SEEfest’s Passport to Trieste Takes Angelenos on a Cinematic Journey to South East Europe
The 13th annual South East European Film Festival (SEEfest), April 26 – May 3, brings a large selection of feature, documentaries and short films to the Writers Guild Theater, Laemmle Music Hall and West Hollywood Council Chambers/Library campus, highlighting a bygone era of 100 years ago centered around Trieste, once a major port of the Habsburg empire and a magnet for artists like Rilke and Joyce.
As a crossroads between Austrian, Italian, Slavic and Jewish cultures on the peripheries of Habsburg Austria, modern Italy, and the Balkan Peninsula, Trieste has been defined by its proximity to borders erased and redrawn with unusual frequency.
Contested and contemplated by poets, scholars, novelists, and filmmakers, it has been depicted as a microcosm of plurinational civility, an uncanny non-place or as a site of mystery and political intrigue, in works of narrative fiction and non-fiction that blur the line between myth and reality.
SEEfest invites you to reflect on this city as a metaphor for the ironies, uncertainties and possibilities that characterize not only the South East European experience, but many facets of our global age; shifting and disappearing borders, fervent nationalisms, placeless places and the multiplicity of identities that are confluent, and sometimes conflicting, in us all.
Festival visitors will be given the facsimile of a passport book and receive a stamp at each event they attend during the program, with prizes awaiting those completing the entire journey.
Pre-festival events include musical theater Gypsy in My Soul starring Irina Maleeva on April 6, 7:30 PM at the WACO Theater Center in North Hollywood, featuring memorable songs and dances from the Gypsy musical tradition. Tickets for this one-night-only show are available on Eventbrite.
Trieste Literary Salon is on April 17 at 7 PM at the West Hollywood Council Chambers with UCLA professor Thomas Harrison, author of “1910” in conversation with John Agnew, distinguished professor of Political Geography; Tzvi Rafael Rivlin, Trieste cultural scholar from Montreal, Quebec; Nina Bjekovic, PhD candidate in Italian studies researching the literature of prominent authors of the Slovene minority in Northern Italy; and moderator MariaCristina Heller, Trieste-born actress and journalist.
RSVP is required for the Trieste Literary Salon. Tickets are free.
Highlights of the festival include documentary film Trieste, Yugoslavia by Alessio Bozzer about the 1970-1990 shopping bonanza when Yugoslavs traveled to Trieste in droves to buy jeans and other coveted Western garments; The Nearest Elsewhere. A Journey to Slovenia, by Elisabetta Sgarbi, traveling to Trieste’s next-door neighbor Slovenia.
Men Don’t Cry is the debut feature by Bosnian filmmaker Alen Drljevic about war veterans in a group therapy for PTSD; Bulgarian WWI satire Enemies by Svetislav Ovcharov; The Miner from Slovenia, Hanna Slak’s thriller-like exploration of dark secrets from the past; Twice Upon a Time animated delight about a king with a split personality by the multi-talented Vojin Vasovic; and documentary The Other Side of Everything, portrait of a country by Mila Turajlic (Cinema Komunisto), winner of the top award at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.
The specific brand of humor and zest for life against all odds make these stories universal, transcending language and borders. They open doors into another experience altogether and by taking us on a journey halfway across the globe help us to better understand challenges in our own backyard.
Festival passes, and tickets to pre-festival events are available on https://seefest18.eventbrite.
About the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest)
SEEfest presents the cinematic and cultural diversity of South East Europe to American audiences and creates cultural connections through films, artistic and social events. It was founded in 2006 by Vera Mijojlić, long-time film critic, and cultural entrepreneur.
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The 13th Edition of SEEfest kicks off on April 26, 2018!