Press Release

Women Behind the Camera - Pioneering Female Filmmakers and the Full Range of Central and Eastern European Cinema

goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (to take place from April 26th to May 2nd 2017 in Wiesbaden, Germany) will raise the banner higher than ever this year for female filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe and central female characters on the cinema screen. Over the course of seven days, the 17th edition of the festival, hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut, will present a multifaceted programme in Wiesbaden and the surrounding area, featuring film screenings, workshops, panel discussions and a whole lot more, to local cinema fans, film industry representatives, scholars and guests from all across the world. The programme spans the entire range that the region has to offer, from contemporary artistic and thematic positions to film-historical rarities, from the purely experimental to both arthouse and mainstream fare made in Central and Eastern Europe.

In the wake of civil society's pushback against current regressive political developments around the world, the discussion of the role of women in cinema - whether in front of or behind the camera - has also taken on a new dimension and is more important than ever in light of both blatant discriminatory treatment in the industry and the widespread persistence of stereotypical female characters on screen.

In this spirit, among other programming choices goEast will be devoting this year's Homage to the great Hungarian director Márta Mészáros and examining emancipatory positions in historical and contemporary contexts in this year's Symposium, under the title "Reluctant Feminism - Women Filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe".



With Márta Mészáros, the goEast Homage 2017 has chosen to honour a great director. Born in Budapest in 1931, the Hungarian artist has been making films for nearly seven decades now and is one of Europe's most successful female directors, having received numerous awards over the course of her career (Golden and Silver Bears, Special Jury Grand Prix in Cannes). Her own feature-film debut, ELTÁVOZOTT NAP (THE GIRL) from 1968, was also the first ever Hungarian feature film to be directed by a woman.
Complex female characters consistently occupy centre stage in Mészáros' feature films. Her pioneering works address topics such as gender, sexuality, society, identity and politics in a very direct and surprisingly critical manner. As such, Mészáros was often far ahead of her time.
goEast will show a selection of the central films of Mészáros' oeuvre, including her most internationally well-known work, the autobiographical "Diary Trilogy" consisting of NAPLÓ GYERMEKEIMNEK (DIARY FOR MY CHILDREN, 1982), NAPLÓ SZERELMEIMNEK (DIARY FOR MY LOVERS, 1987) and NAPLÓ APÁMNAK, ANYÁMNAK (DIARY FOR MY MOTHER AND FATHER, 1990). Márta Mészáros is expected to attend the festival.


The goEast Symposium, which has devoted itself throughout the years to the examination of the neglected and forgotten zones of cinema history, will also be turning its attention to female pioneers and great woman directors from the East this year. Although the characters in their films embody female desire or revolt, many female filmmakers in the East, including Márta Mészáros, Vera Chytilová, Larisa Shepitko and Kira Muratova, once consistently denied that their works were feminist in nature, a stance that still causes incomprehension and irritation today. Under the title "Reluctant Feminism - Women Filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe", the Symposium's film selection and accompanying lectures and panel discussions invite special guests and audience members alike to participate in a re-visioning of this reluctant feminism and place the concept in relation to contemporary feminist positions in the cinema of Central and Eastern Europe. Among other invited guests, Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić, who received a Golden Bear in 2006 for GRBAVICA: THE LAND OF MY DREAMS, will be in attendance, as will Lana Gogoberidze, the Georgian director and politician, born in 1928, whose film DGES GAME UTENBIA (DAY IS LONGER THAN NIGHT, 1984) was screened in the Competition section at Cannes.



goEast 2017 will also be taking a close look at the film scene of the Czech Republic with a diverse selection of current fiction features and documentaries, a panel discussion and a film poster exhibition at the Stadtmuseum am Markt in Wiesbaden. The country focus is organised in co-operation with the Czech Film Center and the Institute of Documentary Film in Prague.

The complete programme for the 17th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will be announced in the beginning of April.


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, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the Federal Foreign Office, Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds, the municipality of Eschborn and Krušovice. Media partners include among others 3sat and hr-iNFO.