Rick Rosenthal is an award-winning veteran producer/director with a dynamic career spanning over 25 years in both film and television. He is also committed to helping launch new filmmakers, with a focus on mentoring young directors and supporting emerging filmmakers in the micro-budget world of independent filmmaking.
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 and was recently nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada award for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. For the past three years, he has been a Supervising Producer on Amazon’s Emmy-winning series TRANSPARENT.
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 25 films - and productions from Whitewater Films have been invited to Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, SXSW, Tribecca, 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 an Academy Award nomination 3 years ago for Best Documentary, Short Subject and a nomination two years ago for Best Feature Documentary.
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 that is exactly what Whitewater Films has offered to its filmmakers.
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, Rosenthal won the Connecticut State Doubles title as a junior and taught tennis in Monte Carlo when he was 19, with wins over the #2 and #3 players on Monaco Davis Cup Team. 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