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The 2021 South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) Announces Film Lineup for 16th Edition

SEEfest Honorees Dubravka Ugrešić (by Shevuan Williams), Jasna Djuričić (by Nebojša Babić) , Marija Škaričić

Award-winning writer Dubravka Ugrešić will receive the SEEfest Legacy Award and Marija Škaričić (MARE) and Jasna Djuričić (QUO VADIS, AIDA?) will both receive the inaugural Legacy Acting Award.

The 2021 South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) (April 28-May 5), co-presented by ELMA, foundation for European Languages and Movies in America, announced the lineup of official selections for the 16th annual edition of the Los Angeles-based film festival. Presenting and celebrating cinematic and cultural diversity of 18 countries of the Balkans and Caucasus to American audiences, the film festival continues to provide a platform in the U.S. for the discovery of new talent from South East Europe.

SEEfest will honor internationally celebrated author Dubravka Ugrešić (“The Age of Skin,” “Baba Yaga Laid an Egg”) with this year’s Legacy Award (April 17) and Marija Škaričić (Mare) and Jasna Djuričić (Quo Vadis, Aida?) with the film festival’s inaugural Legacy Acting Award.

Legacy Acting Award honoree Jasna Djuričić stars in Jasmila Žbanić’s Quo Vadis, Aida?. a 2021 Academy Award nominee for International Feature Film from Bosnia Herzegovina

A true discovery film festival, this year’s virtual presentation is once again rich with premieres, including two world premieres (Elka Nikolova’s A Question of Survival and Kata Oláh’s My Digital Nomad), and two international premieres, Jadran Boban’s That Other Village, and Sidar İnan Erçelik’s Wind Horse. Among the seven North American premieres at SEEfest are Marko Djordjević’s My Morning Laughter, Gjergj Xhuvani’s final feature, My Lake, Ivan Živković’s Galeb (Tito’s Boat), Nebojša Slijepčević‘s 70, Ivana Marinić Kragić’s Nun of Your Business, Bruno Pavić’s Landscape Zero, and Pavel Cuzuioc’s Please Hold the Line. The two films making U.S. premieres are Marija Perović’s Breasts, and Catherine Harte’s Faith & Branko

Legacy Acting Award honoree Marija Škaričić stars in two other highly anticipated films among SEEfest’s official selections.

SEEfest Executive Director Vera Mijojlić, said,

“This is another exciting year programming-wise with several films from South East Europe set to make their debut here in the States with our virtual film festival presentation. We are especially excited to host a conversation with our wonderful Legacy Award honoree Dubravka Ugrešić on April 17 and the opportunity to celebrate the great work by Marija Škaričić and Jasna Djuričić, who star in four of our highly anticipated selections, Mare, Breasts, Quo Vadis, Aida?, and My Morning Laughter with the inaugural Legacy Acting Award.”

Making their world premieres at SEEfest will be two documentaries, including Elka Nikolova’s US and Bulgarian co-production, A Question of Survival, which traces the legacy of the Holocaust in the Balkans, as seen through the eyes -and conflicting memories- of three Bulgarian Jewish survivors in New York, and Kata Oláh’s My Digital Nomad, an intimate, first-person documentary from Hungary about the nomadic lifestyle turns into an intimate conversation between mother and daughter throughout countries and years.

Kata Oláh’s My Digital Nomad

SEEfest’s two International premieres include; Jadran Boban’s Croatian film That Other Village about a remote village that changed twice its name, population, and its own history as it continues to be torn by never-ending historical traumas triggering new conflicts; and Sidar İnan Erçelik’s Wind Horse, a poetic Turkish film which tells the story of two shepherds from Anatolia, one of whom becomes a celebrated jockey; the film juxtaposes human desire for success with the toll on the spirit of freedom in both humans and horses.

Sidar İnan Erçelik’s Wind Horse

North American premieres include; Ivana Marinić Kragić’s Nun of Your Business, a Croatian film about two young nuns, driven by their blossoming love, who choose to leave the convent and start a new life together; Marko Djordjević’s My Morning Laughter, a Serbian dramedy about a 30-year-old trying to lose his virginity; and the late Gjergj Xhuvani’s final feature, My Lake, an Albanian drama about a man who has become a small-time marijuana smuggler to support his family.

Ivana Marinić Kragić’s Nun of Your Business

Following in the tradition of SEEfest films which bring to life world history in a dynamic way is Ivan Živković’s Galeb (Tito’s Boat), a Croatian film which tells the story of the ship that Yugoslav president Tito sailed numerous times, visiting close to 20 countries as he negotiated an alliance of non-aligned countries, the world’s largest after the United Nations. Other North American premieres include Nebojša Slijepčević‘s 70, a documentary about the LADO Ensemble, the only professional folk music and dance ensemble in Croatia.

Ivan Živković’s Galeb (Tito’s Boat)

Bruno Pavić’s Croatian film, Landscape Zero will also make its North American Premiere, as will Pavel Cuzuioc’s Austrian film Please Hold the Line. The former follows the lives of people who are either fighting for their survival among dangerous facilities surrounding their homes or coexisting with them in harmony, while the latter focuses on cable technicians in Eastern Europe as they navigate a modern-day Tower of Babel. One of the 2 films making its U.S. premiere is Catherine Harte’s Faith & Branko, an intimate story that chronicles the cross-cultural relationship between musicians Faith and Branko over seven years. 

Legacy Acting Award honoree Marija Škaričić stars in two other highly anticipated films among SEEfest’s official selections. Andrea Štaka’s Mare, a multiple award-winner including the Solothurn Prize, is a Swiss and Croatian co-production about a woman dedicated to her family life, yet always feeling out of place until a chance romantic encounter with a new neighbor just may put everything to the test. Marija Perović’s Breasts, which makes its U.S. premiere, is a light-hearted drama from Montenegro about four friends from high school brought together again at their 20-year reunion, who all are forced to go beyond the usual pleasantries when it is revealed that one of them has become gravely ill.

Elka Nikolova’s A Question of Survival

Fellow Legacy Acting Award honoree Jasna Djuričić stars in Jasmila Žbanić’s Quo Vadis, Aida? a 2021 Academy Award nominee for International Feature Film from Bosnia Herzegovina, the film follows a translator for the UN in a small town taken over by the Serbian army forcing her to use her connections as an insider to look out for the safety of her family and people. Eugen Jebeleanu’s directorial debut Poppy Field follows the struggle of a young Romanian gendarme who tries to balance two opposing parts of his identity: that of a man working in a macho hierarchical environment and that of a closeted gay man. Andrei Zinca’s So, What’s Freedom? is a Romania and U.S. co-production inspired by real events exploring how the lives of a group of people turn when they discover their freedom has become a forced exile. 

Click here to preview the complete lineup of films and preorder your tickets.

ABOUT SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL (SEEfest)

Twice the recipient of the prestigious festival grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and five other awards for programming excellence from the State of California, County and City of Los Angeles, Cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s festival grant, the festival’s growing list of renowned organizations which now support the festival includes the California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, ELMA Foundation, UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Blue Heron Foundation, Villa Aurora artists residence, Film & Ink LLC, West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, as well as a roster of cultural community partners representing the diversity of our State.

South East European Film Festival Los Angeles (SEEfest) is a competition festival presenting cinematic and cultural diversity of 18 countries of the Balkans and Caucasus to American audiences. It provides a platform in the U.S. for the discovery of new talent from South East Europe, with a wide selection of films, art, and literary talks, workshops, and panels. The film festival serves as the cultural hub and resource for scholars and filmmakers, and creates opportunities for cultural exchange between Hollywood industry professionals and filmmakers from South East Europe. It is a 501 © 3 non-profit, public benefit corporation. For more information, visit https://seefilmla.org/.

City Spaces: Diocletian’s Palace

At the heart of Split lies Diocletian’s Palace

Before Croatia became a country in its own right, the area was under the rule of various powers and empires, each of which has left its mark on its cities and culture. One of the earliest is the Romans, whose architecture formed the foundation from which cities such as Split continue to grow and evolve.

DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE, CroatiaAt the heart of Split lies Diocletian’s Palace, built at the start of the fourth century for the Roman emperor. The white stone that makes up its walls and streets are characteristic of the architecture in the city as well as the greater Dalmatian region and lighten the city even on the rare cloudy days.

The palace has four arched entrances, fortress-like walls shielding all sides, and a bell tower, added later on around the twelfth century, that stands as the highest point in the city center. The wall, once bordering the Adriatic, now stands as the permeable boundary between the palace and the Riva, a walkway lined with cafes by the sea.

Once the site of defense and trade, now it is a social area of small-scale business. Underground is the palace’s cellars, with cavernous ceilings and cobblestones, which now house the stands of artists and artisans selling handmade jewelry, sculptures of wood and limestone, and tourist paraphernalia of all kinds. The ebb and flow of people through the palace’s streets follows time-worn paths; looking at the smooth, time-worn flagstones, one can see the repeated indentations of millions of steps.

Over the many centuries since its construction, the palace’s narrow streets and tunnels, small squares, and leftover pillars have remained largely unchanged architecturally, but the spaces have transformed in functionality, serving new purposes with each new era.

In the time of Diocletian, the Peristyle—a large square lined by pillars—was the site of the emperor’s announcements and appearances, adjacent to a building that contained a mausoleum. That mausoleum later became known as the cathedral of Sveti Duje (Saint Domnius), where mass is still held today. The bell tower above it rings with every hour and is still a defining feature of the city’s skyline.

During certain periods this area of the palace was simply another part of the city center and everyday life, not used for any particular purpose. On one hand, this led to decay from lack of maintenance, but on the other, the palace was spared from external harm. Despite the turbulent events in this region throughout the twentieth century, Split remained largely untouched by the wars and skirmishes and none of the palace’s architecture had to be rebuilt as a result of wartime damage.

The Peristyle has come to be known as the city’s “living room,” a space where performances, from orchestras to street artists, are staged and people frequently gather to dance, eat and drink, and spend time together.

As tourists become an increasingly prominent presence in the city, there has been pushback against letting these cultural spaces turn into architectural and historical museums. After all, cities are made to be lived in, never truly preserved in a crystallized state. They take on a life of their own and transform with the times, constructing on top of their architectural and cultural foundations.

Beyond the walls, the liveliness of the palace spills out into the surrounding area. Layers of history take the form of ruins, parks, and houses, and on the outskirts of the city, the architecture transforms into modern apartments. Nevertheless, the essence of Mediterranean living has been preserved in these various forms. Open spaces and squares with coffee shops are ubiquitous and a source of food, socializing, exchange of information, and a part of everyday life. The way of living, persistent through the ages, is reflected in these spaces even as the city continues to evolve.

Exploring The Adriatic Coast of South East Europe

Often considered among the most beautiful waters to see and swim in, the Adriatic Sea is an integral part of life in South East Europe, specifically in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, and Italy, whose borders run along the Adriatic coast.

One of the Adriatic coast’s striking features is the white stone which marks the ever-shifting boundary between land and sea. Near the water, the stone is encrusted with shells and barnacles, colored brown with seaweed and centuries of erosion. Farther from the shore the stone is pale, textured with indentations, and laced with cracks and schisms. Rosemary bushes and pine trees are found close enough to the shore that their branches hang over the water, creating shadowed nooks and clusters of pine needles among the rocks.

On sunny days, sailboats and ferries dot the horizon, along with smaller fishing boats, especially near villages. Ferries carry the local inhabitants of the islands to and from cities, and during the summer they run every few hours. The sea is also home to over 7000 plant and animal species and is so clear that while swimming one can see the fish, either lurking near the seafloor or else darting synchronously through the waves in schools.

Some jump above the surface, a quick gleam of silver in the sunlight before disappearing underwater again. Squids, crabs, dolphins, and other common marine wildlife are also found in these waters, and there are rarely any large or dangerous creatures, though the occasional lost fin whale or young shark appears while searching for a way back to the Mediterranean.

In recent years, concerns about threats to marine ecosystems in the Adriatic have grown, including worries about overfishing and pollution; these are the same problems plaguing coastal environments all over the world right now. Poor waste management and carelessness from tourists has led to trash floating in the sea and washing up on shores, which in turn affects the wildlife. 

view through trees of Adriatic sea

Although it is still safe to eat fish from the Adriatic, pollution may change that in the future. Moreover, of the over 450 fish species identified in the Adriatic, about 60 are considered endangered or nearly endangered, according to various red lists on endangered species in the Mediterranean and Adriatic.

Pollution concerns are exacerbated by commercial endeavors, especially cruise ships, which have become a frequent sight in ports. Although they bring tourists and therefore business, the environmental damage to the coast has caused many to question them and look for alternatives, such as more traditional-style ships which can also carry tourists between Adriatic islands and cities. Split and other large coastal cities have a rich history of flourishing shipyards and capable sailors, and have produced all kinds of vessels. Their older ships have a long history, such as the Polaris, which travels between Split and several nearby islands. Polaris has been run by the same local family for decades and its existence stretches back to World War II. Although its exterior has been restored and rebuilt over the decades, it nevertheless carries history in its foundations as it continues to sail through the Adriatic.

As with every coastal region, the priority is to preserve and find a coexistence between the natural environment and our own interaction with it. From its storms carrying heavy winds and salt, to its days of pristine tranquility under the sun, the Adriatic is a force of its own, always shaping the landscape and the homes we have built beside it.

50 Binge Worthy Films from South East Europe

3 More Days – SEEfest 2020 Closes on August 16

Get the best deal with all 50 films for $55 before our online festival ends on August 16. Don’t miss the boat! Sail away from the pandemic worries and indulge your inner genre fan in Predrag Ličina’s sci-fi horror spoof The Last Serb in Croatia, or urban crime tale in Slovenia’s The Corporation from director Matej Nahtigal. Hungary’s Pilátus from director Linda Dombrovszky touches the emotional core of an aging mother and her successful but emotionally distant daughter, Serbia’s Common Story from director Gordan Kičić navigates modern marriage with much-needed humor, while Esther Turan and Anna Koltay chart Hungarian youth subculture in BP Underground – Electronic Music.

Get your movie travel pass to South East Europe!

 

 

Growing up hard, searching for directions

Renowned Serbian documentarian Ivana Todorović seamlessly transitioned to short fiction in her delicate yet powerfully told tale of surviving domestic abuse, When I’m at Home, while Alexandros Kakaniaris offers his own take on growing up hard in The Dude, a young boy’s attempt to break into the world of adults.

 

 

Making sense of politics

Join Romanian grandfather telling his American grandson about his role in the 1989 revolution that overthrew the Communist dictatorship, My Father’s Revolution by Diana Nicolae;  and pair it up with a satirical animated short turning the notion of freedom and democracy on its head in Moldovan appropriately titled Freedom from directing duo of Mircea Bobînă & Vadim Țigănaș. While browsing our shorts program, stop by Igor Ćorić’s winning short animation Passage (Serbia), and end on a touching note in Henning Backhaus’s delightful, innovative nod to diversity in Austrian live-action and animation short, The Best Orchestra in the World.

 

 

SUPPORT SEEFEST

If you like our programming orientation and the cultural mission of SEEfest, consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!

FRIENDS OF SEEFEST

LaemmleLumiere CinemaThe Frida Cinema, and New Filmmakers L.A. each offer a wide variety of films for you to stream online.

 

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 Arts and Culture; and by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood. Special thanks to ELMA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.

Follow SEEfest on Instagram and Facebook where we post SEE news as it happens!

SEEfest At Home – Spotlight on Short Films, An Inventor and An Acrobat

The clock is ticking…SEEfest 2020 ends it’s run on August 16

With the festival halfway through, make sure you use your passes within the next 14 days! Once we hit Aug 16, our online edition will no longer be available. So get your pass and popcorn, and spend the night with three police units patrolling the capital in Stephan Komandarev’s Rounds (Bulgaria), revisit history in Croatian Schindler’s List-type story, The Diary of Diana B. about the unsung heroine of WWII, follow an orphan’s journey to her long-lost family in Come Find Me (US/Romania) and meet the first-ever indigenous Roma woman to graduate from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in the Bulgarian documentary My Gypsy Road.

Get your movie travel pass to South East Europe!

 

 

The flamboyant inventor, and an old-fashioned acrobat

The Century of Dreams protagonist invented the perfume spray bottle, the plastic zipper, the lighter with a side-button and 400 other patents, was also among the first airbag developers and managed to socialize with movie stars in Monte Carlo. A very different man is the subject of Greek documentary Spiros and the Circle of Death, a throwback to an older, dying art of motorcycle death-rides and family tradition of circus acrobats.

 

 

 

Spotlight on short films: nature, politics, techno absurd, sci-fi, and more!

Spend some time with the poetic and powerful ode to nature Then Comes the Evening (Serbia/Bosnia Herzegovina), devastating political satire Zimnicea (Romania), laugh-out-loud Best Game Ever (Hungary), and Two (USA/Turkey) which tips its hat to sci-fi fans. Each of our three program blocks with diverse short vignettes offers plenty to explore.

 

 

SUPPORT SEEFEST

If you like our programming orientation and the cultural mission of SEEfest, consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!

FRIENDS OF SEEFEST

LaemmleLumiere CinemaThe Frida Cinema, and New Filmmakers L.A. each offer a wide variety of films for you to stream online.

 

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 Arts and Culture; and by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood. Special thanks to ELMA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.

Follow SEEfest on Instagram and Facebook where we post SEE news as it happens!

Movie Marathon at Your Home

A movie marathon curated for movie lovers: LegacyZanaOmar and Us, and Open Door

Fans of genre films will find a lot to be appreciated in Dorian Boguta’s debut feature gem Legacy, an atmospheric psychological thriller from Romania with Teodor Corban in the role of the world-weary detective, crime genre’s iconic character.

Two SEEfest jury award-winners: Kosovo’s Zana, by newcomer Antoneta Kastrati and starring the captivating Adriana Matoshi as the troubled survivor; and Turkey’s refugee saga Omar and Us by the directing duo Maryna Er Gorbach and Mehmet Bahadir Er.

Another strong debut comes from Albania’s Florenc Papas whose women-centric Open Door journeys into a patriarchal society by staying firmly focused on the inner world of its women.

Get your movie travel pass to South East Europe!

The epic wind Bora of Northern Adriatic and Turkey’s Queen Lear

These two films shared SEEfest 2020 Jury award for Best Documentary, and it is easy to see why: Bora, Story about a Wind follows the eponymous gale around the intersection of cultures in Northern Adriatic, while Queen Lear takes us to rural Turkey where local women take part in the production of Shakespeare’s play with their own twist. Both films are blowing much-needed laughter into the cinematic sails and regaling us with entertaining and uplifting stories.

Buy festival PASS to these, and other movies HERE.

 

Poetry behind SEEfest 2020 film: Pumpkin on the hot roof of the world

Celebrated Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014), ‘a leading figure of postwar neo-avant-garde poetry in Central Europe and internationally acclaimed absurdist,’ is the subject of the documentary film featured at SEEfest 2020 – Pumpkin on the hot roof of the worldPoetry and the Eternal Life of Tomaž Šalamun. He believed passionately in the power of poetry to liberate the human spirit, and so do we.

Nine of Šalamun’s books of poetry have been translated into English. He lived in the U.S. for a while, exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and taught at the University of Pittsburgh.

Watch this entertaining cinematic portrait that bridges Central Europe and America through world-class poetry.

 

SUPPORT SEEFEST

If you like our programming orientation and the cultural mission of SEEfest, consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!

FRIENDS OF SEEFEST

LaemmleLumiere CinemaThe Frida Cinema, and New Filmmakers L.A. each offer a wide variety of films for you to stream online.

 

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 Arts and Culture; and by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood. Special thanks to ELMA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.

Follow SEEfest on Instagram and Facebook where we post SEE news as it happens!

Get the Festival Pass to all SEEfest 2020 films!

Full-scale SEEfest 2020 program is live!

Are you ready to binge-watch the 2020 selection of new films from South East Europe? Travel with movies to a region where diversity and entangled histories lend rich material to filmmakers of all stripes. From WWII dramas to intense chamber pieces, movies about the wind – or Shakespeare plays starring women from rural Turkey; sci-fi political satire, and comic retelling of a marriage headed for divorce. These films take you to remote villages and the pains of acting auditions, atmospheric police procedural, and corporate takeovers of inner-city neighborhoods.

Movies are indeed a great way to travel, especially to a region with dozens of mostly small countries that are still the least known part of Europe for most Americans. Travel with SEEfest pass and visit South East Europe! Note: Available only to patrons in the U.S. All films with English subtitles.

 

TAKE THE JOURNEY ONLINE AND BUY FESTIVAL PASS

Book recommendation: An Armenian Sketchbook, by Vasily Grossman

Discover Armenia from the early 1960s in this wonderful account by Grossman, whose astute observations on human nature are uncannily applicable to our own times. The book is entertaining, a fast read, gripping, philosophical, and intimate, all at the same time. A major 20th-century writer, Grossman wrote about the WWII horrors as well as the horrors of the Stalinist era. His sketchbook on Armenia is a short-form masterpiece and an excellent introduction to Grossman’s other works.

An Armenian Sketchbook is available on Amazon.

Films from Yugoslavia’s storied cinematic past at Cannes Classics 2020:

Two unforgettable films from ex-Yugoslavia are included in this year’s Cannes Classics: Who’s Singing Over There? (1980, Serbia) by Slobodan Šijan; and The Ninth Circle (1960, Croatia) by France Štiglic. Hungarian 1968 Upthrown Stone by Sándor Sára is also featured in the selection, as well as two more Eastern European films: Polish The Hourglass Sanatory (1973) by Wojciech J. Has, and Russian July Rain (1966) by Marlen Khutsiev.

This year’s program will be shown, in whole or in part, by the festival Lumière in Lyon (October 10-18, 2020) and by the Rencontres Cinématographiques de Cannes (November, 23-26, 2020).

Cannes Classics 2020 complete selection can be found HERE.

SUPPORT SEEFEST

If you like our programming orientation and the cultural mission of SEEfest, consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!

FRIENDS OF SEEFEST

LaemmleLumiere CinemaThe Frida Cinema, and New Filmmakers L.A. each offer a wide variety of films for you to stream online.

 

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 Arts and Culture; and by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood. Special thanks to ELMA, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.

Follow SEEfest on Instagram and Facebook where we post SEE news as it happens!

SEEfest Launches 15th Edition Online July 15 – August 16, 2020

The 15th annual South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles (SEEfest), postponed in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced the official launch of its 2020 edition which will run from July 15 – August 16, at the dedicated online outlet (athome.seefilmla.org).

“After months of incredible work by our very own dream team, the 2020 festival is happening online,” said Vera Mijojlic, Founder and Director of SEEfest. “It was truly a heroic effort. We battled technical issues, filmmakers reluctance, and lots of night time work – but we did it.”

In a joint statement the SEEfest Board of Directors noted, “While many other festivals have completely canceled their 2020 editions, SEEfest has not only kept up its programming, but managed to produce the full festival on one of the top software platforms in the world which serves the likes of Cannes, American Film Market, and Hollywood studios.”

The 2020 festival edition, SEEfest’s 15th annual, features a rigorously curated program of 57 films highlighting the cinematic expressions of South East Europe’s cultural diversity across twenty countries.

North American premieres in the program include, among others, three remarkable debuts: Romania’s Legacy, a rare psychological thriller from the country known for its trailblazing new wave cinema; Kosovo’s haunting story about motherhood and struggles with war times traumas in Zana; and mother-daughter story about aging in the modern world, Pilate, an adaptation of the novel by the celebrated Hungarian writer, Magda Szabó.

Also on the program are Bulgarian My Gypsy Road whose heroine is the first-ever Roma woman to graduate from the Academy of Dramatic Arts; and Bora, Stories of a Wind, a visually magnificent parable about freedom paying a poignant tribute to the multi-ethnic intersection of Slavic, Italian, and Germanic cultures in the Northern Adriatic.

All program information and links are published here.

Festival passes and individual tickets are available at https://athome.seefilmla.org/.

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 Arts and Culture; and by an Arts Grant from the City of West Hollywood. Special thanks to ELMA Foundation, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for their continued support of our programs.

 

Enjoy SEEfest at Your Home – Part 6

Missed the Salon? Watch the Video!

The video of our 2020 Cultural & Literary Salon, Boundaries of Belonging, is now available online. If you like wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating conversation, we invite you to join in by posting your comments, suggestions, and critique!

Congratulations to all Accelerator filmmakers, with our thanks to panelists and actors

The 2020 SEEfest Accelerator for new projects in development concluded on May 3rd, after two weeks and seven sessions. Huge thanks to industry advisors and talented actors for their contributions.

We are proud of our Accelerator alumni from the past four years who have successfully completed one feature film and one narrative documentary, one short animation with a feature animation in development, and three docs currently in post-production. We hope 2020 participants will follow a similar path!

Films from SEEfest Archives

We pay tribute to a great friend of SEEfest, the late Albanian writer/director Artan Minarolli whose film ALIVE! screened at SEEfest 2010 and was subsequently Albania’s Oscar submission. A carefree Albanian student gets drawn into an ancient gjakmarrja, or blood feud when he returns to his native village for his father’s funeral. This fascinating drama considers how deeply the traditions of one’s forebears can affect one’s life. Lead actor, Nik Xhelilaj , was one of the actors named European Shooting Stars at the Berlin Film Festival in 2011.

 

Here are links to the previous SEEfest At Your Home posts: Part 1 herePart 2 here, Part  3, Part 4 and Part 5.

You can now deduct 100% of your contribution in 2020!

If you like our programming orientation and the cultural mission of SEEfest, consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!

Friends of SEEfest

Laemmle, Lumiere Cinema, The Frida Cinema, and New Filmmakers L.A. each offer a wide variety of films for you to stream online.

 

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.

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