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Rivers of Sand Conducts First Round of Auditions
(released 7/1/2005)

The independent film Rivers of Sand, a J3 Advertising production in conjunction with Sand Breaker productions, conducted its first round of auditions at the Islamic Center for Peace.

The private auditions were screening actresses Julia Denton Francis and Erga Shukrie for the roles of news anchor/reporter and Maryam. Julia has been very active in the production community doing various commercials, promo videos and independent films such as Katie T. Damien's Vanity Mirror. Erga's (aka Erica) family background is half Iraqi and Persian. She also loves singing and has recorded demos with her band called Road to the Past.

The production crew consisted of Jamyl Natal along with Full Sail students Tim Howe, Dan Stranger and Bruce Braden. Rivers of Sand co-writers and producers Warren Fast (Valencia student) and Julius Melendez (Valencia and UCF alumni) organized the audition with military advisor and former Platoon Sergeant Gabe Rhodes (UCF Alumni).

Julius has decided to cast the movie with a distinct methodology. He has a clear visualization of what the movie is to look like and the characters that portray each role are no exception. Headshot after headshot, Julius has categorized certain roles with particular phenotypes to help tell the story with more than just dialogue. Choosing to cast the characters in random order, he has narrowed the list of candidates to people whom he feels "look" like the characters he has envisioned. The auditioning process serves more to validate their acting ability and to delineate any potential chemistry conflicts on set when principal photography actually begins.

The movie Rivers of Sand is the story about an idealistic combat medic returning from the Gulf War who falls in love with a Muslim girl forcing him to fight a new battle for their forbidden love here in the states.

For further information about the movie, please visit the producers' website or the movie's site at

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