a UC San Diego Alumni Publication


Sundance Buzz


For Sev Ohanian, serving as co-producer for an award-winning film involved ensuring the movie was done on budget and on schedule, while still realizing the director’s vision. Ohanian worked on this year’s much-buzzed film (released in July), Fruitvale Station, which follows the true story of Bay Area resident Oscar Grant, who was killed by a BART police officer on New Year’s Day, 2009.

The Weinstein Company acquired the film for $2.5 million, the film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival and received high praise at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Ohanian notes, “For us, this movie was our tiny secret for a whole year that no one really knew we were working on. For it to have this life of its own out in the real world is just an amazing feeling.”

While at UC San Diego, Ohanian, also a graduate from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, studied Visual Arts at Sixth College, but knew early on that he wanted to be a filmmaker. He says he was steered by his academic advisors who made it their personal goal to see him succeed. He looks back on his time at UC San Diego fondly and with gratitude. Sev notes, “My advice to current and incoming students is to take great advantage of the resources that exist in the incredible professors.”
[ Sev Ohanian, Sixth ’08 ]