Rough Diamond

Julia Verdin - Producer - Raindance LA

Julia Verdin - Consulting Producer

British film producer Julia Verdin has been running her own production company Rough Diamond Productions and produced more than 30 theatrical releases including Sony Classics release The Merchant of Venice, directed by Michael Radford, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes; the Newmarket release Stander, starring Tom Jane, Deborah Unger, Dexter Fletcher and David O’Hara directed by Bronwen HughesRiding The Bullet  based on a Stephen King story, directed by Mick Garris, starring David Arquette, Jonathan Jackson, Erica Christensen and Barbara Hershey; Lionsgate release and Showtime premiere, The Least Among You, starring Lou Gossett Jr., Lauren Holly and William Devane. Her latest film 2 Jacks, based on Leo Tolstoy short story “Two Hussars,” directed by Bernard Rose, and starring Danny Huston, Jack Huston, Sienna Miller, Jacqueline Bisset and Billy Zane.

Verdin has always liked to encourage filmmakers and help them to do it right. She works as an independent film consultant and also a consultant for Raindance LA, bringing speakers to Raindance courses and industry guests to Raindance events. Verdin also has served on the board of directors of BAFTA LA from 2006 to 2016.


Halil Sevis - Raindance LA - Marketing Coordinator

Halil Sevis - Manager, Marketing

Halil Sevis is the marketing manager of Raindance LA. He is also Production Executive at Rough Diamond Productions, a major independent film production company founded in 1993 that crafts social message feature films that arouse compassion, guarantee entertainment, and foster participation. He oversees day-to-day creative and business operations and reports to Julia Verdin.
Halil has been working at Rough Diamond since 2012. He works on development, production, and marketing of the feature films, and reports to Julia Verdin.. He has worked on the recent theatrical release 2 Jacks, directed by Bernard Rose, and starring Danny Huston, Jack Huston and Sienna Miller; Lost Girls (short), directed by Julia Verdin, and starring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols and Siena Goines; The Unwilling, directed by Oscar nominated director Jonathan Heap and starring David Lipper, Dina Meyer and Lance Henriksen; and 7Seconds, directed by Jeffrey Obrow, and starring Christopher Lloyd and Dwight Yoakam. He’s currently attached to Rough Diamond’s upcoming feature film projects Lost Girls: Angie, Amy and Angel and Honor, and Oscar- and Palme d’Or-nominated director James Dearden’s (Fatal Attraction, Pascali’s Island), Surviving Christmas.
Before working at Rough Diamond, Halil worked at Number 1 Media Group in Istanbul with founder Omer Karacan and partner Alasdair Dundas. He holds a B.A. degree in Business Administration and Management from Turkey’s leading Sabanci University.Halil was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He speaks English, Turkish and German.


Ritesh Mehta - Media & Communications

Ritesh Mehta received his PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California. He works in the film and TV industry, and particularly in the world of independent film, in the areas of development and production. In addition to working for Rough Diamond Productions and Raindance LA, he is a screener for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and a contributor to MovieMaker Magazine. In the recent past, he has worked with the Episodic Storytelling Lab at the Sundance Institute and screened for AFI Fest 2016. Ritesh received his MA in philosophy from the University of Missouri St Louis and his Bachelors in Marketing and Management from the University of Pennsylvania.


Elliot Grove – Founder

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters in Europe than Raindance founder Elliot Grove. He has presided over the launch of some of the most interesting filmmakers working today. Edgar Wright was his first intern, Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn met at a Raindance course in the mid 1990′s, Christopher Nolan and Gareth Edwards(Monsters) all launched their careers following film training courses at Raindance. Elliot is named in the UK as the ‘one person who has provided the glue that has kept the British film industry together.’ [Mike Gubbins, ex editor Screen International]. Elliot founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007.He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America.He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008),  RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Open University awarded Elliot an Honourary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009. The Raindance training courses that Elliot has devised are widely acknowledged as valuable and important by the film industry. Raindance has launched a post graduate film degree in London.


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