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South East European Artists Make History in Hollywood

We salute artists from Southeast Europe whose accomplishments this year are for the history books.

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova makes history as the first-ever Bulgarian actress to be nominated for the Golden Globe award.

Maria Bakalova – She has just made history this Wednesday as the first-ever Bulgarian actress to be nominated for the Golden Globe award, for her breakout role in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Eastern European actors have rarely if ever received recognition from U.S. entertainment industry power brokers and Bakalova’s nomination has now shattered that proverbial glass ceiling. This was followed by Screen Actors Guild nomination, making it highly likely that Bakalova might also get the nod from Oscar voters.

Blerta Basholli, director of “Hive” from Kosovo  – hers is the first film in Sundance history to win all three main awards, the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award and the Directing Award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, for the powerful women-centric film that resonates with women everywhere.

Alexander Nanau, Romania – His documentary powerhouse “Collective” received multiple awards and nominations, including nominations for Film Independent Spirit award and International Documentary Association’s (IDA) Best Feature Documentary award, while garnering over 60 other awards and noms worldwide. (Watch SEEfest conversation about Collective.)

Radu Ciorniciuc and Mircea Topoleanu, Romania – Their film, “Acasă, My Home“ has been nominated for the Cinema Eye Honors and IDA’s award for Best Cinematography, in addition to more than 30 other noms and awards worldwide.

Maja Novaković, Serbia – Her debut short doc “Then Comes the Evening” amassed more than 80 awards around the world, including a nomination for the Cinema Eye Honors award, to be held in March. (Watch SEEfest Conversation about the documentary.)

Dalibor Barić, Croatia – his avant-garde animated feature “Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus” has just qualified for consideration in the Academy’s animated feature film category, alongside the top industry heavyweights.

These are just a few most recent and most prominent examples of the creative potential of Southeast Europe.

Join the international community of artists and arts patrons who have made SEEfest their outpost and champion in Hollywood.

Get involved, be an advocate, share your story about Southeast Europe.

Make your voice heard and celebrate the quality and artistry of the new generation of filmmakers, writers, composers, illustrators, cinematographers – while honoring those who came before and paved the way for today’s breakout artists.

We invite you to join us today as a Cine-Fan and become part of the story, lending a hand in shaping the future and traveling with movies to the roads less traveled and leading to exciting new discoveries and new friendships.

Bijan Tehrani to Receive Ambassador of International Cinema Award from SEEfest

Los Angeles, March 30, 2017 — On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Cinema Without Borders, online portal for international cinema in Los Angeles, SEEfest will honor its founder and editor-in-chief Bijan Tehrani with Ambassador of International Cinema Award. Mr. Tehrani has worked as director, film critic and writer and taught history of cinema at colleges in Los Angeles. He is a long-time champion of international indie cinema and through Cinema Without Borders has supported countless international film festivals in Los Angeles. He has given a much-needed media platform to independent movies and foreign language films, and advocated for stronger presence of foreign language films in U.S. theaters. Says Vera Mijojlic, founder and director of SEEfest, “Our festival is proud of the long-standing collaboration with Cinema Without Borders and Bijan Tehrani. It will be my pleasure to present this award at the Opening of SEEfest on April 27.” 

During his long career Bijan Tehrani directed short animation films including, among others, Children’s Olympics, winner of Diploma of Honor at Leipzig Festival, Germany (1982), and Children of Jaleh Square, winner of Special Jury Prize at the TV Festival in Herzeg-Novi, Yugoslavia, as well as Prix Danube in Czechoslovakia (1981). He wrote and directed numerous documentaries, and documentary series for Iranian National Television in the 70s and 80s. As a prolific children’s books writer he enjoyed considerable success with Mashti’s Rooster, A Flute Telling You a Magic Tale, and The Yellow Leaf  which was voted Book of the Year at the International Book Fair of the Middle East, Tehran, 1992. 

You can read more about international cinema and festivals on the web site Cinema Without Borders

We invite you to join us at the 12th edition of SEEfest, April 27 – May 4. Buy your festival pass today!

NOTE: SEEfest Cine-Fan Members get a 20% discount on Festival Passes and tickets. Click here to join and get your promo code. 






Festivals: Hana Jušić and Salomé Jashi Win Top Awards In Belgrade and Zagreb

SEEfest Editorial | March 6 , 2017 — BELGRADE: Croatian Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana Jušić was awarded the Belgrade Victor for Best Film at the 45th Belgrade International Film Festival – FEST, while Serbia’s Requiem for Mrs. J by Bojan Vuletić was awarded Best Film in the National Competition program. 

ZAGREB: Georgian/German coproduction The Dazzling Light of Sunset by Salomé Jashi won the Big Stamp for Best Film in the International Competition of the 13th edition of ZagrebDox



Two Academy-hosted Oscar-viewing parties will be held in New York and London for Academy members and invited film industry guests on Oscar Sunday, February 26. The awards show live broadcast begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT/00 GMT.

Oscar Night London, supported by Rolex, will take place at Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel and feature a midnight feast, complete with espresso martinis. In New York the party is taking place at the Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Executive Chef Jim Botsacos is preparing an ‘inspired menu’.

Viewers in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide are expected to watch the show. 


More on the Oscars


Oscars Governors Ball Menu 2017

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About How the Academy’s Foreign Language Award Works

Legendary cinematographer John Bailey (American Gigolo, Ordinary People, Groundhog Day, As Good as it Gets, Mishima: Life in Four Chapters) who has twice honored us at SEEfest to serve on our jury for Best Cinematography,
gives a detailed account about the selection process for the foreign language Oscar® candidates.

In his popular John’s Bailiwick blog on the ASC site he writes about the stages in the selection process, followed by a list of some of the movies from previous years including, we’re happy to say, one from our own SEE director, Oscar®-winner Danis Tanovic (Bosnia Herzegovina) whose An Episode in the Life of an Iron icker was shortlisted a couple of years ago. Tanovic previously won the Oscar® in 2002 for No Man’s Land.

Read more here.




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SEEfest 2015 Awards

Vera Mijojlic | May 8, 2015, 9:08 PM


SEEfest 2015 Awards

After eight days and 47 films shown to diverse audiences in Los Angeles, the 10th anniversary South East European Film Festival, SEEfest 2015 concluded Thursday night with an awards gala presentation at The Mark.

Director Tudor Jurgiu from Romania won Bridging the Borders award for Best Feature Film of the festival for his debut film, The Japanese Dog. Special Jury Mention went to Croatian filmmaker Tomislav Mršić for his debut film, Cowboys, and Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Cast was awarded to Albanian feature Bota, co-directed by Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci.

Down the River by Asif Rustamov from Azerbaijan won the Best First Feature award. Two narrative documentaries shared the Best Documentary Award, The Undertaker by Dragan Nikolić from Serbia, and Romania’s Flowers in the Shadows by Belgian director Olivier Magis.   Awards for Best Cinematography went to Bulgarian Rat Poison director of photography Krasimir Andonov (feature film), and Dragan Vildović (documentary film) for his work in In the Dark from Serbia.

In the shorts category Strahinja Savić from Serbia won Best Short Fiction award for Nine Days, Alexandr Baev’s Once Upon Another Time from Georgia won for Best Documentary short, and Anton Octavian from Romania won Best Animation Short award for Elmando.

Winners of 2015 Audience Award were Albanian Bota (feature film), and Serbian In the Dark (narrative documentary).

The 2015 Juries included AFI faculty member and industry veteran Barry Sabath, filmmaker Mimi Freedman, Sundance associate programmer for international feature films Heidi Zwicker, actresses-turned-directors Christina Beck and Christiane Georgi, director of the cinematheque and the Frida cinema Logan Crow, filmmakers Guido Santi, Tina Mascara, John Fitzgerald Keitel, Jay Miracle, filmmaker and director of the Echo Park Film Center Paolo Davanzo, director of the Villa Aurora artist residence Margit Kleinman, Oscar-winning filmmaker and designer Arnold Schwartzman, filmmaker and cinematographer Roger Staub, and visual artist, designer and educator Jerry W. McDaniel.





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The Final Round: Five Nominations for Best Foreign Language Film 2015

SEEfest Staff Writer | January 22, 2015, 1:34 PM


With three out of five films coming from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the nominations underscore the growing relevance of our region’s filmmakers. The five nominees are: IDA (Poland), LEVIATHAN (Russia), TANGERINES (Estonia), and TIMBUKTU (Mauritania) and WILD TALES (Argentina).






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9 Films on the Shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film

SEEfest Staff Writer | December 21, 2014, 5:35 PM


Four films from Eastern Europe make the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film: TANGERINES (Estonia/Georgia), CORN ISLAND (Georgia), IDA (Poland) and LEVIATHAN (Russia). 4 out of 9 is a feast to celebrate. Congrats to all filmmakers, Zaza Urushadze, George Ovashvili, Pawel Pawlikowski and Andrey Zvyagintsev. Argentina, Mauritania, Netherlands, Sweden and Venezuela make the rest of the list. One conspicuous absence form the list: “Winter Sleep” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey).

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Argentina, “Wild Tales,” Damián Szifrón, director

Estonia, “Tangerines,” Zaza Urushadze, director

Georgia, “Corn Island,” George Ovashvili, director

Mauritania, “Timbuktu,” Abderrahmane Sissako, director

Netherlands, “Accused,” Paula van der Oest, director

Poland, “Ida,” Paweł Pawlikowski, director

Russia, “Leviathan,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director

Sweden, “Force Majeure,” Ruben Östlund, director

Venezuela, “The Liberator,” Alberto Arvelo, director





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Support South East European Films in their Bids for the Best Foreign Language Film

Vera Mijojlic | September 30, 2014, 4:02 PM


Films from countries clustered in and around the region of South East Europe (SEE) represent 20 percent of all submissions for the Best Foreign Language FiOscarlm! And if you add films from countries not from the same geographical region but which are thematically about it, such as the acclaimed Swedish entry last year (“Eat, sleep, die”), the SEE contingent is proportionally even bigger.

SEEfest congratulates ALL filmmakers whose films are traveling to Hollywood this Fall. We invite all our fans and many SEE expats who live and work in Hollywood to support the films and help spread the word. As a block of non-affiliated industry supporters (“NAIL”), all of us can influence and champion, promote and help our colleagues regardless of the country. Twenty percent will get us attention, and that is the name of the game this Fall: getting the attention of voters. Let’s lock ‘em some votes, and nail that Hollywood spotlight! We have 20 times more power as a block of influencers to do that.


Here’s the complete list of films:

Austria, The Dark Valley, Andreas Prochaska (director of this year’s SEEfest sold-out gala premiere of SARAJEVO)
Bosnia Herzegovina, With Mom, Faruk Loncarevic
Bulgaria, Bulgarian Rhapsody, Ivan Nitchev
Croatia, Cowboys, Tomislav Mrsic
Estonia, Tangerines, Zaza Urushadze – (story based in Georgia)
Georgia, Corn Island, Giorgi Ovashvili
Greece, Little England, Pantelis Voulgaris
Hungary, White God, KornÈl Mundruczo
Kosovo, Three windows and a hanging, Isa Qosja
Macedonia, To the Hilt, Stole Popov
Montenegro, The Boys from Marx and Engels Street, Nikola Vukcevic
Romania, The Japanese Dog, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu
Serbia, See You in Montevideo, Dragan Bjelogrlic
Slovenia, Seduce me, Marko Santic (shared this year SEEfest Grand Prix for Best Film)
Turkey, Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan


Help champion the voice of independents!




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