Butterfly is the first film written and produced by a 12 year old Ariela Rozentul. This film is inspired by a true story. Butterfly introduces a Girl who is trying to understand the reasons for dying young. She discovers that sometimes our sacrifices can be the biggest gifts to the people we love. Created by a 12 year old and directed by 2 young women, this film can relate to so many people of a wide age range and hopefully help many who lost their loved ones. The film is directed by Arta Kallaba, Jessika Quintana. The Original script, music & lyrics is written by Ariela Rozentul. It is with great pleasure to interview her at the Toronto Film Magazine.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
Since I was little, I have been acting on stage and in front of a camera, but last year's pandemic shut down everything and left so many people without opportunities to do what we love. My acting coach and mentor has inspired me to start writing and creating my own films and that was how my very first film Butterfly was born.
What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why?
I love history, suspense, drama and horror. Bringing out emotion and talking about subjects many aren't comfortable to discuss, especially at my age. Because I'm only 12, many people expect me to create films that are fun and upbeat, but the truth is there are many kids and youth who are ready to discuss serious topics and one of them is death and loss of loved ones.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker?
It's not easy to be an independent first time filmmaker with no big industry connections. First challenge is my age and getting people to take my work seriously. Second challenge is funding. And a third challenge is connections and finding the right people who would believe in me and help to create and promote my work.
How challenging is it to fund indie films?
My film Butterfly was funded through GoFundMe by my family and friends. It wasn't easy, but it got even harder with my second film that I am currently working on.
The word out to everyone, please support young filmmakers!
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?Stephen Spielberg has been my number one influence. His vision is always so unique, choices are daring and my dream since a very young age has been to work with him some day. The other two huge influences are Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie. Their films are a work of art and their approaches are often unpredictable. Their films can surprise and shock, but you still can't stop watching them.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
My second short film Follow the Crow is in post production and I am writing a script for a feature film and a book.
What inspired you to work on Butterfly?
When I was younger, my very dear friend tragically died in a car accident. That left a huge mark and for a long time I felt that I must honor her by sharing a story. Butterfly isn't a story of her death, but my memorial to her and to everyone who died young or lost someone they loved.
How did you find the cast and the crew of the film?
Connections, connection, connections! Few years ago I worked on a film by a wonderful young director from Spain. When it was time to find a crew, I reached out to her and she recommended some people from the crew of that film. That was how I reconnected with the amazingly talented Jessika Quintana. Jessika then recommended bringing on Arta Kallaba and the two of them directed Butterfly and did sound and editing. I love working with them and they are currently working with me on my second short film. Ayelet Raymond, whom I also worked with when I was little and who became a great friend of the family, also helped a lot with filming. The cast are my dear friends Darby Schlosser and Melvin Cox whom I've known for a long time and I knew they were perfect for the roles.
What is the distribution plan of the film and did the film receive any screenings or was it featured in festivals?
Butterfly was only finished at the very end of December 2020 and was submitted to several Film Festivals. We are still waiting to hear from most of the festivals, but it has already won 4 awards. We are hoping to distribute this film for more screening opportunities and we would appreciate all distribution support.
Why do you make films and what kind of impact would your work have on the world?
I believe that making films is an art and why do artists choose to create? We just can't not create! I'm blessed that I have an opportunity to share my vision and stories and that I have an amazing support group who believes in me. I want to break the stereotype that kids my age are too young to create anything real and I want to be the voice for those who work hard and want to be taken seriously.
Trailer of Butterfly: