South East European Film Festival in Los Angeles, SEEfest presents films from 15 countries of the region. These films tell a larger story about this part of the world, and take you on a journey across borders and cultures. Join us for an exciting trek to these cinematic crossroads! All are welcome. Admission prices are symbolic and most screenings are FREE.
Highlights of this year’s festival include opening night film, Romanian comedy OF SNAILS AND MEN based on a true story about a union organizer and his most unusual proposal to buy the factory and save jobs; this leads to hilarious situations involving a double love triangle, and a clinic for sperm donation which puts the machismo of the workers to the test; Albanian/Greek saga AGON about two immigrant brothers, each with a different approach to making a living, bringing traditional familial ties to the breaking point; Croatian drama HALIMA’S PATH with stellar performances by two female leads united in a struggle to hide an unwanted baby of star-crossed lovers caught in the inter-ethnic storm and Bosnian wars of the 1990s; Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg’s cautionary student short BETWEEN THE LINES, a rare glimpse into the tragic circumstances of non-combatant German minority in Hungary forced into exile in Germany at the end of WWII; powerful Bosnian documentary THE LIVING MONUMENT with direct testimony by women whose chilling but dignified account of the inhuman treatment they suffered in the wars of 1990s is reminiscent of Errol Morris’ Oscar-winning documentary “The fog of war”; deeply humanistic and life affirming Austrian documentary CROSSING BORDERS, narrated by writer Robert Menasse, quietly and deftly dismantling the very notion of borders by reaching across these artificial and outdated divides; debut feature PHARMAKON from Albania whose innovative cinematic language probes the hidden traps of corruption in the newly-minted medical establishment; Slovenian documentary THE LONG VACATION about 20,000 people whose citizenship was erased overnight when Slovenia became an independent state; Italian feature VOICES IN THE DARK which takes a close look at the dysfunctional family of a university professor in Trieste who becomes undone through involvement with refugees fleeing Yugoslavia in the late 1990s; and finally, the closing night feature from Turkey, PRESENT TENSE, about a young woman dreaming of the West while engaging in a perennially Eastern tradition of fortune telling from a cup of coffee.
SPECIAL SCREENING on SUNDAY, MAY 5
Museum of Tolerance, 7pm
BESA: The Promise
with director Rachel Goslins IN PERSON!
Great story of friendship spanning decades, reuniting Albanians and Jews whose parents forged a bond in the darkest days of WWII. Not to be missed! For tickets, please visit the Museum’s web site: www.museumoftolerance.com/Besa
OPENING NIGHT – THURSDAY, MAY 2
Writers Guild Theatre, 6:30pm
Romanian comedy OF SNAILS AND MEN and director Tudor Giurgiu IN PERSON!
The screening is sponsored by Stefania Magidson and the Blue Heron Foundation. Reception sponsor: Ivy Road Entertainment. With thanks to Diem Van Groth and Tisza Wine Co., Romanian Consulate General in Los Angeles, Jacob Segal, RAPN Romanian American Professionals Network, Viitorul Roman Cultural Society, and Union and League of Romanian Societies.
FRIDAY, MAY 3 – SATURDAY, MAY 4
West Hollywood Council Chambers 12 noon – 6pm, FREE
Two days of movies at the beautiful new library building in West Hollywood – FREE! Films from Bosnia, Albania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia… Free Admission!
With support, in part, by a grant from the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission.
FRIDAY, MAY 3
Albanian/Greek saga AGON and Slovenian/Italian cross-border tale FEED ME WITH YOUR WORDS.
9pm WAY OF THE DANUBE special screening with director Sabin Dorohoi IN PERSON!
SATURDAY, MAY 4
Goethe-Institut, starting at 1pm
Romanian visual stunner SOMEWHERE IN PALILULA with producer Tudor Giurgiu IN PERSON!
Austrian heart-warming documentary CROSSING BORDERS, presented with the support of the Consulate General of Austria in Los Angeles.
Albanian feature PHARMAKON by new auteur to watch, Joni Shanaj
6pm HALIMA’S PATH powerful war drama with director Arsen Anton Ostojic IN PERSON!
With the support of the Croatian Audio-Visual Center.
SUNDAY, MAY 5
Goethe-Institut, starting at 12pm
Two shorts programs, with the support of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Los Angeles, and with the L.A. Turkish Film Festival, followed by Slovenian documentary THE LONG VACATION about 20,000 people whose citizenship was erased overnight.
3pm VOICES IN THE DARK Italy/Slovenia coproduction with actress/producer Laura Pelicciari IN PERSON!
MONDAY, MAY 6 – CLOSING NIGHT GALA and AWARDS!
UCLA James Bridges Theater, 6:30pm
PRESENT TENSE from Turkey about a young woman fortune teller, with director Belmin Soylemez and producer Hasmet Topaloglu IN PERSON!
This screening is made possible by The London West Hollywood
Preceded by short from Switzerland WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE with director Cosima Frei IN PERSON! – With the support of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Los Angeles.
Among sponsors of the festival are Goethe Institut, Los Angeles – UCLA – ELMA – Turkish Airlines – KLCS-TV – Levantina Cultural Center and Cinema Without Borders.