blogEast is a project of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. The blog was created during the first Corona wave in Europe as a solidary mouthpiece for film (culture) creators from all over Europe. In the coming weeks, blog posts will be published that highlight cinematic as well as political and social facets of today's situation, but also offer a way to distract from the omnipresent discussion about infection figures and vaccination progress. blogEast is supervised and edited by the goEast team and accompanies the digital festival in Wiesbaden.

East-West Talent Lab

Thanks to the East-West Talent Lab, young filmmakers and producers from Central and Eastern Europe are provided with an opportunity of developing their skills and meeting like-minded individuals from Germany and neighboring countries. Due to the new virtual based reality, East-West Talent Lab participants are limited to online meetings. Connecting with each other from several countries, all participants will have an occasion to participate in several lectures, trainings and discussions as well as many more. Get to know those young talents: The goEast Team decided to interview some of them right before the festival and talk about their projects, future plans, struggles and expectations...

goEast: Could you introduce yourself and say something about the project you are working on?

Elvira Dulskaia: I am the director of ICE CRACK, a short coming of age drama about teenage girl Alex, a single female player in a junior ice hockey team.

Rozálie Brožková: I am a producer from FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic. ICE CRACK is my graduation project and first as a producer. Very exciting experience!

Michaela Hošková: I am from Slovakia with the director Roman Ďuriš we are developing documentary called AS LONG AS I LIVE. It is a story of our friend - 22 years old boy Dalibor who grew up in a household full of violence, as teenager ended up homeless and later in prison. One year ago he started to work for circus.

Roman Ďuriš: I'm currently preparing my first feature film AS LONG AS I LIVE with Michaela Hošková. My graduate short SOMETHING IS HAPPENING was nominated for the award in category Cinema of Tomorrow at the 41th Cairo international Film Festival.

Ieva Šakalyté: As a young director, I'm participating at the East West Talent Lab with my new short fiction film project (comedy) called SPA. It's a film about young women who don't know each other, they meet at the SPA center for recreation, but get into uncomfortable situations which happens to be the best cure of their problems.

Agnieszka Rostropowicz-Rutkowska: I'm here with the documentary project KING MATT THE FIRST – second feature project by Jaśmina Wójcik. It's a story about two sisters that are sharing with us the world of the children's imagination in which we – as adults – observe them and follow them.

Yana Osman: My mockumentary is about the discourse about global walls falling down to the story of one 2.5 x 3 meter fence plate with rhombuses - PO-2. Today PO-2 fences cover 8% of post-soviet countries.

Yana Sadulaeva: Currently I am working on a film about the Northerners living from gathering and fishing.

Tamar Magradze: Originally, I'm coming from Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2012 I moved to Berlin. I'm working on a creative documentary film-project about the history of gynecology and female reproduction rights.

Olya Chernykh: I'm a Kyiv-based filmmaker and work as a freelance director and director of photography. My project is called A PICTURE TO REMEMBER – it's a story about an everyday life near death and importance of memories in the fight against death.

Jelica Jerinić: I am working on a short fiction film called IMAGINERY NUMBERS. It shows a day in the life of a young girl Minja and her father, who are traveling from their small town to Niš for Minja's first national competition in mathematics.

Svetlisav Dragomirović: I am a director from Serbia, currently working on a film project named I'M PEOPLE, I AM NOBODY. The project it self is a creative documentary, that is exploring the worlds of sexual disorder as well as sexual abuse.


Roman Ďuriš: I'm from Slovakia and our contemporary cinematography consists mainly of social dramas, although in the last five years there's been a boom of various genres. It will be interesting to see how the post-pandemic film distribution will carry on and how successful will be all the delayed releases.

Jelena Jerenić: I'm from Serbia. Our cinematography has had a lot of challenges in the past years, the main one being the lack of funding for both indie and commercial films. On the other hand there has been a hyperproduction pf the TV shows.

Agnieszka Rostropowicz-Rutkowska: I'm from Poland. The cinematography in Poland is very important and we really take care about the quality of filmmaking and filmmakers. In the last few years we had few OSCARS nominations and wins as well as nominations and wins to European Film Award.

goeast: Where, And How Have you heard of goEast? Is there any film at goEast in particular that you are looking forward to seeing during this edition?


Yana Sadulaeva: I have heard of goEast at the Siberia DOC & B2BDoc laboratory in 2020. I am looking forward to seeing HOLY FATHER by Andrei Dăscălescu.

Jelene Jerenic: goEast is quite popular in Serbia, I think anyone who works in the film industry knows about it. The first time I heard about it was some years ago from a friend who participated in EWTL. I am looking forward to seeing all the films in this edition, especially PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKOWN PERIOD OF TIME.

Svetlisav Dragomirović: I'm aware of goEast for many years, and always wanted to screen my film here. For the first time, I am in official program, with a project, which makes me very happy. I would love to come back next year, and present a finished film, and use comprehensible German audience to engage a discussion about this taboo topic.

goEast: What were your expectations when you joined EWTL?

Paul Hartmann: There is nothing more beautiful than to celebrate the international film from my own Hessian home. I hope, that with an online festival, I can connect with people who wouldn't have made it to Wiesbaden otherwise.

Yana Osman: I wanted to see people who do everything differently than me and learn from them.

Tamar Magradze: My expectations for EWTL are to connect with young filmmakers from different backgrounds as well as to share my ideas and thoughts with professionals in the film industry in order to develop new experiences and collaborations.

goEast: What are the biggest struggles for young filmmakers like you?

Elvira Dulskaia: The biggest struggle for me as a young filmmaker is not to lose my own voice in our too fast and loud world of modern cinema.  When I start to think how many films are done every year, how many stories are written and how many of them are not bright enough so they never reach their audience, I feel myself a little bit lost.

Roman Ďuriš: Probably the hardest part is convincing funds and producers of our capabilities so that we can get enough funding for our projects that we love and trust in.

Tamar Magradze: I think the biggest struggle for young filmmakers is to deal with the funding systems. Artistic films or narrative films are especially difficult to fund, and this creates a pressure often in conflict with creativity itself.

goEast: Has COVID-19 influenced your process of making films? What has changed?

Virginia Martin: Yes, totally correct. We wanted to shoot a documentary film in Andalusian villages in Spain in April 2020. For well-known reasons we had to cancel the start of shooting before it even started. It was a shock for us of course. But after a while, we decided not to be paralyzed by the pandemic and changed our whole concept, which we could shoot in our region instead. It changed into a dancing movie, something totally new for us, but also a chance to dive into a new world – the world of flamenco.

Michaela Hošková: Our documentaries, that we are working on with Roman are stopped because of COVID-19. We are unable to meet with our protagonists for different reasons, so we can't really either use this situation as part of the stories. On the other hand, with pandemic we really got a lot of time for development and preparation, to  sort out our thoughts and also test our patience.

Rozalie Brozkova: Overall thinking. I had never wanted to just shoot anything before the pandemic, but since it has begun I have a strong intention to produce only progressive pieces with strong themes.

goEast: What is your personal goal as a filmmaker?

Olga Chernyk: I wish to find a new visual language that will allow me to create new senses and tell the stories in original artistic way.

Rozálie Brožková: My wish is to never have any regrets about projects I made but my goal would be to enjoy every step in the way and to be able to bring a little bit of entertainment, knowledge and inspiration for the audience.

Roman Ďuriš: I want to make films about errors in the system, to stir up the debate and help correct it. It may sound a bit naïve, but I know this is the power film as a medium has and it is my responsibility as an author to use it for the greater good.

goEast: During the EWTL you are going to prepare German Grüne Soße! Is there any traditional dish for your region that you could recommend us?

Yana Osman: I love Syrniki. It is a dish of the Belarussian, Russian, Ukrainian and Moldavian cuisines from curd and flour, fried in a pan in hot oil. Syrniki could be with raisins, banana, carrots, dried apricots, apples, pears, nuts. The word "syrniki" sounds like "cheese" in Russian, but there is no cheese in the syrniki at all.

Agnieszka Rostropowicz – Rutkowska: Polish kitchen is really complex and rich, so there are probably a lot of good things worth recommendation. But I suppose the most famous one for Poland are 'pierogi'. They could have different fillings – sweet, salty, meaty – so there are many ways to prepare it.

The projects in the East-West Talent Lab will be presented in the Project Market Pitch on 26 April from 10:00 am CET. A jury of experts will evaluate the projects and then award the goEast Development Award worth 3,500 euros. In addition, one project will be awarded the Renovabis Research Grant, which supports documentary films with a human rights theme with 3,500 euros.