With the new section goEast Gurus, goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (to take place in Wiesbaden, Germany, from April 26th to May 2nd 2017) is opening up a special platform to filmmakers whose pioneering work has been the object of particular admiration from audiences and festival organizers for years now. Independent of the premiere status of the works in question, goEast Gurus will present cinematic highlights from the international festival circuit, straight from Cannes, Venice, Toronto or beyond. The first edition of this unique section wouldn't be complete without the presence of an important contemporary director: Cristi Puiu. His most recent outing, SIERANEVADA, which was nominated for the Palme d'or, will be screened in goEast Gurus, alongside many other compelling films from treasured auteurs.
COMPETITIONS, AWARDS AND JURIES
The Competition for Fiction Features and Documentaries promises its share of surprises, discoveries and controversies. Already confirmed for inclusion in the program is the Croatian debut film QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE (NE GLEDAJ MI U PIJAT) by Hana Jušić, in which a young woman (Mia Petričević) attempts to break free from her family after her tyrannical father suffers a stroke. The program also features EXILED (PELNU SANATORIJA), a Latvian-Lithuanian co-production directed by Dāvis Sīmanis. Simanis' film is set in Latvia in the last year of the First World War and tells the story, based on historical fact, of a German surgeon who happens upon the sealed-off world-within-a-world inhabited by shell-shocked patients in a hospital. Lead actor Ulrich Matthes is expected to attend the festival.
In addition to vying for the right to take home the Golden Lily for Best Film (endowed with prize money of 10,000 euros), the featured productions, chosen by the goEast selection committee chaired by festival director Gaby Babić, will also be competing for the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) as well as the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros). In all, ten fiction features and six documentary films, together representing the diversity of Central and Eastern European auteur cinema and painting a nuanced emotional portrait of Central and Eastern Europe, are nominated to take part in the competition. The prize winners are determined by a five-member international jury and the awards ceremony at Caligari FilmBühne is the jubilant climax of the festival. A jury representing FIPRESCI also presents the International Film Critics' Award to one fiction feature and one documentary film respectively.
The Open Frame Award, worth 5,000 euros, is awarded in the framework of the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition. The award, endowed by BHF-BANK Foundation, honours the best work from young artists or filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe or from students from one of Hessen's film or art academies.
Further prizes, with a total value of 23,500 euros, are awarded in the festival's own dedicated projects for the fostering of young talent. In the East-West Talent Lab, the goEast Development Award, endowed with prize money in the amount of 3,500 euros by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, goes to the best film project, while in OPPOSE OTHERING! five directorial duos are set to receive productions grants of 4,000 euros per team.
Brexit, the recent election campaign in the USA, radical Islamism, populism – all of these phenomena make it abundantly clear that the fight for solidarity and equality around the world is far from over. With the support of Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future", goEast is making a contribution to the cause: The goEast project OPPOSE OTHERING!, along with the section of the same name, is devoted to the examination of various manifestations of othering – a term denoting focussed misanthropy directed at groups and the marginalisation of people of different social, religious or ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and/or gender identities. The featured films treat solidarity and civil courage and portray individuals who have chosen to take a stand against discrimination. Five young directorial duo teams from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe are currently in the process of completing films that deal with othering, to be premiered at goEast. Ten new filmmaking tandems will participate in a workshop and film program at goEast 2017. Five of the nominated tandems will be awarded production grants in the amount of 4,000 euros each for the realisation of their project ideas.
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, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the Federal Foreign Office, Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds, the municipality of Eschborn and Krušovice. Media partners include among others 3sat, the FAZ and hr-iNFO.