Virtual Reality to go // New forms, new format and a new form of cinema – experience the Open Frame Award // VR Headsets to go // Public Distancing in Wiesbaden: The Drive-in Cinema & the Ost-Kiosk // blogEast is back

Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 13 April 2021

With the fourth edition of the Open Frame Award, goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film continues its journey through new forms and media formats alongside classical cinemas experiences. However, as much as the competition of experimental 360° and interactive Virtual Reality is innovative, it has so far been relatively limited for the public in accessibility, since the projects could only be viewed in special headsets in our exhibition places. As a result of the pandemic, however, Georgy Molodtsov, curator of the Open Frame Award and the goEast festival team have come up with additional ways to experience the projects in competition.

New forms, new format and a new form of cinema – experience the Open Frame Award

This year it will be possible to get an overview and experience previews of the projects in competition through a digital exhibition in frameVR. Georgy Molodtsov will be offering daily guided tours through the exhibition, for which no additional hardware or software is necessary, only an internet browser. Participants can chat and interact in the exhibition space and even customize their appearance after registration. Additionally, between April 21st and 25th at 6 pm CET there will be daily guided tours through all event spaces in VRrOOM hosted by different Open Frame Award artists and the curator himself. The tours will also be streamed on YouTube. Still, for a full VR experience, a headset is necessary. In collaboration with Lichter Filmfest in Frankfurt, goEast will be providing exactly that – a virtual reality experience to go. At the goEast festival centre in the Museum Wiesbaden goEast will be renting out VR headsets to be taken home alongside user manuals. For this no previous VR experience is necessary. Additionally, goEast is teaming up with the long-time Open Frame Award supporter HTC VIVE's Viveport offering free access to selected interactive Open Frame Award projects at home for anybody, who already owns compatible hardware. For this HTC VIVE's Viveport created a dedicated experience space that will be live at on April 20th. "Last year we had to come up with new ideas of how to present the Open Frame Award even under conditions with curfews and travel restrictions. It turned out to be a success and only natural for experimental 360° and interactive Virtual Reality projects to be presented in virtual spaces as well. This year we want to broaden the awards accessibility, thus also connecting the Open Frame Award with the worldwide VR community and Central and Eastern European creators", summarized Georgy Molodtsov.

Once again virtual goEast venues, including Caligari FilmBühne VR as well as the GoEast VRoof Top Lounge, a meeting point for Open Frame Award nominees and festival guests, will serve as virtual meeting points and some new surprises. The venues have been created for the 20th edition of goEast last year by Georgy Molodtsov and the former Open Frame Award winner and VR artist Dennis Semionov in collaboration with VRrOOM, a social network in virtual reality. This year the venues have been "refurbished" and updated with better functionality. Again, the Caligari VR will serve as a location for a rather unusual awarding ceremony for this competition, at which all participants can appear with different avatars, ranging from exclusive goEast skins to pigeons and hamsters.

To make it possible, goEast partnered with the social XR cultural hub VRrOOm – a broadcast platform dedicated to arts, entertainment and cultural events. Virtual venues, a 360° theatre, unique virtual theatrical performances, nominees pitchings and the Open Frame Award Ceremony might be accessed through a XR VRrOOm world on the free platform VRChat. For the best experience a VR headset as well as a PC system are recommended, but the event is also accessible by most users via PC, like any videogame.

The Open Frame Award is once again funded and endowed with 5.000 Euros in prize money by BHF Bank Foundation and Adolf und Luisa Haeuser Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege.

An international jury will decide over who to receive the Open Frame Award. This year the jury is composed of Jimmy Cheng, Director of Content at Digital Domain in Hong Kong, Maria Courtial, co-founder and managing director of Faber Courtial, one of Germany's leading VR and VFX studios as well as Michel Reilhac, head of studies at Venice Biennale College Cinema and VR and founder and co-curator of Venice VR.

Public Distancing in Wiesbaden: The Drive-in Cinema & the Ost-Kiosk

Even though almost all 92 films of this year's edition of goEast will be available through an On Demand programme, the festival team has found a way to offer cultural events in person. This Public Distancing will include a Drive-in Cinema at the market place at Dern'sches Gelände in Wiesbaden as well an Ost-Kiosk.
The Drive-in cinema has been relatively absent in Germany since their zenith in the 1970s. Yet, through the pandemic they re-emerged as a place to experience film. goEast will be teaming up with stadtmobil RheinMain in offering pre-parked cars in front of a pop-up drive-in cinema. This way the audience won't have to bring their own cars and can just sit back and enjoy three Central and Eastern European film evenings in thoroughly disinfected cars. The goEast Drive-in Cinema will feature the following films:

YELLOW CAT (Kazakhstan/France, 2020) on April 21st at 8 PM CET

SPACE DOGS (Austria/Germany, 2019) on April 22nd at 8 PM CET

HERE WE MOVE, HERE WE GROOVE (Netherlands, 2020) on April 23rd at 8 PM CET

Before a visit to the Drive-in Cinema and after any On Demand screening at home, a visit to the goEast Ost-Kiosk shouldn't be missed. In the context of the Pan-European Picnic funded by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the goEast Ost-Kiosk becomes a meeting place even under pandemic conditions. Festival visitors will be able to meet at a distance and discuss their viewing experiences of the festival's On Demand programme. In addition, the kiosk offers a place to go for coffee specialities, snacks to-go and maybe even cocktail specials to go pre-mixed by Russian Standard. Additionally, a kiosk radio lets strollers passing by taste a little of Central and Eastern European sound impressions. In this way, the Ost-Kiosk becomes a kaleidoscope of Central and Eastern European encounters, to which goEast has always dedicated itself as a bridge builder between East and West.

blogEast is back

blogEast returns as a meeting point for people interested in Central and Eastern European (film) culture, content creators and everyone longing for additional facts about the 21st edition of goEast. The blog was initially created during the first Corona wave in Europe as a solidary mouthpiece for creators from all over Europe. Beforehand and during the festival, 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.

blogEast is available at the following link: blogEast

You can find images related to the festival and festival programming in our download section.

Here you can access the complete programme for the 21st edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film.

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 HessenFilm und Medien GmbH, the State Capital Wiesbaden, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, BHF BANK Foundation, Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, Renovabis and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.