Best known for helming the hard-hitting drama BAD BOYS, which helped establish Sean Penn's career, Rosenthal has directed across diverse genres, ranging from comedy (AMERICAN DREAMER), to coming of age (NEARING GRACE), to horror (HALLOWEEN II - his directing debut - and HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION, one of the franchise's most successful sequels). He has also worked extensively in television, directing ABC's ground-breaking pilot LIFE GOES ON.
Because he never had a filmmaking mentor himself, Rosenthal launched Whitewater Films as a production company committed to helping up-and-coming filmmakers, offering them the assistance and advice he never had. Since 2003, he has produced or executive produced more than 20 films, and productions from Whitewater Films have been invited to Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, Tribeca, Berlin, Deauville and have won numerous awards, including two Indie Spirit Awards, two Crystal Bears, a Humanitas Prize, the Audience Award at SXSW and a Best Director Award at Sundance as well as two Academy Award nominations - Best Documentary, Short Subject and most recently Best Documentary, Feature for CARTEL LAND.
The company's name, Whitewater Films, is derived from Rosenthal's approach to filmmaking. Much like an expedition down a river, a film rarely goes as planned. No matter how much scouting and how much preparation takes place beforehand, once a film enters the rapids of production, inevitably the craft ends up in unchartered waters. At these times, it's important to have a good team onboard and a veteran river-guide leading the expedition. And this is exactly what Whitewater Films offers to its filmmakers.
Recently, Rosenthal directed DRONES, a provocative military thriller, which had its world premiere at the London Film Festival, followed by Austin and AFI Fest. He also joined forces with David Permut and Matt Ratner to produce MATCH starring Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard, which premiered at Tribeca and which IFC Films released early in 2015. Additionally Rosenthal and Whitewater Films produced the indie heist film 7 MINUTES which had its World Premiere at the Austin Film Festival and which STARZ/Anchor Bay released. Whitewater's film KING JACK premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015 and won the Audience Award.
This past year, Rosenthal was a Consulting Producer on the new Amazon hit series TRANSPARENT and he was nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada award for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Graduating cum laude from Harvard with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, Rosenthal worked as a cab driver, a tennis pro, a metal sculptor, a carpenter, an assistant to a US Senator and a documentary filmmaker for the New Hampshire Network before traveling west to attend the AFI, where he later became chair of the Directing Program.
An avid tennis player who won the Connecticut State Doubles title as a junior, Rosenthal currently resides in Los Angeles with his actress-turned-environmental-and-political activist wife Nancy Stephens and three kids, along with a Golden Retriever named Magill.
Bert Kern is a Producer at Whitewater Films. He is an Executive Producer of First Girl I Loved, an official selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and King Jack, winner of the Audience Award at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. He also Executive Produced the newly anticipated films: Band of Robbers starring Kyle Gallner, Melissa Benoist, Matthew Gray Gubler, Hannibal Burress, Adam Nee, and Stephen Lang, And Punching the Clown, starring JK Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro and Henry Phillips, as well as the crime drama Destined. Bert co-produced the feature films 7 Minutes (2014) and Drones (2013); additionally, he is an associate producer on According to Greta (2009), starring Hilary Duff and Ellen Burstyn and the punk-rock comedy Fat Kid Rules the World, which won the Narrative Feature Spotlight Audience Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.
Bert is from Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
Sarah J. Cornelius has more than ten years of experience in the entertainment industry as an actor in professional theatre, film, television, music, commercials, and print. She is a multiple award winner for lead acting at major film festivals. Her passion for producing began with ultra low budget short films and teasers. She has held the position of writer, composer, performer, and producer, sometimes simultaneously.
Ms. Cornelius met Rick Rosenthal as an actor on his set for the
FOX drama MENTAL in 2008. They began
brainstorming creatively in 2013 and both found the collaboration successful
enough to work together full time. She
now assists Mr. Rosenthal with creative development and production, as well as handling
daily operations and event coordination for Whitewater Films.
While Sarah's ambitions as an actor continue to evolve, she is increasingly drawn to producing film and television. She finds both sides of the camera to be rewarding and inspiring. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BFA in Music Theatre. She married her partner, actor and entrepreneur Curt Cornelius in 2016. They share a home with their two dogs, Lola and Edgar. Her "acting stuff" can be seen on her website: her website
Eden Mackenzie worked for several years as an editor and field producer in the fashion industry in New York City, covering both New York and London Fashion Weeks. She then moved into post-production with a concentration on news, documentary, education and arts programming at networks including PBS, ITVS, Sundance Channel, National Geographic, Fox and Animal Planet.
Eden recently moved to Los Angeles from New York to focus on independent film production. She continues to pursue writing and illustrating, and is currently developing a children's book and animated short film based on her family's evacuation from Sri Lanka during World War II. She is also writing her first feature length script. Eden attended Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City for Fine Arts, painting and design.