The Dream of Cinema – YELLOW CAT Poised to Open 21st Edition of goEast // Short, Shorter, Anarchic – The RheinMain Short Film Award and Anarcho Shorts at goEast // Propulsive Balkan Beats // Experimental Film Master Class with Péter Lichter and Márió Z. Nemes

Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 4 March 2021

YELLOW CAT (Zheltaya Koshka, Kazakhstan/France, 2020), directed by long-time festival friend Adilkhan Yerzhanov, has been selected as the opening film for this year's edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film (running from 20 to 26 April). The festival, hosted annually by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, is proud to present the German premiere of this tragicomic road movie revolving around Kermek, who is released from prison thanks to a shady deal. In the grim reality of life on the outside, Kermek seeks escape in cinema, spurred on by the dream of creating his own movie theatre in the mountains where he can finally leave behind his former life of crime for good. However, to his dismay he discovers that his ticket to freedom is entangled with a gangster boss who he must now pay back through loyal service.

After the latest decision of the summit between Federal Chancellor Merkel and the Head of States of Germany (March 3, 2021) on how to proceed in the corona pandemic, there is a prospect for cinema openings that goEast will use as a guideline. The festival organisers continue to pursue a hybrid festival planning and hope for in person events if the incidence values correspond. A solid Online and an on Demand programme is being prepared independently of these developments.

Short, Shorter, Anarchic – The RheinMain Short Film Award and Anarcho Shorts at goEast

The RheinMain Short Film Award is gearing up for its third edition at goEast. The competition, made possible with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, honours the best short film production here with prize money in the amount of 2,500 euros. The winning film is chosen by a jury composed of directors of independent arthouse cinemas from the region. Film fans can expect a broad spectrum of short-duration entertainment here, starting with intimate depictions of everyday life in HAVE YOU SEEN THAT MAN? (L-aţi văzut pe omul ăla?, Romania, 2019) and extending all the way to essayistic documentary works like Julia Pelka's FAT KATHY (Gruba Kaśka, Poland, 2019), in which vigilant clams are there to warn the inhabitants of Warsaw in the event that their water supply should become contaminated. The characters in MAN (Latvia, 2020) and FIGURANT (Czech Republic, 2019) set off in search of meaning. In the latter, French actor Denis Lavant delivers a mesmerising performance with that uniquely expressive face of his. The animated film MY GALACTIC TWIN GALACTION (Russia, 2020), directed by Sasha Svirsky, is rather experimental fare, whose crazy intergalactic storyline is set to a beat that has the potential to get stuck in your head on repeat. Feminine film images feature heavily in SISTERS (Ukraine, 2019), URAL (Germany, 2019) and BAD NIGHT STORY (Bajka na niespokojny sen, Poland, 2019), which deal respectively with anti-feminism in Ukraine, the religious thoughts of a young girl approaching her first communion and the guilty conscience of a Russian migrant whose father was involved in Soviet nuclear testing. Following the festival in Wiesbaden, the short film programme will once again head out on a tour of the region's independent cinemas.

With its radical visions, from the AI-controlled rap music of TREMENDOUS CREAM (Russia, 2020) to a night watchman struggling to satisfy his Tetris fix in NIGHT SHIFT (Latvia, 2019), the programme from Anarcho Shorts offers pretty much everything which has been off-limits during the past months in lockdown. In HIGH-RISE (Russia, 2020), a Russian foreign service employee attempts to disappear 20 kilos of cocaine but ends up unceremoniously dusting a downtown neighbourhood with the white powder instead. MY FAT ARSE AND I (Poland, 2020) takes a critical look at extreme ideals of beauty, which culminate in an invitation to the kingdom of skinny posteriors. Animalistic realms beckon in the musical rooster romp COCKPERA (Croatia, 2020), the parasitic tale of friendship LOVE IS JUST A DEATH AWAY (Czech Republic, 2019) and BEST ANIMAL VIDEOS (Poland, 2019). In the latter, a more-than-human swan with a nicotine addiction befriends a cat trying to make ends meet with raunchy Internet videos.

Propulsive Balkan Beats

Unfortunately, it is still too early for wild parties in our present Corona circumstances. However, this year goEast intends to get out on the dance floor again, if only cinematically for now: Sergej Kreso's documentary film HERE WE MOVE, HERE WE GROOVE (Netherlands, 2020) will be our party stand-in, as we dive into the driving Balkan Beats of DJ Robert Šoko, who has been combining electronic Balkan music with Western music influences since the early 1990s. The film, an ode to the European cultural melting pot, accompanies Šoko, a refugee from Yugoslavia in his youth, on a journey back to his roots starting off from Berlin, where refugees from Syria and Afghanistan are still pursuing the same dream that transfixed him long ago. On his way, the DJ collects new musical influences that he weaves into his stirring sets.

Experimental Film Master Class with Péter Lichter and Márió Z. Nemes

Published in 2017, the Hungarofuturist Manifesto was a reaction to infringements on the freedom of the press and attacks on the scientific community and civil initiatives under the Hungarian FIDESZ administration led by Viktor Orbán. Poet Márió Z. Nemes, whose work Barokk Femina serves as the basis for the eponymous experimental film by Péter Lichter, is an active part of this art movement, which draws its inspiration from Afrofuturism. BAROKK FEMINA (Hungary, 2020) is featured in the BIOSCOPE section this year at goEast. In the scope of a master class, Lichter and Nemes will speak about their collaboration, independent filmmaking in Hungary and the multi-layered, Dadaist approach to realising the film, which is composed of material drawn from archival footage, news images, Hollywood cinema and video games.

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 and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.