Go Behind the Scenes With Filmmaker Biographies, Filmographies & Film Reviews


James Rosenow | FOUNDER

Writer/Director/Producer
President, Awakening Voices, Inc.

Filmmaker Biography

James Rosenow graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Illinois University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. During this period, he was active in theater, film, and video.

Traveling to Los Angeles to follow his film aspirations, he soon landed a job at Norman Lear’s company, Embassy Communications. For the next year, he was one of a five-person team that provided 24-hour support to the prolific television producer, gaining much experience ranging from business dealings to creative development and production. James was soon promoted within the company to creative assistant for one of Mr. Lear’s head writers at the time, Rick Mitz.

Wanting more hands-on experience as a writer/director, James applied and was subsequently accepted into New York University’s Graduate Institute of Film. While there, he produced, wrote, directed and edited five short films while obtaining a Masters of Fine Arts in film: United We Fall, The Family, For Only a Moment, Homeboys, and Whispers.

Whispers, James’ 45 minute thesis project, was well received at the NYU First Run Film Festival, winning an award for excellence in the prestigious Mobil competition, as well as awards for excellence in screenwriting, directing, producing, acting, cinematography, art direction, editing, and sound design. The probing story of a man whose recurring dreams force him to confront a horrifying act which will forever change his life, Whispers went on to win the People’s Choice Award at the Grenoble Film Festival in France later that year(see filmography).

Upon receiving his MFA from New York University, James wrote Educating Adam, a cutting-edge, socially relevant, dramatic comedy that explores the controversial issue of the patriarchal system, and the disparities between how it treats men and women.

Realizing Educating Adam was too complex for the funds raised, Rosenow wrote Crossing Fields, a poignant exploration of family relations and the accompanying small-town, Middle-America morality that so influences them.  Like a Norman Rockwell painting, Crossing Fields captures the propriety of rural America while also revealing the frailties that lie just beneath the surface. We explore sexual taboos through the eyes of a Midwestern mom whose values are challenged by her newest boarder, a 19-year-old African American, her best friend and her 17-year-old daughter.

Crossing Fields had its premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival and was the winner of the coveted “Vision Award” for the best film depicting issues relevant to women.

Crossing Fields went on to receive strong reviews from The New York Times and New York Post during its limited theatrical release, which culminated with a two week run at the Thalia Theatre of New York City.  After its theatrical run, Crossing Fields was licensed by The Sundance Channel.  Crossing Fields ran for two years, always receiving a “star” recommendation whenever listed in The New York Times television listings.
Mr. Rosenow is presently developing a number of different projects.

  • Outside Looking In, a psychological thriller revolving around a journalist who, when sent to his hometown to cover a murder, is propelled onto a wild journey of deception, intrigue and obsession.
  • Ordinary Heroes, an innovative, hour-long, series for television.  Silent Heroes will dramatize the real life stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The stories will have the same grit and realism of as of shows such as HBO’s The Sopranos, Oz, and The Corner, but instead of focusing on crime, violence and dysfunction, Silent Heroes will celebrate the positive—the triumph of the human spirit. 
  • It’s All Relative, a dramatic comedy, co-written with Lisa Bruce, that takes a contemporary look at the intertwined lives of a mother, her daughters and what happens to their relationships when they all step out of their normal relationships and roles.
  • Educating Adam is a cutting-edge, socially relevant dramatic comedy that blends humor, wit and suspense with an innovative structure to explore the controversial issue of the Patriarchal System and the disparities between how it treats men and how it treats women. 

It was while developing Silent Heroes that Mr. Rosenow decided to not only create a show dedicated to inspiring, non-violent stories, but an entire online network.  As with most worthwhile ideas, this one had its gestation period, but in the fall of 2012, the Awakening Voices Online Entertainment Network was launched.

Awakening Voices revolves around four inter-related programming channels and a filmmaker/content producer fiscal sponsorship program. Our mission is to provide thought-provoking, inspiring, non-violent and entertaining programming so people can get away from all violence, negativity and dysfunction in today's Media. We provide this alternative, positive programming to promoting community building in an effort to do our part in supporting a global shift in attitude and awareness.  

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James Rosenow

Filmography

Features

Crossing Fields | 1998 | 101 minutes | 35mm | Color | Produced, Written & Directed by James Rosenow.

Like a Norman Rockwell painting, Crossing Fields captures the propriety of rural America while also revealing the frailties that lie just beneath the surface. We humorously explore life through the eyes of a mid-western woman whose values are challenged by her best friend, her 17-year-old daughter and newest boarder, a 19-year-old African American young man.

Award: Vision Award for best picture depicting issues relevant to women, Hamptons International Film Festival



Whispers | 1992 | 45 min | 16mm | Color | Written & Directed by James Rosenow. 
Produced at NYU Graduate Institute of Film.

This psychological drama unfolds when Brett Steele, a New York comedian, is driven on an intense journey by a series of bizarre, recurring nightmares.  As the dreams become more powerful and life threatening, Brett is forced to confront a horrifying act, which will forever change his life.

Awards:

  • People's Choice Award,
    Grenoble Film Festival, France, 1992
  • Mobil Award, Excellence in Directing,
    New York University 50th Annual Film Festival, 1992
  • Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Filmmaking,
    Houston International Film Festival, 1993
    The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, 1993


Homeboys | 1987 | 20 min | 16 mm | Color | Written, Directed & Edited by James Rosenow. 
Produced at NYU Graduate Institute of Film.

Homeboys is a story centering around two inner-city youths whose lives are thrown upside down when they find a loaded revolver in an abandoned car near their junkyard hangout.



For Only a Moment | 1986 | 20 min | 16mm | B&W. | Written, Directed & Edited by James Rosenow. 
Produced at NYU Graduate Institute of Film

In an effort to prevent a social worker from separating them, a pre-adolescent girl struggles to raise enough money to move her grandfather and her out of the inner city.



United We Fall | 1985 | 15 min | 16mm | B&W | Written, Directed & Edited by James Rosenow. 
Produced at NYU Graduate Institute of Film.

Alone, without a mother or siblings, a young girl struggles with her father's alcoholism.



The Family | 1985 | 4 min | 16mm | B&W | Written, Directed & Edited by James Rosenow. 
Produced at NYU Graduate Institute of Film.

An absurd look at one family's history.

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James Rosenow

Independent Film Reviews

New York Times

"Memorable characters in provocative situations…"


New York Post

"One of the best female performances of the year..."


Julie Mehta

"Entertaining and thought-provoking..."


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