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Balkancisco U.S. Premiere
Documentary Screening and Celebration

Join us for the U.S. Premiere of the award winning documentary Balkancisco, connecting the Balkans to the San Francisco streets. Balkan music unites the world one beat at a time!

Balkancisco U.S. Premiere

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Opening Reception: 4PM
Screening: 4:30PM
Celebration: 6PM

View Full Event Schedule

All Ages

Seated Screening

View our FAQ page for more info, or contact us at [email protected] with any accommodation requests.

About Balkancisco (2023)

Directed by Tuğrul Sarıkaya, 78min

When a young Turkish immigrant arrives in San Francisco, she finds herself inside an ever-growing Balkan music scene and sets on a quest to explore how the Bay Area has become such a hotbed for Balkan music, how it influenced the local music scene, and how music travels across borders.

Balkancisco aims to create intercultural awareness and showcase the vibrant community of Balkan musicians in San Francisco. Rather than being a comprehensive historical documentary, it focuses on the emotional journey of the musicians as they share their experiences learning and playing Balkan music. Through their stories, the audience gains a deeper understanding of how music can bridge cultural divides and bring people together.

Premiere Program

Location: Gray Area | Grand Theater

2665 Mission St, San Francisco

• 4PM – 4:30PM: Opening Reception

• 4:30PM – 6PM: Balkancisco Screening

• 6PM – 6:30PM: Q&A

• 6:30PM – 7PM: Fanfare Zambaleta Performance

• 7PM – 7:30PM: Parade with Fanfare Zambaleta from Gray Area to Bissap Baobab

Location: Bissap Baobab

2243 Mission St, San Francisco

• 7:30PM – 10:30PM: Balkan Sundays

Credits

Multi-instrumentalist and film music composer - Dan Cantrell

Emcee/Rapper, and co-founder/vocalist of Bang Data - Deuce Eclipse

Founder of Balkan Camp - Mark Levy

Clarinet master - Ismail Lumanovski

Trumpeter and Balkan Bump band leader - Will Magid

Belly dancer - Jill Parker

Inspector Gadje manager and drummer - Marco Peris

Founder of Kafana Balkan - Zeljko Petkovic

Cultural anthropologist, and folklorist - Carol Silverman

Roma music master - Rumen Sali Shopov

Balkan Sundays organizer and percussionist - Sean Tergis

Beats Antique - David Satori, Zoe Jakes, Sidecar Tommy


Directed by Tuğrul Sarıkaya

Creative Producer: Duygu Gün

Director of Photography: Özgen Göksoy

Narrated by Duygu Gün

Speakers

Duygu Gün

Duygu Gün is a Turkish-American arts professional, creative producer, musician, artist, and curator based in San Francisco since 2012, and a Mission district resident since 2016.

As an arts professional, she is passionate about generating funds for the local arts scene. She recently joined Gray Area to lead the corporate partnerships and development programs after leading corporate fundraising at SFJAZZ and San Francisco Opera.

Duygu is passionate about preserving folk culture and fostering intercultural connections through the universal language of music and arts that transcends borders. In 2019, she received a Curatorial Residency at SOMArts to curate the ‘Sounds Like Home: Longing and Comfort Through Lullabies’ exhibition that delved into the emotional and cultural significance of lullabies, transcending linguistic and geographical boundaries.

In 2022, she co-founded Anatolian Arts Institute to build bridges among the Anatolian diaspora in the US and introduce Anatolian Arts and Culture through participatory workshops, performances, research, and educational activities celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the region. She received an SFAC Artist Grant in 2023 for the ‘Balkancisco’ documentary about the vibrant Balkan Music Scene in the Bay Area as the creative producer, writer, and narrator.

She performs with her guitar-accordion duo, Nakarat, covering Mediterranean folk songs in Turkish, Ladino, Greek, Griko, and Italian around the Bay Area. Nakarat’s performances serve as a celebration of cultural diversity and a testament to the power of music to unite people across borders. Besides performing, she also books local artists and booked for Bar Fluxus, Madrone Art Bar, Mission Arts Performance Project, and launched Sports Basement Music Series.

In recognition of her cultural and artistic achievements, Duygu was awarded the TOYP – Turkey’s 10 Outstanding Young Persons’ Cultural Achievement in 2022, further solidifying her status as a trailblazer in the arts community.

Tuğrul Sarıkaya

After completing his education in Political Science and Public Administration at Uludağ University, Tuğrul Sarıkaya started his master's degree at the same university. He moved to San Francisco in 2014 to study Web Development at City College of San Francisco and started his first e-Commerce venture, Recro Garage Inc. After selling his business to a Houston-based company, Tuğrul started focusing on video production. 35Video LLC, which he founded, quickly showed the expected success. He conducted the visual programs of ISS Guckenheimer, one of the largest food/beverage organization companies in the world. He designed illustrative visuals for Vizru, a multinational start-up in Silicon Valley. He carried out the visual promotion works of many restaurants and businesses. The "wedding videography" work he created with his team was awarded the best videographer of 2020 by theKnot, the world's largest wedding organization platform. Now he provides visual marketing services all around the globe and he produces documentaries.

Partners

Fanfare Zambaleta

Fanfare Zambaleta (roughly meaning crazy street party with brass) is an eight piece Balkan Brass band specializing in spirited music of the Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Greek and especially the Romani people. Combining a love of the classic brass bands of the past with the modern sounds coming out of the Balkans, Fanfare Zambaleta brings an irresistible blend of old and new to get you dancing! They've learned from some of the greats including Demiran Ćerimović, Džambo Aguševi Orkestar and Nizo Alimov (of Kočani Orkestar) and are now embarking on a new journey to write original tunes inspired by their deep love of the music. The band is directed by Gregory Masaki Jenkins (alto sax, clarinet) and features Joey Friedman (alto sax), Noah Levitt and Max Miller-Loran (trumpets), Peter Bonos and Adam Waite (mid horns), Evan Stuart (sousaphone) and Ivan Velev (percussion, vocals).

Balkan Sundays (Bay Area Balkan)

Balkan Sundays brings many of the great Bay Area musicians together resulting in an action-packed event with a full sound. Usually composed of a rotating 4 member core of musicians playing standard tunes from Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and beyond, it is typical for many musicians in the local Balkan scene to join so it can turn into a fairly rawkus affair. Once in a while a local or touring band will be hosted but there is usually an element of allowing guest musicians to sit in. It’s always free. The goal is to play great music while enlarging the Balkan musician community. The location of Balkan Sundays has moved around but it is currently every Sunday at Bissap Baobab (2243 Mission St in SF) from 7:30-10:30 pm.

Bissap Baobab

Baobab expresses the vision of founder Marco Senghor, born and raised in Dakar and educated in Paris. His deep knowledge and appreciation of French West African culture, food, and music infuses the enticing ambiance of his establishments. Bissap Baobab creates a sense of 'teranga,' which means hospitality in Wolof, the Senegalese national language. Teranga is reserving the best part of the meal for one's guests; neighbors taking care of one another; being accepted for who you are. As restaurant owner, social entrepreneur, and a dedicated community member, Marco has infused teranga into Bissap Baobab, transforming Mission Street into a multicultural enclave. One can truly experience the diversity of San Francisco by visiting this West African oasis.

Anatolian Arts Institute

We promote understanding and appreciation of diverse Anatolian cultures in the Bay Area and beyond! Our mission is to sponsor, encourage, and celebrate Anatolian Arts and Culture through events, research, and educational activities for local and global audiences. We aim to provide an open space where ideas are exchanged, participation and collaborations of diverse communities are encouraged, and imagination and new possibilities are ignited.

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal

The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal happens usually on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave in Berkeley). It features one or two bands and goes from about 8pm till midnight. It’s always a fun party with lots of dancing and merriment.

Kafana Balkan

Not only was Kafana Balkan the first ongoing Balkan dance party in San Francisco, but it's also the Bay Area's biggest Balkan music party masterminded by DJ Željko Petković. Željko hails from the Balkans, Serbia by way of Frankfurt and now resides in San Francisco. The Party is usually headlined by Inspector Gadje Balkan Brass. Since February 2015, Željko was joined by Marco Peris Coppola, Creative Co-Strategist and Co-Booker, who is helping Kafana Balkan grow. KB event has won "The Best of" both Bay Guardian and SF Weekly weekly newspapers.

Eastern European Folklife Center

The East European Folklife Center (EEFC) was established in 1982 through the love and dedication of a core group of musicians and dancers. Today, this ever-growing and expanding organization brings together an inclusive, celebratory, and welcoming global community of passionate amateurs and professionals, to respectfully share the richness and complexity of Balkan music, dance, and cultures.

Become a Gray Area Member

As a Gray Area Member you get special access to events, behind-the-scenes content and more. Gray Area is a dedicated family of supporters who believe in the power of creative action to catalyze social transformation. Join as a member today to provide sustaining support for our globally unique arts, education, research, and incubation programs.

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