Los Angeles, April 2011 – SEE FEST, the South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles (www.seefilmla.org ), the only festival in the United States with a comprehensive coverage of the cinema from that 15-country region, announced today that Bulgarian film by first-time director Dragomir Sholev, SHELTER (Podslon) will open the 6th edition of SEE FEST (www.seefilmla.org) on Thursday, April 28 at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036 in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles.
Closing the festival on Monday, May 2 at UCLA Bridges Theatre is life-affirming, musical road movie GYPSY SPIRIT: HARRI STOJKA, A JOURNEY, the ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ of South East Europe, directed by music expert and Emmy-nominated editor (“The Ten Commandments”, in 2007) Klaus Hundsbichler. He has worked as an editor for Frank Zappa and directed documentary World Revolution (2008), and TV series Against the Current (2001) and The Venice Project (1999).
The film follows Viennese-born, celebrated jazz and gypsy swing musician Harri Stojka on his journey to India, Rajastan to uncover the roots of the famed Eastern European Gypsy music.
“We are proud to have such exceptional films to open, and close our festival with cinematic fireworks,” says Vera Mijojlic, founder and artistic director of SEE FEST. “Films like Shelter and Gypsy Spirit reward our year-long search for, and belief in, imagination, playfulness, irreverence and humor that can inspire, intrigue, and engage the audience.” Both films are North American premieres.
Sixth edition of SEE FEST will run from April 28 through May 2 and present 25 films including features, documentaries, shorts and animation from the south east region of Europe, with 13 North American premieres, 5 U.S. premieres, and one world premiere.
About the opening and closing night films:
Winner of Grand Prix at the Sofia International Film Festival earlier this month, SHELTER is a powerful story of a boy on the verge of adolescence bringing down the last vestiges of his parents’ old world in this slice of life gem from Bulgaria. Winning international accolades are writer-director Dragomir Sholev, cinematographer Krum Rodriguez, and co-writer Razvan Radulescu, one of the most talented script writers of this generation whose other credits in his native Romania include “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”, “Paper will be blue”, and “Tuesday after Christmas” among many others.
The Buena Vista Social Club of South East Europe, GYPSY SPIRIT is a superb musical journey following some of the world’s best virtuoso Gypsy musicians as they journey to India to uncover the roots of their music. Harri Stojka, Romani (Rom, Gypsy), jazz guitarist and international star musician from Vienna, travels to India’s Rajastan. And back. In both places, he meets talented musicians who speak the same language: music. Klaus Hundsbichler, Austrian music expert and Emmy-nominated director, takes us along.
About Harri Stojka, the subject of GYPSY SPIRIT: During his three decade-long career as gypsy swing guitarist, Harri Stojka has performed in every major jazz venue in the world including the legendary jazz festival in Montreux, Khamoro Festival in Prague, the Sziget Festival in Budapest, the famous Django Reinhardt Memorial Festival in Augsburg, the Graz Jazz Festival, the Salzburg Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival 2006, the Syracuse Jazz Festival 2007, in New York in different clubs, in Paris at the Festival Sons d’Hiver, in Tunisia at the Festival Musiqat, and his band even brought European jazz (Gypsy Jazz) to Indonesia for the first time. To this day live concerts remain the most important aspect of Harri’s artistic activities.
The philosophy behind Stojka’s music is pure fun and the joy of making music. Walter Richard Langer (radio personality and music editor at Ö3 radio) once wrote about Harri Stojka: “A lot of blues feeling, immense guitar technique performed with such playful ease that you almost take it for granted.”
Thursday 4/28 – Sunday 5/1: Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
Screening times: Thursday-Friday 6:30pm – 10pm; Saturday-Sunday 1pm – 9pm
5750 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Parking: Underground parking free with validation after 6pm, and free all day Saturday and Sunday
Monday 5/2 UCLA –
MORNING: SEE FEST “Business of Film” Conference 8:30am (registration);
Panels 9:30am – 1pm, followed by the networking lunch 1:30pm-3pm
UCLA Faculty Center, http://facultycenter.ucla.edu/
480 Charles Young Dr. East, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Parking structure 2
Enter UCLA campus from Westholme
MAP: http://facultycenter.ucla.edu/directions.htm — click on “Faculty Center” to view exact location on map!
EVENING: SEE FEST Closing night Gala, 6:30pm
UCLA James Bridges Theatre
Parking structure 3
MAP: http://www.transportation.ucla.edu/maps/eventmap/eventmapnew.html# — click on “James Bridges Theatre” to view exact location on map!
Sponsors of the festival are Goethe Institute, UCLAAnderson, UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies and ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America).
Cinema Without Borders is among the Media sponsors of the South East European Film Festival.