New York Gypsy Film Festival Kicks Off On October 1
Published October 5, 2007
The first annual New York Gypsy Film Festival, dedicated to embracing the Roma culture and heritage of gypsies from around the world, will feature twelve films from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, and the US.
The first annual New York Gypsy Film Festival will run through the first week of October from October 1-7. All screenings, Q&A's, and musical events will be held at the Bulgarian Bar Mehanata located at 113 Ludlow St. in the Lower East Side. The festival includes twelve films from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, and the US.
Through literally centuries of slavery, genocide, massacre, and relentless ostracization, the Romani (Gypsy) people, who presently number around 15 million worldwide, continue to suffer unprecedented levels of violence, civilian attacks, fervent segregation, police brutality, and an appalling lack of legitimate representation in art and in media. Abrasively, intimately, and artfully handled in 12 hand-picked films from Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, and the US, the first annual New York Gypsy Film Festival brings some of these artists and their subjects to the forefront of the so called First World, with love, and without mercy.
The festival will be host to the world premiere of Sándor C. Nagy's Mundi Romani, a Hungarian documentary that depicts twelve artists presented at the 2007 Venice Bienniale as part of the Roma Pavilion. It also features Human Heart Explodes, a film directed by Helder Mira and produced by Matt Orefice and Paul A. McDonald. The documentary visualizes Safet Tairov's struggles to help his disadvantaged and ostracized Roma (Gypsy) community in a small village in Eastern Europe. A discussion with the filmmaker will take place after the screening of this film.
A special event film from the UK portrays the travels of musician Eugene Hutz with a passionate fan who happens to be a filmmaker, Pavla Fleischer. The Pied Piper of Hutzovina is a documentation of Pavla's journeys with Hutz from Budapest to Ukraine, capturing his performances as gypsy punk frontman of Gogol Bordello while meeting other prominent Roma artists along the route. There will be a Q&A following the screening and Hutz will DJ as Thursday night resident of Mehanata's legendary gypsy parties.
Another special event film is Luchia Dragosh's The Child Within, a dramatic feature that investigates the lives of three young pregnant women from Bulgaria, Belarus, and China, who flee to America despairing their circumstance and searching for lives of freedom. Instead they find themselves victims of human trafficking. A Q&A with the filmmaker will follow the screening.
A special closing screening will be held on October 7 presenting The Gypsy Caravan with a Q&A to follow with Director/Producer/Writer Jasmine Dellal. The Gypsy Caravan is an ethnographic exploration of Roma musicians such as renowned Romanians Taraf de Haidouks and Fanfare Ciocarlia.
Mon October 1 - Pretty Dyana 45 min 7:00 PM Garlic And Watermelons 66 min Q&A 8:00 PM**
Tue October 2 - Everyday Life of Roma Children from Block 71 22 min 7:00 PM Porraimos 56 min Q&A 7:30 PM**
Wed October 3 - The Soul Has no Ethnic Origin 13 min Q&A 7:00 PM** The Child Within 93 min Q&A 7:30 PM**
Thur October 4 - The Pied Piper of Hutzovina 63 min Q&A 7:00 PM**
Fri October 5 - Virtuosi from Nowhere 78 min 7:00 PM
Sat October 6 - Mundi Romani-The Venice Biennale 25 min 7:00 PM Human Heart Explodes 85 min Q&A 8:00 PM**
Sun October 7 - American Gypsy 80 min Q&A 7:00 PM** Gypsy Caravan 109 min Q&A 8:30 PM**
**Q&A w/filmmaker or relevant guests
Musical performances and visual art depicting Roma themes will be presented at screenings TBA.