The South East Europen Film Festival has revealed its highly anticipated festival program. The festival screenings span from May 3 through May 6th and the Closing Night will be at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA on May 7.
This year’s Business Conference will be on May 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Goethe Institut.
Festival Passes www.ItsMySeat.com/SEEFest.html
Individual tickets At the door; $10 adult, $5 students/seniors
Conference Registration FREE, but you must register: RSVP@seefilmla.org
Parking at Goethe is free with validation after 6pm M-F, and all day Sat/Sun
Parking at UCLA is $11 for the closing night festivities: Use Structure #3, off Hilgard.
Program May 3, 2012
at Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, May 3, 7:30pm
5 MINUTES EACH
(Serbia / Canada; Animation; 2011. 9 minutes.)
Director : Vojin Vasovic
Producer : Vojin Vasovic
Winner of 25 international awards and counting, this delightful short by young Serbian expat from Canada Vojin Vasovic is a metaphorical story about the constant struggle of artists to achieve recognition, told as a cautionary tale about the quest for five minutes of fame.
Thursday, May 3rd
Thursday, May 3, 7:45pm
HELLO! HOW ARE YOU? (Buna! Ce faci?)
(Romania; Romantic Comedy; 2011. 105 minutes.)
Director : Alexandru Maftei
Producer : Antoni Sole, Maurizio Santarelli, Tudor Reu
Gabriel and Gabriela have been happily married for 20 years but the physical attraction is no longer there. Is this all life has to offer? Independently of one another, they discover the same Internet chat room and begin a secret romance online. They fall in love … not knowing they have actually found each other.
Program May 4, 2012, at Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, May 4, 4:00 pm
(Croatia; Documentary; 2011. 72 minutes.)
Director : Vlatka Vorkapić
Producer : Magdalena Petrović, co-producer Vinko Brešan
Who is Gabriel and how does he fulfill the wishes of those who open their hearts? The movie explores the lives of seemingly disconnected people, ones who are unfamiliar to each other and even to themselves. From the nude performance artist covered in fish dotingly treated to a nail polish from her third husband (whom she met at a cemetery just like her first husband) to Chinese tourists inadvertently sightseeing the old brothels in Zagreb, Gabriel is about the possibilities of abundant hope and inevitabilities of desire.
Friday, May 4th
Friday, May 4, 5:15pm
PERSEVERANCE… SPIRIT… BREATH… (Opstajanje..duh..dah)
(Montenegro; Documentary; 2011. 59 minutes.)
Director : Momir Matović
Producer : -
In present-day Montenegro, the demands of a modern society are changing certain fundamental relations, transforming the face of traditional communities. Many villages and hamlets are slowly dying. In three elementary schools in remote areas three solitary students are spending their final year with one teacher each. Once these students leave there will be no new ones coming. Schools and centuries-old households and settlements will disappear. “A burden heavier than suffering is the future…” – Fyodor Dostoevski
Friday, May 4, 6:30pm
(Romania; Short; 2011. 30 minutes.)
Director : Bogdan Mirica
Producer : Andrei Boncea, Iuliana Tarnovetchi
A fisherman, caught in a drought and unable to fish, becomes unknowingly involved in criminal activities when he decides to grow crops for a foreigner.
Friday, May 4th
Friday, May 4, 7:00pm
TRANSYLVANIA GIRL (Fata din Transilvania)
(Romania; Short; 2011. 15 minutes.)
Director : Sabin Dorohoi
Producer : Dan Draghicescu and Crina Popescu
Somewhere in the heart of Transylvania, in remote villages, odd traditions are still present… In this beautifully shot short film from Romania, a young man traveling to Sibiu for a business meeting makes a wrong turn and sets off a surprising chain of events. Filmed entirely on location in Transylvania, the film stars Maia Morgenstern (“The Passion of the Christ” and “The Oak”), Andreea Vasile and Orlando Petriceanu.
Friday, May 4th
Friday, May 4, 7:15pm
(Switzerland/Germany/Bulgaria; Documentary; 2012. 90 minutes.)
Director : Stefan Schwietert
Producer : Cornelia Seitler
Over 50 years ago, Marcel and Catherine Cellier traveled for the first time behind the Iron Curtain, where they collected the best music in Eastern Europe for years. Marcel Cellier assisted the Romanian pan flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and the legendary Bulgarian female vocal choir “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares” in achieving world fame. The film traces the Celliers’ footsteps in Eastern Europe to meet up again with the protagonists from that time – and to discover new musical treasures.
Friday, May 4th
Friday, May 4, 9:00pm
CIGARETTES AND SONGS (Cigarety a pesničky)
(Slovakia; Documentary; 2010. 52 minutes.)
Director : Marek Šulík, Jana Kovalciková
Producer : Jana Belišová
In an evangelical church in Eastern Slovakia, Roma singers and Slovak musicians meet to perform and record an album of ancient Roma songs. While a gulf exists between the two communities, it is through the making of music and the discovery of their shared humanity that former “differences” erode.. The Slovaks, previously unaccustomed to Roma, soon embrace their new friends in an inspiring film about the unifying and therapeutic power of music.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 9:30AM to 1:00PM
Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
BUSINESS CONFERENCE: CONNECTING HOLLYWOOD AND SOUTH EAST EUROPE withlunch following
NOTE: Admission is free, but registration is mandatory: RSVP@seefilmla.org
The conference theme this year is the difference between American and European film stories.
In a city where émigrés wrote and directed some of the most memorable American films, what are the choices of today’s expat filmmakers? How different are American documentary stories and documentary filmmaking from their European counterparts? A young and dynamic panel goes into the trenches with five filmmakers who work on both sides of the film spectrum: creative and financial, and in both places: U.S. and Europe.
Sponsored by UCLA’s Center for European and Eurasian Studies (CEES), and UCLA’s
Anderson Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 2:30PM – program continues at Goethe Institut
SHORTS PROGRAM | “MURDER REVISITED”
(Germany; Documentary; 2010. 26 minutes.)
Director : Milan Miletic
Producer : Michael Truckenbrodt, Milan Miletic
The film explores youth hooligan violence in Serbia, where indiscriminate and unpunished acts of brutality, including the savage murder of French football fan Brice Taton, lead to a culture of fear.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 3:00 PM
SHORTS PROGRAM | “COLD SHOWER” (Hidegzuhany)
(Hungary; Short; 2011. 13 minutes.)
Director : Orsi Nagypal
Producer : Karoly Feher
During a warm summer night, Robert, a naive 17 year old and Feri, the Roma member of the high school drama group, are forced to deal with prejudices that have existed longer than themselves. This short is based on director’s experiences during high school where she used to take part in the drama group. Its topic, the prejudice against the Roma, is unfortunately even more relevant today than it was 15 years ago.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 3:15 PM
SHORTS PROGRAM | “SURVIVAL IN SARAJEVO”
(Austria; Documentary; 2011. 15 minutes.)
Director : Edward Serotta
Producer : Edward Serotta
During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), the Jewish community of Sarajevo refused to take sides, opened its own humanitarian aid agency inside the city’s synagogue, and was soon joined by their Muslim, Croat and Serbian friends. While outside of the besieged Bosnian capital, nationalist politicians swore these ethnic groups could not get along; here’s a group of people who never got the memo. An inspiring story of friendship and commitment.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 4:00 PM
(Greece; Documentary; 2011. 61 minutes.)
Director : Sotiris Kappos
Producer : Sotiris Kappos
In modern Greece, a different kind of theatre exists on the streets below the famous Acropolis and its historic theaters, with mime artists, acrobats, magicians, and puppeteers mingling with passersby. The immediacy of such setting, and responses from engaged to indifferent from the ‘audience’ lead the filmmaker to explore the reasons that make artists choose to perform in street ‘spectacles’ and ultimately to that most essential of artistic questions: Can I survive on my art?
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 5:00 PM
DO NOT FORGET ME ISTANBUL (Unutma Beni Istanbul)
(Turkey; feature; 2011. 118 minutes.)
Directors: Aida Begic, Eric Nazarian, Hany Abu-Assad, Josefina Markarian, Omar Shargawi, Stefan Arsenijevic, Stergios Niziris
Producer : Huseyin Karabey, Sevil Demirci
Several directors from countries of the region were invited to create stories taking place in and around the beautiful city of Istanbul, in the vein of “Paris, je t’aime” and “New York, I love you”. They come together to remind viewers that Istanbul’s history does not belong only to the people of Turkey.
Saturday, May 5, 2012, 7:00 PM
FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY (Vjara, lubov i whisky)
(Bulgaria; feature; 2011. 75 minutes.)
Director : Kristina Nikolova
Producer : Georgi Nikolov
A young woman leaves her dream life in America to return home to Bulgaria to see her passionate and self-destructive ex-boyfriend. But when her American fiancé makes a surprise visit, she has to choose between a secure future and a doomed love. FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY looks at the lost summer of an immigrant abroad now back home, capturing the abandonment of a summer vacation and the dilemma of love and a sense of place trapped between two homes.
FAITH, LOVE AND WHISKEY is the feature directorial debut of director Kristina Nikolova, whose parents were both cinematographers. Ms. Nikolova studied film at the University of Chicago, and was a cinematographer for 2003’s GOOD BYE HELLO as well as a pair of home-country documentaries by director Zornista Sophia, and co-produced the 2007 drama WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT.
Program May 6, 2012
at Goethe Institut, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles,
Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM
(USA; documentary; 2011. 54 minutes.)
Director : Ed Gaffney
Producer : Ed Gaffney
American director Ed Gaffney explores the history of Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” in South Eastern Europe and the Balkans, an area that has notoriously struggled with the terrible inheritance of regional ethnic chauvinism exploited for the sake of nationalism. EMPTY BOXCARS sheds light on a little-explored chapter of the Holocaust when Bulgarian occupying forces in Thrace and Macedonia helped deport Jews to death camps, while at home leaders of the Orthodox church and several prominent politicians bravely led an unprecedented effort to save their Jewish neighbors. The film features the stories of three survivors of Shoah in the Balkans: Rabbi Haim Asa of Burgas (Bulgaria), Sabi Tchimino of Kavala (Greece), and Jamila Kolonomos of Bitola (Macedonia).
Director Ed Gaffney teaches International Law and Genocide Studies at Valparaiso University. His previous work includes HOLY LAND: COMMON GROUND, a feature length documentary with Alicia Dwyer about Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to be enemies.
Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM
SHORTS PROGRAM | A DAY ON THE RIVER DRINA (Jedan dan na Drini)
(Bosnia-Herzegovina; documentary; 2011. 17 minutes.)
Director : Ines Tanović
Producer : Alem Babić
August 2010: a peaceful summer day on the river Drina. But if you read carefully, a most unusual request in the newspapers: a call for volunteers to recover human remains in the artificial lake of Perućac. And so a gruesome story unravels about the discovery of more than 250 skeletons in the Perućac. Found during the repair of the hydroelectric power plant Bajina Bašta, these remains belonged mostly to Bosnians killed by members of the Serbian Army in Višegrad between 1992 and 1995. A compelling narrative of one day among many tragic days in the continuing legacy of the recent Balkan wars, the film has been invited to more than 35 world festivals and won five international prizes.
Director Ines Tanović was born in Sarajevo, graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo, department of dramaturgy, and is a member of the Association of film workers of Bosnia & Herzegovina since 1988. She has written scripts for and directed 6 feature movies (CIRCLES, IDEA, MAN S, SYNDROME, SUGARFREE, STARTING OVER), and directed the Bosnian part of the long feature omnibus SOME OTHER STORIES (coproduction, B&H, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia and Ireland, supported by EUROIMAGES). In 2004, she was given a Hubert Ball Fund reward for the script ENTANGLEMENT. For the new project OUR EVERY DAY LIFE which was a part of CineLink market at the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2010, she was rewarded with INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ARTE PRIZE. She is also author of the documentaries EXHIBITION and A DAY ON THE DRINA which was rewarded with Big Stamp for Best Film in Regional Competition at ZagrebDox International Documentary Film Festival in 2012.
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 2:20 PM
SHORTS PROGRAM | THE VISIT (Obisk)
(Slovenia; short; 2010. 8 minutes.)
Director : Miha Mazzini
Producer : Frenk Celarc, Petra Vidmar
On an evening in a nursing home, a son’s visit to his father is fraught with tensions, revealing wounds old and new. The film packs a punch in 8 powerful minutes about father-son relationship in long-term care situation with a twist.
Sunday May 6, 2012, 2:30 PM
SHORTS PROGRAM | POSTHUMOUS (Posthumno)
(Bosnia-Herzegovina; short; 2011. 16 minutes.)
Director : Cenk Ertürk
Producer : Izeta Gradević, Jovan Marjanović, Mirsad Purivatra
Mirsad’s father’s village is evacuated due to dam construction. The village will soon be under water. Mirsad arrives from the city intending to move his father’s remains from the old village cemetery to a grave in the new village’s graveyard.
Sunday May 6, 2012, 3:00 PM
(Albania; feature; 2011. 98 minutes.)
Director : Pluton Vasi
Producer : Vjollca Dedei
After years living abroad, Samiu returns to his Albanian village to bury his father. Initially welcomed home, events sour quickly when Samiu evicts the family living on his land and begins an affair with his cousin’s wife Maya. Deciding to stay in the village and open a hair salon, Samiu now must face the suspicions and gossip of the villagers and the added threat of the police chief, also obsessed with Maya. As events roil the village, Maya’s daughter Halisa faces her own troubles.
Director Pluton Vasi was born in Albania in 1963. He received a degree in acting from the Albanian University of Arts in Tirana in 1986, and later also studied directing there. He is the screenwriter and director of many documentary and feature films. His film THE CONCERNS OF AN OBESE won the Golden Ace Award in Las Vegas and played in numerous film festivals worldwide.
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 5:00 PM
PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BELGRADE, WITH SINGING AND CRYING (Praktični vodič kroz Beograd, sa pevanjem i plakanjem)
(Serbia/Germany/France/Hungary/Croatia; Romantic Comedy; 2011. 90 minutes.)
Director : Bojan Vuletić
Producer : Miroslav Mogorović, Oliver Roepke, Jean des Forets, Gabor Sipos, Ankica Jurić-Tilić
After many years of isolation Belgrade has opened again, ready to accept numerous tourists, businessmen and curious people from all over the world. What happens when foreigners and local people meet? Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying is a contemporary romantic comedy about four couples from different nations who meet in Belgrade and experience the small impossibilities of big love.
Sunday, May 6, 2012, 7:00
BROKEN MUSSELS (Kirik midyeler)
(Turkey/Sweden/Bosnia-Herzegovina; Drama; 2011. 94 minutes.)
Director : Seyfettin Tokmak
Producer : Serkan Cakarer, Lizette Jonjić
Styled as a gritty drama about street urchins roaming the underbelly of Turkey’s capital and dreaming of going to Germany, Broken Mussels ventures into the slums of Istanbul. There are organ traffickers, sick immigrants hiding from the law, slum lords, and relentless competition between street peddlers, many of whom are children like the two main characters. Turf wars are a way of life in this closed world. The metaphorical mussels are stand-in for a hopeless dream, another mirage luring the boys into its empty embrace. Timid friendship with the orphaned Bosnian girl is one thing these kids have going in circumstances beyond any child’s power to change.
Program May 7, 2012
(Closing Night) at UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre
Monday, May 7, 2012
COFFEE FUTURES (Neyse Halim Çiksin Falim)
(Turkey; Documentary; 2010. 22 minutes.)
Director : Zeynep Devrim Gürsel
Producer : Umut Gürsel, Zeynep Devrim Gürsel
Coffee Futures blends the Turkish custom of coffee fortune-telling with the story of Turkey’s decades-long attempt to join the European Union, revealing the textures of a society whose fate has long been nationally and internationally debated. It investigates the collective psychology of anticipating an uncertain future – slowly simmered while Turkey waits.
Director Zeynep Devrim Gürsel is an anthropologist who teaches at the University of Michigan. Originally trained in literature, she received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She researches how things become imaginable both for individuals and groups, and how the forms in which the past and present are narrated and shaped by our expectations of the future. She was introduced to the documentary world when she worked on DAMMING THE EUPHRATES (Paxton Winters, 2001) in Southeast Turkey.
Monday, May 7, 2012 (Closing Night, at UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre)
FUTURE LASTS FOREVER (Gelecek Uzun Surer)
(Turkey; Drama; 2011. 108 minutes.)
Director : Özcan Alper
Producer : Ersin Celik, Soner Alper
Sumru is a university student at work on a comprehensive collection of Anatolian elegies. When she begins what she believes is a short journey to southeastern Turkey to search for her lover and add to her compilation, she meets Ahmet, a young street vendor selling bootleg movies. Her journey with Ahmet continues to the lands where conflict persists between Turks and Kurds. In the quest to record one elusive elegy, Sumru must confront a trauma from her own past. The exploration reveals the collective experience reflected in the lives of individuals and preserved through the memory of elegiac song.
Director Özcan Alper was born in Artvin, Turkey. He studied physics and history of science at Istanbul University. His previous feature film was AUTUMN (2008).
Director’s Commentary on the film:
Across all cultures, elegies are in essence a way of dealing with, and accepting death. But they also imply of themselves an element of defiance and opposition. At the same time, elegies constitute the shared memory of a community’s shared past. In Anatolian and Mesopotamian culture, where the oral tradition is strong, elegies abound. And one of my main motivations with this film is to try to make sense of the present and past through the elegies which lie at the core of the story.
As Sumru endeavours to track down one particular elegy and to consider social suffering, she is forced to address a personal agony from her own past. I feel the story is important not only in terms of examining society at large, but also because it looks at how collective experience is reflected in the lives of individuals. And through looking at this unnamed war that has been going on for the last 30 years and the 17,500 political murders that have been committed under the name of “unsolved cases,” I wanted to look at today’s Turkey closely.
A reception follows this screening.