The goEast programme is divided into a total of seven sections, each with its own profile: Competition, Symposium, East-West Talent Lab, Portrait/Homage (alternately, annually), Beyond Belonging, Highlights, and Specials.

Each section is curated carefully. Festival correspondents and experts support the programme team. The entries to the competition are nominated by a selection committee. The sections serve to build bridges between Central and Eastern European auteur film and experimental film, from current genre cinema to rediscovered historical films. Documentaries have conquered their rightful place beside the feature films.


Visionary, political or just plain weird: The Competition section brings together the most remarkable ten fiction features and six documentaries of the last two production years and offers a deep look at the cinematic diversity of current Central and Eastern European auteur filmmaking. The 16 productions compete for three prizes, which are awarded by an international jury: the Award for Best Film (10,000 euros), the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) and the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros), while an additional separate three-member jury representing FIPRESCI presents the International Film Critics’ Award. Beyond that, goEast media partner 3sat also offers one select film the opportunity to partner on a broadcast deal.


Every year as a sort of festival within the festival, goEast hosts a Symposium focussing on a topic of film-historical and/or sociocultural relevance, inviting scholars and experts to attend and bringing veritable cinematic treasures from European film archives to Wiesbaden’s movie screens. The section successfully builds a bridge between festival hustle and bustle and scholarly research, in the process accomplishing the not unremarkable feat of providing professors and lecturers an inspiring platform to offer a taste of what goes down in their seminars right at goEast. Symposium topics in recent years have included the Central and Eastern European crime film (2016), Artur Brauner’s Easten European co-productions (2015), the Polish and Yugoslavian New Wave (2014/2013), the history of the Russian studio Lenfilm (2012) and the cinematic treatment of the resurgence of right-wing extremism in Eastern Europe (2011).


The East-West Talent Lab concentrates on networking, bringing young filmmakers, artists and film students from Central and Eastern European countries and Germany together. It is divided into four programme areas: Screen, Meet, Learn und Present.

Screen: In the new Experimental Film and Video Art Competition, selected entries compete for the Open Frame Award, a prize of 5,000 euros.

Meet: The lab participants have the opportunity at several events to enter into exchange and network. They meet representatives of the industry and are given a platform to introduce their project ideas and find co-production partners.

Learn: The training programme includes podium discussions, lectures, workshops and master classes.

Present: The participants of the East-West Talent Lab will present their new project ideas, from the areas of documentary, experimental film, short film, and video art, to an audience and a professional jury. The winning project idea will receive the goEast Development Award, a prize of 3,500 euros.


The annually alternating Homage and Portrait sections offer the festival audience the opportunity to experience the artistic life’s work of an extraordinary filmmaker in a convenient, compact form. A representative programme featuring short and/or long film works and a workshop talk enables festivalgoers to personally encounter filmmakers whose visionary work has had a deep impact on Central and Eastern European cinema. To date these twin sections have honoured Šarūnas Bartas, Benedek Fliegauf, Otar Iosseliani, Miklós Jancsó, Fatmir Koçi, Marlen Khutsiev, Sergej Loznitsa, Kira Muratova, Sergej Paradzhanov, Jan Švankmajer, Jan Svěrák, Małgorzata Szumowska and, most recently, Juliusz Machulski.

Oppose othering!

For years now goEast has taken a stand: against racism, homophobia and xenophobia of every kind – and for more humaneness and solidarity. Now this commitment has lead to a dedicated festival section, OPPOSE OTHERING!, in which indispensable, resistive and moving films on the subject of human rights can be shown, films that concern all of us. The results of the project of the same name, supported by Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ), will also be presented in the section, where they will celebrate their world premieres. The OO! tandems, directorial duo teams from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, worked for one full year on film ideas and projects, for which they received production grants at last year's edition of goEast. We are excited to get to see the results and at the same time we would like to already wish the ten new teams nominated to participate in this year's project all the best: Good luck! And here's to more filmmaking dedicated to the cause of human rights!


Arthouse cinema from Eastern Europe is increasingly on people’s radar these days, not least of all due to its more recent success with critics and audiences alike at the Berlinale or the Academy Awards. Still, mainstream films and audience favourites from the region very rarely make it into movie theatres in Germany. That’s not the case at goEast though: the Highlights section brings together cinematic treats that delighted audiences in theatres and at festivals: exquisite film fare beyond the realm of auteur cinema.


The extra special section without which no festival would be complete. In the Specials, the School Film Days bring together education and festival atmosphere, new jewels from the festival world share the screen with old treasures from the archives, the local community rubs shoulders with movie stars, events arranged spontaneously in light of current events meet traditional goEast formats. And when the lights finally go out in the theatre lobbies, the festival crowd comes together at night for concerts and parties.

goeast gurus

goEast is celebrating its gurus with a new section! Screening in Gurus are current works from prestigious filmmakers taken from the international festival circuit. They are old acquaintances, ones we have appreciated for years, like Cristi Puiu (goEast Jury chairman for the Competition 2012) or Otar Iosseliani (goEast Homage 2010). Andrei Konchalovsky is also represented once again at goEast, this time with his haunting Holocaust film PARADISE (Award for Best Director Venice 2016). With Mirjana Karanović's A GOOD WIFE, the program includes the directorial debut of a Serbian acting icon, who has already graced goEast screens a total of four times in the past. We bow down in admiration before our Eastern European film gurus!

Czech Cinema Now


There is a lot happening on the Czech national film scene. In addition to dynamic and surprising feature film debuts of the last few years and critically acclaimed features by already experienced directors successful on the international level, Czech documentary cinema enjoys an especially strong position in comparison to the rest of the continent, with institutions such as the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF), VoD portal, and festivals like Jihlava IDFF, One World IHRDFF and IFF Karlovy Vary. This should come as no surprise, when one considers how far the country's cinema tradition reaches back into the past. Together with the IDF and the Czech Film Center, goEast has decided to place a special emphasis on the country's cinema scene in 2017: Czech Cinema Now! focuses on current cinematic positions from the Czech Republic. The section will present fictional and documentary film forms and, in the scope of an accompanying panel discussion, experts and key players in the scene will discuss the challenges facing Czech cinema. The section will also provide insight and entertainment beyond the festival's screens in the form of a delightful film poster exhibition featuring creative motifs from 1960 to 1989 and a reading by Jaroslav Rudiš, in which the author and screenwriter will present his newest anti-hero. There are also Czech perspectives waiting to be discovered in some of the other festival sections. The Symposium is showing THE APPLE GAME by master director Věra Chytilová, on which Pavla Frýdlová from Prague will also be holding a lecture. In the Specials section, the National Film Archive in Prague will show two of its restored treasures, Karel Hašler's CZECH CASTLES AND PALACES (1914) and Ladislav Rychman's THE HOP-PICKERS (1964). During the School Film Days, TO SEE THE SEA by Jiří Mádl will be shown and the goEast parties will feature the musical talents of DJ Malalata and Ventolin.


In addition to the popular school film days goEast extended its film selection with age ratings by the FSC to other festival sections in 2012. The main goal is to attract a younger target group’s attention.
Thematically, the handpicked films appeal to a young audience due to similar issues like adolescence, fear, social criticism, interfamilial disputes and many more. As a consequence, the films might induce a close emotional connection even though the geographical distance seems huge and social differences sometimes extreme.