PRESS RELEASE

goEast presents the centrepiece of the festival: The Competition for Central and Eastern European feature films and documentaries // Partisans, provinces and post-socialism - the Competition at goEast // goEast welcomes its Competition jury to Wiesbaden // Save the Date: goEast 2021 press conference

Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 31 March 2021

It's less than a month until the 21st edition of the goEast festival of Central and Eastern European film organized by DFF - Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum (April 20th to 26th) gets underway. The festival organizers will have to show their audience almost all of the 92 festival films online this year, but with jury and press screenings in the cinema they also underline the importance of the festival as an industry event. goEast offers its broad-ranging audience the chance to experience the highlights of current Central and Eastern European film via the Competition, the centrepiece of this year's festival. An international jury and the FIPRESCI film critic jury will be awarding the prizes. A special honor this year: the "Golden Lily", endowed with 10,000 euros forms the main prize of the goEast Competition.

The Competition films will made available online in cooperation with the VoD provider filmwerte. Discussions with filmmakers during the festival week will round off the Competition's programme. The recorded film talks will be available on the goEast website after the respective conversations every day from 3 p.m onwards. Press screenings of the Competition films will take place in the DFF cinema in accordance with the current COVID-19 pandemic protection regulations of the state government of Hessen.

Partisan, Provinces and Post-Socialism - The Competition at goEast

The Competition entries derive from the entire post-socialist area of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. They will provide the viewer a window on the current facets in partisan stories, the clash of indigenous cultures with majority societies and the contrast between rural life and big cities - and Eastern European companies. goEast will place equal focus and importance on all of the films, some of which are even German premieres, as they all equally represent the diversity of their respective production countries.

Partisan stories are not only an important basis to Eastern European social context but traditionally in the film culture too where they even have their own partisan film genre. Contemporary partisan stories in film express, amongst other things, resistance to right-wing tendencies. In LANDSCAPES OF RESISTANCE (Serbia, Germany, France 2021), one of the first partisans in Serbia is accompanied on her intellectual journey into the past. Marta Popivoda's description of her resistance in the Auschwitz concentration camp make it clear that fascism is still an acute threat today. Vera Lacková, whose grandfather was also a resistance fighter that went on a personal journey to trace the history of her Roma family is still met with a lot of rejection even today. As a Roma director in the Czech Republic, she filmed her experiences in HOW I BECAME A PARTISAN (Czech Republic, Slovakia 2020). The film will celebrate its world premiere at goEast on 22 April, which the director will accompany with a podcast. With the historical partisan drama IN THE DUSK (Lithuania, France, Czech Republic, Serbia, Portugal, Latvia 2020), Šarūnas Bartas will present his latest work on goEast for the first time in Germany. In the dark story of the fight against Soviet troops in Lithuania in 1948, the director critically deals with the myth of the "forest brothers", which has led to fierce controversy in his home country.

An additional series of Competition entries shows the tension between indigenous cultures and majority societies. This includes the documentary LIFE OF IVANNA (Russia, Norway, Finland, Estonia 2021), that shows how life in the city is indeed similar to the nomadic life of indigenous peoples that has been threatened through exclusion in post-Soviet Siberia. Power struggles among men and the resulting conflicts for the protagonists in Lapland can be seen in the Nordic Western THE LAST ONES (Estonia, Finland, Netherlands 2020), directed by Veiko Õunpuu, one of the most famous directors in all of Estonia. The award-winning director and goEast regular Adilkhan Yerzhanov chose a black-humored approach to the topic in his film ULBOLSYN (Kazakhstan, France 2020). In it, the protagonist of the same name, Ulbolsyn, takes action against the arranged marriage of her younger sister and thus takes a courageous stand against provincial traditions that assert themselves against military command.

A special contrast has been made in this year's Competition between the "hinterland" and the big city film. The urban space of Budapest in 35mm pictures is the setting for a dramatic love story in PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME (Hungary 2020): After a woman gives up her medical career in the USA and returns to Budapest for her lover, the latter denies to even knowing her. Her despair becomes an ever-increasing obsession of love. In contrast, family encounters in rural areas emerge in BILESUVAR (Azerbaijan, France 2020) and CHUPACABRA (Russia 2020). In the latter, a boy tries to escape his family problems by fleeing into a self-created fantasy world. In many rural regions, the lack of communication infrastructure continues to be a major problem. PLEASE HOLD THE LINE (Austria 2020) accompanies unexpected everyday heroes: cable technicians. The documentary sheds light on this often-neglected profession and the importance of communication, without which modern life in the more rural regions of Ukraine, Moldova, Romania or Bulgaria seems almost impossible. Vitaly Suslin continues the of the black humor approach to film versus reality with PAPIER-MACHE (Russia 2020). In the film, the unlikely film hero and eternally unlucky man Ivan Lashin plays himself in a provincial drama that deals with past loan transactions. Instead of blurring reality and fiction, the real-political drama SHOULD THE WIND DROP (France, Armenia, Belgium 2020) by Nora Matrirosyan is devoted to an airport that at the centre of a political tug-of-war that ultimately determines the legitimacy of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh state. HOLY FATHER (Romania 2020) and ONCE UPON A YOUTH (Croatia 2020), the director Ivan Ramljak's homage to his friend the amateur photographer Marko finally provide an intimate perspective into the filmmaker's own life.

An additional visual contrast is opened up by the black and white films THIS RAIN WILL NEVER STOP (Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, Qatar 2020) by Alina Gorlova, that covers impressively covers the Donbas conflict and problems of refugee life in exile, and the debut film by Juja Dobrachkous BEBIA, À MON SEUL DÉSIR (Georgia, United Kingdom 2020), which sends its young protagonist on an atmospheric journey into the past.

goEast welcomes its Competition jury in Wiesbaden

goEast is pleased to welcome international industry representatives to the Competition jury again this year. That includes the outstanding artist and director Saodat Ismailova, who has been involved in various contemporary art initiatives in Tashkent since 2020 and is actively involved in numerous film projects. Her feature film CHILLA and some of her more experimental works will be shown at this year's symposium. Producer and filmmaker Volia Chajkouskaya (including THE ROAD MOVIE) from Belarus is not only the founder of her own production company, but also the second largest film festival in her home country, "Northern Lights" in Belarus. The documentary filmmaker Thomas Heise is a member of the European Film Academy and lectures at several universities in the field of film and television. He has received several awards for his documentaries, including the German Documentary Award for HEIMAT IS A ROOM FROM TIME (Germany 2019). Also participating is the award-winning actress, director and Roma activist Alina Dieerban, who represented her home country Romania in Cannes in 2018 and won the German Acting Award in 2020 for her film GYPSY QUEEN (Germany, Austria 2019). Film critic Jay Weissberg has been writing for the American magazine Variety since 2003 and has extensive experience as a jury member at film festivals. Since 2015 he has been the artistic director of the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone. The Competition jury will, as far as possible, view and evaluate all Competition films in the Caligari FilmBühne.

Save the Date: goEast 2021 press conference

Don't miss out: the annual press conference in the run-up to the festival will take place this year in the form of a video conference on April 16th at 11 a.m. Early registration is requested. The dial-in data will be sent in advance in a separate notification.
Please also take the opportunity to get festival accreditation April 12th. You can find the registration under: Accreditation

During the festival period, an online media library with almost all of the films originally planned will be available to accredited trade visitors and representatives of the press.

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.