A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, RONA 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 on Lifetime television. More recently, she produced a series of movies for Lifetime based upon a 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. Edwards is currently developing several books and true-life stories into feature films and television projects.
In addition, she is also working on a number of documentaries including one about Military Nurses, which will examine war through the POV of nurses who were there healing the wounded. She recently completed Unforgettable written and directed by Eric Williams (Mad City, Out Of Sync), which tells the story of a year in the life of his brother (deemed “the human google” by Good Morning America) who has what is called hyperthymesia– the autobiographical ability to recall every day of his life. It aired on PBS. She executive produced the awarding-winning documentary, Selling Sex In Heaven aka Hope 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 and Executive Produced the follow up documentary, Selling Sex which follows sex workers in the U.S. Both were written and directed by Meredith Ralston. Currently, she is working on a feature version of the true story of Richard the Third and a number of co-production projects with producers in Australia and Canada, including an independent animated feature film, based on The Birbal Tales. 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, Revelation, 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 more than ten years, as well as “Story Development Process” at Riverside Community College’s Open Campus online.
Together, Edwards & Skerbelis wrote the critically acclaimed bestselling book, ILiked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development From The Inside Out!), currently in its revised and expanded new 3rd edition. Their next book, published by Michael Wiese Publishing (MWP), was another bestselling, critically acclaimed book, The Complete Filmmakers Guide to Film Festivals (An all access pass to launching your film on the festival circuit). 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 for seven years, Edwards was also the newspaper’s restaurant reviewer and feature writer. More recently she was a lifestyle columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger. She is also a contributing writer to Produced Bymagazine, 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 wrote a column, “Rona’s Reel Take,” for the New York quarterly newspaper, The Neworld Review, in which she ranted and raved about the film business. She was also senior editor at Morton Books. She currently writes for Script magazine.
Edwards has been interviewed on a number of television and radio shows including Your Hollywood Pro,Connie Martinson On Books, 938Live The Living Room in Singapore, Rolling Tape, 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 United Nations Women's Film Festival, NYU Tisch Asia, Screenwriters World Conference, 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, University Film Video Association Conference (UFVA), 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.
For four years, Ms. Edwards divided her time between Los Angeles and Singapore where she was assistant professor at Chapman University’s Singapore campus, teaching creative producing & development, screenwriting, transmedia producing, producing for television, feature film analysis, survey of international film, senior thesis and entertainment marketing & promotion. Back at Chapman in Orange, she teaches a wide variety of courses including Visual Storytelling, Screenwriting Fundamentals, Creative Producing and Development, Maneuvering Film Festivals, etc. She currently teaches at several other universities and colleges as well including Finance in Media for the University of Miami’s L.A. semester, Producing for Scripted TV for Relativity and Research and Analysis in the TV and Film Industries for Columbia College Chicago’s L.A. semester.
Edwards is a member of the Producers Guild of America, SAG/AFTRA, Actors' Equity, Film Independent (FIND), International Documentary Association (IDA), UFVA and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.