Behind the Project

Currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA, Andreas-Benjamin Seyfert received his B.A. in English and German Literatures from the University of Geneva and his M.A. from UCLA. Working both within and outside the academic context, he has acquired experience in creative and academic writing, teaching and the arts more generally.

During his time at the University of Geneva, he contributed numerous articles, essays and short stories to NOTED (the English Department Journal) and la Revue du Cine-Club. He aditionally co-founded and directed the Kinoklub (the UNIGE German Film Club now known as k!no), as well as organized a conference and workshop on the topic of literary adaptations with writer Alois Brandstetter and screenwriter-director Georg Madeja. In 2017, Ben started programming screenings for GSA Melnitz Movies.

Apart from his studies and community activities, he was involved independent side-projects, work including collaborations with Academy-Award-winner Marcel Ophuls on both a documentary (Ain’t Misbehavin, Cannes Festival 2013) and written memoirs published in France (Mémoires d’un fils à papa, Calmann-Lévy, 2014) and Germany (Meines Vaters Sohn, Propyläen Verlag, 2015). Ben was also invited to give a talk at the University of Basel in the context of the Goethe Gesellschaft conference in October 2015. His paper on the poet’s representation in film was consequently published in the book Goethe als Literaturfigur (Wallstein Verlag, 2016).

In 2017, Ben co-organized a week-long festival with his fellow-student Paul Kurek featuring the work of Marcel Ophuls and his father Max. “Shadows of the 20th Century” was prominently featured as a Critic’s Choice in the LA Times and involved collaborations with numerous local and international institutions, including the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Cinematheque and the French and German government representatives in Los Angeles. A paper, “Banning Jewishness: Zweig, Siodmak and the Nazis,” presented at the German Studies Association in Atlanta in October 2017 is forthcoming in Rethinking Jewishness in Weimar Film (eds. Barbara Hales and Valerie Weinstein, Berghahn Books).

Since 2017, Ben has served as the UCLA Department of Germanic Languages’ graduate student representative. He has also been the head programmer for a biweekly screening series, GSA Melnitz Movies. Films screened before their theatrical release have included such prominent titles as Call Me By Your NameReady Player One and Bohemian Rhapsody. In February 2018, he attended the Berlin Film Festival to conduct research into Weimar films screened at its yearly retrospective. In the Spring, he finished directing an animated short film for a fashion brand crowd funding campaign.

In July 2018, Ben presented at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 3rd Archaeology of Moving Image Media Workshop on the rediscovery of a “lost” early Weimar sound film, Never Trust a Woman (Ich glaub’ nie mehr an eine Frau, 1930) as part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s collection.

Ben is currently enrolled in the Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate Program and the Gender Studies Concentration. His paper entitled “Gender in Exile: A Comparative Reading of Irmgard Keun’s Child of All Nations and Anna Seghers’ Transit Visa” is part of CUNY’s DISPLACEMENT 2018 conference (New York City, November 2018).