Natalie Rodriguez ’14, is set to debut her first feature film, The Extraordinary Ordinary. Congratulations!
The Extraordinary Ordinary is a story about three young adults and how they cope with their mental health when old wounds resurface. A few years after a traumatic high school experience, a young photography student moves across the country from New York to Southern California in search of a fresh start. She quickly finds that she is not alone in her struggles with anxiety and depression and learns that the road to recovery is paved with more love, understanding, and community than she ever could have imagined. The Extraordinary Ordinary is a gripping and heartwarming narrative that seeks to challenge the stigmas associated with mental health, trauma, and recovery and recognize the courage of those young adults struggling in silence everywhere.
The film was recently an official film selection at the Awareness Film Festival (AFF), Glendale International Film Festival (GIFF), and the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF). We also won the ‘Best Film About Women’s Empowerment’ at GIFF and scored nominations for Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Feature. Our leading actress, Maddison Bullock, also won ‘Best Performance’ at the LADFF, where we held our world premiere.
“The Extraordinary Ordinary is basically a movie based on the issue of Mental Health and how to cope up with that. The movie involves three friends – Erika, Bianca, and Alex. I really loved the bond between three of them. They were going through some mental issues in their own lives. The story is really very inspiring and emotional. Erika thought of joining the photography classes away from her home where she met Bianca as her project partner. She started doing a part-time job as well where she met Alex (unknowingly brother of Bianca). The climax is totally amazing and one might get goosebumps as well while watching the anxiety, being alone, and irritation feeling of characters. You can actually feel those emotions while watching. I am now sure a big fan of all the characters, the way they acted is so phenomenal and real. The bond between a father and a daughter is also shown which I loved the most. The background music is very soothing. My fav part of the movie is when Erika reads out the letter from Bianca, full of inspiration and motivational words. Hats off to the work of Natalie and good luck for the future. The movie is worth watching and you will surely end up feeling positive in your life! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars from my end!!”
–Arushi Kulshreshtha, blogger and reviewer (India)–
“The actors portrayed their roles very well by showing the right demeanor for the type of character they played. Maddison deserved the recognition she got at the LADFF. She was very natural in her role and I could very much relate to her, not because I had the same traumatic experience, but because I was also in a very dark place where I didn’t want people to get involved with whatever I was going through. The panic and anxiety attacks that were shown on the film were very realistic. Those are the exact behavior of a mentally unstable person whenever there is an overwhelming event, or whenever there is pressure. I could also very much relate to the triggers – like her mom nagging or being overly protective of her instead of providing support, trust, and understanding. I love her dad’s personality, who’s also like my dad when he was alive. He was just cool about things, but he was there when he was needed. I almost cried during the part when Erica was reading the Extraordinary Ordinary project to her father, same time that Bianca was reading it for the class. That part was very heartwarming. Overall, this film is definitely 5 out of 5 stars. It is encouraging and it teaches the value of communication and support within a group of trusted people. It also shows that people cope with anxiety and depression in different ways. Natalie and everyone who have been a part of this film did an awesome job that will benefit many, many “
–Shey Saints, blogger and reviewer (India)–
“The Extraordinary Ordinary” gives young people one of the most important things necessary – conversations. Conversations to learn how to navigate challenging and scary moments in life. To see these scenarios on the screen gives the audience an opportunity to reflect on the fact that they are not alone in their experiences and even when it’s scary, they could be understood and get help when they are willing to speak about what they are experiencing. Kudos to Natalie and team for creating such a relevant and impactful movie.”
–Liz A. Garcia, former therapist and current executive performance expert (Southern CA)–
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