FELIX AUSTRIA! is Beebe’s directorial debut on a feature film and second feature documentary as producer. Just about the time she was finishing her film studies, she was invited to a cocktail party at Felix’s Wilshire Boulevard apartment and discovered his “imperial shrine,” a sprawling collection of autographed letters and photos from the Habsburgs. Wanting to capture this unusual passion for something so seemingly obscure—in the context of pop culture-addled L.A.—she started filming him immediately. Beebe filmed Felix over a six year period, has had two children, and, now, finally, after Otto von Habsburg’s death, she has completed filming. She received her MFA from the California Intitute of Arts Film Directing Program in 2005. While at CalArts she co-produced ThinkFilm’s FUCK, a documentary about censorship in America. Afterward, Beebe produced countless new content projects with Interscope Records while working with them from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 she was nominated for a Rockefeller Fellowship.
As a filmmaker her mission with this film is to bring to light unique outsiders whose points of view tell us something meaningful about our own place in this world.
Film Producer and Executive, Opera Singer, Musician, Humanitarian. Born in Vienna , Elfi Dassanowsky was, at age 15, the youngest woman admitted to Vienna ‘s prestigious Academy of Music and Performing Arts to that date, as a student of voice and as the protégée of famed German concert pianist, Emil von Sauer, a pupil of Franz Liszt. Her studies and her budding operatic career were halted when she openly rejected membership in Nazi organizations. Dassanowsky made her opera debut as Susanna in Mozart‘s Marriage of Figaro at the Stadttheater St. Pölten in 1946, created and performed in concerts for the Allied High Command, and co-founded a film studio—Belvedere Film—the first new studio facility in postwar Vienna. She gave the first film roles to such later European stars Gunther Philipp and Nadja Tiller, and continued to perform on stage as actress, opera and operetta singer, and pianist.
Beyond her pioneering artistic efforts in postwar Austria and West Germany, she worked as a vocal coach in Hollywood and in film production and in the arts internationally throughout her life. In 1999, she re-established Belvedere Film as a Los Angeles/Vienna based independent production company with her son Robert. Elfi Dassanowsky is the only Austrian to receive the Women’s International Center’s prestigious Living Legacy Award, and among the recognitions she received for her multi-talented work are the UNESCO Mozart Medal, the Austrian Decoration of Merit, the French “Ordre des Arts et des Lettres“, the Austrian Film Archive’s Lifetime Achievement Medal, and honors from the State of California and the cities of Vienna and Los Angeles.
An acclaimed film and cultural historian, independent producer, and Director of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Robert Dassanowsky has also written for stage and television. He serves on international film festival, grant making and editorial boards and is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the UK Royal Society of Arts,and the Austrian Academy of Film. His criticism and essays have appeared internationally in anthologies, journals and magazines, and he is the author of Austrian Cinema: A History (McFarland, 2005), co-editor of New Austrian Film (Berghahn, 2011), and editor of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds: A Manipulation of Metacinema (Continuum, 2012) and World Film Locations: Vienna (Intellect, 2012). His company, Belvedere Film, LLC specializes in partnering with Central European companies and U.S. film and cable production venues to co-produce unique and high quality independent features, dramatic shorts and documentaries.
Pfeifle grew up in the Central Valley of California, where his family has lived for six generations. He holds a Masters in Interior Architecture from Pratt Institute, 1998. In 1992 he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for study at the University of Vienna, where his focus was fin-de-siecle aesthetics and, in particular, the written and built works of the early Modernist Austrian architect Adolf Loos. Pfeifle also holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities (focus: Austro-Hungarian Empire), cum laude, from the University of California at Berkeley, 1992. He is co-founder and board Vice-President of Modern ARTillery, an organization promoting new works of opera. Pfeifle has also sat on the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles Fulbright Association, where he was Board President for several years. He founded his own interdisciplinary design firm for architecture, landscape and interior design in Los Angeles, the Office of Cultural Design, in 2005. FELIX AUSTRIA! is his first foray into movie-making. Pfeifle is currently completing a book about his journey with the Archduke and Herbert Hinkel, exploring the cross-currents of culture and time, in addition to Otto von Habsburg’s place in the long-arc of history up through the present. He is also collaborating with Lynn Baik on a children’s fairytale book based on his dreams about Otto von Habsburg, which were recounted in analysis in the film for his psychologist, Dr. Michael Pariser.
Otto von Habsburg was born the 20th November, 1912 in Reichenau in Lower- Austria as the first son of Archduke Charles, later Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary und Archduchess Zita, born Princess of Bourbon-Parma. When his father became Emperor, Otto became heir-apparent and, therefore, Crown Prince. After the collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1918, the Imperial Family went into Swiss exile and later to Madeira where the Emperor died in 1922, leaving his widow and their eight children in difficult circumstances. Otto von Habsburg, grew up in Spain and Belgium. He received his doctorate in History, 1933 from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. In the following years, he concentrated on the fight against National Socialism and the “Anschluss” (annexation) of Austria to the German Reich. Hitler targeted Otto von Habsburg as a significant threat to Nazi designs for Central Europe and so feared Habsburg resurgence that Austrian invasion plans were code named “Operation Otto.” Von Habsburg fled to the United States during World War II, where he continued his mission for the liberation and re-establishment of Austria and the other countries of the former monarchy with President Roosevelt.
At the end of the war, he returned to Europe and devoted himself to the unification of the continent. He worked with the founder of the Paneuropean Union, Richard Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, and subsequently succeeded him as President of the Union, serving from 1973 to 2004. After 48 years of exile, he was only able to re-enter Austria in 1966 following a five-year lawsuit against the Austrian government.
Otto von Habsburg represented the Bavarian Christian Social Union Party (CSU) as an elected member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1999. Von Habsburg particularly condemned the exploitation of peoples behind the Iron Curtain and supported the self-determination of nations, minority rights, and a rapid enlargement of the EU after the collapse of communism. He was the author of several books on politics and history, and countless magazine and newspaper articles. In 1989, he initiated the “Paneuropean Picnic” held at the Austrian-Hungarian border, which was a cover operation to allow over 600 East Germans in Hungary escape to the West. The event is historically considered one of the significant moments in the dissolution of a divided Germany and ultimately the Eastern Bloc.
Even after his retirement from the European Parliament in 1999, Otto von Habsburg remained in demand internationally as a speaker and political critic. He was the recipient of numerous national and international orders and awards. After he died on the 4th July, 2011, there were several funeral services for him, including Requiem masses at the Theatine Church of Munich, the Basilica of Mariazell, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest, the Hungarian Monastery of Pannanholma (where his heart was interred), and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. One thousand invited guests attended the imperial-era funeral in Vienna—including several heads of state—and thousands more lined the streets along the funeral procession, which followed the course of his ancestors to the Imperial Crypt below the Church of the Capuchins, where he was laid to rest. www.ottovonhabsburg.org
Bella is a film and commercial editor based in Los Angeles. Career highlights include the award – winning environmental feature-length film “The Nuclear Comeback” (www.thedocufactory.com) and the Short Film “Boy” for which she won an award for “Best Editing”. The film also won Best International short film at the Berlin film festival, Best Short Narrative Film at the Cinequest Film Festival in the USA, and was short-listed for the 2006 Academy Awards. Bella’s career in editing started in the New Zealand film and television industry where she assisted on scripted drama and feature films before being promoted to editor by English production company “Cloud 9 Entertainment”, where she worked as editor on several projects which were produced in New Zealand and sold all over the world. Other credits include scripted feature films “The Feathers of Peace”, “The Maori Merchant of Venice” and “The Aroha Drama Series” as well as many short films and documentaries. Her love of pop culture and the arts also drew her to freelance commercial and music video work. She has worked with many top production companies and directors, including Internationally renowned artist Vanessa Beecroft and singers Kanye West, Ben Harper and Neil Finn. Bella Erikson is a very versatile editor that can move from long to short format editing. Her editing style has a wide range, thanks to her twelve years of continuous experience and her work with different media. She operates through her postproduction company Beam Universal.
Amy Cargill is a director/editor based in Los Angeles. Her recent editing credits include the upcoming PBS series The Lifecasters, the narrative feature Fully Loaded (directed by Shira Piven), and the documentary Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and The American City (Archmedia Workshop in association with American Masters). She was music supervisor and associate editor for The Calling, a four-part PBS documentary series that follows the lives of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim Americans as they train for religious leadership. In the past she was a documentary film instructor at Chicago Filmmakers, and held a longtime position as assistant to Studs Terkel at the Chicago History Museum. Recently she formed the multimedia company Lock Picture Inc under which she directs and edits short films and music videos. www.amyelizabethscott.com
Thomas Golubic ́ is a Los Angeles-based DJ, music supervisor, and Grammy-nominated record producer. His music supervision credits include the AMC series “Breaking Bad”, “The Walking Dead”, and “The Killing”, the HBO series “Six Feet Under” and the New Line film “After The Sunset”, among a number of other film & television projects. Thomas was nominated for Grammy awards twice for producing volumes 1 and 2 of the ‘Six Feet Under’ soundtrack album, and with former partner Gary Calamar was responsible for the use of Sia’s “Breathe Me” in the final scene of the series. It is considered one of the most memorable uses of music in television, and launched Sia’s music career in America.
Thomas’ formative years, musically speaking, were spent as a DJ and music programmer for tastemaker LA radio station KCRW 89.9 FM. After ending his radio show in 2008, Thomas turned his attention to music production and live audio/video DJ work. He formed The Arbiters, a music collective that create mash-up music and video productions, free-released two EPs, and created audio and video mash-ups productions for clients including Google, YouTube, Microsoft and Levis, among others.
Thomas has also become known as an innovative club DJ spinning broadly eclectic music sets often with live synchronized visuals. His SYNCHRONIZE re-score project, featuring live DJ re-scores of feature films has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, Dubrovnik Film Festival and U.S. Comedy Arts Festivals, and monthly residencies in Los Angeles. Turner Classic Movies profiled Thomas and his SYNCHRONIZE project as part of their ‘Film Fanatic’ series. He is presently developing the SYNCHRONIZE re-score project as an original television series for AMC.
The son of a conductor, Mark Orton started playing piano and guitar at age 4. He began his studies in composition in high school going on to attend The Peabody Conservatory and The Hartt School of Music. Mark is a founding member of the genre-bending acoustic chamber ensemble Tin Hat. The groups’ 6 CD’s have garnered widespread critical acclaim and have provided Mark the opportunity to work with some iconic singers including Tom Waits and Willie Nelson. Outside of Tin Hat he is active as a film composer, having been nominated as Best New Composer by The International Film Music Critics. He has written original scores or contributed music to films including “The Good Girl,” “Everything Is Illuminated,” “Sweet Land,” “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond,” “The Real Dirt on Farmer John,” “Mine,” “Comrades in Dreams,” “La Giusta Distanza,” “Buck,” “The Revisionaries,” and the upcoming Fernando Meirelles feature “360” among many others. Mark is a multi-instrumentalist and collector of antique and unusual instruments: from ukelin and marxophone to various harmoniums, bass harmonicas, and hurdy gurdies – they make up part of the palette he uses for his scores for film, dance, circus, and radio drama. He lives in The Great Pacific Northwest with his wife and son.
Gudrun’s personal animated films, Catus Interruptus (2008), and One Skin (2007) have screened in festivals internationally. She has done animation work on the feature film Aya de Youpougnon (Oubrérie, 2012), and the documentaries Fool for Derby (Amory, 2010), Emotional Branding (Gobe, 2009), and Playground (Spears, 2008). As a motion graphics artist, Gudrun has created animations for music videos for clients such as Universal Records, Star Trak Records and Los Angeles’ REDCAT Theater. Her work as a designer and illustrator has been seen in many publications, including the New York Times, Time Magazine, and the world music label Lyrichord Discs. Gudrun holds an MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts and a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design. She currently lives in Paris, France.
Lynn was born in 1982 in Seoul, Korea. After studying film at the Hongik University from 2000 to 2002, she briefly lived in New York and decided to move to the United States. She received a BFA with honors in illustration from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 2007. Lynn’s work has been recognized by American Illustration, Seoul Illustration, Creative Quarterly, 303, and CMYK. She won Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards by Creative Quarterly and Gold and Merit awards by 3×3. Her work has exhibited at Primo Piano Living Gallery in Italy and at Junc Gallery in Los Angeles. She is now a first year graduate student in Printmaking with a two-year scholarship at Pratt Institute where she will receive her MFA.