Red clay roads of southwest Georgia, cotton farms and factories – this is the world of the Hart family, three siblings, each with a dream that collides with circumstance.
I have, for a lifetime, been fascinated by hand-work so it came as no surprise that a walk through the school bus factory in southwest Georgia seeded a story that would become Lila Rose.
Inside the factory, line-workers throw roof bows, buck rivets, lower engines into the chassis, work the paint booth, and take on every other imaginable task that builds a school bus fit enough for transporting our children to and from school. The location sparks endless opportunities for visual wonder and dramatic situations.
Outside the factory: red clay farm country, ravaged by drought. Lila Rose moves between these two worlds, daughter in hand, along with her hopes and dreams, a gift for song and second-hand guitar. What difference does it make anyway, in a world with such monumental problems, to carry one’s individual gift into it? This question becomes the fault line of the story.
Lila Rose is also a story of horizons, of the boundary between land and sky. Authentic details of farm and factory life converge with the lyricism of a cotton field, or gnats swarming a thresher. Wide shots with deep space unspool next to close-ups reveling in the expressiveness of a human face. The film’s treatment works to plant the viewer on the cusp of a world in which the mythic and real converge.
Introducing Noah Wall as Lila Rose
Introducing Noah Wall. Noah has charmed audiences with her skill as a singer, composer, musician, and stage actor. Traveling with the award winning acoustic band, “The Barefoot Movement,” Noah unleashes her fiddle and voice onto audiences worldwide. With three full-length albums recorded and more to come, “The Barefoot Movement” has delivered on CMT’s prediction as “one of the most promising bands” of the bluegrass scene. Having made her way from rural North Carolina to Nashville with guts and talent, she knows what it takes to keep a dream alive. We’re excited for the screen debut of Noah Wall as Lila Rose.
Jenn Ruff is a film editor, video artist and collagist based in Brooklyn. For many years she has been compelled by the art of assemblage and the alchemy that results from combining separate and distinct elements in space or time. She cultivated her technique as an editor with work on Y Tu Mama Tambien, Boy's Don't Cry, and Kelly Reichardt’s Old Joy. Her recent work as an editor includes the cult horror film, Lyle, starring Gaby Hoffman and Elisabeth's Subrin's emotionally stirring, A Woman, A Part. In 2016, Jenn edited the short experimental film, Jungle-sized, presented by Soundwalk Collective and David De Rothschild. The film played on 50 screens in Times Square as part of the Times Square Arts Program. She is an Asst. Arts Professor in the Graduate Division of Film and TV at New York University. Her video art and collages have exhibited in galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London.
Shannon Cohn produced the documentary series, Sea Nation, which follows her and a friend as they sell their possessions and hitchhike on boats across the Caribbean. The show currently airs in over 60 countries on Discovery Channel International and National Geographic. She also produced the feature documentaries Being in the World (winner Audience Film Festival and Best Documentary, Vail Film Festival) and 2012 Time for Change featuring Sting, Ellen Page and David Lynch. She produced short narrative films Sulphur Mountain with Mark Webber, The Memento Mori Project with Paz de la Huerta and The Potential Wives of Norman Mao with George Takei. Shannon attended the Graduate Film Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has a law degree from Vanderbilt University.
Zelmira Gainza is a British/Argentine cinematographer, producer and director. Her work has screened in film festivals all over the world, including Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and Clermont Ferrand. She recently served as DP/Producer on SO GOOD TO SEE YOU (Sundance 2016), and HAVANA MOTOR CLUB (Samuel Goldwyn Films), a feature-length documentary about drag-racing in Cuba. She shot OK BREATHE AURALEE (Sundance 2012) and BURN TO SEND (Student Oscars finalist), both of which were awarded the Nestor Almendros Award for Excellence in Cinematography. She wrote and directed THE POOL which received the Wassserman Award for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the NYU First Run Festival 2011, as well as the National Board of Review Student Award. She has worked in the U.S., South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She holds an MFA in Filmmaking from NYU and is based in New York.