2017-03-08 / Features

Bardo Takes Film Festival Awards


The official poster for Bardo. The official poster for Bardo. The film Bardo, which stars twice BAFTA-nominated actress Lelia Goldoni and Johnny Solo, has had massive success since its release this past summer. Partners Dennis Latos and Scott Aharoni were not expecting such a massive explosion for their first film. They not only directed Bardo, but edited and executive produced it as well, while Petros Georgiadis wrote the screenplay for the film. Since its premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Manhattan, the film has been officially selected for 12 international film festivals, and is being played in theatres around the world, in different languages. Bardo is in the following film festivals: Sedona International, Fort Lauderdale International, Cyprus International, Big Apple, Snowtown, Athens International, Sydney Lift Off International, London Lift Off International, Urban Downtown International, LA Cinefest, NYC Independent, and New Filmmakers New York, and counting!


Scott Aharoni (l.) and Dennis Latos (r.). Scott Aharoni (l.) and Dennis Latos (r.). The film also had another premiere at Hofstra University. At the end of every school year, Hofstra holds their annual film festival, featuring the best films of the year. Last year’s film festival marked its 20th anniversary. To celebrate the monumental anniversary, Hofstra created a new award called The Golden Lion award, which is awarded to the best directors, and also filmmakers of the best film in the festival.

“We couldn’t be prouder to say that we won the Golden Lion Award, along with Best Editor, and Best Producer. There was no better way to conclude the festival than right on top!” said Latos and Aharoni.

With the huge success of Bardo, Dennis and Scott have started their own production company, DUO Entertainment, a name that was inspired by the viewers, producers, and programmers from these festivals who called them “the DUO.” DUO Entertainment is an award-winning, full service, creative production and post production company that is based in New York City and Los Angeles, offering unique, limitless and visceral creative services that make them stand out from the rest. Their website has been launched, so check it out at Duoent.com.

Bardo has won two awards from the 12 international film festivals it played in so far, including the Independent Spirit award from Sedona International Film Festival, one of the biggest film festivals in the nation, and a highly regarded festival around the world. This award represents the essence of young independent filmmaking, and is given to emerging talent in the filmmaking industry who exemplify artistic excellence in the art of visual storytelling through direction and creativity. “At the festival, we met some truly wonderful people. It has definitely helped us grow as filmmakers and producers,” Aharoni and Latos said.

Their screenings were sold out, and even had waiting lists. The filmmakers noted, “After our screenings, people wanted selfies with us. For some reason, we became instant ‘Sedonian’ celebrities. After each screening of Bardo, we sat down for Q&A panel discussions. The audience’s responses were incredible and inspiring. People loved the journey we took them on with our film. It was very rewarding. It seemed that people loved what we brought to the table: new, young, eager and rising talent. Amongst the everyday movie goer, there were several other festival programmers from other festivals who were scouting for films who approached us too. All in all, the festival was extremely successful for us and provided us with several new relationships which will help with our next film, and the career as a whole moving forward.”

Along with the Independent Spirit Award at Sedona, Bardo won the Grand Prize for Best Short Film at the Snowtown Film Festival in Watertown, NY. The festival was quite competitive as well, with close to 1,500 submissions from over 68 countries and Bardo was chosen as the best film. Viggo Mortensen, two-time Oscar nominee, opened the film festival with over 800 attendees. He presented his film, Captain Fantastic, for which he was nominated for best actor this year at the Academy Awards. After receiving their award and closing out the festival, Dennis and Scott sat down for yet another Q&A panel. They felt it was extremely rewarding to hear people’s questions and reactions to the film.

As Bardo’s film festival circuit is almost at its end, they have begun pre-production for their next short film, The Untimely Gift. “The film is written by the very talented Arthur Panoyan. The collaboration with Arthur has been an absolute joy for Dennis and I,” said Scott. The film is about a young boy diagnosed with astrocytoma who documents his recovery from cancer with his camera, but after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor, he begins to look at life through a different, more spiritual lens. They begin shooting at the end of March, and look forward to having its premiere late this summer. “Stay tuned! We plan to continue to tell meaningful and powerful stories to the world. And we thank everyone who has supported us. We plan to continue to make you all proud.”

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