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4th annual South East European Film Festival Los Angeles

THE DOORS OF SOUTH EAST EUROPE

April 30-May 4, 2009 at the Goethe Institute
and UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre

Fueled by independent spirit and passion for the cinema of south/south-east Europe, the team behind Los Angeles-based SEE Fest (South East European Film Festival) has announced its fourth annual showcase to take place at the Goethe Institut, and UCLA, from April 30 through May 4.

On May 4 from 10am through 1 pm at the UCLA’s Faculty Center SEE Fest is hosting first-ever Business Conference on South East Europe’s cinema, BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: UNLOCKING THE BYZANTINE FILM MODEL.

“We bring to light innovative, different films that create an in-depth portrait of south east Europe, where countries are sandwiched between defunct empires and mixed legacies†, says Vera Mijojlic, festival director. “They symbolize many different perspectives, something south east Europe and Los Angeles have in common.â€

Some of the films slated for this year’s SEE Fest include stories that go “Behind the Glass†(Croatia), seeking “Tunnels’ End†(Spain/Bosnia), about people forced by isolationist regimes into “Divorce Albanian Style†(Bulgaria/Albania) or remarkably enduring their fractured existence by seeking the elusive common language in “Diagnosis S.B.H.†(Bosnia Herzegovina).

The South East Europe Film Festival is the only one in the United States. Its message is not only to show films but to educate about the South East Europe region, its troubled history, and cultural diversity.

South East Europe Film Festival
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Fourth annual SEE Fest runs from Thursday, April 30 through Monday, May 4, 2009. Screenings April 30 & May 1 start at 6:30pm, May 2 & 3 start at 3:30pm and are held at the Goethe Institute, 5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, Ca. 90036. The closing night of the festival is held on Monday, May 4th at 6:30pm the James Bridges Theatre on UCLA campus in Westwood. Business conference BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: UNLOCKING THE BYZANTINE FILM MODEL takes place on Monday, May 4 at UCLA’s Faculty Center. For tickets and further information go to www.seefilmla.org.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

BEHIND THE GLASS (Iza stakla), Croatia 2008, feature, 80 min. Directed by Zrinko Ogresta.
Beautifully composed psychological drama about a love triangle reveals layers of moral dilemmas as protagonists confront fate, destiny, coincidence and individual responsibility as one marriage is falling apart. Much like Kieslowski, director Ogresta probes the social undercurrents beneath the bubble of an upscale urban living with great skill and sharp insight.

TUNNEL’S END (Na kraju tunela), Spain/Bosnia Herzegovina 2008, documentary, 100 min. Directed by Monica Lleo.
An extraordinary debut film by a young filmmaker from Spain Monica Lleo, it tackles the key issues that led Bosnia-Herzegovina first into war in 1990’s and subsequently into paralysis the country is suffering today.

DIVORCE ALBANIAN STYLE (Razvod po albanski), Bulgaria/Albania 2007, documentary, 66 min. Directed by Adela Peeva.
Bulgarian director Adela Peeva reveals the tragic stories of Albanians who married Polish, Russian, Czech women in the post-WWII Albania. When Albanian president Hoxha split from the USSR in 1953, he ordered spouses deported as “spies”, and broke those marriages by force….

MY MARLON AND BRANDO (Gitmek), Turkey/Netherlands/UK 2008, feature, 93 min. Directed by Hüseyin Karabey.
A delightful, quirky and profoundly lyrical film from Kurdish director Karabey features Turkish actress Ayça Damgaci who plays herself and Kurdish actor Hama Ali Khan who fell in love only to be separated by borders and wars. Ayça’s journey across inhospitable border zones brings a whole new chapter to the love story genre.

DIAGNOSIS S.B.H. (Dijagnoza S.B.H.), Bosnia Herzegovina 2008, documentary, 42 min. Directed by Enes Zlatar.
On a backdrop of the contemporary music scene in Bosnia Herzegovina and interviews with fellow rock musicians, director Zlatar asks :Which language is ‘our language’? He explores the issue of language, leaving us to contemplate the high-voltage political legacy of nationalism and recent wars.

South East Europe Film Festival
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THE FOURTH MAN (Cetvrti covek), Serbia 2007, feature, 107 min. Directed by Dejan Zecevic.
Search for the “fourth man†and his own lost memory takes the recently amnesiac ‘Major’, veteran of the Bosnian war, through many circles of corruption, betrayal, misplaced honor and loyalty to a failed, criminal system. Made as a thriller and faithful to the genre throughout, the film rewards with restrained acting, intelligent plot and excellent chemistry among its ensemble cast.

ELEVATOR, Romania 2008, feature, 85 min. Directed by George Dorobantu.
Made in a true a guerilla-style on a minimal budget (rumor has it at $300) this remarkable debut was shot by an unknown director-cinematographer with two unknown actors. Nevertheless Elevator is a work of minimalistic perfection with a tense relationship between two teenagers trapped in the broken elevator of a deserted factory.

TWO FAIRIES (Dvije vile), Croatia 2008, animated short, 3 min. Directed by Miroslav Klaric and Jadranko Lopatic.
Charming and humorous little vignette depicts a very funny duel between two fairies for the possession of a single magic wand. These winged ladies employ even martial arts in their epic battle and end up properly brought down to an appropriately comical size.

ROOSTER’S BREAKFAST (Petelinji Zajtrk), Slovenia 2007, feature, 124 min. Directed by Marko Nabersnik.
Top grossing film in Slovenia and its official entry for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009, Rooster’s Breakfast is essentially a love story between a young car mechanic and the wife of a local criminal. There is plenty of nostalgia, sweet humor and country-style lovemaking in this tale of a tempestuous episode in the life of a provincial town.

For tickets and further information go to www.seefilmla.org, or tickets can be bought through www.brownpapertickets.com and 800-838-3006.

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