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The South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) returns to LA with a slate of features, shorts, and documentaries looking at the fluid borders of south east Europe. Formed in 2002, SEEfest aims to educate about and promote the cultural diversity of South East Europe.
The festival opens with a screening of Hawaii from director Jesús del Cerro, about a parent and child eluding the Secret Police of Communist Romania in pursuit of an inheritance. Director Cerro will also be taking part in the festival’s series of Coffee Talk lectures other producers and directors with films being screened.
Documentaries being shown include Roland Sejko’s The Awaiting, which tracks the tumultuous religious history of Albania. In Drifting Generation, directed by Stella Nicoletta Drossa, five young women, all daughters of Greek immigrant workers in Germany, return to Greece in the midst of its financial crisis.
One of the special screenings is the lavish period film, The Crown Prince, which tells the story of the crown prince Rudolf, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, whose life tragically ended in Mayerling in 1889.
To learn more, go to: http://seefilmla.org/
South East European Film Festival Los AngelesApril 26 - May 3, 2018
The weather is finally starting to get ever so slightly warmer, which means the outdoor movie viewing season will soon be upon us. Rooftop Films announced the opening of their Summer series for May 19 at Green-Wood Cemetery (500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY ). The opening night slate of films entitled This is What We Mean By Short Films, which includes a reception, live music, and an after-party. And on June 30 the same venue will host the Rooftop Film documentary slate, New York Non-Fiction. The specific films to be shown will be announced at a later date.
To learn more, go to: https://www.rooftopfilms.com/
This is What We Mean By Short FilmsMay 19, 2018
New York Non-FictionJune 30, 2018
Green-Wood Cemetery500 25th StreetBrooklyn, NY 11232
The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) the oldest film festival screening premieres of feature, documentary and short films made from, of, and about the Indian subcontinent in NYC will be returning May 7 - 12, 2018. Held at the Village East Cinema (181-189 2nd Ave.). The fest opens with the world premiere of Ravi Yadhav’s Nude, in which a single mother and her son move to Mumbai to start a new life when she takes on the taboo profession of a nude artist’s model to make ends meet. The centerpiece film of the fest is the North American premiere of Juze from director Miransha Naik in which a young boy must confront a violent slumlord that has a grip on his community. Closing the fest is Omerta from Hansal Mehta about a man with a dark war torn past at odds with two sides of his identity.
The fest also has a series of panels such as “Discovering the Film & Television Market in India” hosted by Ivanhoe Pictures executive Kilian Kerwin, “Shooting Film in New York State” a roundtable discussion with New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, and “The Inclusion Rider's Role in Diversifying Hollywood” with South Asian American attorney Kalpana Kotagal, co-author of the "Inclusion Rider".
To learn more, go to: http://www.iaac.us/nyiff2018/index.htm
The 18th Annual New York Indian Film FestivalMay 7 - 12, 2018
Village East Cinema181-189 2nd Ave.New York, NY 10003
Art Shrian Tiwari, photo credit Lapacazo Sandoval
Now in its 12th year, The Manhattan Film Festival unspools from April 18-29, 2018 with most films being shown at the Cinema Village theater (22 East 12th St.) Among its many films, “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” explores New York City’s bottle collectors, giving a glimpse into what it really means to return bottles and cans and glass containers for money as necessary income. Written produced and starring Indian immigrant Art Shrian Tiwari, and directed by Daniel Guillaro, it looks into a world that takes place in plain sight of many unaware New Yorkers, and captures the experience in this, his first short film which ushers in a change in the writers/actors' life.
There’s another perspective a person gains when one "literally" gets their hands dirty, perceived by many as unappealing, performing an act that many would never do, preferring instead to beg. As one character, an older white woman in her late 70s, says in the film, "begging is a lot harder than picking bottles, I tell you that!"
To prepare for the role and become part of the fabric of this community, Tiwari did just that. He rolled up his sleeves, and picked up discarded cans and bottles, turning them in for the five cents each one is worth at the many drop off locations around the city. It's messy hard work and a far cry from the software engineering and program management work Tiwari performed when he arrived from India several years ago.
For a long time, Tiwari’s extensive experience in e-commerce and financial services as well as an expertise in web and mobile domains led him to work for such well-established organizations as the Weight Watchers, Scholastic, Sprint, Starwood Hotels and New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Now in his 30s, he decided to make a change. He left the financial security of the IT field and stepped out to pursue writing and acting full time . This he did along with becoming a husband and father.
Says Tiwari, “I’m proud of being an immigrant in America, an Indian-American. I grew up in a middle-class family, with a happy upbringing surrounded by family, love, and support. My father was in Air Force, with a transferable job, thus we moved a lot. That opened me up to experiencing new cultures, people and be more open-minded in general”.
Writers write about what they know, or where they live, but Tiwari took a look inside a part of this city that most New Yorkers never care to know about. “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” tells of a single day in the life of a bottle collector, and his challenges of navigating the streets of New York. The April 24th screening of this short takes place at Cinema Village East Theater at 5 pm. It stars Tiwari, Nitin Mandan, Ilissa Jackson, Dequan Deveraux, and Mary Lu Garmone.
As Tiwari explained about wrestling his idea into a script, he learned quite a bit about bottle people. “We see these people around us in this great city every day. But we don't know anything about them. We just assume them to be homeless, scavengers or beggars of the sort. But in reality, they truly work hard for a meager amount of money. Of course, that little money can mean a lot, when you are in need."
To learn more about the festival go to http://manhattanff.com
The Manhattan Film FestivalApril 18 - 29, 2018
Cinema Village 22 E. 12th St.New York, NY 10003
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