BRUNSWICK — Like many film aficionados, Louise Rosen has lined the walls of her home office with movie posters.
But she has a more personal relationship with the films than the average viewer – her name appears in print along the bottom of many of the posters.
Rosen is a producer, distributor and connoisseur of independent, documentary films. She works with filmmakers to find buyers and production companies for their films, providing her own input about what works and what doesn’t along the way.
Her clients range from first-time filmmakers to Academy Award nominees. For 15 years she has headed her own film distribution company, which has been based in Brunswick since 2005.
Rosen said that while the country’s film hot spots are unequivocally New York and Los Angeles, “increasingly people are making the decision not to necessarily be based in the big metropolitan areas that were once thought to be sort of essential for the media world.”
“My feeling was, at this point in my business and my career what I needed was an airport and high-speed internet, and both of them are here,” she said about the decision to move to Brunwick from Boston. Brunswick also seemed like a great place to raise her son, who she adopted from Kazakhstan in 2003.
Besides, as a 30-year veteran of the film industry, Rosen said she doesn’t have to go out and search for clients – they come to her.
The name recognition allows her to be picky about which films she decides to produce and distribute. She prefers documentary films that are “mission-driven” and deal with social justice, inequality, environmental and international issues.
“Documentaries were what really mattered to me,” she said of her decision to exclusively distribute and produce independent non-fiction films.
“As sources of news and info become increasingly consolidated, to a great extent, a lot of the other views that are available to people about the world we live in come from independent film makers. And I thought that was something to support and keep vibrant,” she added.
Looking through some of Rosen’s recent film projects, it’s clear that she takes her mission seriously. Last fall she produced and/or distributed films about topics ranging from the plight of Tibetan nomads to a promise made by the African-American painter Beverly McIver to take care of her mentally disabled sister.
When deciding which films to take on, she said she tries to balance being led by her heart and her head.
“There are things that touch me that I feel very moved by, and you know what? It’s my own business so I can decide to be led by my heart,” she said. “But fortunately, it’s often the case that those two merge.”
Rosen’s decision process seems to work. She has been involved with films that have received Academy Award nominations and have appeared in festivals around the world. And recently, she was awarded an Imaginnaire Award by Imagine Magazine, which covers film, television and new media production in the northeast.
Imaginnaires are “creative, innovated, spirited problem solvers,” said Imagine Magazine Publisher Carol Patton.
Patton said Rosen is one of the few “super-combination executive producer/distributors” in the northeast.
“She is doing extraordinary work that very few others in our region are doing,” Patton said.
Rosen traveled to Boston on Tuesday to accept her trophy. And this time the award is just for her, not a film she helped to create.
Emily Guerin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Documentary film producer and distributor Louise Rosen stands in her Brunswick office in front of a poster from the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, which featured two of her films.