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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Director Lillian Glass at Cannes for "Reinventing Rosalee" (2018)


Director Lillian Glass at Cannes 2018 with "Reinventing Rosalee"

Lillian Glass at Cannes 2018 with "Reinventing Rosalee"Rosalee Glass

Lillian Glass at Cannes 2018 with "Reinventing Rosalee"Director Lillian Glass


Director/writer/producer Lillian Glass's debut feature documentary "Reinventing Rosalee" (2018) screened at the Cannes market during the 71st Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the inspiring story of Lillian's mother Rosalee Glass who survived life in concentration camps during WWII and is today one of the war's oldest survivors. Not only has she recently reached 101 years of age but every day she reinvents herself, learning new things, crossing dreams off her bucket list. Rarely has there been a true story such as this that not only tells a tale of survival against all odds but shows how positive thinking leads to long life and that one is never too old to reinvent one's self, take on new challenges and live life to the fullest.

I interviewed Lillian about her experience at Cannes Film Festival. Here is what she had to say:


How long did it take you to make your first feature 'Reinventing Rosalee'?  

LILLIAN: It took me 9 months to make this documentary from start to finish.


Was it a difficult process and would you do it all over again? 

LILLIAN: I have dreamed of being a filmmaker for years. Since this is my first film it was a learning experience but I am a fast learner so it wasn't that difficult. I loved it as I am finally doing what I have been meant to do for the rest of my life and what my training and experience has to lead me to do- be a director/producer. I would not only do it over again I want to keep going and doing more and more films. In fact, I have two more documentaries I plan to do, two romcoms, a period piece, a fictionalized version of "Reinventing Rosalee", a psychological thriller and an animated project.


When did you decide you had to tell this story? 

LILLIAN: One day Rosalee was wearing tight shoes and I jokingly said to her you know, you can never happy unless your feet are happy. "With a surprised look on her face, she said, “That's what I always say." I then chuckled and said to her "Of course that is what you say, where do you think I learned it " I then said " I have about 100 of your sayings memorized."   She replied, "Why don't I write a book with all my sayings so I can share it with the world." And she did she wrote a book called "Rosalee Glass 100 Years of Wisdom to Guide You Thru Life's Ups and Downs". I then gave a copy of the book to our family doctor Dr. Robert Huizenga who said that I should do a documentary on Rosalee and her life. I agreed and the rest is history.


Your mom is such an inspiration. How does your mom feel about the film? 

LILLIAN: She loves the film. She wants to touch people and inspire them an she is getting to do this through this film as people can take an example from her life- that "it is never too late to live your dreams" and that "bad times are not forever. "


How have audiences reacted to the film?

LILLIAN: The audience reaction has been incredible. People don't want to leave the theatre. They love the film. They are mesmerized and most of all they are touched and inspired. One man who saw the film called me up and told me he took a week off from work to drive to Florida to see his mother whom he hadn't seen in a year. Another man who was a former retired FBI agent said it inspired him to do what he always wanted to do in life. Many have said they can't wait to share it with others and could watch it over and over again.  


You seem to be tireless in your efforts.  to be a filmmaker and you are wearing several hats. How do you do all of that and take care of your mother too?

LILLIAN: I do it all with love and excitement and enthusiasm and that is what makes it appear tireless to others. I love taking care of my mom because she is such a joy to be around and she is not difficult to take care of at all. It's like having your best friend around you all the time. We really get along and laugh a lot. I usually take her wherever I go except to important meetings and places where I need to go by myself. At night I have a caretaker to address all of her needs so I can sleep. You are right about wearing a lot of hats. In this film, I was a producer, director, hair and makeup person, co-editor, co-writer, location manager, one of the camera operators, food service, co-music writer, researcher, fundraiser, publicist.  You name it- I had my hand it. I loved it all. 


How did you go about having your first film screening at the 2018 Cannes Film Fest market and did you manage to accomplish what you came to Cannes to do?

LILLIAN: I accomplished what I had to do in Cannes and more. I wanted to get a sales agent and distributor for my film and there are several who are now interested in the film. I also met people who will co-produce films with me. I learned so much there and cme back ready to make films.


What was it like to be in Cannes with you 101 year old mother in Cannes and to make history there?

LILLIAN: It was one of the best experiences I have ever had, the people were wonderful- so open and inviting and receptive. My mom loved it as well. She loved dressing up in evening gowns and looking gorgeous and going to her screenings of Reinventing Rosalee. She also loved meeting wonderful people from all over the world who appreciated her film. 


What will you be working on next?

LILLIAN: I have several projects in the works. One is a feature film based on "Reinventing Rosalee", two romantic comedies, one of which is based on my based selling book, two more documentaries, a psychological thriller, and an animated film. I have been working on developing these projects for years so now they are going to happen. is where you can get information about the film.


Interview by Vanessa McMahon


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