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Disappearing Act V

The Czech Center, with European Union National Institutes for Culture and Other European Partners, Presents the Fifth Annual Edition of the Disappearing Act European Film Festival in New York to Run April 10-21, 2013.

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The Czech Center, with European Union National Institutes for Culture and Other European Partners, Presents the Fifth Annual Edition of the Disappearing Act European Film Festival in New York to Run April 10-21, 2013.

Expanding festival includes 24 contemporary films from 24 European countries with opening night at the IFC Center and screenings at the Bohemian National Hall and Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI).

Disappearing Act V, European Film Festival in New York, features film screenings in three prestigious venues, with opening night at the IFC Center on Wednesday, April 10 and a special screening on April 18; screenings at Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) from April 19-21; and screenings at the digital cinema at Bohemian National Hall from April 11-20. The festival will present 24 contemporary European films from Austria, the Wallonia-Brussels region of Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Institutional members of the Festival Board are the Czech Center New York (chair), the Goethe-Institut New York, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.


April 10 & 18
IFC Center
, 323 Sixth Avenue at West 3rd Street, New York. Subway:  A, C, B, D, E, F & M to West 4th St. Station
Tickets available at box office or online 

April 11-17 & 20
Bohemian National Hall
, 321 East 73rd Street bet. 1st and 2nd Avenues, New York.  Subway: 6 to 68th Street Hunter College or 77th Street
Free admission, on a first-come, first-served basis.

April 19-21
Museum of the Moving Image,
36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria-Queens. Subway: M, R to Steinway Street, N, Q to 36th Avenue
Tickets available at museum. For info visit movingimage.us.


Tue, Apr. 9
7:00 pm - Pre-festival event: Panel discussion Streaming as Source of European Cinema
Panelists: Ira Deutchman, Emerging Pictures; Andrew Mer, Snagfilms; Delphine Selles-Alvarez, Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Ryan Werner, film business consultant.
Moderated by Irena Kovarova, Disappearing Act V curator and producer.
Discussing: Streaming of films in theaters and for at home viewing and how can European partners boost the efforts of companies providing foreign language films via streaming to the public in the US?

Wed, Apr. 10
7:00 pm - Opening Night Film: Play - (IFC Center)
Followed by Q&A with director Ruben Ostlund
9:30-11:00 pm - The Opening Night screening will be followed by a party for ticket holders at the Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building located at 5 East 3rd Street

Thr, Apr. 11
6:30 pm - 1395 Days Without Red (1395 dana bez crvene) – (BNH)
8:00 pm - Kuma - (BNH)
Followed by Q&A with actress Nihal Koldas

Fri, Apr. 12
6:30 pm - Stars Above (Tahtitaivas talon ylla) - (BNH)
8:30 pm - Diamond Flash - (BNH)

Sat, Apr. 13
3:30 pm - Small Crime (Mikro eglima) – (BNH)
5:30 pm - Made in Ash (Az do mesta As) – (BNH)
7:15 pm - Tilva Rosh (Tilva Ros) – (BNH)
Followed by Q&A with director Nikola Lezaic

Sun, Apr. 14
3:30 pm - Attenberg - (BNH)
5:30 pm - The Taste of Creme Brulee (O Sabor do Leite Creme) – (BNH)
7:00 pm - Tuesday, After Christmas (Marti, dupa Craciun) – (BNH)

Mon, Apr. 15
7:00 pm - The Almost Man (Mer eller mindre mann) – (BNH)
Followed by Q&A with director Martin Lund

Tue, Apr. 16
6:30 pm - Living Afterwards (De leur vivant) – (BNH)
8:30 pm - Lena - (BNH)

Wed, Apr. 17
6:30 pm - Feed Me With Your Words (Nahrani me z besedami) – (BNH)
8:15 pm - Flower Buds (Poupata) – (BNH)
Followed by Q&A with director Zdenek Jirasky

Thr, Apr. 18
6:30 pm - Dreileben, Part 1: Beats Being Dead - (IFC Center)

(Etwas Besseres als den Tod)
8:15 pm - Dreileben, Part 2: Don’t Follow Me Around - (IFC Center)

(Komm mir nicht nach)
10:00 pm - Dreileben, Part 3: One Minute of Darkness - (IFC Center)

(Eine Minute Dunkel)

Fri, Apr. 19
7:00 pm - Rose (Roza) – (MoMI)

Sat, Apr. 20

3:00 pm - Corpo Celeste - (MoMI)
6:00 pm - Mushrooming (Seenelkaik) – (BNH)
8:00 pm - The Boy Who Was a King (Momcheto, koeto beshe tsar) – (BNH)
Followed by Q&A with director Andrey Paounov

Sun, Apr. 21
2:00 pm - Summer Games (Giochi d’estate) – (MoMI)
4:30 pm - Tomboy - (MoMI)
7:00 pm - The Exam (A vizsga) – (MoMI)
Followed by Q&A with screenwriter Norbert Kobli

Tickets to opening night screening of Play are available for purchase at the box office or here

The Opening Night screening will be followed by a party for ticket holders.

Tickets to Dreileben at IFC Center are available for purchase at the box office or  here
 Admission to screenings at Museum of the Moving Image free with museum admission, ($12; seniors and students $9); tickets to Friday night screenings are $12 (seniors and students $9)


Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations necessary.

Festival blog http://disappearingactblog.wordpress.com

Now in its fifth year, Disappearing Act was launched as an annual event in 2009 and instantly became a popular event in New York for its unique, carefully curated celebration of the vitality of contemporary European cinema. The program presents films that have gained acclaim on the festival circuit and with critics, yet remain largely unknown to American audiences. Though some of the films have secured U.S. theatrical distribution and a DVD release, the unbending financial demands of the current distribution system prevent them from reaching wider audiences. Disappearing Act brings these titles back to the attention of the media and the public, giving them another chance to be seen. Although the festival does not hunt for premieres and discoveries, the program includes a number of theatrical and festival New York and U.S. firsts.

For the third consecutive year, the festival presents films from South Eastern European countries. The presentation of three films, accompanied by their filmmakers, is provided this year by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, which supports cultural exchange between the United States and Central and Eastern Europe.

The Disappearing Act program includes a panel discussion, to be held on April 9 at the Bohemian National Hall as a pre-festival event. This year’s panel turns its attention to access to European cinema through various forms of streaming, from private viewing (such as Netflix and VOD) to streaming in cinemas and other cultural venues. Previously, panel discussions have been led by Richard Pena of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, A. O. Scott of The New York Times, John Vanco of IFC Films, journalist Eugene Hernandez and others who have explored industry topics such as access to foreign-language films by American audiences. For the second year in a row, the festival also opens itself as an educational resource to university students of cinema studies programs, providing an opportunity for them to introduce films and to post online reviews of festival films on the Disappearing Act festival blog.


Disappearing Act V is presented by the Disappearing Act Festival Board, chaired by the Czech Center New York, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut New York, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York, organized in partnership with the Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center, the Belgian Tourist Office – French Speaking Belgium – Brussels Wallonia, the Consulate General of Cyprus, the Consulate General of Estonia, the Consulate General of Finland, the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, the Consulate General of Sweden, the Consulate General of Switzerland, the Embassy of Portugal together with Instituto Camoes, the Embassy of Slovenia, the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the IFC Center, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Norwegian Consulate General, the Onassis Foundation (USA), together with the Consulate General of Greece, Pragda, and the Romanian Film Initiative, and with support from the +421 Foundation, Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association, the Cyprus Federation of America, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Slovak Film Institute, Slovenian Film Centre, Spain Culture New York, and Wallonie Bruxelles Images.

Disappearing Act V is an official project of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), sponsored in part by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the EU Delegation to the United Nations.
Additional support provided by Pilsner Urquell, Hospoda Restaurant, Becherovka, and Vino z Czech.

Curated and produced by Irena Kovarova. Production assistance by Sven Buehrer.

Special thanks to Alex Zucker, Jaap Verheul, Tomas Mazalek, Amber Shields, and Radka Ondrackova.




Sejla Kameric and Anri Sala, 2011, UK, Bosnia, Herzegovina; 70 min
. No dialogue.
Presented thanks to support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding
Cast: Maribel Verdu
Official Selection – Locarno Film Festival, Manchester International Festival

A cinematographic art project, 1395 Days Without Red is a collaboration between Bosnian artist Sejla Kameric and Albanian artist Anri Sala, who conceived the work together, resulting in two distinct films (presented here is the film by Sejla Kameric). The siege of Sarajevo lasted a brutal 1,395 days. The filmmakers recreate a woman’s daily journey through the city (Maribel Verdu, the star of Blancanieves), walking and running between safe and dangerous spaces, desperately trying to avoid the deadly “snipers’ alley.” Atmospheric and deeply affecting, the film is shot completely without dialogue, the only companion on the journey being Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, rehearsed by an orchestra somewhere in the city. 

Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010, Greece; 97 min
. In Greek and French.
Presented by the Onassis Foundation (USA) and the Consulate General of Greece. A Strand Releasing release.
Cast: Ariane Labed, Evangelia Randou, Yorgos Lanthimos, Vangelis Mourikis
Official Selection – Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival

A prime example of new Greek cinema, Attenberg centers on a crucial moment in the life of a young woman parting with her beloved, terminally ill father and welcoming a man as a lover into her life. However, the latter seems less like a romantic encounter than a study of human sexual behavior out of one of Sir David Attenborough’s animal kingdom documentaries. The attempts of the heroine’s best friend to educate her in matters of sex dominate the storyline, but the film’s most affecting motif is the emotional growth of a young adult who is losing ground in sight of a major loss. Yorgos Lanthimos (director of Dogtooth) makes an appearance in the role of the curious lover.


Alice Rohrwacher, 2011, Italy, France; 98min
. In Italian.
Presented by the Italian Cultural Institute. A Film Movement release.
Cast: Yle Vianello, Salvatore Cantalupo, Pasqualina Scuncia, Anita Caprioli
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival, Director’s Fortnight; New York Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival

Corpo Celeste is an assured impressionistic study of a young girl’s coming of age, set against the background of a relocation from Italy’s “modern” north to the country’s religious south. A mother moves with her two daughters back to the town of their birth, which brings about changes within the family, most of all to the younger daughter when she is forced to conform to local Catholic traditions and undergo the rite of passage of confirmation. Screen Daily heralded Corpo Celeste as “a quietly impressive debut feature.”

Carlos Vermut, 2011, Spain; 128min
. In Spanish.
Presented by Pragda as part of Cineart Spain, with additional support from Spain Culture New York

Cast: Eva Llorach, Angela Villar, Angela Boiz, Rocio Leon, Maria Victoria Radonic

An underground hit that became a sensation in Spain, Diamond Flash exemplifies the tendency of young filmmakers to take their careers into their own hands and produce projects independently, without support from the state. In his feature directorial debut, Carlos Vermut brilliantly leads a talented cast of theater professionals. Impossible to classify, the film straddles several genres between mystery and personal drama, with hints of fantasy, while using an accomplished cinematic style.  The story follows five women all connected by one man, a mysterious character who will forever change all of their lives.


Germany, 2011

Presented by the Goethe-Institut New York
Beats Being Dead
(Etwas Besseres als den Tod)
Christian Petzold
; 88 min. In German and Bosnian.
Cast: Stefan Kurt, Jacob Matschenz, Luna Mijovic

Don’t Follow Me Around (Komm mir nicht nach)
Dominik Graf; 89 min
. In German.
Cast: Jeanette Hain, Susanne Wolff, Misel Maticevic

One Minute of Darkness (Eine Minute Dunkel)
Christoph Hochhaeusler; 90 min
. In German and English.
Cast: Stefan Kurt, Eberhard Kirchberg, Imogen Kogge, Timo Jacobs
Official Selection – Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival

The three parts of this film, named after a town in the Thuringian Forest, share a single plot, but are shot in highly distinct styles by a trio of German directorial talents, two of whom, Petzold and Hochhaeusler, are members of the Berlin School. In the first, the story centers on a budding romance between a medical student doing alternative service in a large hospital to avoid the army, and a Bosnian girl, who supports her mother and younger brother by working in a hotel. On the night they meet, a sex offender escapes from the hospital, sending the police on a hectic search. The two twenty-somethings slowly get to know each other — until an inevitable encounter occurs with the man on the run. In the second part, the sex offender roams the forest, known for its legends, and a police psychologist is sent to Thuringia to assist in tracking him down. In the third and final part, the escaped offender, a convicted murderer, comes to the fore and the camera follows his clumsy narrow escapes from the equally clumsy police, until a detective on sick leave finally puts together all the pieces of the puzzle.


Martin Turk, 2012, Slovenia; 88min
. In Slovenian and Italian.
Presented by the Embassy of Slovenia and the Slovenian Film Centre
Cast: Sebastian Cavazza, Jure Henigman, Boris Cavazza, Masa Derganc, Miranda Caharija
Official Selection – Sao Paulo International Film Festival

Walking a fine line between mystery, thriller and psychological drama, Turk’s debut feature follows an estranged father and his older son on an anguished trip. The son answers a call from his father after 10 years of avoiding contact with him. He learns that his younger brother disappeared while on a research trip to Italy, leaving behind his mother, who suffers from dementia. Although their relationship is palpably tense, the two men try to solve the mystery of the disappearance, doing their best to ignore what has happened between them in the past. For development of his quiet and deliberately paced film, director Martin Turk received support from Cannes Cinéfondation Residence and development labs of Rotterdam and Locarno festivals.


Zdenek Jirasky, 2011, Czech Republic; 91 min
. In Czech.
Followed by director Q&A
Presented by the Czech Center New York
Cast: Vladimir Javorsky, Malgorzata Pikus, Marika Soposka, Miroslav Panek
Official Selection – Czech Film Academy Award for Best Film

With this breakthrough, award-winning feature film debut, director Zdenek Jirasky narrates the story of a blue-collar family in a small town. The family finds itself on the brink of a breakdown with each member going in different directions.  The daughter plans to go away, knowing that neither the town nor her parents’ home can bring her the opportunities she yearns for; the son blindly follows his heart; and the mother, though still very much in love with her husband, finds solace in the companionship of old friends and nostalgia for her youth.  The father is a mess, whose addiction to slot machines puts his entire existence at risk.


Umut Dag, 2012, Austria; 93 min
. In German and Turkish.
Q&A with actress Nihal G. Koldas
Presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York
Cast: Nihal G. Koldas, Begum Akkaya, Vedat Erincin, Murathan Muslu
Official Selection – Berlin International Film Festival

Kuma is the Turkish word for a woman who lives with a married man and his family, a frowned-upon custom in Turkey as much as in the rest of Europe. In Umut Dag’s emotional film, a Turkish family in Vienna decides to resolve their precarious situation by taking in a second wife for the family’s aging patriarch. The beautiful young bride marries the patriarch’s son in a sham of a traditional wedding staged in Turkey. But before the family returns to Austria, emotions run high between the children and their new “mother,” while the wives themselves create a strong bond. Their love for each other is however put to a challenging test.


Christophe Van Rompaey, 2011, The Netherlands-Belgium; 119min
. In Dutch and Polish.
Presented by the EYE Film Institute Netherlands
Cast: Emma Levie, Niels Gomperts, Jeroen Willems, Agata Buzek
Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival; Les Arcs European Film Festival (Best Actress Award)

The titular Lena is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her single mother, a Polish immigrant. Her appearance and the poor home she hails from makes her feel like an outsider, but she has the inner strength and will to fight for her dream. She radiates a sense of serenity and happiness in spite of her innate shyness. When an attractive boy sets his eyes on her and invites her to move in with him and his father, Lena happily leaves her disapproving mother to start her life anew. Her decision quickly takes a wrong turn as things become less perfect as they originally seemed.


Geraldine Doignon,
2011, Belgium; 95min. In French.
Presented by the Belgian Tourist Office - Brussels Wallonia
Cast: Christian Crahay, Mathylde Demarez, Yoann Blanc, Jean-François Rossion
Official Selection – Montreal World Film Festival, Sao Paulo International Film Festival

At their mother’s funeral, a small hotel owner’s three adult children struggle with their feelings when their father fails to attend the ceremony. They plan to sell the property to escape the painful memories of their beloved mother, but their father does not agree. He’s overcome by grief and when a pregnant woman arrives at the hotel seeking a room, she helps the family to mend their damaged relationship.


Iveta Grofova, 2012, Slovakia, Czech Republic; 80 min
. In Slovak, Czech and German.
Presented by the Consulate General of Slovak Republic and the Slovak Film Institute with additional support from +421 Foundation
Cast: Dorotka Billa, Silvia Halusicova, Robin Horky
Official Selection – Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Torino Film Festival

In her feature film debut, Iveta Grofova follows a high school graduate as she journeys from her native Slovakia to the westernmost town of the neighboring Czech Republic. The 18-year-old Roma is searching for work, independence and an exciting life, which she lacks back in her village. Finding work in a textile factory, she’s confronted with the mundane life led by her female colleagues there. Their routine is occasionally spiced up by visits from their “German princes,” equally floundering men from across the border. The Slovak young woman soon finds a “prince” of her own, but when she loses her job, she has to decide whether marrying an older German is better than going back home to her family and the boyfriend she left behind.


Toomas Hussar, 2012, Estonia; 93 min
. In Estonian.
Presented by the Consulate General of Estonia
Cast: Raivo E. Tamm, Elina Reinold, Juhan Ulfsak
Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival; Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Toomas Hussar’s black political comedy satirizes the far-too-frequent cases of corruption and abuse of political power in Europe. When a journalist learns too much about his financial misconduct, a high-level politician sets out on a mushrooming trip with his wife. Along the way they pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a pompous rock idol. When the group gets lost, they encounter a rude local redneck and all hell breaks loose.


Ruben Ostlund, 2011, Sweden, France, Denmark; 118 min
. In Swedish.
Followed by director Q&A. Opening night film selection.
Presented by the Consulate General of Sweden
Cast: Kevin Vaz, Johan Jonason, Abdiaziz Hilowle, Yannick Diakité, John Ortiz, Nana Manu
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival – Directors’ Fortnight; Rotterdam and New York Film Festival

Play, Ruben Ostlund’s expertly shot and meticulously constructed film is based on real cases of bullying. A group of teens robs other children using an elaborate scheme that verges on a theatrical play. Though no physical violence is involved, the victims find themselves trapped.  They give up any attempts to escape and go along with the scammers’ demands, with adults failing to intervene. In his third feature, Ostlund employs an exquisite filmmaking style while unnerving the viewer with a moral tale that challenges the way we think. While his earlier work observes the influence of a group on an individual’s behavior, his new film is a study on the interactions between two groups against the backdrop of contemporary European society.


Wojciech Smarzowski , 2011, Poland; 94 min
. In Polish and German.
Presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York
Cast: Agata Kulesza, Marcin Dorocinski, Malwina Buss, Kinga Preis
Official Selection – Toronto Film Festival

The director of the acclaimed contemporary drama The Wedding (winner of numerous Polish Academy Awards) turns his attention to a seldom-explored theme from post-WWII European history. Relying more on raw imagery than dialogue, Smarzowski tells the tale of a fight for survival by a widowed Masurian woman. Her life and farm are attacked from all sides by looters from the Soviet Army as well as the new Polish establishment, until rescue comes in the form of a man who fought in the war on the opposite side of her husband.


Christos Georgiou, 2008, Cyprus-Germany-Greece; 88min
. In Greek.
Presented by the Consulate General of Cyprus with the kind support of the Cyprus Federation of America
Cast: Aris Servetalis, Viki Papadopoulou, Rania Ekonomidou, Erricos Litsis
Official Selection – San Francisco International Film Festival; Thessaloniki International Film Festival

On a small Greek island a young police officer is frustrated with his mundane tasks – chasing local kids speeding on the dirt roads and hounding naked tourists off the beaches. So when a local drunk, a former soccer star, is found dead at the foot of a steep hill, the officer is convinced it’s a homicide. The investigation leads him to a beautiful TV anchor who hails from the island and makes everyone proud whenever she appears on screen. It doesn’t take long before romantic feelings develop between the two, but the truth behind the mysterious death still needs to be resolved. Exceptionally beautiful cinematography adds another dimension to this cheerful, lighthearted comedy.


Saara Cantell, 2012, Finland-Iceland; 101min
. In Finnish.
Presented by the Consulate General of Finland and the Finnish Film Foundation
Cast: Elin Petersdottir, Meri Nenonen, Irina Bjorklund

Director Saara Cantell chronicles Finnish society and its changing attitudes towards women through the lives of three different generations set in 1942, 1978, and present day. The film follows three women who settle on a family farm as they struggle with themselves and their relationships with men. In all three cases, the farm serves as a refuge: first to the casualties of war, then as a place to restart one’s life, and finally as a place of escape from the outer world.

Rolando Colla, 2011, Switzerland-Italy; 106min
. In Italian.
Presented by the Consulate General of Switzerland
Cast: Armando Condolucci, Fiorella Campanella, Alessia Barela, Antonio Merone
Official Selection – Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival

On summer vacation, everyone tries to be on their best behavior, but it does not take long before the pretense vanishes. So goes the relationship of a blue-collar couple on the brink of divorce because the husband cannot control his violence. It turns out that their son cannot control himself either, as he rules over a group of children at the summer campsite. When he meets a girl in pain because her father has abandoned her, they build a bond and an emotional fortress, pretending that nothing can ever enter their world.


Hiroatsu Suzuki and Rossana Torres, 2012, Portugal; 74min
. In Portuguese.
Presented by the Embassy of Portugal and Instituto Camoes
Official Selection – DocLisboa (main competition)

In Hiroatsu Suzuki and Rosanna Torres’ latest film, they focus on the passing of time in a home occupied by two elderly sisters. Looking out from their house to the street and the school where they both used to teach, the sisters share their unhurried life tending to the house, their garden and each other. Only the garden reveals the passing of time and changing seasons as the film quietly observes what life brings in old age, through the sublime and affecting camera work of Hiroatsu Suzuki.


Martin Lund, 2012, Norway; 80min
. In Norwegian.
Followed by director Q&A
Presented by the Norwegian Consulate General
Cast: Henrik Rafaelsen, Solvei Grimen Fosse, Janne Heltberg
Official Selection  – Karlovy Vary Film Festival (winner Best Film and Best Actor)

Having just acquired their first home, a thirty-something couple are expecting their first child. Yet their interactions — loaded with jokes and wisecracks as a way to avoid “serious talk”— suggest a yearning to preserve the freshness of their earlier, carefree days’. The young man (the excellent Henrik Rafaelsen, lead in the remarkable 2010 comedy Happy Happy) is more prone to escapism, and when his kindhearted partner invites friends and colleagues over for a pleasant evening with wine, he runs off to join his high school buddies for a night of wild drinking and making out with single women. On his return home, he has to face the reasons for his immature behavior.


Andrey Paounov, 2011, Bulgaria-Germany: 90min, documentary
. In Bulgarian and English.
Followed by director Q&A
Presented thanks to support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding
Official Selection – Toronto International Festival; River Run International Film Festival (Best Documentary Feature)

In the words of the filmmaker: “Royalty meets Reality: the biography of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the exile boy-king who gloriously returned as a republican politician to fall from grace in one of the greatest experiments of democracy today.” In his characteristic filmmaking style, Paounov (The Mosquito Problem) continues to study contemporary Bulgarian society and its 20th-century past. This time he scrutinizes the unique life of King Simeon II, who was crowned as a 6-year-old after the sudden death of his father, only to be dethroned by the Communists at age 9, and finally becoming Bulgarian prime minister some 50 years later. Through his excellent choice of rich archival footage and perfectly crafted staged scenes, Paounov expertly follows a typically European style of creative documentary making.


Peter Bergendy, 2011, Hungary; 89min
. In Hungarian.
Followed by Q&A with screenwriter Norbert Kobli
Presented by the Balassi Institute - Hungarian Cultural Center
Cast: Zsolt Nagy, Janos Kulka, Peter Scherer, Andras Balogh, Gabriella Hamori
Official Selection – Karlovy Vary International Festival, Montreal World Film Festival

In the territory of secret agents, it is never easy to know who is watching whom, who is the hunter, and who is the hunted. In 1950s Communist Hungary, the secrets and enemy sides were aplenty and the stakes as high as they come. Loyalty to the state had to be proven and counter-revolutionaries uncovered, especially if they came in the form of a beautiful seductress. But who will be the last one left standing, remains to be seen.


Nikola Lezaic, 2010,
Serbia; 99min. In Serbian.
Followed by director Q&A
Presented thanks to support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding
Cast: Marko Todorovic, Stefan Djordjevic, Dunja Kovacevic
Official Selection – Sarajevo International Film Festival (winner Best Film), Locarno Film Festival

Set in Bor, Serbia, once the largest copper mine in Europe and now completely abandoned, two best friends spend their first summer after high school filming stunts to share with the world. Their friendship starts to unravel over their romantic interest in the same girl and tension because only one of them has enough money to go to university. But rising union protests in town bring them back together.  Now traveling the worldwide festival circuit, director Lezaic is making his first New York public appearance with his debut feature at Disappearing Act.

Celine Sciamma, 2011, France; 82min
. In French.
Presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. A Dada Films release.
Cast: Zoe Heran, Malonn Levana, Jeanne Disson, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy
Official Selection – Berlin International Film Festival (winner of Teddy Award)

Winner of numerous festival awards, Tomboy tells a story of finding one’s sexual identity. A ten-year-old girl takes advantage of her family’s move to a new neighborhood to present herself as a boy to her new friends. Her potential love interest, soccer teammates, and finally her parents find out what has been going on, but what ensues is one of the most tenderly resolved situations seen in the coming-of-age and LGBT film genres.


Radu Muntean, 2010, Romania; 99min. In Romanian
Presented by the Romanian Film Initiative. A Kino Lorber release.
Cast: Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor, Maria Popistasu, Dragos Bucur
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard

Director Radu Muntean is an iconic filmmaker, and a pioneer of the Romanian New Wave. In a signature style, his films are carried out with careful attention to detail and character development. Never simplistic morality tales, the sympathies towards each character shift from one to the other as more details about their lives are revealed. Tuesday After Christmas is a story of a middle-aged man in love with two women: his wife and mother of his only child, and his new younger lover. He decides on leaving one of them before Christmas, and the intensity grows with every minute of the film as his crucial decision draws near.