Brightside

by Julia Levanne and Myhraliza Aala

15 min, United States, English

Brightside is a coming of age narrative short.  The film follows Nikola, a college student and the eldest of two daughters in a traditional Filipino family, who is dealing with her suicidal father, while combating her own depression.  She struggles to get help due to her cultural expectations of respect for family and family privacy. Nikola must navigate the confusing waves of her emotions while trying not to bring shame to her family.  She is surprised to find support from her roommate and those she begins to connect/confide in before it is too late for her.

Julia Levanne (Director/Producer/Actor) – Julia Levanne was raised in Ashland, Oregon, immersed in the culture of Ashland’s Shakespeare festival, her parents both professional directors and story tellers. As a child her focus was as an actor playing leading roles in a handful of independent short and feature films, commercials and plays. However, as an adult she has taken this passion further by helping create films herself. She works with internationally renowned musician, Taimane Gardner, in creating her music videos and live theatrical productions and has worked as a producer and acting coach on independent narrative style films. Julia has always dreamed of directing and writing but wavered in taking the leap. She is beyond excited to now have the opportunity to direct her first movie short, “Brightside” written by Myhraliza Aala. Through helping fine-tune this script and bring it’s vision to life she is inspired to begin writing her own stories. Julia can’t wait to see where the journey of being a young woman film-maker takes her and is grateful for the women in her life that empower her to do so.

Myhraliza Aala (Writer/Producer/Actor/Filmmaker), was born in the Philippines, raised in Indiana and California, rediscovered herself in an acting class in Hawaii and found an actor. But through her ability to share her story as an educator and participating in film festivals of which she has been featured as an actor; she is driven to create content not only for herself as an actor, but to have more females of diverse backgrounds represented on the screen and in the filmmaking process. Filmmaking is a game of persistence. Myhraliza began her journey as a writer by submitting a number of her scripts to various creative labs and writers fellows programs, such as Ohina Labs, CAPE Writers Fellows, and Couch to Film Collective. She is an artist, who acts, writes stories & poems and is paving the way to create and produce films that uplift and inspire women.

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