ANGEL WAGENSTEIN: ART IS A WEAPON

Saturday, April 29th @ 5PM

West Coast Premiere

 

 

Director: Andrea Simon

Duration: 83 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: USA, Bulgaria

Venue: Laemmle Music Hall

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At 94 years old, screenwriter, author and revolutionary Angel Wagenstein offers an account of his life in film and politics. Film clips contextualize historical moments and history contextualizes the films as Wagenstein provides witty and insightful commentary throughout.

Andrea Simon is an independent documentary filmmaker whose work has explored the interaction between politics, culture and religion in a variety of times and places. Her work has been praised as both visually striking and intellectually provocative. Simon earned a BA degree at Sarah Lawrence College, a second BA and a MA at Newnham College (Cambridge Univ, UK), and a MPhil at Yale University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna in 1975 and, from 1980 to 1981, was an Assistant Editor for Austrian National Television.

From 2006 to 2009, Simon was Senior Producer on Bloomberg TV’s weekly arts program, Muse, presenting cutting-edge music, art and ideas to a national and international public. A director of many films, Simon most recently completed Zahkor, an exploration of history and memory, along with Simon Schama, and was commissioned by New York’s Center for Jewish History. Imprisoned Lightening was commissioned for the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty and was on view in NYC at the Museum of Jewish Heritage through the Spring 2013. It then toured through Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Her film Angel Wagenstein: Art Is a Weapon premiered at the New York Jewish Film Festival in January 2017.

 

 

 

BALKAN ROOTS

Tuesday, May 2nd @ 7:30PM

West Coast Premiere

Q&A with director Chris Rabbitt after the screening.

 

 

Directors: Chris Rabbitt, Anthony Fletcher

Producer: Chris Rabbitt

Duration: 83 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Australia

Venue: Laemmle Music Hall

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As the Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra tour the Balkans, they meet local musicians and explore the roots of their music. With members from all over Europe, the group also explores their own roots in a celebration of the unifying power of music.


Chris Rabbitt is a newcomer to film production. He has a long and successful background in business and large project management, having built and run a software development business in Newcastle, Australia over the past 20 years. As an amateur musician with a love of documentary film, Chris is the driving force behind the project.

Anthony Fletcher has worked in the film industry in Sydney, Australia for over 15 years. His main focus is TV commercials, but he has also worked on TV series and feature films over the years. He has extensive experience in the Art Department, from set dressing and coordinating, to art direction.

 

 

HOME SWEET HOME

Friday, April 28th @ 7:30 PM

North American Premiere

Q&A with director Maja Prettner after the screening.

 

 

Director/Producer: Maja Prettner

Duration: 93 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Slovenia

Venue: Goethe-Institut

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Profiling a youth home in Slovenia, this observational documentary gives the children an opportunity to tell their stories, and the results are an engrossing and enriching account of their joys and struggles.

Maja Prettner graduated in Film Directing from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana, Slovenia. For the last five years, she has been working on a documentary children and fiction series with different television broadcasters. Additionally, she has been developing and creating her own short and feature-length projects. Her works have been shown at festivals in Slovenia and abroad. Home Sweet Home is her first documentary feature.

 

KARST

Saturday, April 29th @ 7 PM

North American Premiere

Q&A with Vladimir Todorović after the screening.

 

 

Director: Vladimir Todorović

Producer: Adriana Ferrarese

Duration: 75 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Serbia, Montenegro

Venue: Goethe-Institut

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Utilizing inventive camerawork and the spectacular landscapes of Montenegro, this film documents the construction of an Italian diplomat’s dream home. The workers face cultural and environmental challenges as they help his vision come to fruition.

Vladimir Todorović is a filmmaker, a new media artist and an educator. His projects have won several awards and have been screened at numerous festivals, exhibitions, museums and galleries including: Visions du Reel (46th, 44th), Cinema du Reel (37th), IFFR (42nd, 40th and 39th), Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Busan Film Festival, L’Alternativa, Yamagata (YIDFF), Siggraph, ISEA (2010, 2009, 2008, 2006), Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Japan Media Art Festival, Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris 2010, 2014), the Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid 2010), House of the World’s Cultures (Berlin 2005, 2010) and many others. His films and new media art projects explore class differences, migration, memories, our relationship to history, land and changing environment. The structure and form of his art often exercise mathematical precision: hidden, minimal and micro narratives. His films have been described as being radical and novel in that they sensibly and poetically depict the human condition.

 

 

 

MY WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN

Tuesday, May 2nd @ 6 PM

North American Premiere

 

 

Director: Petra Seliskar

Producer: Brand Ferro

Duration: 74 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia

Venue: West Hollywood Library Campus

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The work of Slovenian satirical songwriter and artist Frane Milčinski Ježek takes the spotlight through a combination of archival footage and newly-filmed performances of modern musicians covering his songs. The diverse line-up of talent on display demonstrates the adaptability and universality of Ježek’s music.

Petra Seliškar studied film directing at BA Hons. Nederlandse Film en Televisie Academie – NAFA and received her Masters in Film Directing at MA Screen Arts, Sheffield Hallam University – Northern Media School in the UK. She has been working as an independent director/producer since 2001. She has directed, produced and co-produced a wide range of creative multinational documentaries. In 2003, she founded Petra Pan Film, Slovenia’s leading documentary production company. She is a Eurodoc graduate (2006) and national information provider for EDN (European Documentary Network). Since 2009, she has been the artistic director and festival programmer for Makedox. With her rich experience and talent, she flourished into a filmmaker with great insight, sensibility, strong narrative force and innovative approach.

 

PREGNANT IN ROMANIA

Tuesday, May 2nd @ 9:30 PM

North American Premiere

Q&A with director Jesús del Cerro after the screening.

 

 

Director/Producer: Jesús del Cerro

Duration: 78 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Romania

Venue: Laemmle Music Hall

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Women from all over Romania recount their pregnancy experiences in interviews that illuminate a wealth of issues, including healthcare, socioeconomic stratification and societal expectations, among many others, all while also illuminating their own individual lives and stories.

Jesús del Cerro, born in 1969 in Spain, is a film director known for fiction TV series and audience movies. In 1995 he began working on two popular Spanish TV series, Medico de Familia / Family Doctor & Un Paso Adelante / One Step Ahead (2003-2005).

In 2007 Del Cerro directed his first feature film, Carlitos y El Campo de Los Sueños / Carlitos and the Chance of a Lifetime, winning the prestigious Giffony Film Festival and 15 more awards all over the world. In the summer of 2008, he started working in Romania, where he directed two TV movies for Pro TV, Contra Timp / The Countdown and Contra Timp 2 / The Countdown 2. He went on to direct the box office success films: Ho Ho Ho, S-A Furat Mireasa / The Bride was Stolen, Ho Ho Ho 2 and The Godmother (which received the Gopo Award in Romania for the most successful movie in 2012). In February 2016 he directed Hawaii featuring Dragoș Bucur and Cristina Flutur, to be released October 2017. Now he has just finished shooting the American movie, Attraction with Dina de Laurentiis and Zack Peladeau. He is also working on First Goal, his first animation feature.

 

STARO SAJMISTE: LIFE AND DEATH AND LIFE

Tuesday, May 2nd @ 7:30 PM

North American Premiere

 

Director/Producer: Michel Ionascu

Duration: 78 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: France, Serbia

Venue: West Hollywood Library Campus

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The question of what to do with the former site of the Staro Sajmiste concentration camp is the subject of much reflection and debate in Belgrade. Modern-day Serbia connects with the horrors of its past through the combination of archival footage with newly-shot footage and interviews.

Michel Ionascu was born in 1953 in the suburbs of Paris. In 1969, his father offered him a Super-8 camera to film his return to his country, Romania. In 1978, he filmed several documentaries in South America to describe the social and political reality in Nicaragua (Nicaragua Sandinista, 1981), in Peru (Acomayo: Countrymen or Terrorists? 1983 & Titicaca, 1984), and in Chile (A Land for Dreaming? 1985). Later, Michel turned to fiction films: a thriller (A Strange Day, 1985), an historical fiction (The Witness, 1988) and a portrait of Missak Manouchian, hero of the French Resistance (The Crystal Man, 1989) bought by the Vidéothèque de Paris.

In 1990, through the Arscipro film school, Michel directed a short film, The General, in which he also wrote the script using Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book. The same year, he sound engineered in Tunisia for Pablo Cesar’s second feature film, Equinoccio, The Rose Garden. In 1995, he created a railwaymen and cinema association called Those of the Track. The association gives two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival every year: the Golden Rails, one for short films and the other for feature films. Michel later shot another two short films. The first was about the experience of the amateur and familial cinema (The Unexpected Track, 1996). The other tells the history of a group of railwaymen who love cinema at the Cannes Film Festival (The Search of the Golden Track, 1998). He directed another short film in 35mm called Extreme Hasard. The Appoggiatura Manifest was completed in 2005 and is a thirty-five minute fiction film with Romanian actress Rona Hartner in the main role.

In 2008, he completed a documentary about the railway track built by the Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica. It is a humoristic fiction in Romania called Noroc Express. Michel Ionascu also received his Doctorate from Paris Cinema University. His thesis was published in 2001 (Railwaymen and Cinema), and in 2010, he wrote a book of thirteen short novels (Secret Passages). He is an author of poetry and has written numerous papers about cinema and the working class. In 2012, he completed a feature documentary about French Resistance hero Missak Manouchian as well as an experimental movie called Black ODAR (The Journey to Nowhere). In 2016, he finished Staro Sajmiste, Life and Death and Life which tells about the old Nazi camp located in Belgrade.

 

 

THE TURKISH WAY

Saturday, April 29th @ 5:30 PM

Los Angeles Premiere

 

 

Director/Producer: Luis González

Duration: 86 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Country: Spain

Venue: Goethe-Institut

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Following restaurant owners Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca from their world-renowned Spanish restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, to markets, restaurants and vineyards across Turkey, this film mouth-wateringly documents their journey in discovering the riches of Turkish cuisine.

Luis González has dedicated most of his professional career to the field of corporate communications. Since 2012, first as Project Manager and later as Executive Producer at Contents Area, Luis has produced television programs, documentaries, corporate videos and advertising spots. Starting in 2013, he began to combine his work in content design and creation with his work as a director.