylan Sprayberry, Antony Montgomery, Randolph Batinkoff, Jane Widdup, M.C. Lyte and Amin Joseph.
Julia enjoys working with non-profits and create narrative media to highlight the work they do. She recently directed a short promo for GIFT (Global initiative fighting Trafficking) and a short film Brown from a story written by foster youth from the Ridgeway foundation who also acted in the film for non profit Kids in the Spotlight to be screened at Paramount Studios in November.
Julia is also currently directing a documentary on trafficking as a companion educational piece to her Lost Girls film series.
Recent producing work includes Pursued for director Jeffrey Obrow, starring Sam Trammell, Molly Ringwald, Angus Macfayden and Miesha Tate and Paul Sorvino and One by One directed By Jeffrey Obrow, starring Dwight Yoakam and Christopher Lloyd both in post-production and the recently 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.
Some other films Julia produced earlier in her career include: I Witness, directed by Rowdy Harrington, starring Jeff Daniels and James Spader, Blast, directed by Tony Hickox, starring Eddie Griffin, Vinnie Jones and Vivica Fox, 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 and STYX starring Peter Weller, Angus MacFayden and Brian Brown, directed by Alex Wright, Ballad of the Nightingale with Virginia Madsen, Maria Cuccinota (Il Postino), Seymour Cassell, Michael Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton, Lone Hero directed by Ken Sanzel 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 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 also 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 and tutors film MA students and also teaches filmmaking workshops.
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 ten years and 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 501c 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 critical social issues through the powerful medium of film and encourages filmmakers to think about making content that contributes to a better world.
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BOARD MEMBER OF ARTISTS FOR CHANGE ( Non profit creating social issue driven media)July 2017- current
BOARD MEMBER OF BAFTA LA (BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM AND TELEVISION ARTS) – JAN 2006 – JAN 2016
BOARD MEMBER OF SEVEN ARTS PLC – FILM PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANY – FEB 2007 – OCT 2010
MEMBERSHIPS: BAFTA, SAG, EQUITY, SOHO HOUSE