2021 Film Series

ASEEES is delighted to announce the Film Screenings as part of our 53rd Annual ASEEES Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA Nov. 18-21 and Virtually Dec. 1-3.

We thank the members of the Working Group on Cinema and Television for putting together a fantastic film series.

Active (citizen), 2019, Serbian, 30 min., Film by Piotr Goldstein & Jan Lorenz
November 18, 2021 8:00-10:00pm l Hilton New Orleans Riverside, FULTON
Introduced by: Ana Hofman (Scientific Research Centre SAZU (Slovenia))

Active (citizen) - trailer from Piotr Goldstein on Vimeo.

The majority of documentaries about Roma people in Eastern Europe portray them as passive victims of overwhelming discrimination. Without negating this discrimination, ‘Active (citizen)’ focuses on the efforts of a Roma refugee from Kosovo living in Novi Sad, Serbia, who tries to improve not only his own life but also that of other citizens of the city. It is a visual ethnography focused on the material, sensory and kinesthetic realities of the protagonist’s work and its political and social significance – the daily activism beyond the scope of public recognition.

This 30-minute film is part of a research project on the ‘invisible activism’ of ethnic minorities and migrants who engage for causes beyond those important for their own community. Such activism is invisible because it happens outside any minority or migrant community structures (typical point of access for researchers and media) and because, at times, it takes forms which comparing to the activism of those who can afford more grand forms of engagement, it seems insignificant. Through the film, the authors approach the question of affordability of activism as conceptualized by people like themselves – middle-class academics and activists.

This is Edik: A tale of a Gifted and Stolen Childhood, 2020, Russian, 113 min., Film by Roman Super and Ivan Proskuryakov
November 19, 2021 3:30pm l Hilton New Orleans Riverside, FULTON
Introduced by Alla Roylance (New York U)

Eduard Uspensky was Russia's most influential children's writer and creator of iconic animation characters, including everyone's favorite Cheburashka. This part-documentary/part-animation film features interviews with Uspensky’s colleagues and family, as well as excerpts from interviews with the writer himself. Gripping, masterful portrayal of a complicated person who left an indelible mark on several generations of Russian children.

Soyuzmultifilm (working title) excerpt, 2023, Russian/English, 20 min., Film by Ethan Bien
December 2, 2021 10:00-11:45am CST
Introduced by Ethan Bien

Studio Soyuzmultfilm, the USSR’s flagship animation studio, was non-commercial, world-renowned, and fundamental to the upbringing of several generations of Soviet children. Now, Vladimir Putin’s government has relaunched the studio, and we follow a set of animators as they try to launch their own careers and navigate the fraught relationship between art and capitalism.

The new studio is a strange, quintessentially Putin-era project that blurs the line between public and private, art and commerce, and the Soviet Union and Russia. In the vein of Claire Simon’s “Le Concours,” a documentary portrait of France’s leading film school and a penetrating examination of French society’s treatment of the creative arts, and Robin Hessman’s “My Perestroika,” a portrait of the last Soviet generation, our feature documentary will follow along as a new generation of Russian artists tries to build a new studio on the bones of the old, exploring what the story of this state start-up, and its historical context, reveals about the complex relationship between art, capitalism, and the state.

Little Star Rising, 2019, BCS, 75 min., Film by Slađana Lučić
December 3, 2021 3:00-4:45pm CST
Introduced by Keith S. Brown
Questions and Answers by Slađana Lučić and Nudzeima Softic


This independent documentary film follows Nudzejma Softic as she trains to compete in Ironman triathlons. Through the challenges Nudzejma faces as an observant Muslim woman who wears the hijab, and the fellowship she inspired and draws upon in her journey of, first-time director Sladjana Lucic shows how persistence, tenacity and hope bring people together in contemporary Bosnia-Hercegovina.