‘Before Sunrise’: An uplifting short film starring Julia L. Rosengren
Before Sunrise is a short, twelve minute film, inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. The film, which was born from how challenging self isolation was for many people’s mental health, shows one woman reaching out to her close friends who live far away in order to share a message of love and joy.
The main goal of Before Sunrise is to show that distance doesn’t have to mean separation.
The film stars Julia L. Rosengren as all five roles – herself, Sofia, Maria, Selena, and Charlotte. The short film was shot on an iPhone inside of Rosengren’s Texas home. Before Sunrise was remotely directed by Rogerio Takashi all the way from Brazil, and the writer Helena Riul. All communications regarding direction & production were, of course, done digitally.
“Before Sunrise is a positive message for these dark moments when too many of us are separated from our family and our dearest friends. The film gives us hope and reminds us not to lose faith in the love that defines us all.”
“I fell in love early on with the embryonic idea of Before Sunrise for two reasons: The first is that the intention was to convey a universal message of optimism and positivity in the midst of a time of uncertainty and insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people needed it and any attempt to make them reflect and see the whole situation we are living in more positively is very valid. The second is that, as we were going to do something remotely, practically without a team and without any kind of face-to-face contact, I saw it as an unprecedented challenge for me and I always liked a good challenge.
“From the concept created, by Julia L. Rosengren and Helena Riul wrote the script and helped directing [sic] that was brilliant, a story, simple, light and that passes the message quite effectively. Although there are many restrictions because we do not spend on production, the technical team is not present on the set and recorded from a mobile device (which has its technical limitations), I tried to develop the maximum planning of direction, art and photography. Good planning was essential to overcome this challenge satisfactorily.
“During the recording, in addition to Helena Riul who helped me with the direction, we also had the online presence of another Brazilian, Maria Fernanda, who helped us in communication and scheduling dialogues (because of her fluent English) and also Jessica who operated the camera and surprised us with her competence, because she had never performed this function before.
“Now it is also worth mentioning our talented actress, Julia, who created the Idea of doing Before Sunrise ‘had a great challenge in playing 5 characters of different nationalities, besides being directed remotely. We did not even have much time to prepare and build characters, but she surprised everyone by bringing different and living personalities. The difference, for example, between the temperament and personality of the characters Julia and Sofia are quite noticeable and convincing, many people who watched the short did not believe it was the same actress.
“In conclusion: the talent and goodwill of all involved have overcome all the difficulties and restrictions that have been placed on us. This proves that we don’t necessarily need to be in Hollywood, with the whole structure of the world, to be able, through a movie, to send a universal message that thrills and touches people. We had a lot of positive feedback from people who were moved, identified and reflected a lot while watching Before Sunrise. This makes us very happy and satisfied, because the main objective of the work is being achieved.”