Dr. Robert Dassanowsky, Professor of German and Film at the University of Colorado, announced the creation of the Elfi von Dassanowsky Foundation in honor of the late Austrian-American internationally known film producer, singer, pianist and humanitarian, Prof. Elfi von Dassanowsky, who passed away in October 2007 in Los Angeles at age 83. “Given the resurgence of Austrian film, we discussed creating a scholarship or a grant for female film and musical artists in Austria during her lifetime. She wanted to encourage the type of ground-breaking steps she took, and she wanted to do it for women in her homeland,” recalls her son.
Elfi Dassanowsky’s co-founding of the Belvedere Film Studio in 1946 in Vienna, continuing as a production today, her cultural diplomacy as a star musical performer and pedagogue during the post-War era, her Hollywood years, and the recognition of her multifaceted career with honors from Austria, France, the U.S. and UNESCO, made her a unique role model for women in the arts.
The first phase of the concept is complete. While the seed money prizes for filmmakers is something for the future, as of February, the Elfi von Dassanowsky Fund (www.elfivondassanowsky.org) grants charitable contributions to non-profit organization in the U.S. and particularly in Austria/Central Europe to support the arts, education and women’s issues through advisory recommendations.