The South East European Film Festival opens in Beverly Hills Thursday night with the world premiere of "Sarajevo," Austrian filmmaker Andreas Prochaska's thriller about the examining magistrate investigating the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a major historical turning point that precipitated the World War I.
In its ninth year, SEEfest will explore the theme "Europe in the Time of Turmoil," highlighting the turbulent past of the 15-country region and how it continues to loom large over the present.
Other festival selections include Andrei Zinca's "Puzzle," Danilo Marunovic's "Crazy About You," Igor Cobileanski's "The Unsaved" and Cassio Tolpolar's "Mamaliga Blues."
Vera Mijojlic, the festival's director, said in a statement, "We look for films that create an in-depth portrait of South East Europe for American audiences."
In addition to feature films, shorts and documentaries, the festival will also feature a business conference and an awards reception.
The festival runs May 1-5 at venues throughout the Los Angeles area, including the Writers Guild Theater and Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and the Goethe-Institut in the Mid-Wilshire area.
For more information, go to seefilmla.org.