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Blue Heron Foundation’s 15th Anniversary Concert – April 22, 2-4 PM

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.  


California Arts Council “Grant Season” is Underway!

SEEfest Staff Writer | November 3, 2016, 12:22 PM


We at SEEfest are one of many arts organizations in California receiving support from the California Arts Council. Hundreds of organizations and schools are able to do arts programming thanks to this support. We are very excited to share the news about current new grant opportunities and hope that some of our colleagues in the arts anywhere in our state will apply and hopefully get the funding for their programs.

Download the CAC Flyer about Grant Programs here.

Open Programs

The following grant programs are currently accepting applications as of 11/1/2016:

ARTISTS ACTIVATING COMMUNITIES: Up to $18,000 for artist residencies in community settings.

LOCAL IMPACT: Up to $18,000 for arts projects in underserved communities.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONSULTING: $1,000–$5,000 for capacity-building professional development or consulting projects for arts organizations.

STATEWIDE AND REGIONAL NETWORKS: Up to $30,000 to support culturally-specific, multicultural, and discipline-based statewide and regional arts networks and services organizations.

New Grant from the California Arts Council

SEEfest Staff Writer | July 7, 2016, 12:176 PM


On July 7, 2016 California Arts Council announced their grant awards to 712 non profit organizations, and SEEfest is proud to again be one of the recipients. Congratulations to all our colleagues statewide. We share this recognition with our supporters and many individual donors and volunteers. We look forward to a great 12th edition of the festival in 2017. Kudos to California Arts Council and the state legislators for supporting the arts! THANK YOU.


The California Arts Council’s competitive grant programs are administered through an open call for applications with all submissions adjudicated by peer review panels made up of experts from the arts field.

A Fiscal Year 2015-16 permanent state budget increase allowed the California Arts Council to award the largest number of grants provided by the state agency in 14 years.





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SEEfest Launches Project Accelerator in April-May 2016

Vera Mijojlic | March 13, 2016, 9:27 PM


Filmmakers To Present Projects to Hollywood Insiders

SEEfest’s 11th edition, April 28 – May 5, will see the launch of an exciting opportunity. International and independent filmmakers with projects in advanced stages of development will have a unique chance to present their projects in front of a panel of judges of Hollywood industry professionals. This jury will subsequently choose a winner for the inaugural “Impact Award.” Accelerator platform was created with a goal to help connect internationally viable projects with Hollywood professionals and to provide guidance for the next stages of development.”

This program connects South East European and independent filmmakers with Hollywood industry people: screenwriters, producers, film financing executives, entertainment attorneys and other successful industry professionals. Vera Mijojlic, founder and director of SEEFest, and Hans-Martin-Liebing who co-founded with her the international project accelerator have launched this initiative to address the lack of opportunity for many filmmakers to pitch their projects to Hollywood insiders and to receive valuable advice on the best ways to make their films commercially viable, accessible to a wider audience and attractive to buyers.

This truly aligns with SEEfest’s mission to bring stories from South East Europe to an international audience. “In order to bring to light the stories that are not usually heard in the media, it is imperative to connect independent and foreign filmmakers with experienced Hollywood professionals who can help steer the projects in the right direction,” says Vera Mijojlic. “Ultimately, the purpose of the accelerator goes hand in hand with our long-term goal to bridge the gap between countries on opposite sides of the world through filmmaking.”





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Volunteer Spotlight: Julia Macnelly

SEEfest Staff Writer | November 16, 2014, 8:05 PM


Get to know Julia Macnelly, SEEfest 2014 Festival Coordinator and World Traveler. 

Здрасти от България!

I’m writing to you from Tryavna, a very small and equally quaint town in the center of Bulgaria that is known for artisan crafts like wood carving, silver filigree, and icon painting. We also have cobblestone streets and a clocktower that sings an operatic rendition of a famous local poet’s verse every night at 10 pm, seriously. I’m living here for the year on a Fulbright grant, teaching English to the students in 8-12th grades at Petko Slaveikov uchilishte (school). The town is situated within the Balkan mountain range, so you can basically walk ten minutes in most directions for beautiful razxodki (hikes…did I mention this blog post is also a Bulgarian language lesson?)

I’ve made several trips around Southeastern Europe in the last few years, so in some ways it feels very familiar being here in the region—but mostly my life feels so completely different. I am learning the ways of the Bulgarian school system (lots and lots of bureaucratic busywork. Your signature is literally required at least 3 times per day for various things) and trying to communicate with my very welcoming colleagues in Bulgarian (I have so far heard that I either have a Czech, Polish, Croatian, Russian, Slovenian, or Romanian accent, but never an American one, so maybe I’m on my way?) I’m also starting a chapter of the BEST Foundation (Bulgarian English Speech Tournament, at my school, which means I will be coaching students in performing prose, poetry, original work, and debates, all in English—obviously they’re brave souls!

I will be here through the end of the school year next June, which means, sadly, that I will have to miss SEEfest’s 10th anniversary. I had such a wonderful experience working with the festival for the first time this past May and can’t wait to rejoin the team when I’m back in the States. I have loved sharing my stories about Southeastern Europe with friends and family, and so I’m truly proud to be a part of this event which brings this slice of the world to an even wider audience. I hope this year is the best yet, and I look forward to keeping up with the festival from overseas.

– Julia





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Volunteer Spotlight: Shae Popovich

SEEfest Staff Writer | October 16, 2014, 5:42 PM


Shae Popovich is a SEEfest Volunteer and Supporter… here’s a little about her.


I was born in Niagara Falls, Canada and moved to LA after winning a green card in the lottery. I’ve been an actor for many years but in 2002, with the drumbeat of war in Iraq, I put my acting on the back-burner and got involved in social justice causes. I was the Associate Director of a non-profit peace and justice organization called Office of the Americas from 2007-2010. While there, I was fortunate enough to be sent on two fact-finding delegations in the Gaza Strip and Cairo, as well as work with several organizations including Codepink, and the ACLU. I have a passion for social justice!


Currently, I work part-time as an Assistant and Manager of a small business and I’ve recently returned to my love of performing and recently shot an indie film entitled “Citizens United” and will be guesting on a web series in Vermont entitled “Queen Dad”. I write poetry, I am learning to play guitar, I love to read and play tennis and study conversational French.


I am pleased to be helping out with SEEfest 2015. One of my favorite pastimes is watching foreign films and documentaries and SEEfest has an amazing lineup of films. SEEfest’s promotion of the cultural diversity of Southeast Europe in it’s presentation of films from the region, provides me with a window into the area where my father and his family are from in Serbia as well my mother’s family in Croatia. SEEfest’s incredible leader, Vera Mijolic, is a pleasure to work with. I first volunteered for Vera many years ago when she ran the International Rescue Committee and I am happy to be back with her and the hard-working and oh so fun volunteers!


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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!




Support international cinema in Los Angeles and new film talent from South East Europe. Donate here!