My interest in filmmaking started with The Wizard of Oz, which was the first movie I ever saw (at the age of 4). I remember wanting to create my own world and put it on TV. In grade school, I loved writing stories and passing them around class for my schoolmates to read. In high school, my creative writing teacher admired my ability for writing dialogue. I also used to walk around my neighborhood with a 35mm and a notebook, taking pictures and creating artwork and stories to go along with my photos.
I was an art student in high school when I told my teacher I wanted to go to the Art Institute and become a real artist. When I graduated high school, I went on an educational tour of Spain. I quickly learned the difference between studying a Picasso in a book and looking at an actual canvas. When I came back from Spain, I wanted to apply to the Art Institute of California: San Francisco but had no idea how. All I could see was the cost of 50,000 dollars. I didn’t have the encouragement or resources I needed. I ended up being pulled away from life in the creative field.
One afternoon, I was watching my daughter, Iris, playing with her dolls. I smiled, remembering my own imaginative play as a child. It hit me how fast she's growing, and how she will be looking to me for guidance and encouragement in following her own dreams someday. As a mother, I want to do more than tell her she can achieve her dreams – I want to prove it to her. Realizing that attending the school of my dreams would help me do that, I enrolled in the Digital Filmmaking and Video Production program at The Art Institute of CA: Sacramento, and began my four-year journey to a Bachelor of Science degree. Filmmaking quickly became a passion for me, as the field encompasses all of my creative interests and moves my life in the direction I want it to go.
I'm interested in making all kinds of films: comedy, documentary, drama, suspense, noir, biographical, action, science fiction, fantasy, children’s, foreign, black and white, action/adventure…the list goes on and on. I would also love to work on a great television show. Web series too! The bottom line is, when the camera's rolling, I just want to be there to make something imagined become real. I also enjoy working for non-profit organizations and working with small, local businesses -- any work environment with a positive atmosphere that gives me a sense of purpose.
I'm proud of my body of work so far and grateful for the opportunities I've been given and the wonderful people I've met and worked with along the way. I'm very excited for the future. This is what I have always wanted – to learn how to live a life of passion and express it to the world.
Rose Mendonca graduated in 2015 from The Art Institute of California - Sacramento, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production. Her passion for producing earned her the 2013 Next Talent Fellowship Award.
In 2013, she wrote, directed and co-produced her first film, The Wing Man, which premiered in December at the historical Woodland Opera House in Woodland, California and screened at the Wizard World Film Festival as part of Sacramento's first Wizard World Comic-Con. Rose also produced Eden, which screened at the 2013 Sacramento Film & Music Festival, and Nostalgia, which screened in April 2014 at the Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Rose also produced Missed Prayers, a comedy short written and directed by Sean Stueve, which screened at the 2014 Sacramento Film & Music Festival and at the 2015 Durango Film Festival in March, Dead Metaphors, a senior thesis film by Patrick Ford, which premiered on September 18, 2014 at The Crest Theatre in Sacramento, screened on December 5, 2014 at ARCOVERT LA with a live orchestra, and which won the Gold Remi Award - 48th Annual Worldfest - 2015 Houston International Film Festival. Cal Just Needs To Be Held, a senior thesis film by Nathan Dan, premiered in December 2014 and screened at the 1st annual Ha! Film Festival in Chico, California in May 2015.
Laundromat, a noir film written, directed and produced by Rose Mendonca, was a big hit on the festival circuit in 2016, premiering at the original Vidiots in Santa Monica, taking Grand Jury Prize at L.A. Neo-Noir Novel, Film and Script Fest IV. She flew to New Jersey for a screening at Newark International Film Festival (NIFF) at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Laundromat was also awarded best writer/director and actor awards at Humphrey Bogart Film Festival in Key Largo, Florida.
Following Laundromat’s success, Rose produced Dear Abigail, a groundbreaking film written and directed by Mari J. Patterson about a transgender woman (played by Clair Joy Farley, trans advocate and Senior Advisor to the Mayor of San Francisco on Trans Initiatives) who survives a brutal assault. Dear Abigail screened at the Equality Festival in Ukraine and played at The Roxie as part of San Francisco Transgender Film Festival in 2016. The film was also an official selection for North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in 2017.
Also in 2017, Rose was a producer on Breaking News, a comedy by Ryan Rubi about working in local news, and The Littlest Undertaker (written and directed by Kevin Molohan), a family-friendly film about a boy who is raised by his undertaker grandfather to follow in his footsteps, but he chooses a different path. The Littlest Undertaker won several awards and screenings in 2017 and 2018, including Best Short Narrative Film at Chico Independent Film Festival and at Monarch Film Festival, an awards sweep Feel the Reel International Film Festival and multi-winner at the Independent Shorts Awards.
Current projects include Banned (written and directed by Jasmine Ali), about the effect of the travel ban on one Muslim family and It’s For Exposure (written and directed by Melissa Warren), about life as a creative freelancer.
Rose plans to continue writing, producing and directing films. She on the board of directors for Empire Arts Collective in Sacramento, California, and is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors (AWD), Women in Media (WiM), San Francisco Directors Collective (Cinefemme), and Capital Film Arts Alliance (CFAA). She is building her own production company, Pieces People Productions, for independent film.