Raindance LA Team - Raindance

Raindance LA Team



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.





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 postgraduate film degree in London.






Manager, Marketing

Halil Sevis is the marketing manager of Raindance LA. He is also the Production Executive of Rough Diamond Productions, a major independent film production company founded in 1993 by Julia Verdin that crafts social message feature films that arouse compassion, guarantee entertainment, and foster participation. Sevis oversees day-to-day creative and business operations for Rough Diamond.

Sevis has been working at Rough Diamond Productions since 2012. He works on development, production, and marketing of the feature films and recently worked  on the recent theatrical release 2 Jacks, directed by Bernard Rose and starring Danny Huston, Jack Huston and Sienna Miller, and upcoming Rough Diamond films, Lost Girls, directed by Julia Verdin and starring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols and Siena Goines, The Unwilling directed by Academy Award-nominated director Jonathan Heap and starring David Lipper, Dina Meyer and Lance Henriksen.

Sevis holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Sabanci University in Istanbul. He speaks English, Turkish, and German.





Manager, Media & Communications

Ritesh Mehta received his PhD in Communication from the University of Southern California. In addition to working for Raindance LA, he serves on the advisory board of Artists for Change, contributes to MovieMaker Magazine and is the Programming Coordinator for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. He has also worked as Nominations Coordinator for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, as a Reader for Sundance Labs and Fox Writers Lab, as well as a Screener for festivals such as Sundance, AFI Fest and Palm Springs ShortFest. Ritesh occasionally teaches at LA-area universities. He has received his MA in philosophy from the University of Missouri St Louis and his Bachelors in Marketing and Management from the University of Pennsylvania.





Manager, Memberships

Denise Foley has been a multi-camera vision mixer for over 30 years, initially with BBC. She has hundreds of hours of TV credits, but her real passion is independent film. Denise has been with Raindance since 2009 overseeing membership department.




Web Admin

Harvey’s from the vast farms of Somerset, now living in cramped London where he manages all things technical for Raindance. Deciding he should learn the rules of filmmaking before breaking them, he studied Video Production at the University of West London. Harvey writes scripts, directs shorts and is a videographer for clients ranging from dog fashion shows to comic con.