ONE TO WATCH – After taking home a BIFA, could Director Dekel Berenson win an Academy Award?

Awards season is upon us and we have a close eye on the directors and films we think could go all the way in the live action short category. Dekel Berenson has only been in the business three years and is already making a name for himself in the industry. His film Anna just won a British Independent Film Award and part of his trilogy Ashmina, is under Oscar Consideration. What an achievement for a relatively new film director.

This director has quite a back story as he was kicked out of school at the age of 7 and he left film school after only three months.

ANNA – Cannes Official Selection – trailer – Dir. Dekel Berenson [2019] from Dekel Berenson on Vimeo.

Anna shares the story of a single mother living in Ukraine and looking for love. Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to a party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love. 

The film, co-produced between the UK, Ukraine and Israel, world premiered at Cannes (Main Competition), and over forty further festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, and AFI Film Fest.

Dekel Berenson acquired a Masters in International Relations from the Central European University in Budapest in 2006, receiving the Best Thesis Award and graduating first in his class. He has combined his passions, making artistic films of high quality that bring to light real-world social and humanitarian issues. Next year Berenson will go into production with his debut feature Adva.  

Anna is a co-production between Merlin Merton’s Blue Shadows in the UK, Dekel Berenson’s 168 Wardour Filmworks, and Olga Beskhmelnytsina’s ESSE Productions House in Ukraine.

Ashmina Trailer #1 – Aspen Shortsfest – Dir. Dekel Berenson from Dekel Berenson on Vimeo.

Ashmina is a street cast film that sheds a light on a country threatened by tourism. Nestled between a beautiful lake and the Himalayas, Ashmina, 13, lives with her family on the outskirts of Pokhara, Nepal, paragliding capital of the world. 

Just some of the 100+ festivals the film has been selected for include BFI London Film Festival, Aspen Shorts Fest and Palm Springs. This film was co-produced between Nepal and the UK with Blue Shadows and 168 Wardour Filmworks helming the UK front.

This director is certainly one to watch!


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