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2023 Student Academy Award Winners: Wings Of Dust & Istina

By Campus Circle Staff

The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles invites you to join them and Filmmaker Giorgio Ghiotto and composer Sascha Blank on Thursday, January 18th for a special screening of Ghiotto’s documentary short WINGS OF DUST, winner of 2023 Student Academy Award® in Gold. winning. The evening will also include a screening of Tamara Denić’s ISTINIA (TRUTH), winner of 2023 Student Academy Award® in Bronze. A discussion with Giorgio Ghiotto and Sascha Blank and a reception will follow the screenings.

Admission is free with RSVP.
6:30pm Doors open.
7:00pm Welcome and introductions
7:10pm ISTINIA (TRUTH)
7:40pm WINGS OF DUST
8:10pm Discussion & Q&A
8:40pm Reception. Light refreshments

Public transport is possible with the red line to MacArthur Park/Westlake stop.
Using carpool or ride-share options are appreciated.

Secure, free Parking is available at Metro/Retail parking structure located at
674 S. Westlake Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90057

WINGS OF DUST
Peru, 2023, 29 Minutes, digital projection, various languages with English subtitles
Director: Giorgio Ghiotto, Score: Sascha Blank, Production: New York University

Deep in the Peruvian Andes, the Quechua indigenous community suffers at the hands of reckless globalization. Unregulated mining activities in the area have led to heavy metals contaminating the water relied upon to survive, resulting in sickness and death. Rivers that once flourished are now dry, and the natural beauty of the area has withered to dust. Vidal Merma, a Peruvian Indigenous journalist, risks his life daily to secure a future where his son, Erik, can savor the simple joy of drinking clean water. “Wings of Dust” is about a father’s sacrifice, community resilience and the unwavering human spirit in the face of environmental injustice.

Giorgio Ghiotto is a Yugo BAFTA-nominated Italian documentary filmmaker and video journalist based in NYC. He holds an MA in journalism and documentary from New York University and is passionate about telling compelling stories, particularly in the areas of human rights and environmental justice. He believes that films can serve as a powerful tool for creating awareness and preserving the natural world. Giorgio is committed to values like inclusivity and freedom of speech and has a strong focus on the importance of Co-Production of Knowledge with Communities while reporting on Their Lands. Giorgio has worked for clients such as The United Nations, several NGOs and Mercedes Benz and he won several awards such as the Zenith and Sidney Gross Memorial Prize and the Myllennium Award. giorgioghiotto.org

Sascha Blank is a German film composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Berlin. He composes music for award-winning documentaries, feature films, TV series, and commercials. Sascha studied pop/world and classical music for piano in Rostock, Germany, and later majored in Composition for Film and TV in London, UK. His recent projects include “Wings of Dust” by Giorgio Ghiotto (winner of the Student Academy Award Gold in 2023), “The Shark with a Thousand Names” by the Jetlagged (nominated for Best Score at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2023), and “The Draft” by Raphaela Wagner (winner of Best Sci-Fi Short at the London Independent Film Fest). SaschaBlank.com

ISTINA (TRUTH)
Germany, 2023, 29 Minutes, digital projection, German and various languages with English subtitles Director: Tamara Denić, Writer: David M. Lorenz, Creative Producer: Christian Siée, Production:Hamburg Media School, Germany

Inspired by true events: A news photographer is threatened by right-wing extremist groups in Belgrade, Serbia and flees to Germany with her daughter. However, she soon realizes wherever she goes hostility and threats follow.
​Jelena is a photojournalist on an investigative editorial team in Belgrade that campaigns for basic democratic rights. Her journalistic work is her passion, but the atmosphere around her has been threatening for some time and she is increasingly becoming a target of right-wing extremist groups. When one day the editorial office is violently attacked and shortly afterwards her daughter Lara is threatened, Jelena decides – much to the relief of her mother Branka – to leave the country for the time being. And so she leaves her lover Nikola behind and sets off for Hamburg with her daughter. In Germany, she continues to pursue her vocation, but soon she experiences increasingly strong hostility and threats in her new home, too.

Tamara Denić is born in former Yugoslavia 1992 In 2016, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art and multimedia and a minor in media informatics at LMU in Munich with an interactive, experimental short film. After that, Tamara worked as a dubbing recording manager, film production and editorial assistant and video editor in Berlin. At the same time, she acted in independent theatre groups and experimented with video performances. However, Tamara soon devoted herself increasingly to narrative short film projects. Along side her film projects, paintings and photographs, Tamara experiments with animations and VJing. 2022 she graduated with a master’s degree in film directing at Hamburg Media School with a scholarship from Friedrich-EbertFoundation.

Christian Siée, born in 1996, grew up in a winegrowing area in Rheinhessen, Germany and has been engaging in film projects since childhood. From 2016, he studied media economics with a focus on film and TV at the Stuttgart Media University and gained various experiences in film and television, including at Warner Bros, Wiedemann & Berg and Bavaria Fiction in Munich. As a Fulbright scholar Christian went to Los Angeles, California to study film and worked back in Germany at the German public broadcaster SWR Stuttgart. He wrote his bachelor thesis with producer Oliver Vogel. Christian is a graduate of the renowned Hamburg Media School, supported by a VFF scholarship. His film ISTINA (Truth), shot in Serbia and Germany, won a Student OSCAR® 2023. Currently he is at Studio Hamburg, working on several international productions. Christian is a Member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). christiansiee.com

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