Events | Meet our Fellows

Los Angeles | March 6, 2014 | 7:30 PM


Scene from "I Feel Like Disco"

Axel Ranisch is a director, actor, producer and media educator. Born in Berlin-Lichtenberg in 1983 as the obese child of two professional athletes, he initially maintained a critical distance to the medium of film. This attitude did not change until 2002, when he -rather inadvertently -made his first short film. Axel has been making movies at record speed ever since, directing approximately 80 short films during the following seven years as well as working as an actor, writer, composer and editor on several more. In 2011, Axel cofounded the production company "Sehr gute Filme" (Very good films).

Ranisch's films are heart-warming, brimming with music and humor, often without a script and based on improvisation. Axel was awarded the 2013 MFG Star, the MFG Film Foundation's prestigious prize for young directors, which includes a three-month stay at Villa Aurora.

On March 6, Axel will show a compilation of his shorts, feature films and music videos and talk about his filmmaking philosophy.


Writer Stefan Maelck was born in Wismar in 1963. After his military service in the East German Army, he studied English and German literature in Rostock. His thesis was based on texts by Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson. After completing his Ph.D. in American studies he was awarded a fellowship for Brown University in Rhode Island. In 1992/93 Maelck was a guest lecturer at Bradford University in England. Upon his return, he worked as an editor for Reclam Verlag for British and American literature as well as a free-lance author and host for MDR and NDR radio and press for pop culture and literature. Maelck's novels "Ost Highway - Ein Hank Meyer Roman" (2003), "Pop essen Mauer auf"(2006), "Tödliche Zugabe" (2007) were published by Rowohlt Verlag.On March 6, Stefan will talk about his third novel "Hymnen an die Stille" (Hymns to Silence) the title of a Van Morrison album from 1991 featuring private eye and radio dj Hank Meyer. The "road movie" takes place in Rostock, Heiligendamm. Los Angeles, San Francisco and back to his radio station in Halle.

Filmmaker David Sieveking was born in Friedberg in 1977. From 1997 to 1999 he worked as an assistant editor in several production houses in Frankfurt. He then studied directing at the Berlin Film and TV Academy (dffb) and worked as editor, assistant director and actor for film and TV. His graduation film "Senegallemand" premiered at the 2007 Munich International Film Festival. In 2010 his cinema debut "David Wants to Fly", opened at the Berlin Film Festival, toured to over 40 festivals and was internationally released in theaters. His documentary "Vergiss mein nicht" (Forget Me Not) was the winner of the Critics' Week at thHis documentary "Vergiss mein nicht" (Forget Me Not) was the winner of the Critics' Week at the 2012 Locarno film festival. His book of the same title that was published in January 2013 along with the film release in Germany and Switzerland. 

David's statement for the March 6th event: Me, Myself and I: For about ten years I have been working on first-person documentaries. Based on clips from my films "David Wants to Fly" and "Forget Me Not" I would like to share some of my experiences in this field and talk about the possibilities, but also the limitations of working in this very personal way.

Watch the trailer of "David wants to fly".


This event is free of charge. RSVP is required.
Please write an email to or call +1 310.454-4231 
Location: Villa Aurora, 520 Paseo Miramar, Los Angeles, CA 90272
Street Parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service starts at 6:30 pm from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North East of Pacific Coast Highway. Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

Go back