While the 15th South East European Film Festival is temporarily postponed, we invite you to stay in touch and enjoy some of the films from our past editions online. They are available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and some on YouTube (and some for free)! We’ll share updates, tips, and recommendations on Instagram at @seefest and here, on our website.
Stay safe, and we hope you enjoy our movie choices! Be sure to let us know in the comments, which films are your favorites! Check out SEEfest At Home Part 2
This lavishly produced thriller was first screened at the opening of our festival in 2014. The story is told from the point of view of the examining magistrate who was tasked with investigating the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 2014. It perfectly summarized the festival’s theme, “Europe in time of turmoil”, highlighting the turbulent past that looms large over the present.
Directed by Andreas Prochaska. Main cast: Florian Teichtmeister, Jürgen Maurer, Melika Foroutan, Edin Hasanović.
THE WAY I SPENT THE END OF THE WORLD
Shown at SEEfest back in 2007, the film is a bitter-sweet throwback to Romania on the eve of the 1989 revolution, with ordinary people committing small and oftentimes comic acts of defiance while naively dreaming of swimming across the Danube to freedom – or fantasizing about escaping in a submarine.
Directed by Catalin Mitulescu. Main cast: Dorotheea Petre, Timotei Duma, Ionut Becheru, Jean Constantin.
The opening film of the 2017 edition of our festival. While recovering from a homophobia-driven assault, a Croatian professor confronts his own xenophobia after agreeing to help his Serbian neighbor memorize the Croatian constitution for a citizenship exam. An example of a great director-writer pairing (Rajko Grlić and Ante Tomić), this film features three amazing actors from Serbia and Croatia in a very funny and poignant ‘love story about hate.’
Directed by Rajko Grlić. Main cast: Nebojša Glogovac, Ksenija Marinković, Dejan Aćimović.
NO MAN’S LAND
Danis Tanović’s Academy Award®-winning satire of the war in the Balkans is an astounding balancing act, an acidic black comedy grounded in the brutality and horror of war. Stuck in an abandoned trench between enemy lines, a Serb and a Bosnian play the blame game in a comic tit-for-tat struggle while a wounded Bosnian soldier lies helplessly on a land mine. A French tank unit of the U.N.’s humanitarian force (known locally as “the Smurfs”), a scheming British TV reporter, a German mine defuser, and the U.N. high command (led by a bombastically ineffectual Simon Callow) all become tangled in the chaotic rescue as the tenuous cease-fire is only a spark away from detonation. Tanovic directs with a ferocious, angry eloquence and makes his points with vivid metaphors and savage humor as harrowing as it is hilarious. Searing and smart, this satire carries an emotional recoil.– written by Sean Axmaker.
Directed by Danis Tanović. Main cast: Branko Đurić, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Šovagović. SEEfest held a special 10th-anniversary screening of the film in 2012.
THE EYE OF ISTANBUL
The legendary Armenian-Turkish photographer Ara Güler dedicated his life to recording the spirit of one of the most vivid cities on earth: Istanbul. Güler’s colorful life and witty commentary will keep you entertained while you discover the unforgettable vistas and rarely seen corners of the great city. The film, directed by Binnur Karaevli and Fatih Kaymak, screened at SEEfest in 2016.
Become a guest curator for our online edition!
While we all need to do our part and follow the public health guidelines to keep us and others safe, shelter-in-place can be challenging. When you take a break from working remotely or get tired of binge-watching your favorite shows, join the SEEfest community of artists and create a short video, podcast, jingle or cartoon and share with us on Instagram and tag us @seefest or submit to us via the website.
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 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. Special thanks to ELMA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.
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.
Damian 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
This year the L.A.-based Blue Heron Foundation celebrates its 15th Anniversary with an afternoon of beauty and upliftment with the music of mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu.
Extraordinary years of programming in support of Romanian and Moldovan orphaned and abandoned children deserve an extraordinary celebration.
DATE: Saturday, April 22, 2017
TIME: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
LOCATION: West Hollywood, California (Exact address will be communicated upon ticket purchase)
Stefania Magidson, President of the Blue Heron Foundation, is a distinguished member of SEEfest’s Advisory Board & Chair of the Romanian Program Committee.
To read more about the Blue Heron Foundation and its critical work please go here.
SEEfest Staff Writer | October 6, 2014, 1:01 PM
We are excited to announce the Romanian documentary “Waiting for August,” directed by Teodora Ana Mihai, has landed limited theatrical distribution in the States!
The film won Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary and Best International Feature Documentary at HotDocs.
The synopsis reads:
Georgiana Halmac turns 15 this winter. She lives with her six brothers and sisters in a social housing condo on the outskirts of Bacau, Romania. Their mother Liliana was forced to leave her family behind to go to Turin, Italy, to earn money. She won’t be back before summer. During their mother’s absence, Georgiana has been catapulted into the role of head of the family, responsible for her siblings. Her adolescence is cut brutally short.
Caught between puberty and responsibility, Georgiana moves ahead, improvising as she goes. Phone conversations with her mom are her only guidelines. Intimate scenes from the daily life of the seven siblings show us – in an uncensored, fly-on-the-wall style – how real events are experienced and interpreted with great imagination by the children.
The film will be distributed by Rise and Shine and will be playing at Laemmle theaters until October 9th.
To see show times and purchase tickets click, here.
To learn more about the film visit the following websites:
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