Paul Davis – Director & Writer
Based now in Arizona, by way of New York City, where he worked for the Hearst group of media properties, Englishman Paul Davis came on board for LEAVES, as screenwriter and director, after working on a film with Julia.
”The last few years I had been working with a non-profit called MoviesMakingADifference LLC that had this rather cool idea of making feature films to dramatize and highlight social ills and then donate the profits back to the victims or where it could do the most good.
The first one was a story based on a crazed religious cult in Arizona but which also had outposts around the country and in Canada and Mexico.
I did a lot of research with reporters and the damage this cult had done, and continued to do, was just shocking. Perhaps all the more so because, despite these reporters' best efforts, you rarely read about it in the media. I wrote the script and they raised a little money to make it, It was called 'Cathedral Canyon', I directed it and it really came out rather well.
Everyone involved put a lot of good work into it.
Next thing we knew, the film got into the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2014 and won the Audience Choice Award. It also attracted a huge donor base to the non profit and soon there was talk of a sequel. Enter Julia!
One of the parts I had written for the sequel was a woman cartel leader in Mexico. It was a lot of fun meeting and casting Julia for that part. She's such a sweetheart of a person, as anyone who has spent time with her knows, and here she was playing this murderous villain!
It was also the time when I first became aware of her great affection and affinity for trees.
I guess up til then I had felt the same way about trees that most people do. They're great and all, sturdy, beautiful, alive but basically they're just part of the scenery, right? Isn't that how most of us feel? How little I knew! Once you listen to her perspective on things, where she is coming from, it becomes impossible to ignore. I've even found myself hugging a tree now and then. So when she told me her idea for LEAVES, it all just fell right into place and almost wrote itself. It's a project I am honored and thrilled to be a part of.”