Born to European parents, Stefan Lysenko spent time on both U.S. coasts growing up, yet the San Francisco Bay Area provided the surroundings for Lysenko to achieve his Drama/Business degree from San Jose State University. After traveling the world in 1988 and 1989, he made a move to Hollywood where he became an accomplished stage and film actor. While working on the stage under the direction of Stella Adler for several years, Playhouse West became Lysenko’s next theatre haven. While at the theater, he worked with such actors as Ashley Judd and Jeff Goldblum under the guidance of the Artistic Director Robert Carnegie.


      During the late 90’s, his home became the Actors Studio where he worked under the tutelage of Shelly Winters. While working with a variety of Actors Studio members both in Hollywood and New York, including Lonnie Chapman and Jim Antonio, Lysenko was inspired to undertake a three-year self-study course in film. His curriculum included film books and videos from the library, dubbed tapes from various learning centers, impromptu sit-ins at AFI and UCLA (He was never officially enrolled) and days shooting with his CP 16mm camera. Lysenko’s study, research and work took him to New York several times over the next three years.


As his acting career blossomed with leads in several feature films, including MAFIA (Disney), THE LAST WILL (Opposite Goran Visnjic {ER}), INTERCEPTORS (Opposite Ernie Hudson {OZ}), and THE STRAY (Opposite Michael Madsen), his muse became stifled with the conventional approach to filmmaking. He began to develop a new approach to filmmaking which combined improvisations, from his early years at Playhouse West and The Actors Studio as well as theatre and conventional filming techniques. Lysenko called this new form of filmmaking Blissing (Bliss/Blissing).

      Through living in the moment, art is created by using what exists in your consciousness and immediate environment. Creating by using what you have at your immediate disposal, thus letting your creation create itself.

      After a chance meeting and discussion with Gena Rowlands, famous for her work with the late John Cassavetes, Lysenko set out to shoot his first feature film, BETWEEN CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR’S. This was shot in seven days, unscripted, using improvisations, with a crew of ten and two simultaneously running 16mm cameras between Christmas 1997 and New Year’s 1998.

      The total budget was under five thousand dollars, accompanied by plenty of hard work and equipment donations. In late 1999, eighteen months after principal photography and still under that five thousand dollar budget, Lysenko’s feature film was screened as a first cut. BETWEEN CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR’S was shot under Lysenko’s own rules of the 10 Commandments of Bliss.


      Having won multiple awards for his films, built an Arthouse Cafe, and starred in several films, Stefan Lysenko is currently in pre production on his fourth feature film while he continues the second year of his masters program at Antioch University McGregor.

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