Rose sees success in multiple genres

It's contagious. 

But don't worry - it's not COVID, it's her unending enthusiasm.

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When Keilani Elizabeth Rose, actor, writer, producer, model, dancer, and DJ, starts talking about her ongoing projects during this world-changing time, she's hurried, breathless and ever so grateful.

Rose grew up in Prince George, taking her performance training with Enchainement Dance Centre under Judy Russell's experienced guidance. 

"I don't think there are words that can express just how important and how impactful it was for me to be able to grow up in the way that I did in Prince George, which I like to call Lheidli T'enneh now," Rose said.

"A lot of my development as an artist, a woman and an intersectional being right now is bringing me back to my roots, which of course is Lheidli T'enneh/Prince George and having such a supportive community that was there for me and my mom and my sisters I know that I am lucky. I am so so lucky and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without those homegrown, small town values that were instilled when you get to grow up in a place like that."

Rose said her mom, Nani Belle Browne, did a beautiful job of making sure she and her two sisters, KeAloha and Tiare, were introduced to all the right aspects of the community, including leaders like Judy Russell and her beloved late mother Bunny Murray.

"They are like family to me," Rose said. "In the back of my mind, in the front of my mind and in front of my intentions is always making my family proud, making my community proud and always bringing it back to the roots of that."

Rose thinks of her childhood often and how the people in the community impacted her life.

"And it gets me," Rose said. "When I thought about how to answer your question I started tearing up."

Her most recent project is a web series called Flimsy, a comedy that Rose stars in, created and produced, all during quarantine and through the magic of Zoom. 

"It's screened at some international film festivals and won some awards already," Rose said. "So it's exciting that it's already getting recognition."

Filming was completed by the end of July. 

"So it's already getting a nice little festival tour right out of the gate," Rose said.

The series is about two struggling artists. One wants to be a DJ and the other an actress.

"We just follow these two best friends and roommates in their journey, chasing after their dreams and seeing all the stumbles and falls along the way," she said.

The series stars Chelsey Reist, who is in The 100, a popular Netflix series, and Grace Dove, another born and raised Prince George actor who is best known for her role in The Revenant, starring opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.

With everyone in isolation in their homes, there was a lot of guidance given when it came to technically pulling Flimsy together as the actors looked like they were together but were scattered around the world. So lighting and props and camera angles were all lessons to be learned.

"We all have a new appreciation for the crews on every set we've ever been on," Rose said.

Most recently seen in The Color Rose, Once Upon a Time, Lucifer, The Magicians and Woodland, Rose's next project is a movie called BREATHE that starts filming in December and will be adding a mentorship program for Indigenous youth.

Cody Kearsley, best known for his role in Riverdale, can most recently be seen starring in a movie with Bruce Willis called Breach.

"I really admire Cody's artistry and the way he likes to tell stories and the way he likes to collaborate - it's very open," Rose said. "So when he asked me to come on board with this there were two things that were so close to my heart and that is it's a story about battling addiction and I do have people in my life that I love very dearly that battle with that every day so it's something that I feel like we get the opportunity now to show up, talk about it, to inspire people to be a support system and step up and be brilliant in the face of it and that's the story."

It's important for Rose that as an Indigenous woman she was asked to play the lead role in the film.

After the first read-through, Rose was asked for feedback.

"It's really great to be part of the creative process with Cody, it's such a dialogue back and forth about how we can improve this or how we can highlight that and what else do we want to bring to the table in the story - what other voices can we amplify and so for me when I read it immediately it brings me to the generational effects of colonization and how it really has impacted specifically the Indigenous community," Rose said.

In all of her projects moving forward, Rose will incorporate a mentorship component when she produces a project.

"I want to make sure that we make space at the table for people who wouldn't normally get invited to the table or for people who might not know the table exists," Rose said. "I'm excited to incorporate a mentorship program where I can invite Indigenous youth onto the set to shadow some of the crew members just to get a taste of what the industry looks like and feels like and know that there's a place for them if they want it."

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