Wiesbaden/Frankfurt (Germany), 17 July 2020
goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is returning to the place where it belongs: the cinema! Movie theatres across the country were able to reopen on 2 July 2020, creating the right conditions to experience cinema again in its traditional setting. After goEast was compelled with a heavy heart to present its 20th anniversary edition online and on-demand from 5 to 11 May 2020, the festival is now moving forward with the next stage of this year's hybrid festival programme. Over the coming months, goEast will be presenting selected festival sections at the cinema of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut und Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main.
This next stage kicks off with the Symposium "Film Heritage in Transition: Central and Eastern Europe 1985–1999" from Friday 24 July to Monday 27 July. The cinema heritage of the relatively recent past will take centre stage at goEast, foregrounding significant issues in terms of both subject matter and institutional realities: "Many filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe treated the upheaval in society during the transitional period in their works, resulting in wild, experimental films as well the breaking of societal and historical taboos," as festival director Heleen Gerritsen observed, adding: "On the other hand, the political changes led to the collapse of state film funding, the bankrupting of whole film studios, the disappearance of film copies and confusion regarding film rights that is still widespread today." Numerous questions regarding the preservation and availability of these highly significant works remain unresolved to date. At this year's goEast Symposium, film scholars and researchers, filmmakers and archivists will be addressing these unresolved questions in the scope of a host of lectures and panel discussions. The Symposium curators, Prof. Dr. Schamma Schahadat (University of Tübingen) and Dr. Margarete Wach, have assembled a comprehensive programme. The discourse formats will be accompanied by a multi-facetted film programme featuring digital restorations as well as rarely screened 35mm copies. The subject matter of this section, which is traditionally approached from a historical and academic angle, serves to bring film experts and the general public together for an intimate and fruitful dialogue. "The relocation of the Symposium to the DFF cinema in Frankfurt enables us to realise the originally planned programme almost without omissions," as festival director Heleen Gerritsen commented.
The film programme is extraordinarily diverse here. The opening film is a fitting distillation of the topic at hand: in ULYSSES' GAZE / TO VLEMMA TOU ODYSSEA (1995, directed by Theo Angelopoulos), Harvey Keitel is caught up in a winding trek across the Balkans of the 1990s in search of lost film reels. In MY TWENTIETH CENTURY / AZ ÉN XX. SZÁZADOM (1989), Ildikó Enyedi – goEast's 2018 jury president – takes us along on a fairy-tale-like journey through the preceding century in eccentric black-and-white images. In addition, the programme boasts the world premiere of digitized versions of the Ukrainian films DECAY / ROZPAD (1990) by Myhailo Bielikov and FAMINE 33 / HOLOD 33 (1991) by Oles Yanchuk. Both films tackle topics previously considered too taboo to touch: the former treats the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, while the latter deals with the Holodomor, the famines that ravaged the population of Ukraine in 1932–33. The short film programme on Parallel Cinema, a subversive avant-garde movement that took shape in the final years of the Soviet Union, serves as a testament to the great formal experimentation of the era. The full film programme is available on the festival website at www.filmfestival-goeast.de, or from DFF at www.dff.film.
The goEast Symposium is made possible with the support of our technical partner Videmic. The lectures, panel discussions and film talks will be recorded live and broadcast directly to smartphones via the Videmic app.
The Symposium "Film Heritage in Transition: Central and Eastern Europe 1985–1999" is made possible with funding from the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany.
From 4 to 26 August 2020, with the PORTRAIT section goEast is offering its local cinema audience a deep look at the work of master director Radu Jude. In the scope of an extensive workshop talk for goEast Online back in May, the Romanian filmmaker gave insight into his personal approach to cinema and his hybrid style, which makes use of the means of fictional narrative cinema, documentary film and theatre. The name Radu Jude has become increasingly synonymous with the creative blurring of boundaries between fiction and reality. With immense acuity, he manages to simultaneously reveal the injustices of society, the state of contemporary politics and the darkest corners of Romanian history.
The PORTRAIT features twelve films in total, including six short films, and spans from Jude's early work all the way to the immediate present. With UPPERCASE PRINT / TIPOGRAFIC MAJUSCUL (2020), the feature-film programme also includes his most recent film, which celebrated its world premiere at the 2020 edition of the Berlinale. The DFF cinema in Frankfurt offers the opportunity to experience this comprehensive retrospective in the theatre, as intended. The film series is made possible with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute.
All festival events will take place in accordance with the current regulations and recommendations of the responsible public health agencies and the hygiene policies of DFF. You can find regularly updated information online at www.filmfestival-goEast.de and www.dff.film.
You can find photographs here: Downloads
goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum and made possible with the support of numerous partners. Primary funding partners are the State Capital Wiesbaden, the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, Renovabis, BHF BANK Foundation, Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the German Federal Foreign Ministry, the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The jury gave a Special Mention for VIRAGO (Estonia, 2019, directed by Kerli Kirch Schneider) as a fairy-tale-like plea for nearly perfect narrative cinema. In their own words: "VIRAGO impressed with its subtle, fresh tongue-in-cheek humour and its great magic. It is an outstanding contribution and perfect example for the art of short filmmaking and telling big fairy-tale stories with deep moral aspects."
The 2020 Renovabis Research Grant for documentary film projects with a focus on human rights went to HOME IS WHERE THE FILMS ARE by More Raça. This year's winning project underlines the fact that the right to imagination and culture is a human right. The jury explained their selection with the following statement: "We see this project as well as the award itself as a form of moral support for all cultural creators in these difficult times." The winning project treats film screenings for children in refugee camps. As a child, the Kosovar director herself lived in such a camp in Macedonia, where she experienced personally the energy that film and culture can set free. The films that she saw there inspired her to become a filmmaker. Cinema became a home for her, in the midst of the chaos and misery of the camp.
SHUT THE FUCK UP! by Taisiia Kutuzova of Ukraine was honoured with the goEast Development Award as the best project in the scope of the East-West Talent Lab. "The most significant factor in our decision was the urgent relevance of the project as a mirror for our times and a signal of hope in the face of difficult societal conditions", as the jury emphasised. A young protagonist exhibits civil courage in a small Ukrainian provincial town – by waging a solitary struggle against corruption. Though a local story, the project manages to encapsulate the state of an entire nation. Where functioning democratic structures still have to be established, political engagement of this variety can be life-threatening – and not only for the activist. "For this reason, we would like to honour the courage of the filmmaker, and her perseverance. May the prize fortify her resolve and enable her to continue her vital work", as the jury wrote in its statement.
Every year since the beginning of the festival goEast media partner 3sat has offered to purchase broadcast rights for one film from the programme. For 2020, 3sat has selected the Competition film ZANA (Kosovo/Albania, 2019) by Antoneta Kastrati. The film is expected to celebrate its television premiere on 3sat in 2021.
The fate of the jubilee anniversary edition of goEast was initially uncertain due to the Covid-19 crisis. Thanks to the commitment of the festival organisers and support on the part of sponsors and funders, the festival was able to take place, and will now extend beyond the originally scheduled festival week. Thus, the awards ceremony does not represent the grand finale for goEast's 20th edition, as the festival forges on, bringing Central and Eastern European films back where they belong: to the cinema.
From 24 to 27 July the goEast Symposium "Film Heritage in Transition" will take place in the cinema of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut und Filmmuseum. In late summer, culture aficionados can look forward to an evening short-film walk, a shared meal outdoors and language courses in Mix Markt in the scope of the Pan-European Picnic. Finally, in the scope of November's exground filmfest, the entire goEast Competition section will be screened for the public. Hosted at the lovely Caligari FilmBühne, the festival will once again be welcoming renowned film guests to Wiesbaden, among others including Stephan Komandarev (director of ROUNDS), Vlad Ivanov (lead actor in SERVANTS), Karolis Kaupinis (director of NOVA LITUANIA) and Ksenia Okhapkina (director of IMMORTAL). In the scope of the screenings, with the presentation of the goEast Audience Award the festival year's last prize-winner will also be revealed.
Here is an overview of this year's prize-winners:
Golden Lilly for Best Film
ROUNDS / V KRAG, Bulgaria, Serbia/France, 2019, directed by Stephan Komandarev
Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director
NOVA LITUANIA, Lithuania, 2019, directed by Karolis Kaupinis
Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity
IMMORTAL / SUREMATU, Estonia/Lithuania, 2019, directed by Ksenia Okhapkina
IVANA THE TERRIBLE / IVANA CEA GROAZNICĂ, Romania/Serbia 2019, directed by Ivana Mladenović
International Film Critic's Award – FIPRESCI (fiction feature)
ROUNDS / V KRAG, Bulgaria/Serbia/France 2019, directed by Stephan Komandarev
International Film Critic's Award – FIPRESCI (documentary film)
STATE FUNERAL / PROSHANIE SO STALINYM, Netherlands/Lithuania, 2019, directed by Sergei Loznitsa
Open Frame Award
WHISPERS, Poland, 2019, directed by Jacek Naglowski, Patryk Jordanowicz
Open Frame Award – Honourable Mention
BABYN JAR, VIRTUAL MEMORY, Ukraine, 2020, directed by Alona Stulii
RheinMain Short Film Award
IN BETWEEN / NË MES, Kosovo, 2019, directed by Samir Karahoda
RheinMain Short Film Award – Honourable Mention
VIRAGO, Estonia, 2019, directed by Kerli Kirch Schneider
Renovabis Research Grant for documentary film projects with a human rights focus
HOME IS WHERE THE FILMS ARE, Kosovo, directed by More Raça
goEast Development Award
SHUT THE FUCK UP!, Ukraine, directed by Taisiia Kutuzova
You can find photographs here: Downloads