Film Festivals & Awards 2005-2009

Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles


Showing the Filmex badge in Budapest, July 1985
Showing the Filmex badge in Budapest, July 1985

Hungarian Film Festival, November 2009

The annual gala film event created by Bela Bunyik brings these vital new films to Hollywood under the greatly changed conditions of today's world. In commemoration of the 25th year of his first film curating trip to Budapest, Bela invited Gary McVey to be on the film jury in this special edition marking twenty years since the fall of the old regime in Hungary.


Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition, Fall 2007—2008—2009

The Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition had an unwieldy name, but an important worldwide theme that transcended political boundaries. An experimental departure for the ACF, this unusual environmental film festival embraced market solutions and advanced technology. It was a natural for southern California. The third edition took place at the Getty Center. But the Great Recession that began in the festival's first year eventually caught up with it. As times changed after 2007, sponsors (even nicer ones) assumed greater decision-making power over quality issues that had been considered up to the presenting arts organizations, making fair curating trickier.

Gary McVey - IUOW Jury
Gary McVey and other film IUOW jury members puzzle over a tough selection.

In its second year, the 2008 "Water Festival" was already a stylish event.


Cleveland International Film Festival, March 2008

For decades, both during and after the Cold War, eastern and central Europeans have considered Cleveland's film festival to be the United States' most loyal, dedicated big city showcase of their finest screen work. The 32nd edition of CIFF was considered one of the best of the new century. Gary McVey served on that film jury, along with AFI FEST's Nancy Collet, and Howard Feinstein of Screen International and Variety, the programmer of the Sarajevo film festival. The festival headquarters is part of a redeveloped railway complex and transportation hub, and has led the way in making film festivals accessible to urban audiences.


Eighth Annual Freedom Film Festival
Los Angeles

May 19-21, 2005
Freedom Film Festival Poster

Freedom Film Festival Poster by Wiktor Sadowski © American Cinema Foundation

The American Cinema Foundation, in cooperation with GILA, presents the eighth edition of its yearly festival celebrating cinema from central and eastern Europe. The Andrzej Wajda Freedom Prize, given annually by the ACF during the Berlin International Film Festival each February, recognizes European talent and celebrates the relationship between two great film cities, Berlin and Los Angeles. FFF 2005 highlights two winners of this prize—Andreas Dresen and Jan Svankmajer—and looks back on a quarter century of dramatic change in Europe. All films are presented in their original language with English subtitles. The festival takes place May 19-21 at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd. #100, Los Angeles, CA 90036.


Yugoslavia: A Case Study

May 21, 2005

A mini-marathon of European films, curated by ex-Yugoslav film critic Vera Mijojlic who also produced a short documentary, TITO ARCHIVES, which will screen throughout the day. Read More »


Freedom Film Festival Pre-Event: OSTALGIA
(Goethe Institute-Los Angeles)

March 2005

The American Cinema Foundation has presented the Freedom Film Festival since 1997; it is one of Hollywood's best-known showcases for films from the formerly socialist countries of central and eastern Europe. The festival has presented prizes in Berlin, Moscow, Baku (Azerbaijan), and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Its highest award was given to Andrzej Wajda in Berlin in 1999.


The Andrzej Wajda Freedom Award

Berlin – February 6, 2005

The Prize is named after world artist Andrzej Wajda, Poland's great filmmaker, winner of a special Academy Award in 2000. His powerful collection of works includes Ashes and Diamonds (1958), The Demons (1987), Doctor Korczak (1990) and Pan Tadeusz (1999). Mr. Wajda agreed to become the artistic patron and final judge of the new annual award, recognizing filmmakers from the former socialist countries of eastern and central Europe, in 1999. It has been presented to Kira Muratova (Ukraine, 2000) Jan Svankmajer (Czech Republic, 2001), Andreas Dresen (eastern Germany, 2002), Alexander Sokurov (Russia, 2003) and Marcel Lozinski (Poland, 2004). This year's prize recipient is Hungarian director Bela Tarr. The Friends of the German Cinematheque (FDK) will screen a selection of Bela Tarr films at the Arsenal Kino from 4 to 6 February, concluding with the prize ceremony on Sunday, the sixth.

"It is an honor for us to be able to pay tribute to Bela Tarr, one of Hungary's gifts to world cinema," said Gary McVey, executive director of the American Cinema Foundation. "We are especially honored to be presenting the award in collaboration with Ulrich and Erika Gregor, curators of one of the world's great cinematheques."