Press Release

Leadership Change at goEast: Heleen Gerritsen to Succeed Gaby Babić as Festival Director

Gaby Babić, director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film since September 2010, will be stepping down from her position at Deutsches Filminstitut from October 2017. She will be succeeded as festival director by Dutch film producer and curator Heleen Gerritsen, who will take up her new appointment on October 1st.
"After seven years of leading goEast Film Festival, I am looking forward to a personal and professional change," Babić stated. "As goEast is very firmly established at this point in its 17th year of existence, it is a good moment for a leadership transition. I would like to thank my team, with whom I had the pleasure of enthusiastically realising seven wonderful festival editions, and I look forward to experiencing goEast in the future as a guest under the direction of Heleen Gerritsen, who will bring new highlights to the festival with fresh ideas. I am already excited to see what she and her team will come up with."
Gaby Babić played a substantial role in the evolution of the festival. In addition to the presentation of extraordinary auteur films, in particular she also placed socio-political issues and unusual retrospectives at the centre of her work as festival director. In the scope of goEast's efforts to promote young filmmaking talent, she conceived the projects OPPOSE OTHERING!, Young Filmmakers for Peace and the East-West Talent Lab. Deutsches Filminstitut would like to thank Gaby Babić for her brilliant work and is very pleased that she will remain associated with the festival in the future as a freelance collaborator.

Dutch film producer and curator Heleen Gerritsen studied Slavistics, Eastern-European history and international economics in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg and previously served as director of the European documentary film festival dokumentART in Neubrandenburg. "For a film festival situated in Western Germany to place its focus on Central and Eastern Europe is as relevant and necessary as ever: in periods of upheaval, such as the one in which the European project has found itself for a number of years now, cinematic art, as an accessible medium, can play a significant role in breaking down prejudices and building bridges between cultures. goEast is a festival with a unique format that has been successfully showcasing the full range of Central and Eastern European filmmaking for many years. Films treating contemporary social issues find an audience in Wiesbaden right alongside film-historical retrospectives and special programs. With Deutsches Filminstitut, the festival also has a strong institutional partner behind it. In my view, this represents an optimal starting position for a further development of the festival focussed on the future."