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Rona Edwards is a writer/producer and the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, "I Liked It, Didn't Love It: Screenplay Development From the Inside Out" as well as the upcoming book, "The Complete Filmmaker's Guide to Film Festival: You All Access Pass to Launching Your Film On The Festival Circuit" to be published by MWP. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Edwards became Vice President of Creative Affairs for multiple Emmy-winner John Larroquette (Night Court), Academy-Award Winner Michael Phillips Productions (The Sting, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Taxi Driver) and Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Producer Fern Field (Monk, Heartsounds) before she was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of independent producing. As a Producer, she Co-Produced and/or Executive Produced One Special Victory (NBC) starring John Larroquette, The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL) directed by Gary Fleder, I Know What You Did (ABC) starring Rosanna Arquette, Out Of Sync (VH1) starring Gail O’Grady, and Der Morder Meiner Mutter (Sat.1/Studio Hamburg) for German television. She set up Matchmakers, a feature at Warner Bros. based upon an article she found and the movie, Blind Trust, which aired in 2007 on Lifetime television. Recently, she produced a series of movies for Lifetime based upon the book series she optioned, subtitled “Crimes of Fashion” by Ellen Byerrum. The first two books, Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover, were aired on the Lifetime Movie Network in June 2009. She is also working on a number of documentaries including one with award-winning documentarian, Barbara Multer-Wellin about Military Nurses, which will examine war through the POV of nurses who were there healing the wounded, and Unforgettable written and directed by Eric Williams (Mad City, Out Of Sync), which tells the story of his brother who has what is called hyperthymesia – the autobiographical ability to recall every day of his life. She executive produced the awarding-winning documentary, "Selling Sex In Heaven", which won the Beyond Borders award for documentary film, the juror’s award at the Big Bear Film Festival, and aired on the CBC. She is working with Canadian/German producer, Henrik Meyer, on a television series titled Last Verdict and a feature version of the true story of Richard the Third with producer David Ladd. Edwards has had projects made and/or in development with many of the major networks and studios including a script deal at ABC, movies at CBS, ABC, NBC, Hearst Entertainment, VH1, HBO, Phoenix Pictures, Edward R. Pressman, Lifetime, Motor City Films, Warner Bros., Alan Landsberg Productions, The David Wolper Organization, Lifetime, Incendo Media, All Girl Productions and Wilshire Court, to name a few.
With Monika Skerbelis, a former VP at Universal Pictures, she has taught “Introduction to Feature Film Development” at UCLA Extension (both on campus and online) for the past ten years, as well as “Story Development Process” at Riverside Community College’s Open Campus online and is currently teaching“Basic Fundamentals of Screenwriting” and “Visual Storytelling” at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Together, Edwards & Skerbelis wrote the critically acclaimed book, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development From The Inside Out!), which is now available in its 2nd edition at bookstores everywhere. Their next book to be published by Michael Wiese Productions (MWP) is called Maneuvering Film Festivals. Edwards and Skerbelis are also the founders of ESE Film Workshops Online, a series of global online classes that teach the ins and outs of the film industry. Classes include: Creating a Production Company, Maneuvering Film Festivals, Screenplay Development from the Inside Out, Finding & Developing New Ideas, Basic Screenwriting from the Inside Out, Basic Screenplay Format with more classes being added every year.
A contributing writer to The Beachwood Voice the past seven years, Edwards was also the newspaper’s restaurant reviewer and feature writer. Currently, she’s a lifestyle columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger. She is also a contributing writer to Produced By magazine, the official magazine of the Producers Guild of America and has written music reviews for FAME (The Folk Acoustic Music Exchange) online. In addition, she writes a column, “Rona’s Reel Take,” for the New York quarterly newspaper, The Neworld Review, in which she rants and raves about the film business. She was also senior editor at Morton Books.
Ms. Edwards began her career as an actress and performed in such diverse roles as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie and Dorothy Gale in The Wizard Of Oz as well as the sequel, Under The Rainbow, an original musical written by Roger Holzberg and performed by the CalArts Graduating Company. She was seen at the Los Angeles Music Center’s Euterpe Opera’ presentation of Naughty Marrietta and has acted in such films and televisions shows as Staying Alive, Knot's Landing and King's Crossing as well as many commercials, industrials, and pilots. In order to return to her roots, each year, Edwards performs in a one-woman musical show at various venues in Los Angeles including The Gardenia and Vermont restaurant. A recipient of the Bank of America Scholarship for Fine Arts, she graduated Royal High School a lifetime member of the Honor Society and won several Best Actress awards during their prestigious Teenage Drama Music Workshop over 3 consecutive summers. As an acting coach and voice teacher to many famous child actors, including Danielle Brisebois, Lisa Welchel, Patrick Laboryteaux, P Pruett and Randall Brooks, she has also taught creative dramatics, musical theater and acting workshops throughout the years. She has written two screenplays that were both optioned: The Hard-Boiled Chick and Into The Past Darkly, based upon the novel The Violet Closet and continues to develop her ideas working with a number of writers whom she also manages.
Edwards has been interviewed on a number of television and radio shows including Connie Martinson On Books, Digital Production Buzz, Reel Ladies, the Gregory Mantell Show, Murder Must Air, sponsored by the Mystery Writers or America, and WWJ 950AM in Detroit. She has been a guest lecturer and/or panelist at the Bangkok International Film Festival, Palm Springs Women In Film, the Margaret Perry Filmmaking Seminar in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The California Writer’s Club in Monterey, California, Palm Springs International Shorts Festival, Mendocino Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles, California, Moondance Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado, Cinewomen, Women in Film, The Mystery Writers Association’s Bouchercon, Sisters In Crime to name a few and has taught workshops in Feature Film Development, Pitching, Screenwriting, Acting for Screenwriters, Acting, and Musical Theatre around the world. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, SAG, AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, Assistance League of Southern California, the Nine O’Clock Players and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.