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2004.11.04. – Brenda Brkusic

"Freedom from Despair" playing in
New York, Chicago, San Pedro, Windsor" –
A note from Milan Vukovic: This highly acclaimed
film is truly the story of all Croatians and the
Croatian National Association (Udruga) is proud
to sponsor the showing of this film with the generous
support of volunteers in each city .

"Freedom from
Despair" playing in New York, Chicago, San Pedro, Windsor"

Please mark the
following fundraiser screenings on your calendar:

Sunday, November 21, 2004 at 1:30pm (after mass)
St. Raphael’s Parish Center
W41 St. (bt 10/11 Ave), New York
NY Contact: Nick
[email protected]

Sunday, November
28, 2004 at 6:00pm
Croatian Cultural Center of Chicago
2845 W Devon Ave Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Contact: Mijo Vodopic
[email protected]

Sunday, December 5, 2004 at 3:00pm (after mass)
Croatian Cultural Center of Los Angeles
510 West 7th Street San Pedro, California
San Pedro Contacts: Milan Vukovic and Jeff Bacic
[email protected] and [email protected]

A prominent TV station will be there covering the San Pedro event to finish
a story about the community coming together to support Brenda and her film!
It is important to have a full audience for the press. We had 300 people in
LA and we would like to match that number in San Pedro on December 5.

Sunday, Decemer 12, 2004 (after mass) – In conjunction with the Parish’s annual
appreciation lunch!
St Francis of Assisi Church
1701 Turner Road Windsor, Ontario
Windsor Contact: Sonny Kekelj
[email protected]

A very special thank you to Tom Rinear for sponsoring Brenda Brkusic’s flight
from Los Angeles to Chicago so that she will be able to attend the Chicago film
screening! And a very special thank you to Michael Kustra and family for offering
to host Brenda Brkusic in their home during the New York screening.

A note from Milan
This highly acclaimed
film is truly the story of all Croatians and the Croatian National Association
(Udruga) is proud to sponsor the showing of this film with the generous support
of volunteers in each city . You will also be able to meet and speak to Brenda
Brkusic in person in NY, Chicago and San Pedro. This is a fundraiser for Brenda
to be able to continue promoting the film. If you think as highly of this film
as we do your tax deductible donation will be gratefully accepted after the
screening. For more information please visit the film’s website www.freedomfromdespair.com

Please remember, if we support each other’s events, not only will they be more
profitable, they’ll also be more fun! Zivili!!!
Milan Vukovic
Croatian National Association
A note from Brenda
I want to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support and encouragement
as I work to get Freedom From Despair shown in the American mainstream media.
Your attendance at this screening will be crucial in gaining the support needed
to go further with promoting the film and will mean so much to me and to all
the people who told their life stories in the film. In two years with little
funds, I tried to make a film that all would be proud of – a film that tells
the Croatian story in an easy to understand, professional and entertaining format.
The film festival acceptances and the great newspaper reviews have been a blessing.
Croatians have laughed and cried while seeing their own stories represented
on the screen – the film is a rollercoaster of emotions that I know everyone
will relate to in some way. I am ecstatic to share the film with you and ask
for your support in making this journey a success. I look forward to meeting
all of you.
With much love
and respect,
Brenda Brkusic

FREEDOM FROM DESPAIR – starring Michael York, John Savage, Beata Pozniak and
Dennis Kucinich. Music by Nenad Bach.

LA showings of "Freedom from Despair" a Success

Hrvatsko Slovo
Newspaper review of the film:

Kodak review of
the film:

Producer, Writer, Director, Editor
Brenda Brkusic
was born in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles on an academic scholarship from
Chapman University, graduating with highest honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree in Film and Television Writing and Directing. At Chapman, she gained
experience in production, as a post production supervisor, script supervisor,
and dance choreographer on various short films. She wrote, produced, directed
and edited her senior thesis documentary Freedom from Despair, shooting in California,
Chicago and Croatia during the summer of 2003. Recognizing her efforts, Chapman
Film School awarded her its Marion Knott Scholarship, which afforded her the
opportunity to work one on one with Academy Award winning filmmaker David S.
Ward. Since then, praise for this film has steadily grown. Brenda has been invited
to her Alma Mater, Marymount College, to be a featured speaker in their leadership
series, was hired to speak in a documentary class sponsored by the International
Documentary Association at San Pedro High School, was featured on PBS television,
Associated Press Video News, in the LA Times, won Best Documentary and Special
Recognition honors at the Student Filmmaker Awards and the Dubrovnik International
Film Festival, and been covered in multiple international newspapers and magazines.
She is gaining a reputation as an important new voice and her writing about
Croatia has been published in the Washington Times. Freedom from Despair was
recognized by Amnesty International, as one of the most important documentary
films this year, and invited to have a world premiere in their film festival
at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood. Another human rights organization, The
Anti-Defamation League, has named the film a Finalist in their current compition.
She continues to make her home in Los Angeless.

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