All posts by lgreenbaulm

Actress Sarah Wessendorf Dives Deep in “Berlin in You”

Does changing the place we live bring along with it the opportunity to change oneself? This is a question that many of us have found ourselves pondering at some point in life, and it’s one of the main questions posed by the post-modern coming of age story brought to life in the film Berlin in You. 

In the wake of this earnest question (and the driving force in the film’s narrative quest) concerning reinvention through relocation, comes another, potentially more consequential one: Is it possible, both literally and metaphorically, to travel too far away from one’s roots, to travel to the point of no return?

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf shot by Leo Callum Hughes

Written and directed by Robert Blake, Berlin In You tells the story of Greta, played by the talented Sarah Wessendorf, a conservative young woman who leaves her small town behind in order to reinvent herself in Berlin.

 “Berlin,” wrote David Bowie of his time spent living there, “the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine.”

For a young woman looking for a new identity, in Berlin there’s no shortage of the different kinds of people one can become.

Next to Amsterdam, the pulsing party-centric city of Berlin is something like the Las Vegas of Europe. It’s a cultural hub that boasts the widest assortment of adult entertainment imaginable– and Berlin in You doesn’t shy away from showing that side as Ms. Wessendorf’s character Greta begins to explore the city. 

However, what is initially exciting and full of new experiences, soon becomes too much for Greta. Unaccustomed to this type of lifestyle, the character soon finds herself lost in the chaos of the nightlife as she rapidly loses herself in a downward spiral. 

“She starts to lose herself, like a moth to the flame,” Wessendorf explains, “until she meets Tim.” This relationship provides a foundation Greta uses to steer herself away from the direction in which she had been headed, and begin to turn her life around. 

She starts to sit in silence with herself in a city filled with noise, and at the end, she realizes that she needs to be one with her entire being and take care of her mental and physical state in order to save her life.”

 

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Sarah Wessendorf by Leo Callum Hughes

Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Sarah has lived in many major cities, including Tel Aviv, Israel, Milan, Italy, and Paris, France. “I am mostly proud of having lived in so many different countries,” said Wessendorf in an interview with VoyageLA. “Speaking several languages next to my mother tongue and having a complex understanding about what connects us as humans.”

“Especially now in our world, it is very important for me to spread this message. We should never forget that we are all interconnected and acting… can communicate that. It doesn’t matter if you watch an Iranian, an Israeli, a Japanese or a French movie, if a person suffers and transmits a deep sadness… it will touch you.”

She explains, “I relate with Greta very much. In this film, I reflected a lot about my time in Berlin. I always felt a bit of a love hate relationship to the city. I think everyone moving to Berlin is faced with many of these challenges– how to balance personal growth and freedom of expression with a healthy mindset and patterns that will lead to a good and well-rounded life. For myself, I had to make sure I set healthy boundaries for how I wanted to experience this place.” 

As Wessendorf stated, many people who have lived in Berlin are indeed faced with the challenges depicted in Berlin in You. David Bowie, as referenced, spent two years living there in an effort to escape the chaos of life in Los Angeles. During his time in Berlin, he recorded three albums which are considered some of his best work, including his most famous title, “Heroes.” 

In 2013, he released a single titled “Where Are We Now?” as a tribute to Berlin. The song repeats the lyrics, “Where are we now? Where are we now? The moment you know, you know.” 

These lyrics touch on the feelings of Greta in Berlin in You as well as those described by Wessendorf about living in the city, which can so easily overtake someone that it leaves them wondering where they are now, as if it were somewhere different than where they were before.

Sarah Wessendorf
Sarah Wessendorf by Leo Callum Hughes

Even the title Berlin in You cheekily touches on this; while the geographic location of a city may be objective, what the city does within its residents is subjective; an internal state; such as the selection of the title Berlin In You.

Berlin in You is a story about finding oneself amongst and within chaos. Greta is skillfully played by Sarah Wessendorf, who carries the film almost entirely. Bringing her own life experiences to her character, director Robert Blake said Sarah was able to “show me things about the character that I didn’t even know where there before.”

In her own words, “My personal mission for myself is to show how nothing truly differs between us except our experiences…” While this may be the case, it is Sarah’s breadth and ability as an actor that allow her to communicate a character to the audience with such depth and authenticity, which is  captivatingly captured in the film Berlin in You.

 

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Meet Danish Director of Photography Sophie Gohr

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Cinematographer Sophie Gohr

Though the career paths for many go undecided until later in life, ‘signs’ of a person’s natural gifts and interests are often apparent in childhood– we just have to know how to spot them.

Growing up in Espergærde, a small fishing village outside of Copenhagen, Denmark, Sophie Gohr was surrounded by a bucolic countryside that fueled her creative imagination. After attending a National Geographic photo exhibit, she went home and made her own camera out of cardboard. She was 6.

I was absolutely in love, I knew I wanted to do something like that when I got older,” recalls Gohr.

With a lens made out of a toilet paper roll, Gohr would take her ‘camera’ across town, going on photo adventures and capturing everything ‘mentally.’ Quickly taking notice of their daughter’s budding interest, Gohr’s parents bought her a camera. It was then that the young Dane began cultivating the creative eye that would later lead her to become a sought after cinematographer.

I would sneak up to the library in school at every chance I got to look at photography books,” says Gohr. “My favorite photographers were Steve McCurry and Yann Arthus. The photographs were telling a story and it was like magic to me, I could feel it, smell it and it was like I was there.”

With a painter for a grandfather, and a fashion designer and dance instructor for a mother, Gohr grew up surrounded by creatives who supported and nurtured her developing interest in the arts. Some of her earliest memories are of her grandparents taking her to museums to look at paintings, and attending ballets, opera houses and Riverdance performances with her parents.

“I remember my mom telling me to draw or paint what I felt the opera or dance was about and how it made me feel. To me that has been such a gift in making the connection of feeling something and putting it down on paper,” says Gohr.

“My mom also started meditating and doing visualizations with me when I was 10. I think a lot of these things influence you, especially having parents that supports you in your art emotionally.”

Cinematographer Sophie Gohr
Cinematographer Sophie Gohr

Today, Gohr’s ability to seamlessly infuse the shots she captures with emotive qualities and create a visual language that pulls viewers into the story on screen is one of the key elements that sets her apart from others in her field. Whether she is leading the camera department as the cinematographer on films such as “Wretched” and “Madeleine,” or on tv series such as the upcoming Danish comedy “Frida and Karo” and the upcoming docuseries “A Woman’s Story,” Gohr has a unique talent for nailing the director’s vision.

The new comedy series “Frida and Karo,” which Gohr recently wrapped production on, is directed by award-winning director Jonas Risvig, who’s known for his work as the director behind several cinematic music videos such as Felix Cartal’s “Get What You Give,” Sopico’s “Paradis,” and Tritonal’s “Call Me.”  

Sophie was our prefered cinematographer for the project and made us able to visualize our humor in the aesthetics of the piece,” explains Risvig. “She has a great eye for details and visual identities.”

Starring Karoline Brygmann from the series “Yes No Maybe” and “Something’s Rockin’,” Frida Brygmann and Peter Zandersen from the series “Follow the Money” and “Ride Upon the Storm,” and produced by Reinvent Studios, the series “Frida and Karo” is set in the modern age and follows the lives of two friends. Gohr’s seasoned skill in terms of lighting and visual composition has made her a powerful cinematographer who knows exactly how to frame and light each scene in a way that supports the story.

Gohr says they were going for a ‘very bright and happy’ look in terms of the visuals for the upcoming series. “Since it’s a comedy I decided on warm tones for the lighting, and get sunlight vibe. And I used soft vintage Leica lenses to create the feeling of softness,” explains Gohr. “I used my RED weapon to get the clean cinematic look. The director really wanted the framing to be very simple as if it was a Youtube channel show. A living room type of situation, that turned out really fresh and different.”

Through cinematography Gohr has not only found a field that utilizes her unique range of skills, but it’s one where she gets to shoot projects like the ones she dreamed of doing in her youth. Earlier this year she began working as the cinematographer on the upcoming docuseries “A Woman’s Story” from director Nathalie Jornheim. With each episode taking place in a different country, the show depicts stories about specific women across the globe and incorporates aspects of the local culture and cuisine from the countries portrayed.

“I can’t talk too much about the show yet because it hasn’t been released and we are still shooting,” explains Gohr. “But I love the theme, cultural documentaries are what I fell in love with as a kid. I’m enjoying observing the stories of each of these women, and having a director who is very visual makes it an awesome project to be a part of.”

As the head of the camera department, Gohr is in charge of creating more than just the visual look of the series, but overseeing her department’s budget and the work of those on her team. About some of the differences between shooting docuseries such as “A Woman’s Story” and some of her other work, Gohr says, “You have to be ready and on your toes at all times, to get that special moment. Where as commercials and narrative projects are usually shot in more controlled environments, and there is more prep time.”

Though the release date for the series “A Woman’s Story” is not set just yet, Gohr confides that the creators of the series are in talks with Amazon, Netflix and Youtube as potential platforms.

Though she was born and raised in Denmark, Gohr moved to London at the age of 16 to study music prior to moving into photography. “At that time I really wanted to be a rockstar and photography was something that would happen in the ‘future’ for me,” recalls Gohr. “I have now learned that sometimes what you think is only going to be a hobby, actually ends up becoming the love of your life.”

The hobby has undeniably turned into a full-fledged career for Gohr, and it’s one that continues to fuel her curiosity, ignite her passion and draw on all of her skills. In addition to working on a plethora of film and television series, Gohr regularly works as the special on set photographer on projects from Pink Banana Studios, an award winning creative production company based in London, which earned 9 AVA Digital Media Awards this year. As the special photographer, Gohr has captured crucial behind the scenes shots on numerous commercials for Pink Banana Studios, including ones for Dove, Green Berger, the Huggle App and more.

 

Richard Rennie: Dominating the Entertainment Industry from All Angles

Multi-hyphenate Richard Rennie – well-known for his work across the fields of acting, modeling and dancing – is not going away anytime soon. Much like entertainers Jennifer Lopez and Donald Glover, Richard has found that expression in all areas have helped him cultivate a truly unique place as an artist in an ever-evolving world. It’s this quality that ensures that there is no one really else like him. Yes, he might fall in the same area as the aforementioned Lopez and Glover – zipping between jobs on even a daily basis – but the energy with which the award-winning performer does it, is very distinct to him.

“I think I’ve always had a unique way of looking at things; a little bit left-of-centre, that has meant people know when ‘Richard’s stamp’ is on a piece of work. Whether that’s a film project I’m acting in, a performance I’m dancing in, or a campaign I’m featured in as a model or spokesperson.”

The entertainer, well-known for his work at the Moulin Rouge and on “Unverified” for Funny or Die, has several acting projects out this year that would suggest this man never quite stops.

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Richard Rennie has a slew of acting, dancing and modeling projects out this year.

“Bachelor Lions,” co-starring David Arquette from the “Scream” franchise and “Eight Legged Freaks,” is one such film that will showcase the unique blend of performance skills that Richard has at his fingertips. “I actually got to play their dance coach in the film.  It was an amazing experience – combining my love of dancing and acting. David Arquette, Mitchel Musso, and James Maslow were all so great to work with and I must say, they’ve all got some moves.”

This project, from RiverRock films, has already had a VIP screening at Cinerama Dome, the famously known leading first run theater. “Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the red carpet event, as I had commited work in Paris at the time. My co-stars included me though.  They were sending photos of themselves all posted up on the red carpet showing off some style, but that only made me want to be there more” Richard explains with a wink.  

Another project Richard has lined up, “My Mom Is Dead”, marks a change in pace for the comedic thespian who plays ‘Kristoff’ in this heartbreaking drama. “That film was challenging to shoot.  The story was created from real life hardship and experiences of the writer. It was great to have her on set sharing the experience with us. I wanted to make sure that we respected her truth and portrayed her story in the most realistic way possible. The whole cast went through something magical together, as we let our raw emotions run free to tell this sad but beautiful story.”

Co-starring Melanie Vesey (“Law & Order”, “Man on the Moon”) and “Twilight” hunk Michael Welch, also well-known for his role in “Z Nation” and NBC’s “Grimm”, “My Mom Is Dead” hails from acclaimed director Sophie Webb (dir. “El Mirador” starring Rick Cosnett of “The Flash”.)

“I really enjoyed the change of pace with “Mom” – every actor was amazing and the mood on set brought out a naturalism in everyone’s performances.” In that film, Richard’s role is crucial because he is the best friend of Emma. “Kristoff is really Emma’s pillar and emotional support throughout the whole film. Emma has lost her mother and is not close to the rest of her family, so Kristoff brings happiness and optimism to the story, proving that you do not need to be blood related to be family.”  

To top it all off, Richard solidifies his prominent relationship with ‘Just One More Productions’ – the esteemed company behind Lionsgate co-production, “Open Water 3: Cage Dive,” starring Megan Peta Hill (“The X Files”) and Joel Hogan (“Home and Away”). In the sequel to “Cage Dive” directed by festival darling Gerald Rascionato, Richard will play the lead love interest Chris. The role and project signifies yet another change in style that we are confident Richard will take with ease.  His previous collaboration with ‘Just One More Productions’, also directed by Rascionato, was “Call Me By Your Maid”- a hilarious award-winning parody film.

That project simultaneously confirmed Richard’s indispensable position at Funny or Die, the distributor of “Call Me By Your Maid”, as Richard had also appeared in a main role for the renowned company’s “Unverified”.

As Richard explains, “it’s so interesting how Hollywood and the entertainment industry works – there’s so many co-productions and crossovers between companies. We all know each other!” he adds with a laugh.

Wendy M. Bain, the accomplished writer and actress, who co-stars alongside Richard in the Hollywood Play Old Frenemies explains “Richard has been an absolute pleasure to work with! His unique skills as a comedic actor make it a nightly challenge to not break character and laugh while I am performing on stage with him. His comedic energy is incredibly engaging and he has a natural talent of commanding the stage. Hundreds of hopeful actors auditioned for the role of Martin, but as soon as we saw Richards unique performance and take on the character, we instantly knew he was the actor we wanted.”

While his future as an actor looks bright, Richard’s tantamount career as a model also doesn’t show signs of slowing down. His relationship with his European agent, Sports Models, who also represent specialized Models with skills in athletics and fitness alongside their high fashion books, continues to thrive. Richard works often with his Parisian agent, as he is represented in both High Fashion, and as a Dancer for specific shoots that demand the unique skill set which Richard holds. Other leading fitness Models represented by Sport Models include “Axelle Etienne (BMX World Champion) and Aria Crescendo (World Renowned Yoga Master). Upcoming is an anticipated spread in edgy publication, “Fantastic Man”, putting Richard’s look in front of hundreds of thousands of readers who subscribe to the men’s fashion bible.

In the dancing arena, Richard’s muscles will continue to stretch. “Dance was my first love of performing and I couldn’t imagine not working within the field. Although I am busy with acting gigs, I make sure to find time to get up on stage and dance. There is no other feeling in the world than allowing your body to move through dancing and get lost within music.”  He is continually involved in dance projects that showcase his dominance in the style of Hip Hop and Commercial dance, constantly expanding from previous performances alongside Grammy-nominated artists Florence and the Machine back in the UK.

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Richard Rennie, center, has been celebrated for his incomparable skills as a dancer and entertainer all around the world.

“I’m excited for the future,” Richard says with a smile. “It’s important to look forward with a positive attitude, as that’s what attracts people to work with you and hire you over and over again.”

From “Intrusos” to Hollywood Cinema: Actress Nazarena Nóbile

Nazarena Nóbile
Argentinian Actress Nazarena Nóbile

Argentinian beauty Nazarena Nóbile will be making her debut in U.S. cinemas later this year with roles in the upcoming feature films “Summer Night” and “Intolerance: No More.”

Directed by Satellite Award winner Joseph Cross “Summer Night” stars Victoria Justice (“Victorious,” “Zoey 101,” “The First Time”), Justin Chatwin (“War of the Worlds,” “Shameless”) and Analeigh Tipton (“Manhattan Love Story,” “Two Night Stand”).

“Joseph Cross is amazing. He is such a wonderful person. I mean, I knew him as an actor but he surprised me as a director,” says Nóbile. “He is such a nice guy. And his wife and his little daughter Amelia is a sweetheart. In fact, she played my baby daughter in the film.”

Prior to making the move to the U.S. with her husband Juan Baldini three years ago, Nóbile  established herself as an actress through featured roles on several popular Telemundo series such as the multi-award winning show “Silvana Sin Lana,” as well as “Quien es Quien” and “Eva la Trailera.”

Aside from her onscreen reputation in Latin America, Nóbile emphasizes the help of producer and fellow Argentinian, Angel Cassani (“Never Surrender,” “The Pastor”), in connecting her with the right people in the states and sparking her transition into the U.S. film industry.

She explains, “I met Joseph Cross and producer Tara Ansley thanks to Angel Cassani. We met through a skype conference because I was in Buenos Aires at that time, my father had health issues and I had to keep him company for a few months last year. And suddenly they told me there was a part for me. I played Harmony’s sister… It was a small part but I was so happy to be involved in that movie. It was my first important project in LA and I truly appreciate they had thought of me for that.”

In the upcoming film “Summer Night” Nóbile’s character is the disturbed sister of the lead character Harmony who is played by Victoria Justice.

“It’s about growing up…. And how difficult it is to go from adolescence to grown up life,” says Nóbile about the film.

Intolerance: No More
Poster for Sergio Guerrero’s “Intolerance: No More”

In the upcoming film “Intolerance: No More,” a cop drama directed by Sergio Guerrero who earned the Cartagena Film Festival’s  Golden India Catalina Award and the Gramado Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for the film “A Day Without A Mexican,” Nóbile will be taking on a larger role as Lucy, the wife of a cop who’s struggling with concepts of life, death and justice. Produced by Yeniffer Behrens (“The Power of One,” “Encounters,” “Between the Lights”).

Nóbile says, “The film is about the abuse of power, which is in the spotlight a lot these days. It’s a very interesting movie. And it is filmed in a very interesting way. I think it’s gonna be a great surprise for a lot of people.”

Nóbile also has a producer credit on the upcoming film “On the Other Side,” a film that centers on immigration and is currently in post production. Clearly this multi-talented Argentinian has been busy making moves in the states. She is also planning to relocate from Miami to Los Angeles very soon.

I’m so happy living in the US. I love this country, Miami, New York, Chicago, but Los Angeles is my favorite place in the world. I feel most at home there.”

Though Nazarena Nóbile began acting as a child, it was actually while working as a journalist in Argentina that her name first became synonymous with ‘celebrity’ across Latin America. She admits, “I started to work as a journalist for very important Argentinian newspapers and TV networks. I mean, even though acting was my first and true love, journalism was my first important job in the entertainment industry.”

And it was upon landing a recurring role on the entertainment show “Intrusos,” Argentina’s version of “TMZ,” where she was a regular entertainment journalist and panelist for several years, that Nóbile such a well-known figure across Latin America. Though she says she doesn’t regret the decision to move to the U.S., that doesn’t mean leaving her home country and her position at “Intrusos” behind didn’t bring some sadness.

“‘Intrusos’ is one of the most important TV shows in South America. It was very hard for me to leave” she explains. “I love my country so much. It’s such a beautiful place to live. And the people are amazing there, Argentinians are very special people. I miss a lot of things.”

But it seems as though she’s adapted to stateside living quite quickly as well. And with both “Summer Night” and “Intolerance: No More” in post-production and expected to be released in the upcoming months, it’s safe to say audience in the states who didn’t know Nóbile before, will definitely know her after.

 

Profile: Leading Actor Giselle van der Wiel

Leading Australian actress Giselle van der Wiel, who has just been cast in two series shooting in the United States, is not as intimidating in person as one might expect. In a career that spans different mediums (TV shows like “Hendrix” with “Neighbours” actor Chelsea Jones) and characters (and Spanish exchange student in “In the Land Farthest From”), Giselle has built a reputation as a powerful presence in camera that would lead one to assume she’s overawing in person. In the best possible way, Giselle retains her strength upon our meeting but also possesses an incredibly personable nature that makes it no surprise her acting career continues to go from strength-to-strength.

We’re sitting down with Giselle to discuss two feature films in which she appears in critical roles, “On Halloween,” a new feature film with “2:22” actor Ezekiel Simat and “Reaching Distance,” with “Unbroken” actress Morgan Griffin. It’s the night after a glitzy film premiere and Giselle has just walked the red carpet with fellow Aussie A-listers. “All part of the routine of being an actor,” she says humbly, with a laugh. It could be easy to get distracted by talking about the behind-the-scenes glamour of a blockbuster premiere, but Giselle likes to focus on the work. So we resume our conversation about her upcoming projects and how she has achieved such great things in her eclectic career.

“I’m constantly working at growing as a person – I feel that unless I really know myself, and if I don’t experience life and meet new people, I can’t really grow as an actor.”

Giselle van der Wiel
Giselle van der Wiel on the red carpet for a film premiere.

When contacted about Giselle’s performance, “On Halloween” director didn’t need to be prodded to heap praise on Australia’s answer to Kristen Stewart. “Giselle has a crazy unique ability to own every frame she’s in,” Timothy Boyle enthusiastically explained.” There are moments where an actor gives more than you, as the writer and director, ever intended. It’s in these moments that the film takes on an extra level of depth. It’s what good actors do. It’s what Giselle did for me every day of the shoot.” Timothy, whose feature “The Half Dead” starred “Lord of the Rings” star John Rhys-Davies, clearly speaks from a position of authority. He goes on to compare Giselle’s unique appeal to that of other mega-star Australians Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and “Avatar” star Sam Worthington.

While we lose focus laughing about the ironically funny moments that come with shooting a horror film, we briefly touch on her key character in “Reaching Distance,” from award-winning director David Fairhurst. In the role of “Chell,” Giselle shares the screen with BAFTA-nominated actress Tara Morice, best known for her work opposite twice-Oscar-nominated Emily Watson and her part in Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom.” Giselle explains “the beautiful thing about this industry is that it’s really collaborative, so everyone’s connected and everyone knows each other. It helps everyone lift their game.”

On the topic of those two TV shows Giselle is due to start filming in the US, she has to stay quite mum. “Unfortunately I’m not able to go into too much detail about my characters, but I can say that my character’s name in “Masculinity in Crisis” season 2 is Joanna.” “Masculinity” series is an award-winning co-production between Joseph Gordon Levitt’s production company HitREcord and successful outfit Nix Film, and is distributed by Amazon Studios. Series creator and lead actor Alex Cubis (“Dear White People”) explains that Giselle was cast because there was no other actor who could play her role. “The character was specifically written to possess the ability to perform in Australian and American accents, and speak Spanish. Aside from her X-factor, Giselle was the only girl who auditioned who could play the role.”

When asked about her character in “Dipsticks,” Giselle laughs. “That project is going to be fun because it’s a comedy; I don’t want to reveal too much about that. But I’m really happy to have a chance to play a lead in a comedy series.” That series also stars NBC “Community” actor Dominik Musiol, so it’s safe to say that Giselle is in fine company when it comes to her career.

“I feel really lucky that I get to continue working in different countries and in different styles – that was always my goal when I started acting. I’m very grateful.”

Filmmaker & Journalist Liliya Anisimova Reveals Her Fashionista Side on TheSTYLEtti

Journalist Liliya Anisimova
Journalist Liliya Anisimova

From her time as a news anchor for local Moscow news stations Doverie and Teleinform, to working as the host of several hit TV programs on the popular Russian Travel Guide (RTG), journalist and filmmaker Liliya Anisimova has spent a lot of time in front of the camera, and she always looks stunning. Granted, she’s a natural beauty, but her keen eye for fashion truly makes her stand out.

My mom likes to tell this story all the time of how when I was about three putting clothes on for daycare. I put my yellow track suit on, I remember that suit, it was chic yellow with colorful stars, a Juicy Couture style tracksuit. And my mom gave me pink socks,” Liliya recalls with a smile. “I looked at her and said, ‘I’m not going anywhere in a yellow suit and pink socks. I need yellow socks’… I wouldn’t go anywhere until my mom found me yellow socks. She always tells this story saying, ‘who told you about matching colors, nobody taught you how to pair colors’.”

As a journalist and filmmaker, Liliya Anisimova’s accomplishments are beyond impressive– to the point of making of us wonder if she has some super human power giving her the ability to accomplish more in a day than most. As the writer and director of the films “From Real to Reel,” “Magic of the Underground,” which earned the Best Experimental Film Award at the 2013 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, and the poignant documentary “Love is the Highest Law,” which screened internationally and earned numerous awards including the Award of Merit from the 2015 IndieFEST Film Awards, she’s made a strong name for herself as a talented storyteller.

Ironically though, it was Liliya’s chic style, not her seemingly endless accolades, that first caught the attention of The STYLEtti Editor-In-Chief Janea Mastrandrea. Janea recounts on TheSTYLEtti blog, “I was shooting street style in New York one day when I came upon this woman with fabulous shoes. I met filmmaker and shoe-lover Liliya Anisimova. And the next day, we began collaborating.”

Charline De Luca black and white heels
Liliya’s Charline De Luca black and white heels

Wearing her Charline De Luca black and white heels, black skinny jeans and a light pink-beige soft wool cardigan jacket, Liliya was rushing to meet a friend in midtown NYC when she was approached by Janea, who ironically had no idea that she was already a celebrated journalist. 

“[Janea] was a very beautiful classy lady, one of those editor-in-chief looks. She asked about my shoes and complimented my style, and that’s how I met Janea.. and that’s how I started writing for The Styletti. It was such a privilege and joy to start writing column regularly in a fashionable glossy magazine style,” recalls Liliya.

“I’ve since written around a hundred articles about traveling, attending events, meeting outstanding people and of course, fashion.”

Since that fated encounter three years ago, which is proof that you never know who you’re going to meet out there in the world so you might as well opt for looking your best, Anisimova has continued to be a lead fashion columnist on the site.

Janea adds, “[Liliya’s] posts are among our most read.”

Growing up in Volgograd, former Stalingrad, Russia, Liliya’s love for fashion and the desire to express herself through her own unique style was something she developed early on in her youth.

She recalls, “When I was growing up it was the time when the USSR had just crashed and we didn’t have a big clothing or shoe selection in stores. So everyone pretty much looked the same, and I hated it, so I would come up with my own ideas and ask my grandmother to sew and knit me different pieces. I remember she did a knitted 100% light wool sweater and matching knitted sweatpants which I loved!”

It was only a few years later, at the age of 13, that Liliya first began working as a contributing journalist to local newspapers such as the Russian national newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda’s Volgograd regional edition, Volgogradskaya Pravda and Vecherniy Volgograd aka Evening Volgograd.

She admits, “I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl. I used to ‘publish’ my home-made magazine, I published multiple school papers while in high school, and collaborated with some local papers in my hometown before I started my undergrad in broadcast journalism.”

Liliya went on to earn her Bachelor’s in journalism, another Bachelor’s in translation in professional communications and her MFA in Journalism from Moscow State University before relocating to the states where she earned another MFA in Social Documentary Filmmaking from New York’s School of Visual Arts.

As a local news anchor in Russia Liliya covered a wide range of subjects. Occasionally those subjects intersected with her love for fashion, such as covering Moscow Fashion Week; but The STYLEtti has given her a platform to reveal her fashionista side in a different way.

Liliya explains, “For me, writing a column is very much a get away from my daily video work, I write it once a month, sometimes two if the schedule permits. I love attending events, art gallery openings, fashion shows of course, meeting photographers, designers, artists, models and other interesting people. It’s genuinely very inspiring.”

From her articles covering NYFW where she’s interviewed international designers and covered the runway, to those about attending gallery openings, such as Karim Rashid’s exhibit featuring his new design collaborations in Manhattan last Spring, Liliya writes about fashion in a way that makes the reader feel like they’re one of her close pals.

Karim Rashid
Karim Rashid and Liliya Anisimova at Rashid’s Exhibit in NYC

Dressed to impress, Liliya wore her sensible, but classy black peep-toe Gucci flats, a red Kate Spade knee length coat (featured in another post you can check out here) and her white boatneck sleeveless Raoul dress to Karim Rashid’s exhibit. With over 300 awards under his belt, Karim Rashid is considered one of the world’s most famous industrial designers; and, with the images of Liliya looking chic and stylish at the opening being featured on The STYLEtti site, the post became highly popular and offered readers insight on how to dress one’s best in such a high profile environment.

She often does #OOTD and #OOTN posts as well, which show her personal style for everyday and nightly outings, and serve as a great source of inspiration for those looking to making their wardrobe more fashion forward.

“I like to write about every day simple events, something that anyone can relate to…. I normally get more inspired to find beauty in everyday life in regular people… I think it is my background in journalism and filmmaking that makes me have the same approach to that column.”

On a personal level, Liliya’s natural style is simple, but classy, which makes sense considering her fashion icon is Audrey Hepburn. A little black dress, which she says is ‘as old as time,’ classic nude heels, which work with everything, a silk pastel colored blouse,  ajean shirt and black skinny jeans are among the basic selection of items she says are ‘must haves’ for any fashion forward female reader.

While she’s made a name for herself covering hard-hitting news and travel stories, as well as through her work as a documentary filmmaker, where she primarily focuses on human interest stories relevant to present times, fashion has been a part of Liliya Anisimova’s life all along. So, having her own fashion column is not only the perfect grounds for her talent and personal interests to intersect, but it also continues to draw readers to The STYLEtti site.

Janea says, “Liliya’s sense of humor and understanding of what interests our audience has helped grow our exposure and keeps readers coming back for her influence and entertainment.”