WISCONSIN — Wisconsin takes center stage at "Mags and Julie Go on a Road Trip," written, produced, and directed by 40-year-old Ryann Liebl.
She also stars as Mags.
"My character Mags works a lot, and maybe too much. Her friend Julie is very bohemian and loves everybody. This is really for everyone. It's a family-friendly comedy," explains Liebl.
Liebl grew up in Cedarburg and Grafton, and honed her acting skills locally.
"We were in Thiensville for a little bit, then Mequon for time. I was at Nicolet High School in Glendale. I had a great theater teacher there, did some professional theater in Milwaukee. By the time I was 18, I went to USC in Los Angeles."
Ryann was young when she realized the impact films could have.
"The reason I started acting was because I had been highly influenced by movies when I was growing up. Movies that showed me a viewpoint that I didn't have before. They showed me a world that I hadn't known existed."
Liebl and her musician husband and son are like nomads. Her work with her production company R.E.L Productions takes them all over the country.
"We're hardcore artists," Liebl admits.
But extensive travel has not paved over her Wisconsin roots.
"I wanted to highlight all of the beauty about Wisconsin, all of the characters who are here and the kind of humor to which I think is pretty universal humor."
"Mags and Julie Go on a Road Trip" was filmed entirely in Wisconsin and featured Wisconsin actors.
"I wanted to do something that really highlighted Wisconsin in an interesting way. It's such a beautiful state, full of such great people that I think it's nice to sort of show it."
Liebl wants her films to leave people with positive messages.
"I'm a firm believer in stories that like have some sort of moral compass I think that's something that kind of lacking. I'm a huge believer that if you're going to make a movie, leave people better than you found them. When they walk out of the movie theater or they've just watched your movie, they feel better about life."
You can pre-order the film on iTunes at itunes.apple.com