As a project of Deutsches Filminstitut, which was founded in 1949, thus rendering it Germany's oldest institute for cinematic arts and research, goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film has stood since its founding in 2001 for the appreciation and appropriate presentation of the film histories, both common and individual, of the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. These histories feature prominently in more than a few of goEast's festival sections, above all however in the annual goEast Symposium and the Homage.
In 2017, the majority of the films of the Symposium Reluctant Feminism: Women Filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe and all of the films of the Homage to Hungarian director Márta Mészáros will be shown in the 35mm format: representing a total of 13 short and 21 feature-length films. In Wiesbaden, goEast is in the fortunate position of having among its festival venues not one but two cinemas that are equipped for analog projection (including that of valuable archive copies): our partners Caligari FilmBühne and Murnau-Filmtheater.
It continues to be very vital to goEast, now going into its 17th edition, to be able to provide access to cinema history to the festival audience in its traditional mode of analog presentation - as 35mm projections on a movie theatre screen.
"From the 12th to the 13th edition of the festival, that would be from 2012 to 2013, we undertook a full shift from analog to digital as regards current film productions and their mode of presentation. In our research to find copies for our programs that feature films made before this time, we search very meticulously for analog film copies that are in good shape and suitable for presentation and usually prefer to use these copies instead of digital versions. These days, the archives are not always willing to lend us this material for our screening purposes. But we are persistent," as festival director Gaby Babić explains. "It even happens occasionally that we pay special fees for borrowing an analog copy that we would not have to pay for the corresponding digital copy. We have become increasingly aware of the fact that we as a festival are contributing actively to saving the cultural practice of analog film and that we have to demand that it be saved. We also represent a space for this analog school of seeing and perceiving."
It is noteworthy that the majority of the films for this year's Symposium and the lion's share of Márta Mészáros' works have yet to be digitized - in spite of the international significance of these female directors. This is an equally crucial step that needs to be taken, in addition to the preservation of the original analog material.
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, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and Krušovice. Media partners include among others 3sat, the FAZ and hr-iNFO.