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Neri on the set of Kill the Habit.
Laura Neri (Greek: Λάουρα Νέρι) is a director of Greek and Italian origins. Born in Brussels, Belgium, she is an alumni of the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles and has lived in Belgium, the US, the UK, Greece and briefly in Argentina.
Early life and education
Neri was born of a Greek mother and an Italian father. She received her BA with Honors in Film Analysis and Screenwriting at the Free University of Brussels, where writer/director Luc Dardenne was her mentor. She then received an MFA in Film Production at the University of Southern California. Her thesis film, a 'dramedy' called A Kiss on the Nose (2004) describes a difficult father-daughter relationship, told from the daughter's quirky point of view. In 2005 the film won the "Jimmy Stewart Memorial Crystal Heart Award – Student Dramatic Short" at the Heartland Film Festival as well as the inaugural VISION AWARD, which recognizes an emerging filmmaker who shows vision in filmmaking. The film also won "Best Short" at the 2005 Danville International Children's Film festival and was one of the 10 winners of the Flickering Image Film Festival 2006.
A Kiss On the Nose went on to win Best Drama at the 2006 FAIF International Film Festival, as well as receiving nominations for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Short, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. It also won a Gold Remi Award at WorldFest Houston 2007, second place for Best Short at the 2006 Lake Arrowhead Film Festival, second place for Best Screenplay and third place for Best Actress at the 2005 Action on Film Festival, Honorable Mentions at the Smogdance and Rochester Festivals, a Gold Medal for Excellency at the 2007 Park City Film Music Festival, was nominated for Best of the Fest at the 2006 Great Lakes Film Festival and Best Short at the B-Movie film festival and received the A.S.C. Charles B. Lang Heritage Award for Outstanding Cinematography (Honorable Mention).
"Fighting Auditions" (2007), Neri's next short film, is a comedy about how difficult it is for minority actors to get non-stereotypical roles in Hollywood. It also garnered several awards (Best Screenplay, Best Actress).
Neri wrote, directed and produced her first feature film in Los Angeles, Kill the Habit, a politically incorrect dark comedy about three girls trying to get rid of a corpse. The film had its premiere at the Cinequest film festival and went on to win "Best Feature Director" at La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles. It got its first distribution deal via amazon.com and iTunes and is available on flixhouse.com.
Neri's latest project is a documentary series of short interviews called "Greek Voices", in which Greeks describe the effects the crisis and ensuing authority measures had on them, and how their lives have changed over the last few years.