Haroula Rose’s Charming Commercial Debut for Bailey’s; Optimus Chicago, Jess Weixler Among Collaborators

Chicago native Haroula Rose has built quite a name for herself in the independent film community, and is now making her mark in advertising world. Produced by Hello Sunshine in partnership with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur, Haroula’s endlessly charming branded content piece is part of a series entitled “Meet Cute” and marks Haroula’s foray into the world of branded content and commercial direction.

“Finding love in this day and age is a process that can be daunting especially with online options, so I hope people will laugh a little bit at this and find parts of it relatable even though it’s a comedy and also a fable,” Rose told SCREEN. Let’s take a look at “Hound of Love.”

“Hound of Love” was released this week on the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine YouTube Channel, and will live in a branded content hub on The Roku Channel nationwide this fall.

The charming piece stars Jess Weixler (Teeth, The Good Wife, Listen Up Philip), the voice of Kate Micucci (Garfunkel & Oates, The Little Hours, Scooby Doo), and Lena Drake (Kidding, Dinner in America) Inspired by real-life “meet-cutes” from the women-first dating and social networking app Bumble, the modern-day love stories put women at the center while celebrating three female and non-binary filmmakers, selected from a wide pool of applicants.

Haroula’s Creative Process and Chicago Collaboration

“This creative process was similar to making a film in that it’s always about collaboration and having the right team to make it come to life,” Rose told SCREEN. “I was really happy to work with Hello Sunshine and to meet the people that I worked with there. It was different from making my film in that there were more voices involved in some of the decisions, but I really appreciated the support and freedom of vision that was offered, while staying true to the fact that it’s a brand getting across to an audience through a different approach in storytelling. I’m also really happy that the real people the “meet cute” was based on are happy with what they inspired!”

Haroula Rose in studio polishing up her branded content debut

Rose also teamed up with fellow Chicagoans at Optimus to bring this quintessentially cute branded content through to the finish line. Angelo Valencia, Joanna Woods and Caralyn Moore led the Optimus post-production effort. “It always brings me back to my roots here!,” Haroula told SCREEN. “Angelo was one of the first people I met when I worked at Earhole back in the day, so it’s always kind of awesome that we get to collaborate creatively all these years later.  I hope to do many more spots together.”

It has been quite an impressive road to success for Rose in the independent film world, and now in the branded content and advertising scene. After growing up in Chicago and graduating from the prestigious University of Chicago, Haroula made a splash with her pilot Lost and Found, which had its World Premeire at the Triebca Film Festival, and featured Melonie Diaz, Terence Nance, and Wil Janowitz. Her follow-up effort was the feature film Once Upon A River, which earned the Audience Award at Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival, and was filmed in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Most recently, her triage of music videos for Rodney Crowell were featured on Rolling Stone, among other outlets.

Check back here at SCREEN for updates as Haroula Rose forges ahead to new and exciting projects in advertising and independent film.

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