“A Day in the Life” with Toronto filmmaker Julia Rowland

Julia Rowland is a writer, director, producer, and an OG Torontonian. Born and raised here by her kick-ass mother, Julia was set on an eclectic path from the very beginning. She briefly dabbled in modeling and acting, due to her statuesque height and Julia Stiles-esque face, but while she fell deeply in love with the business, she ultimately decided that she preferred to be the #bosslady behind the scenes with all the answers, and has never looked back.

Julia’s short films include Cherry (2016) and Sorry For Your Loss (2017), which in part earned her a coveted spot among the class of 2018 Canadian Film Centre’s Cineplex Entertainment Film Program, during which she developed two feature films Greta Follows Rivers and Parentals, the latter of which is based in part on the true life story of her parents (Hiii to “City Parents”!), and their remarkable journey.

When she’s not curled up on her couch with her reading glasses on, poring over a project on her laptop, she’s dreaming of doing the exact same thing, only with a dog happily nestled beside her. (One day girl, one day!) But before the day her dog-mom dreams come true, she’s thrilled to be a dog auntie to her favs: Stella, Pickles, and Watson — as well as a human auntie to her niece and nephew.

Julia is a lover of female-driven stories, her husband (photographer Scott Poborsa), wine (check out juliadrinkswine.com), the relaxing art of party-banner making, and her supportive family and friends.

–by Kim Morrison: TV writer, friend, fellow nail-polish fanatic, and former RTH bartending co-worker

Coffee, the couch and script edits — morning perfection.
Coffee, the couch and script edits — morning perfection.
“Writing Alone at Bars” – The name of my (future) memoir.
“Writing Alone at Bars” – The name of my (future) memoir.
Cottage life brought to you by strawberry margaritas.
Cottage life brought to you by strawberry margaritas.
Favourite views, favourite place — the cottage in the Kawarthas.
Favourite views, favourite place — the cottage in the Kawarthas.
Julia Rowland
Sometimes you film things in an abandoned warehouse in Hamilton, and sometimes you film things in Banff.
On set for my CFC Teaser, Greta Follows Rivers. So proud of this piece and the incredibly talented team that worked on it.
On set for my CFC Teaser, Greta Follows Rivers. So proud of this piece and the incredibly talented team that worked on it.
Two laptops are better than one — a producer’s motto.
Two laptops are better than one — a producer’s motto.
Fueling up for the day ahead — have I mentioned how much I love coffee?
Fueling up for the day ahead — have I mentioned how much I love coffee?

What ‘hood are you in?

I live in the Yonge and Lawrence area. I never thought I’d be an uptowner, but we (my husband and I) love it. There are no trendy bars around here, no hip restaurants, but it’s quiet, peaceful. People smile at you as they walk past you on the street. There are parks, big sidewalks; it feels like an escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown life. Do I sound old? I feel like I sound old. Whatever, our apartment is massive; we’re never leaving.

What do you do?

I’m a writer, producer, sometimes-director in film, TV and branded/corporate content.

What are you currently working on? 

Polishing up the two features that I developed at the Canadian Film Centre last year and working on two new pilots, which is daunting and exciting. The pilots explore gender norms and how women are consistently viewed through a patriarchal lens — clearly they’re comedies. I love this part of the process; the research, reading different books, brainstorming ideas, forming a connection to the story and the characters you’re creating — it’s like playing dress-up; trying different things on for size, seeing what sticks. 

I’m also working on two different features with a couple of friends/fellow writers. One is a feminist horror film and the other lives in the satirical/sci-fi realm. This is my first real foray into genre, and it’s taking me out of my comfort zone — something I live for.

I am recently published! A short story I wrote, entitled Weight, was recently included in The Bookends Review’s ‘Best of 2018’ Anthology. It is now available online and in softcover.

My work as a producer is on a freelance basis, so I’m currently on the hunt for the next contract!

Where can we find your work?

My website is fairly minimal, but you can find links to pieces I’ve written there, as well as a short film and more information about my feature scripts. I’m on all social media channels (@juliachronicles), you can check those out for deep thoughts about barbecue chips (great with Chablis), puppies (pure perfection) and more. I also have a wine blog that I update periodically — www.juliadrinkswine.com.

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1563 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography