“Baba Babee Skazala” [“Grandmother Told Grandmother”], a documentary film by Verona resident, and first-time filmmaker, Matej Silecky, will have its world premiere at the Fall 2018 New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, October 7 at 7 p.m. The screening will be held at Rutgers University’s Voorhees Hall #105, 71 Hamilton Street/College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick. It will be followed by a Q&A session with Silecky and others involved in the production of the film. Tickets are available in advance; details at www.njfilmfest.com.
“Baba Babee Skazala” tells the little known story of Ukrainian children torn from their homes in the crush between the Nazi and Soviet fronts in World War II. Spending their childhood as refugees in Europe, these inspiring individuals later immigrated to the United States, creating new homes and communities through their grit, faith and deep belief in the importance of preserving culture. It is Silecky’s first film, and is the culmination of over 35 oral history interviews uncovering the experiences of these survivors.
Other New Jerseyans who were part of the team include Rutgers University professor Dr. Alexander Motyl, who provides historical background for the film; cinematographer (select locations) and former Verona resident, Evan Yee; and producer and long-time Verona resident, Julie Parker. All the works selected for the festival were screened by a panel of 15 judges including media professionals, journalists, students, and academics. These judges selected the 22 finalist/official selection films which will be publicly screened at the festival. These were selected from over 507 works submitted by filmmakers from around the world.
Silecky is the founding director of Kitsune Tale Productions, but is perhaps best known for being the runner up on ITV’s “Dancing On Ice” 2018, with his celebrity partner, Brooke Vincent of ITV’s “Coronation Street.” Matej earned a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from The University of California, Berkeley and a minor in theater, dance & performance studies. He developed “Baba Babee Skazala” while at UC Berkeley, and is excited that it is having its premiere in his home state.