This past Thursday evening in Beverly Hills, the 11th Annual South East European Film Festival Los Angeles (SEEfest) held its Closing Gala and Awards Ceremony with celebrations taking place at the restored Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.
SEEfest’s theme for 2016, ‘Cinema of Exile,’ incorporated stories of émigrés’ of all kinds of nationalities with a special focus on the refugees engulfing the Balkan countries.
Opening night saw the Los Angeles premier of ‘Our Everyday Life,’ Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Oscar Submission for Best Foreign Language Film; while in closing, SEEfest screened a slate of fiction and documentary shorts—an inspired way of leaving the festival attendees with one last show of the many talented filmmakers on display.
Top Prize of the night for the Best Feature Film – Bridging The Boarders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders went to two films this year. ‘A Good Wife,’ the directorial debut of veteran actress Mirjana Karanović,
Mirjana Karanović also received Best First Feature and SEEfest’s 2016 Legacy Award for her entire body of work in cinema, in support of human rights, and for her dedication to students and young actors.
Among the films being screened, the festival also conducted art installations, an international youth contest, a projects accelerator, and film retrospectives, and the 8th Annual Business of Film Conference at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.
The South Eastern European Film Festival Los Angeles is the only dedicated venue for industry professionals from Hollywood and Southeast Europe, where they can network, introduce films to an American audience, and conduct business to develop new projects together. SEEfest is founded and directed by Vera Mijojlic.
Winners of the 11th Annual South Eastern European Film Festival Los Angeles
2016 SEEfest Legacy Award: Mirjana Karanović
Best Feature Film – Bridging The Boarders Award: ‘A Good Wife’ directed by Mirjana Karanović (Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia)
Special Jury Mention, Feature Film: ‘Losers’ directed by Ivaylo Hristov (Bulgaria)
Best Cinematography in a Feature: Matteo Cocco for ‘Babai’ (Kosovo)
Best Documentary Film: ‘Logbook_Serbistan’ directed by Želimir Žilnik (Serbia)
Special Jury Mention, Documentary Film: ‘Holy Cow’ directed by Imam Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
Best Cinematography in a Documentary: Samir Mehanović for ‘The Fog Of Srebrenica’ (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Special Jury Mention, Best Cinematography in a Documentary: ‘Holy Cow’ directed by Imam Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
Best Debut Feature: ‘A Good Wife’ directed by Mirjana Karanovic (Serbia/Bosnia/Croatia)
Special Jury Mention, Debut Feature: ‘Holy Cow’ directed by Imam Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
Best Fiction Short Film: ‘Shok’ directed by Jamie Donoughue (Kosovo)
Best Documentary Short Film: ‘The Unidentified’ directed by Nemanja Babić, Marija Ristić (Serbia)
SEEPro Project Accelerator Awards
Best Project Proposal Overall: ‘Twice upon a Time’ by Vojin Vasović
Best Feature Film Project: ‘The Son’ by Ines Tanović
Best Documentary Project: ‘The Lost Dream Team’ by Jure Pavlović
Audience Award Winners
Audience Award for Best Feature: ‘The Half’ directed by Çağıl Nurhak Aydoğdu (Turkey)
Audience Award for Best Documentary: ‘Logbook_Serbistan’ directed by Želimir Žilnik (Serbia)