'Gravehopping' takes South East honors


CANNES -- "Gravehopping," directed by Jan Cvitkovic, a Slovenian/Croation co-prodution, received the Critics Award for Best Film at the South East European Film Festival, which concluded Monday in Los Angeles.

The Audience Choice Award went to the Romanian film "The Way I spent the End of the World," directed by Catalin Mitulescu.

The fest also awarded a special Certificate for Best Documentary Film to Elka Nikolova's "Binka," a portrait of the avant-garde filmmaker from 1950s and 1960s Bulgaria, Binka Zhelyazkova.

The awards were announced by festival director Vera Mijojlic, and Cinema Without Borders editor-in-chief Bijan Tehrani at the closing night afterparty at the restaurant Tokyo Table on La Cienega Blvd.

Hosted by Hettie Lynne Hurtes of KPCC Radio, the evening's guests included Gary McVey, executive director of the American Cinema Foundation, and Tehrani, who spoke about the importance of the festival and its growing impact on the cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

The five-day South East European Film Festival 2007 concluded with the screening of Harun Mehmedinovic's AFI-produced short film, "In the Name of the Son," followed by the Serbian feature, "7 1/2" by Miroslav Momcilovic, at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.