Once Upon a River

Haroula Rose, USA 2019, 90’
Polish premiere
Ms. White Light Saint Frances

Michigan, late 70s. After a tragic death of her father, shot during a quarrel, teenage Margo decides to find her mother, who abandoned the family years ago. Her journey down the river becomes a journey towards adulthood, and the people she’s going to meet will help her to find the meaning of life. The inspiration for this feature film, first in Haroula Rose’s career, came from novels of Bonnie Jo Campbell. It’s about friendship and resilience in really difficult times but in a really unique way, said the director. She then added about her movie: It’s essentially a road movie, but in very particular circumstances, and she’s a girl becoming a woman among all these men but still kind of holding her own. Kenadi DelaCerna gives her first but stunning performance in a leading role. She’s accompanied by the experienced John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run). At the last year’s AFF Once Upon a River was presented as work in progress at the US in Progress program and post-produced at Polish Fixa Film.

Jakub Demiańczuk


Bend FF 2019 - Best Directing

Haroula Rose

An American film director, screenwriter and producer, but also distinguished folk vocalist and composer. Born in Chicago and she currently stays in Los Angeles. Her songs were played on American Horror Story and iZombie. Her latest album Here the Blue River was released in 2016. She co-produced movies such as Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale and The Fear of 13, a documentary awarded at CPH:DOX Festival. Once Upon a River is her first feature film.

Selected filmography

2009 A Portrait of the Artist (short)

2013 Baby Crazy (short)

2015 Be the Movement (doc. short)

2015 Wedding Dress (short)

2019 Nad pewną rzeką / Once Upon a River

Cast & Crew

director Haroula Rose
screenplay Haroula Rose
cinematography Charlotte Hornsby
editing Steven Lambiase, Sofi Marshall
music Zac Rae
cast Kenadi DelaCerna, John Ashton, Tatanka Means
producer Jacqueline E. Ingram, Haroula Rose
production Chicago Media Angels, Glass Bead Films, Neon Heart Productions, Thirty Tigers
sales Haroula Rose
language English
coloration colour
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