SeeFest screens 30+ films, of which many are North American and Worldwide premieres, are screened in three theatres throughout Los Angeles to several thousand attendees showcasing cultural diversity in Southeast Europe.
Now approaching its tenth anniversary, the festival presents award-winning and acclaimed films, art installations, filmmaker talks, and a business conference celebrating and promoting the cinema and peoples of this dynamic, critical, and volatile region where East meets West. SeeFest is the only dedicated venue for power-players from Los Angeles and Southeast Europe (from the Balkans and the Danube to the Black Sea and the Caucasus) to meet, share work with an audience and each other, and develop new projects together.
Andrei Zinca’s “Puzzle” is the featured movie of the closing night gala of the festival on May 5th, at 7pm, at the Writers Guild Theater, in Beverly Hills. Adapted from the Argentinean play writer Mario Diament’s “Blind Date”, the movie is a love story with a twist… or, maybe a twisted love story. A young man and a young woman lock eyes on the escalators of a metro station: it’s love at first sight. Alas, one is going up and the other one down. Neither of them has the courage to stop the other. Would they ever have a second chance? Like pieces of a puzzle, 40 years later five destinies cross their paths to bring about the answer.
The movie was filmed and produced in its entirety in Romania, as a Romanian/U.S. co-production. “Here is a love story set against a web of coincidence, chance meetings and bittersweet encounters. It can happen to anybody, anywhere. Why not in Romania?” wonders director Andrei Zinca.
Castel Film, Zinca’s partner in Romania, is one of the leading film industry forces in Eastern Europe. US productions like Cold Mountain, Borat, Highlander, Ghost Rider, Hatfields & McCoys were shot at Castel Film studios, near Bucharest.
The movie premiered in Romania a year ago to great reviews and has been warmly received since by audiences in Europe and the US. It received The Best Actress in a Lead Role Award and Audience Choice Awards for Best Actor in a Lead Role, Best Feature and Best Script at 2013 New York City Indie Film Fest. It was an official selection of 2013 Kitzbuhel International Film Festival, in Austria, 2014 Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa, Fl., 2014 Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City, NJ, and 2014 Buffalo and Niagara International Film Festival, in Buffalo, NY.
The Romanian News (“Cotidianul”) wrote about the film: “Love, passion, or better said the lack thereof, constitute the subject of the movie. The heroes are in love, but at the same time used by the object of their passion. The director Andrei Zinca masterfully leads his characters through the puzzle of their lives and the lives of others, which slowly become profound dramas.”
The main roles are played by Adrian Titieni, Ioana Pavelescu, Tünde Skovrán, Catalina Mustata and Dan Nutu who garnered world-wide fame as a leading actor and star throughout the 70’s and 80’s. In the early 80’s he fled Communist Romania and quit acting. Following more than three-decade hiatus, Puzzle brings Dan Nutu back on the screen. He insists he “was skeptical of the idea to return to cinema”, but was persuaded in part by Andrei Zinca and by the producer Vlad Paunescu.
Dan Natu is the most interesting contemporary Romanian film actor. His character is a married man who falls in love with a much younger woman.
“He is a complex and enigmatic character, twisted, simple, ordinary, and extraordinary”, declares Titieni. A popular actress at the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj-Napoca, Tünde Skovrán is Adrian Titieni’s love interest and ‘Puzzle’ is her first feature film. “This role is heart rendering and quite challenging from a technical perspective and the dialogue in Romanian was another first, as my first language is Hungarian. I relied mostly on feelings and instinct rather than dialogue to flesh out my character”.
Ioana Pavelescu, one of the most accomplished actresses of Romanian cinema and theater, returns to the big screen after a long absence. Her character falls in love at first sight, but life takes her away from it, into a completely different direction. Never the less, her character never stops dreaming about a second chance.
SeeFest’s closing night gala featuring “Puzzle”, on May 5th at 7pm, at The Writers Guild Theater, in Beverly Hills is sponsored by Stefania Magidson and Blue Heron Foundation (screening), and Ivy Road Entertainment (following reception).
The movie’s trailer with English subtitles can be found at: https://vimeo.com/87250705
Andrei Zinca (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0956913/) received a Best Series Award from the Romanian Association of Television Professionals and one from the Romanian Filmmakers Association. He received the Best TV Director Award from the Hispanic Association of Television Critics and was nominated for an Emmy Regional Award. He is currently in post-production with “Projects from the Past”, another Romania/U.S. co-production, and in development with two features: a drama set to be shot between Argentina and the U.S., and a movie for children.
For SeeFest, please contact Vera Mijojlic, at 310-709 5497
For Puzzle, please contact Andrei Zinca at 305-216 8341
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