PRESS RELEASE

"Let's go!" // 60 Years of Manned Space Flight – Homage to Yuri Gagarin // Pop-Up Culture at the Pan-European Picnic // Anti-Oscar Night with Radu Jude and Dan Perjovschi // Accreditation and Press Conference

Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 17 February 2021

As Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin set off from Kazakhstan's Tyuratam spaceport on 12 April 1961, on the first manned space flight in human history, he is reported to have shouted a simple "Let's go!" ("Поехали") right before lift-off. Today the exclamation still serves as a popular Russian toast for the region's drinkers. goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film has decided to seize the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Gagarin's trip around the Earth to organise an outer space programme of its own this April. Attendees of the festival, hosted by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, can look forward to films gathered from all co-ordinates throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

Yuri Gagarin: model citizen, pilot, son of the Soviet people and family man. The propaganda film OUR GAGARIN (Nash Gagarin, USSR, 1971) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first manned space flight. goEast will clash the film in a double feature with Artavazd Pelechian's OUR CENTURY (Nash Vek, USSR, 1983), a found-footage film poem about technological progress and human hubris in the 20th century. The programme also features trailblazing Eastern European science-fiction classics, such as Jindřich Polák's IKARIE XB 1 (Czechoslovakia, 1963), in which a spaceship crew's internal cohesion is put to the test on their way to an Earth-like planet. goEast is presenting the restored 2016 version of this genre classic, which for the first time features the ending as it was originally intended. The DEFA film THE SILENT STAR (GDR/Poland, 1959), directed by Kurt Maetzig and based on a novel by Stanisław Lem, pushes the boundaries of reality and human co-operation to the limit. In the film, scientists discover a cosmic message from Venus, which culminates in a radioactive threat to Earth. Yakov Protazanov's AELITA - QUEEN OF MARS (Aelita, USSR, 1924) offers a fascinating look at early siltent science-fiction cinema, with a storyline that catapults Marxist ideology to the red planet. In this silent film, based on the eponymous novel by Aleksey Tolstoy, an intergalactic class struggle breaks out between the aristocratic population of Mars and the Soviet working class on Earth. Instead of Gagarin's exploits, SPACE DOGS (Austria/Germany, 2019) by Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter memorialises the first brave canines in outer space. Although the Russian dog Laika did not survive her journey in 1957, her compatriots claim her spirit lives on today within the stray dogs of Moscow. Numerous short films and a panel discussion will round off the programme.

Pop-Up Culture at the Pan-European Picnic

For the third year running, goEast, with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, is building bridges between individuals, cultures and regions with its Pan-European Picnic. The programme series is wholly inspired by a creative intervention in 1989, where a picnic on the border between Austria and Hungary resulted in the opening of one of the most rigid of national borders, if only for a few hours. In order to ensure a safe encounter between cultures under pandemic conditions too, the Pan-European Picnic offers enough space to get to know one another while maintaining necessary distance. The programme features a proper celebration of Eastern European kiosk culture: a genuine pop-up cultural kiosk, model K67 to be exact, will display a conglomeration of Central and Eastern European cultural artefacts in downtown Wiesbaden.

In addition, with the short-film walk, an open-air film programme will be returning again to the house facades of the Rhine-Main region. In co-operation with the Hamburg-based artist collective "A Wall is a Screen", this year a programme composed of Eastern European short films will explore Offenbach am Main by night.

Featuring eight selections from Central and Eastern Europe, the Rhein-Main Short Film Award programme will embark on a tour of the Rhine-Main region's arthouse cinemas. This is to take place after a jury composed of directors of regional independent cinemas selects the winning film, which can look forward to receiving prize money in the amount of 2,500 euros.

Finally, the Pan-European Picnic will hopefully feature a drive-in movie theatre in Wiesbaden, an exhibition of video art from Central Asia, an examination of audio-visual forms of protest in Belarus, as well as a master class and language courses promoting basic communication in Central and Eastern European cultural milieus.

Anti-Oscar Night with Radu Jude and Dan Perjovschi

An extra special highlight from the supporting programme will take place on 25 April 2021, in the form of an anti-Oscar evening curated especially for goEast. While the last specks of dust are being removed from the red carpet in Los Angeles, Romanian director and last year's goEast Portrait guest Radu Jude will host an exquisite cinema evening at Museum Wiesbaden – without all the glamour, but with plenty of substance (and vodka) instead. The programme will be framed by an action art exhibition featuring the work of Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi, who will be creating his notorious wall drawings, illustrating his view of the Academy Awards this time, in various parts of Museum Wiesbaden over the course of five festival days.

Accreditation and Press Conference

Members of the press can apply for accreditation for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film here from 22 February until 9 April 2021. During the festival week, accredited industry guests and members of the press will receive access to an online media platform featuring selections from the festival programme.

The press conference for the 21st edition of goEast will take place as a videoconference on Friday, 16 April 2021, at 11:00 am. Please RSVP to attend. Access information (video link, etc.) will be provided in advance in a special written invitation.

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

The full programme for the 21st edition of goEast – Festival of Central and European Film will be announced in late March.

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, the German Federal Foreign Ministry and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.