Statement of the participants of Young Filmmakers for Peace 2017

Made public on occasion of the goEast Award Ceremony, May 2nd / Wiesbaden

During this festival, we had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues such as war of course, nationalism, propaganda or censorship. Moreover, questions about all the aspects of the human conditions were raised.
Within our group, composed by filmmakers from Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Czech Republic, Bosnia, Serbia, Palestine, Turkey and Georgia, we could share our experiences and even if we were coming from such different countries and backgrounds, we discovered that we share a common understanding of what a conflict is and which steps are needed in order to move forward in a post-conflict time and place. After those working days, we could transform our experiences into films. But we could also elevate those issues into a broader concern. Such as what is a film? And why is it important to show who is suffering, who is fighting, who is oppressing and who is not caring. Moreover, it is important also to give a value to those who are telling us these stories. Today, we are all thinking about those who could not attend this festival, who faced bureaucratic issues, in our case, two selected filmmakers from Egypt and Syria could not attend the workshop because of visa regulations.
But we are also thinking about the Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov. Are we those who are acclaiming the films but rejecting or ignoring their directors? We do not believe in this and we would like to express our solidarity to those who are oppressed. The law is the the law, what a rude statement and we do believe that the culture has no borders, that is why we would like to raise awareness on these issues and on how important is the act of filming.
That is why such a festival like goEast and its program Young Filmmakers for Peace are essential. Thanks to them, films can be shown, voices of the not heard can be listened, and eyes of the witnesses can be shared. Today hope is what is left, but believe us, it's stronger than ever.