Winner of Berlinale Best First Feature Award and Starring Trio of Breakout Young Actresses
Otto Nemenz, Legendary Founder of ONI Camera Company, to Receive SEEfest Legacy Award 2023
The 18th annual South East European Film Festival, co-presented by ELMA, brings to Los Angeles U.S. premieres, European talent, and an Industry Accelerator with seminars, panels, and workshops. From April 26th through May 3rd, the competition festival will showcase movies from this culturally rich area in East and Southeast Europe with a selection of features, documentaries, and short films.
Opening the festival on April 26th at 7 PM, with a red carpet gala at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, 135 S. Doheny Dr, will be the Los Angeles premiere of SONNE (The Sun), winner of the Berlinale Best First Feature Award last year. Directed by newcomer Kurdwin Ayub, a Kurdish filmmaker born and raised in Austria, the film bursts with the youthful energy of three teenage girls from Vienna who twerk in hijab and sing a pop song, filming and posting online. A YouTube video makes them famous overnight, especially in the Kurdish community.
The gala event will include the presentation of the 2023 SEEfest Legacy Award to Otto Constantin Nemenz, legendary founder of the camera rental company, Otto Nemenz International (ONI). Born in Austria to a Greek mother and Austrian father with roots in Romania, Nemenz grew up in Turkey and received a degree in optical engineering from the Vienna Technical Institute. After a stint at Panavision, he took a chance and caught a tremendous break when he was hired as camera technician on the famed film classic Grand Prix, directed by John Frankenheimer. He devoted his life to building the world-class camera rental facility and in 1992 received SciTech Oscar for Canon/Nemenz zoom lens.
SEEfest is again taking diverse audiences of Angelenos on a cinematic journey through 20 countries: from Ukraine, through Eastern Europe, traversing the Balkans, across Turkey, and extending to the eastern-most shores of Europe in the Caucasus mountain wreath.
The specific brand of humor and zest for life against all odds make these stories universal, transcending language and borders. They open doors into another experience altogether and by taking us on a journey halfway across the globe help us to better understand challenges in our own backyard.
About the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest)
SEEfest is a competition festival devoted to the presentation of cinematic and cultural diversity of South East Europe to American audiences, creating cultural connections through films, artistic and social events. It was founded in 2006 by Vera Mijojlić, long-time film critic and cultural entrepreneur.
About ELMA, Foundation for European Languages and Movies in America
ELMA’s mission is to create new avenues for better cultural understanding between the people of Europe and the USA by celebrating alternative cinema. Founder and Executive Director Pascal Ladreyt is a cinephile with passion for independent movies, and a goal to reach a wider, younger and more mainstream American audience that goes beyond the traditional “film buffs” and expat communities.
*SONNE synopsis, director’s bio, and trailer can be found here: https://bit.ly/436Tr3l .
*Otto Nemenz International headquarters is located in Culver City. Please visit : https://ottonemenz.com/.
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