Events | Welcoming Reception

Los Angeles | November 16, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Ute Wieland | Photo: Frank Polosek


Ute Wieland majored in German philology and theater studies before obtaining a degree in directing from the University of Television and Film in Munich. In 1989, her debut feature film "Im Jahr der Schildkröte" earned her a nomination fort he prestigious German Film Prize.

After working exclusively in TV for many years, Ute Wieland completed her second movie, the soccer comedy "FC Venus", in 2006. Her third feature "Freche Mädchen" followed suit in 2008.

Wieland turned to TV again to direct Germany's most successful crime show "Tatort". "Freche Mädchen 2", the sequel to her 2008 success, was released in 2010. Wieland's two-part made for TV movie "Deckname Luna" (2012) about a citizen of the German Democratic Republic targeted by the Secret Police was nominated for the Grimme Prize, In 2014, Wieland directed the tragic comedy "Besser als nix" about a high school dropout and misfit from rural Germany who tries to gain a new perspective on life. Ute Wieland adapted Villa Aurora Fellow (2016) Stefanie de Velasco's novel "Tigermilch" (Tiger Milk) which was presented at this year's German Currents.



Andreas Mand's works include novels like "Grovers Erfindung" (Grover's Invention, 1990), "Das rote Schiff" (The Red Ship, 1994), "Kleinstadthelden" (Small Town Heroes, 1996) "Paul und die Beat Maschine" (Paul And The Beat Machine, 2006) and "Der zweite Garten" (The Second Garden, 2015). From the cheerful to the melancholic, the loosely connected volumes portray everyday life in cities such as Krefeld and Minden. Mand's typical protagonists are activists of the subculture, artists or even children. Apart from that he wrote a historical study of a reciter in the 1930s ("Der Traum des Konditors" / The Confectioner's Dream, 1992) and two plays. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung his latest novel "Der zweite Garten" shows the writer "at the height of his art." A critic of the Süddeutsche Zeitung concludes: "So he became the potential cult author of a lost generation …"

Visual Artist
Florian Fischer | Photo: Jana Keuchel


Florian Fischer works artistically and documentary with photography and film. He studied visual communication, photography and image sciences. His diploma thesis "The Blue of the Sky" was awarded the Aenne-Biermann-Prize for German Contemporary Photography. Fischer was an artistic employee at the Harz University and completed the Werkleitz Media Master Class. In cooperation with Johannes Krell he produced the short film "Kaltes Tal", which was shown at international film festivals. "Kaltes Tal" was awarded with the German short film prize in gold.

Senthuran Varatharajah | Photo: Elif Kücük


Senthuran Varatharajah was born in Sri Lanka in 1984. His family fled to Germany when he was four months old. He studied philosophy, theology and cultural studies in Marburg, Berlin and London. In 2016 he published his debut novel "Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen" (S. Fischer). Among others it was awarded with the 3Sat Prize at the "38th Days of German-Language Literature", the Alfred Doblin Fellowship of the Berlin Academy of Arts, the Berlin Senate Fellowship, the Kranichsteiner Literaturförderpreis, the Bremer Literaturförderpreis, the Chamisso Award and the Rauriser Literaturpreis.

Feuchtwanger Fellow
Alida Tota in Court | LSAPhoto


Alida Tota was born in Kukës, Albania. She studied journalism at the University of Tirana and is a PhD candidate in diplomacy and international relations.

Alida has been working as a journalist since 1995. She covered the Kosovo crisis from 1998-1999 and has been working for several radio and TV channels in Albania and the region. She is an expert on central government, press communications, and proceedings at high-level state institutions, including the Council of Ministers and the Parliament of Albania. She also held the office of National Coordinator for LGBT Rights in Albania. From 2008 to 2013, she taught journalism at the Albanian University in Tirana.

In August of 2016 she covered the tragic death of a 17-year old worker at a landfill, due to poor working conditions, lack of insurance or safety precautions exposing a presumably illegal contract between the Mayor of Tirana and the operator of the landfill. Alida was pressured to abandon the project, and upon her refusal, was fired. She sued her employer for back pay and for violating her right to free speech. After her family received death threats, they fled to Sweden for a brief exile. They returned in 2017, Alida revived her court case and finally won at the end of October.


Villa Aurora, 520 Paseo Miramar, Los Angeles, CA 90272  
Admission is free
RSVP mandatory via 310.454-4231 or

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