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Boundaries of Belonging: Culture, Identity, and Narrative in South East Europe – Video

The 2020 edition of SEEfest officially began on April 22, 2020, with the Cultural and Literary Salon, our now traditional pre-festival event. A wide-ranging discussion covered many aspects of this year’s festival theme, Boundaries of Belonging.

We paid tribute to Fellini’s centennial and his magical cinematic universe, announced the upcoming BRIDGES book about the cultural bridges of South East Europe, touched on the French 1920’s famous court case that still challenges our conceptions of identity, and discussed minority cultures and language as homeland.

The presentation also gave SEEfest viewers a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the 3D design work on Black Panther, a film that featured an altogether imagined universe.

Our panelists questioned the limits of art in expressions of difference—cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and political—to consider how historical processes shape our understanding of self in an increasingly hybrid world.

 

 

SEEfest Salon Supporters

 

The Panelists

Julia Koerner, Designer

Julia Koerner is an award-winning Austrian designer working at the convergence of architecture, product, and fashion design. She is internationally recognized for design innovation in 3D-Printing, Julia’s work stands out at the top of these disciplines.

Thomas Harrison, UCLA Professor

Thomas Harrison is a professor in the UCLA Department of Italian. He is the author of the seminal book 1910. His research focusses especially on Italy and Austria, and the region of Trieste and northern Adriatic from 1860 to the present.

David Shafer, CSULB Professor

David Shafer is a specialist in modern French history, with an emphasis on cultural history and a secondary interest in the history of former Yugoslavia. His most recent book is a biography of Antonin Artaud.

Nina Bjekovic, UCLA Ph.D. Candidate: Moderator

Nina Bjekovic specializes in 19th and 20th-century Italian culture and literature, with an upcoming doctoral dissertation, The Triestine Other: Negotiating Alterity in Claudio Magris, Boris Pahor, Giuliana Morandini, and Giorgio Pressburger.

This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood. For more info on WeHo Arts programming please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts; and in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles.

SEEfest 2020 screens over 50 new films from South East Europe – features, documentaries, short and animation. SEEfest promotes cultural diversity, serves as the cultural hub for ex-pat independent artists and filmmakers, and creates opportunities for a lively cultural exchange.

 

 

#SEEfest2020

15th SEEfest Cultural and Literary Salon to Explore “Boundaries of Belonging”In South East Europe

The 15th annual South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) running April 29-May 6 in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, announced today the theme for the 2020 Cultural and Literary Salon: “Boundaries of Belonging: Culture, Identity, and Narrative in South East Europe.”

The Salon will explore contemporary artistic approaches to identity, nostalgia, and narrative representation. Using the conflict-ridden history of South East Europe as a springboard for a wide-ranging discussion, a diverse panel of specialists will offer perspectives on past and current issues of belonging.

Panelists will question the limits of art in expressions of difference—cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and political—to consider how historical processes shape our understanding of self in an increasingly hybrid world.

The Cultural and Literary Salon will take place on April 15, 2020, at 7 PM at the West Hollywood Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. RSVP Required. Tickets are free and can be reserved here.

Save the date 15 April 2020 Literary Salon

This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood. For more info on WeHo Arts programming please visit www.weho.org/arts or follow via social media @WeHoArts.

Festival passes will go on sale in March. Individual tickets will go on sale on March 16.

About the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest)

SEEfest presents cinematic and cultural diversity of South East Europe to American audiences and creates cultural connections through films, artistic and social events. SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Art and Culture; and ELMA, Foundation for European Languages and Movies in America.

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Star Panel Rocks SEEfest Cultural and Literary Salon

Continuing what started years ago as a companion program to the festival with a SEEfest book fair featuring the great scholar and translator, as well as SEEfest’s early supporter, the late Michael Heim, the festival hosted a cultural and literary salon on April 17 at the West Hollywood Library City Council Chambers.

The Star panel included scholars Thomas Harrison from UCLA, David Shafer from CSULB, guest from Germany and current artist resident at the Villa Aurora, Fatma Aydemir, author of multiple award-winning novel Elbow, and moderator and UCLA Ph.D. candidate, Nina Bjekovic.

An engaged and appreciative audience kept the conversation going until 10 PM! The sentiments expressed in these comments best illustrate the overall atmosphere and flair of the Salon:

The theme of audacity is a great common denominator to start the dialogue about the role of art today.”

 

I walked away from the event with a new interest in Artaud and the French avant-garde, a growing anticipation for the English translation of ‘Elbow’, and an eagerness to study more Nietzsche.

The discussion touched on issues such as authenticity, originality and audaciousness of artists through the ages, ranging from Salvador Dali to Jimi Hendrix to punk, the possibility of poetic expression in the age of social media, the relationship between artists’ private lives and their work, and living dangerously as did one of the celebrated Italian writers, poets, filmmakers: Pier Paolo Pasolini.

 

The Salon set the tone for the upcoming week of SEEfest’s Cinema of Audacity starting May 1, and bringing to Los Angeles 56 films that boldly and audaciously speak about our difficult, but also intriguing times – times that offer rich trove of stories to artists to turn the mirror onto us and make us look boldly into our own complex way of living in a world fraught with challenges on a global scale.

 

Presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division.

 

Photos by Michael Gaines, Photographic Arts

Tickets Are On Sale Now For All Screenings And Events

SEEfest 2019 Kicks Off in 2 Weeks

SEEfest 2019 Cinema of Audacity, May 1-8, 2019Tickets are on sale now for all SEEfest 2019 features, shorts programs, and special events. Screenings will take place in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Echo Park and other locations — find all the venues here and don’t forget to go Metro! Plan your trip using the Trip Planner on the venue page.

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass now on Eventbrite.

 

A SAMPLING OF SEEFEST PREMIERES!

See more of the festival lineup online and get your festival pass and single tickets today on Eventbrite. 

I Act, I AmI ACT, I AM
Los Angeles Premiere!
Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia
Director: Miroslav Mandic

May 9 at 9:30 pm at Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Talk about method acting! Three stories examine, through actors, the paradox of life stripped bare of societal constraints. In each story, an actor is either researching or playing a role, eventually beginning to live the life of the character.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here

Borders, RaindropsBORDERS, RAINDROPS 
North American Premiere!
Bosnia Herzegovina
Directors: VLASTIMIR SUDAR, NIKOLA MIJOVIĆ

May 6 at 9 pm at Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Jagoda, a city girl, is on a summer visit to her extended family in the Balkan countryside overlooking the Adriatic. Her presence awakens hope, love, and the sense of mystery.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here. 

Occupied CinemaOCCUPIED CINEMA
North American Premiere!
Serbia
Director: 
SENKA DOMANOVIĆ

May 6 @ 8 pm at Echo Park Film Center

An engrossing documentary about guerrilla action initiated by young activists taking over a long-abandoned privatized cinema in Belgrade. The occupation revitalizes the cinema over the course of a year with 500 screenings, dozens of concerts and public discussions, and participation from hundreds of artists, activists, and filmmakers.

Watch the trailer and get tickets here

 

What Does “Premiere” Mean?

Do you know precisely what it means when a screening is labeled as a Premiere?

World Premiere: first official screening of the film.

International Premiere: first screening outside the country of origin. And also the first festival screening.
SEEfest is proud to be screening many North American premieres such as Occupied Cinema and Borders, Raindrops mentioned above.
Learn more in this article about the various levels of Premieres and what they mean.

 

SEEFEST SPONSORS

SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.

Watch the SEEfest Trailer!

SEEfest 2019 is right around the corner, just 3 weeks away on May 1! Get a taste of the eclectic, audacious films in the 14th edition in the festival trailer.

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass and Opening and Closing Night tickets, now on Eventbrite.

 

GET YOUR TICKETS

Tickets for many screenings – including the Opening and Closing Galas – are now available and will become available as we confirm screening dates and times. 

Peruse the entire film lineup: 13 feature narratives, 7 documentary narratives, half a dozen shorts programs, and an interstellar Sci-Fi program await you! We are now putting the final touches on the Business of Film Conference and Accelerator program.

The 8-day Festival all-access pass is the best deal and includes the Opening and Closing Galas (receptions following the screenings!), as well as The Business of Film Conference. 

 

LITERARY SALON: TALKING ABOUT AUDACITY IN ALL ITS FORMS

Next week, Wednesday, April 17th, is the Cultural and Literary Salon in West Hollywood. Join us as a historian, a literary critic, and an author come together for an evening of scintillating cultural exchange. We will roam across audacity in the literature, history, and cinema of South East Europe, where geopolitical borders act as audacious protagonists in sociocultural affairs. Includes a reception for all attendees.

Panelists:

Fatma Aydemir, Author

Thomas Harrison, UCLA Professor

David Shafer, CSULB Professor

Moderated by Nina Bjekovic, UCLA Ph.D. Candidate

At the West Hollywood City Council Chambers (adjacent to the Library)

Presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Click here for details and to RSVP

 

SEEFEST SPONSORS

SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.

Meet the SEEfest Jury!

MEET THE JURY

Please meet the 2019 SEEfest Jury. Twenty accomplished jury members will select the winners for 7 major awards. Just a few of our distinguished jurors include:

  • Irina Maleeva, a Bulgaria-born actress who was discovered by Federico Fellini and appeared in three of his films, then went on to star opposite Orson Welles in his iconic version of The Merchant of Venice.
  • Yoram Kahana, a filmmaker who holds master’s degrees from UCLA in motion pictures and journalism. He has made more than 50 educational and commercial films about international cultures, crafts, anthropology and art, and is a long-time member and frequent Board director of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
  • Matia Karrell, an Academy Award-nominated writer, director and producer. She has been awarded fellowships including the Fulbright, American Film Institute (AFI) Women Director’s Fellowship, and the Disney-ABC Directing Fellowship.

Read about all of our festival jurors and juries at https://seefilmla.org/festival-jury/

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass and Opening and Closing Night tickets, now on Eventbrite.

 

LITERARY SALON – GUEST SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

On April 17th, a historian, a literary critic, an actress, and an author will come together for an evening of scintillating cultural exchange. These dynamic panelists draw on their knowledge, experience, and anecdotes to contemplate the theme of audacity in all of its forms. Join us for the SEEFest Cultural and Literary Salon to explore audacity in the literature, history, and cinema of South East Europe, where geopolitical borders act as audacious protagonists in sociocultural affairs. 

Panelists:

Fatma Aydemir, Author

Thomas Harrison, UCLA Professor

David Shafer, CSULB Professor

Moderated by Nina Bjekovic, UCLA Ph.D. Candidate

At the West Hollywood City Council Chambers (adjacent to the Library)

Presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Click here for details and to RSVP

FESTIVAL LINEUP NOW ONLINE

You can now explore the entire film lineup and start picking your list of must-see films. 13 feature narratives, 7 documentary narratives, half a dozen shorts programs, and an interstellar Sci-Fi program await you! Showtimes and tickets will be released shortly. Stay tuned for more details about the Business of Film Conference and Accelerator program!

Cinema of Audacity SEEfest 2019

SEEFEST SPONSORS

SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.

Opening Night Film & More Premieres Announced!

OPENING NIGHT FILM REVEALED…

Moon Hotel Kabul by Romania’s Anca Damian will open SEEfest with its West Coast premiere on May 1, 2019, at 7 PM at the Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills.

moon hotel kabul - 2 men talking over a deskDamian won Best Director Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival and the Mirada International Award at the Madrid Film Festival for this gripping mystery/thriller about Ivan, a charismatic but cynical investigative journalist with a sharp sense for story and no time for compassion. Everything changes after a one night stand in a Kabul hotel room with a translator named Ioana. Not long after their encounter, Ioana is found dead, and Ivan sets out on an investigation unlike any he has undertaken.

With all the best qualities of a sophisticated mystery and stellar lead performances, Moon Hotel Kabul will keep you guessing until the end.  

“Anca Damian is the Agnès Varda of Romanian cinema: versatile, innovative, and audacious!” said SEEfest founder & artistic director Vera Mijojlić. “We are honored to open the 2019 South East European Film Festival Los Angeles with her latest daring work.” 

This event is supported by the Blue Heron Foundation.

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass now on Eventbrite.

 

MORE PREMIERES

See more of the festival lineup online and get your festival pass today on Eventbrite.

Deep Cuts, #SEEfest2019DEEP CUTS
World Premiere
Croatia, 2018, 75’
Directors: Dubravka Turić, Filip Mojzes, Filip Peruzović

The thematic framework of the 3-story anthology feature film Deep Cuts is violence in all of its forms: as a destruction of intimacy, family, integrity, trust.

 

 

The Night of the Bear - #SEEfest2019THE NIGHT OF THE BEAR
World Premiere
Romania, 2018, 77’
Director: Paul-Razvan Macovei

Three 17-year olds and would-be friends share emotionally-charged stories of their family life in the course of one summer night. Their often-absurd fights are mediated by the ironical appearance of a giant discarded teddy bear. 

In his debut feature director, Macovei employs a unique story technique that will be especially appealing to young adult audiences (16 to 18-year-olds). He breaks the 4th wall to allow his subjects to talk directly to the audience and uses 2D animation featuring bears in lieu of people to illustrate family dynamics. 

This screening is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute, New York

SUNRISE in Kimmeria

SUNRISE IN KIMMERIA
West Coast Premiere
Cyprus, 2018, 99’
Director: Simon Farmakas

A young villager gets caught in a tragicomic tug-o’-war, when a strange sphere, tracked by a foreign intelligence agency, crash-lands into his potato field.

Avoiding the stereotypical ethnographic comedies of the genre, the storyline intertwines the lives of the local villagers with the intelligence agents, combining the peasant-like naivety with international conspiracies and intrigues, conveying similarities that the latter has with the run-of-the-mill village rivalries and their struggle for authority and ownership. 

Screening in the Sci-Fi program — stay tuned for more program announcements. 

Irina - #SEEfest2019IRINA
North American Premiere
Bulgaria, 2018, 96’
Director: Nadejda Koseva

Irina is a part-time waitress in a small Bulgarian town. On the same day, she gets fired her husband gets into a serious accident, plunging them even deeper into poverty. To make ends meet, she becomes a surrogate mother. 

With her emotions oscillating between disappointing family circumstances and new pregnancy, Irina confronts them with fierce determination and in her own unsentimental way discovers what it means to love and to forgive. 

Winner of Best First Film, Best Actress and Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers award at the Golden Rose festival in Bulgaria, Special Jury Award for actress Martina Apostolova and Ecumenical Jury Award at Warsaw IFF, Best Feature Film Award at Tirana FF, Best First Feature Film Award & Best Actress Award at Cottbus FF, and Special mention to the actress Martina Apostolova at Tbilisi IFF. 

This screening is supported by Calypso Media.

 

AUDACIOUS STORYTELLERS: SEEfest CULTURAL AND LITERARY SALON

A historian, a literary critic, an actress, and an author come together for an evening of scintillating cultural exchange. These dynamic panelists draw on their knowledge, experience, and anecdotes to contemplate the theme of audacity in all of its forms.

The SEEFest Cultural and Literary Salon will explore audacity in the literature, history, and cinema of South East Europe, where geopolitical borders act as audacious protagonists in sociocultural affairs.

Presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Click here for details and to RSVP

AUDACIOUS STORYTELLERS_ SEEfest CULTURAL AND LITERARY SALON

 

SEEFEST SPONSORS

SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.

SEEfest Grant Award from Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Fantastic news from SEEfest!

We are proud to share that the 14th edition of the South East European Film Festival LA is a recipient of a festival grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), home of the Golden Globes.

“We are greatly honored by this recognition and grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for supporting festivals that bring foreign language films to Los Angeles. This grant will help us provide mentorship for innovative projects and workshops for South East European filmmakers, and expand marketing to local film aficionados, educators, film scholars, and youth audiences, introducing them to cinematic gems from 18 South East European countries covered by the festival.”

-Vera Mijojlić, Founder & Artistic Director

 

This year’s SEEfest, running May 1-8, will explore the theme of cinematic audacity by drawing attention to filmmakers whose works grapple with complex existential, ethical, and historical questions in innovative, and provocative ways. You can secure your festival pass now on Eventbrite

 

Free screening and director Q&A

Package Tour - DocumentaryIf you’re in the Long Beach area on Thursday evening. March 21, join us at California State University at Long Beach for a special free screening with the Jewish Studies Program of Gyula Gazdag’s 1985 documentary Package Tour. Following a group of Holocaust survivors and their children embarking on a tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau, The Package Tour asks why these people have come back – to remember? To try to understand how it could happen, and if it could happen again?

Gyula Gazdag is a director of film, theatre, and television productions and a professor at UCLA. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Directors Lab since 1997.

Followed by Q&A with director Gyula Gazdag and Vera Mijojlić

Read more and RSVP on the SEEfest site.

 

Literary Salon

Before SEEfest kicks off on May 1st, join us on April 17th at the West Hollywood Library for the literary and cultural salon Audacious Storytellers, with a thought-provoking interdisciplinary discussion of audacity in all of its forms. Through personal anecdotes, literary perspectives, and geopolitical histories, the panel will discuss the nature of audacity in an area of the world where borders continuously challenge national and cultural paradigms. Presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Click here to RSVP. 

Stay tuned for more announcements about the Opening and Closing Night films, a new sci-fi sidebar program, full film lineup, and the Business of Film Conference!

 

SEEfest Sponsors

SEEfest program and activities are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, a state agency; Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. Special thanks to ELMA for continued support of our programs.

Trieste Literary Salon Explores the Cultural Climate of Middle Europe in 1910

You are invited… Trieste Literary Salon
Focusing on the cultural climate of Middle Europe/Mitteleuropa in 1910
Sponsored by Austrian-American Council West

RSVP Required. Tickets are free.

The Panel

1910 - The emancipation of dissonance by Thomas HarrisonThomas Harrison, author of the seminal book “1910“, and professor in the UCLA Department of Italian. His research focuses especially on Italy and Austria, and the region of Trieste and northern Adriatic from 1860 to the present. 

John Agnew is the Distinguished Professor of Geography with research interests in Political Geography, International Political Economy, European Urbanization, and Italy.
 
Nina Bjekovic, a Ph.D. candidate, specializes in 19th and 20th-century Italian culture and literature. She is currently researching the literature of prominent authors of the Slovene minority in Northern Italy. 
 
Tzvi Rafael Rivlin is an independent scholar from the Université de Montréal. His scholarship examines language critique in late-Habsburg Austria, the politico-cultural concept of Mitteleuropa and the literary culture of Trieste.
 
MODERATOR: Trieste-born journalist and actress MariaCristina Heller has appeared in, among others, “Law and Order,” “Angels and Demons,” and the TNT series, “The Last Ship.”

 April 17 at 7 pm

West Hollywood Council Chambers (library building) | 625 N. San Vicente Blvd | West Hollywood, CA 90069
Free Validated Parking.
RSVP Required. Tickets are free.

This program is presented with the support of the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts program. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/artsor follow via social media @WeHoArts.

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The 13th Edition of SEEfest kicks off on April 26, 2018!