The 16th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film came to a conclusion at the festival's Award Ceremony on Tuesday, 26 April, in Wiesbaden, Germany. The three main prizes went to the films INSIGHT (Russia 2015, directed by Aleksandr Kott), THE RED SPIDER (Poland/Czech Republic/Slovak Republic 2015, directed by Marcin Koszałka) and NOT MY JOB (Russia 2015, directed by Denis Shabaev).
With 12,200 visitors goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film could once again register a growth in attendance. All in all, prizes totalling 45,000 euros were presented at the celebratory final ceremony of the festival.
The Award for Best Film, endowed with prize money in the amount of 10,000 euros, went to the Russian fiction feature INSIGHT from multi-award-winning Russian auteur filmmaker Aleksandr Kott. INSIGHT tells the story of a recently blinded man who gains a new lease on life through an unexpected love affair. In their statement explaining their selection, the five-member international jury praised Kott "(f)or telling a moving story with a brave use of humour, and mastering a cinematic form which includes excellent cinematography, acting, and design."
Marcin Koszałka was honoured with the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (worth 7,500 euros) for his fiction feature debut THE RED SPIDER, which leading actor Filip Pławiak accepted on his behalf. In presenting the award, the jury described the film as "a gripping thriller which mesmerizes the audience". The
FIPRESCI jury also chose to honour the Polish-Czech-Slovakian co-production by bestowing the International Film Critics' Award on the film, which revolves around the relationship between a serial killer and a young man who fantasises about following in his footsteps. The critics of the jury praised the film for its adept combination of daring plot twists and exceptional camera work.
The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity, with prize money in the amount of 4,000 euros, went this year to the Russian documentary NOT MY JOB. The jury was particularly impressed with Denis Shabaev's film "for dealing in a complex way with the challenges of living in a multicultural society".
In addition, the jury awarded an Honourable Mention to Emilia Vášáryová for her performance in the lead role of the film EVA NOVÁ (Slovak Republic/Czech Republic 2015) from director Marko Škop.
In the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition, a three-member jury presented the Open Frame Award, endowed by BHF-BANK Foundation with prize money in the amount of 5,000 euros, to the Russian production UNFINISHED FILM (Russia 2015) by Evgeny Granilshchikov. The jury praised this impressive portrait of the Facebook generation in contemporary Russia as "a significant work (which) promises great things to come for both its maker and the national cinema he represents".
As the best project idea in the framework of the East-West Talent Lab, THE WRECKED ROOM by Ovsanna Shekoyan was honoured with the goEast Development Award. The award, endowed by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain with prize money in the amount of 3,500 euros, went to the Armenian artist for her "bold treatment of complexities of human relationships, devoid of conventional representation". An Honourable Mention went to the Albanian short film project IN THE STORMY YEARS by Kejdi Demneri.
In the scope of the newly launched development project for young filmmaking talent OPPOSE OTHERING!, Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ) awarded five production grants in the amount of 3,000 euros each. The grant recipients include the directorial duos of Pierre-Yves Dalka (Germany) and Ekaterina Izmestyeva (Russia) with their project VOICES, Hamze Bytyci (Germany) and Milan Durnak (Slovakia) with JOZKA, Anda Puscas (Romania) and Dennis Stormer (Germany) with FIELD TRIP, Judith Beuth (Germany) and Jasmin Brutus (Bosnia-Herzegovina) with BELONGING-NOT-BELONGING and finally Julia Grauberger (Germany) and Aleksandra Medianikova (Russia) with ANOTHER DAY.
The 16th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film once again demonstrated the festival's continuing political commitment. With its thematic focus on misanthropy directed at specific groups, commonly referred to as othering, the festival deepened its engagement in the struggle for human rights. The new talent development programme OPPOSE OTHERING! as well as the socio-politically involved programme section Beyond Belonging examined diverse manifestations of exclusion and marginalisation and their portrayal in film. The Portrait and Symposium sections on the other hand were devoted to the topic of genre cinema. Polish cult director Juliusz Machulski was on hand as the guest of honour to present his work personally in an extensive retrospective. Under the title In the Shadows: Crime and the Daily Grind in Central and Eastern European Genre Cinema post 1945, the Symposium was dedicated to that most beloved of genres in Germany, the crime film - here in its unique Eastern European manifestations.
goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut and supported by numerous partners. The festival is primarily funded by the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the State Capital Wiesbaden, Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ), Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, SKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the Federal Foreign Office, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds, Krusovice and Renovabis. Media partners include among others 3sat, the FAZ, hr-iNFO and sensor.