A Time to Reflect
As 2020 comes to a close, it seems to be the perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate that we’ve made it through one of the most difficult years of our lives.
We want to share some of SEEfest’s accomplishments this past year, some against all odds.
In February as we were finalizing details for our 15-year anniversary celebration, it became clear it wasn’t going to be happening as we imagined.
SEEfest was among the first film festival to pivot and successfully switch to an online festival, partnering with one of the world’s leading platforms, SHIFT72.
Pushing the Festival back, the 2020 edition with 51 films, most of them North-American or U.S. premieres, ran from July 15 to August 16.
Virtual juried awards were organized with 21 industry professionals from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, Oakland, and Canada, Sweden, and Spain.
The popular annual Cultural and Literary Salon exploring the ‘Boundaries of Belonging’ took place on Zoom.
Seven online workshops dedicated to industry Accelerator for new projects engaged filmmakers from Canada, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and L.A.-based Bulgarian-Armenian, Serbian, Filipino-Romanian, Peruvian-American and African American filmmakers.
- Four film premieres took place on the Virtual Cinema platform, in partnership with Synergetic Films.
- Two special online events were organized in November and December to highlight prominent Oscar contenders from the S.E. European region.
- Through direct SEEfest advocacy, several festival films were acquired by U.S. distributors, with special legacy programs in pre-production.
- New interns joined SEEfest in 2020 from CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge, UC Santa Cruz, and Boston University.
- A new partnership was initiated with BEEM, the innovative online platform for film distribution and presentation.
- Behind the scenes, we’ve been working on major technological upgrades in marketing, fundraising, the SEEfest website, and social media.
- A strategic initiative was launched to expand outreach to diverse communities both in Southern California and across the United States.
In a year of uncertainty, we continuously asked ourselves, how can we best serve our audience.
As a nonprofit festival, we bumped up against new and unexpected costs required in order to make the changes we considered important in order to meet our mission.
We are grateful for your support and the partnership of our sponsors who helped us make it through the year.
In order to help us meet our commitment to the 2021 Festival, we hope you will consider making a year-end donation to see us through as we continue to bring you the best film and culture from South East Europe.
Sending you best wishes for a safe and happy 2021,
Vera Mijojlic and the SEEfest Team