The goEast programme is divided into a total of seven sections, each with its own profile: Competition, Symposium, East-West Talent Lab, Portrait/Homage (alternately, annually), Beyond Belonging, Highlights, and Specials.

Each section is curated carefully. Festival correspondents and experts support the programme team. The entries to the competition are nominated by a selection committee. The sections serve to build bridges between Central and Eastern European auteur film and experimental film, from current genre cinema to rediscovered historical films. Documentaries have conquered their rightful place beside the feature films.


Visionary, political or just plain weird: The Competition section brings together the most remarkable ten fiction features and six documentaries of the last two production years and offers a deep look at the cinematic diversity of current Central and Eastern European auteur filmmaking. The 16 productions compete for three prizes, which are awarded by an international jury: the Award for Best Film (10,000 euros), the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) and the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros), while an additional separate three-member jury representing FIPRESCI presents the International Film Critics’ Award. Beyond that, goEast media partner 3sat also offers one select film the opportunity to partner on a broadcast deal.


Hybrid Identities.Baltic Cinema
Revolution here, sovereignty there: the centennial celebrations continue! No less than two rounds of independence constituted the Baltic States – the first relatively early on in the past century (1918), the second towards the end (1990). They are the milestones for this year's goEast Symposium. While the political agenda in the decades between them was marked by authoritarian state regimes, both German and Soviet occupation and numerous struggles for freedom, in real life – as in film – hybrid identities take shape. The cinema of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is characterised by power relationships, especially those historical, political and economic ones which existence as a "Soviet republic" (and following that as a "post-Soviet space") brought with it. Cinema accepted and integrated these relationships, it seized on them and internalized them, it subverted, undermined and counteracted them. And time and again it turned its attention away entirely – to other spheres: the metaphysical for instance, or the mystical-fantastic-fabulous- grotesque-surreal, but also the social. The latter above all in that format which bestowed cinematographic honour upon the entire region: the documentary film. Whether those of Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Herz Frank or Juris Podnieks from the famous "Riga School", whether Andres Sööt, Mark Soosaar or Peter Simm for the Tallinnfilm studio, or Robertas Verba, Edmundas Zubavičius and Audrius Stonys starting off from Vilnius — in Poetic Realism criticism of conditions is just as possible as the big question of national and cultural identities is permissible.

Moreover, documentarism also unites those two (film)historical epochs that establish all three Baltic nations as cineastic greats in the realm of fiction-feature films, even though that may have been largely forgotten over the years: the New Wave of the gloriously modern 1960s of the Soviet national film studios on one
hand and the era of late or post-socialist- depressive rebellion-as-alienation cinema on the other hand. For the 1960s, prime examples include Vytautas
Žalakevičius (NIEKAS NENORĖJO MIRTI / NOBODY WANTED TO DIE, 1965) or Arūnas Žebriūnas (GRAŽUOLĖ / THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL, 1969) in the Lithuanian SSR, Kaljo Kiisk (HULLUMEELSUS / MADNESS, 1968) or Grigorij Kromanov (VIIMNE RELIIKVIA / THE LAST RELIC, 1969) in the Estonian SSR, and, in the Latvian SSR, alongside Leonīds Leimanis, Ivars Kraulītis and Rolands Kalniņš, one would also most definitely include the crime films of Aloizs Brenčs and the literary adaptations of Gunārs Piesis. The 1990s for their part were marked by (to this day) young feral introverts such as Šarunas Bartas and masters of laconic irony like Laila Pakalniņa. Weird, very weird, on top of all that: puppet and other animated (Baltic) worlds, from the grand master Priit Pärn to "nukufilm" all the way to the sexual blasphemies of a filmmaker in exile: Signe Baumane. A comprehensive rediscovery is long overdue.


The EAST-WEST TALENT LAB is dedicated to the transfer of knowledge and creativity and the exchange of project ideas. The program connects young filmmakers and artists from Central and Eastern Europe and Germany. A multitude of workshops and master classes instruct the 30 participants in core competences and provide insight into the film industry. Topics covered in the Lab include fundamental aspects of European co-productions and pitching workshops as well as the Open Frame Award, which this year features a selection of artistically ambitious virtual reality works by young artists and filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe and Hessen's film and art academies. Vying for the goEast Development Award, endowed with 3,500 euros in prize money, 14 selected projects will pitch their project ideas to a three-member expert jury at the conclusion of the workshop program.
The EAST-WEST TALENT LAB is made possible by the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and the BHF-BANK Foundation.


The annually alternating Homage and Portrait sections offer the festival audience the opportunity to experience the artistic life’s work of an extraordinary filmmaker in a convenient, compact form. A representative programme featuring short and/or long film works and a workshop talk enables festivalgoers to personally encounter filmmakers whose visionary work has had a deep impact on Central and Eastern European cinema. To date these twin sections have honoured Šarūnas Bartas, Benedek Fliegauf, Otar Iosseliani, Miklós Jancsó, Fatmir Koçi, Marlen Khutsiev, Sergej Loznitsa, Kira Muratova, Sergej Paradzhanov, Jan Švankmajer, Jan Svěrák, Małgorzata Szumowska, Juliusz Machulski and, most recently, Márta Mészáros.

Oppose othering!

Our OPPOSE OTHERING! Program for ethical filmmaking will go into its third round in 2018. This year we will focus on developing an environment where minorities have an equal place within filmmaking and diversity is respected, both in Eastern Europe and Germany.
During goEast 2018 participants and experts from different fields will engage in discussions, workshops, networking events and case studies. OO! Is looking for courageous and constructive social justice warriors to participate in the 2018 program and become part of an international network fighting to oppose othering and make inclusion a normality.
We invite young professionals with a background in filmmaking, production, distribution, festival or cultural management from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as from Germany, who want to shape the future of filmmaking in their own countries and develop ways to involve minorities in the process. In addition to a thematically focused film program, the OPPOSE OTHERING! tandem films, which are currently still in production, will celebrate their world premieres in April at goEast, before going on tour to festivals across Europe. Cinematic experiences that expand horizons are guaranteed here.


Arthouse cinema from Eastern Europe is increasingly on people’s radar these days, not least of all due to its more recent success with critics and audiences alike at the Berlinale or the Academy Awards. Still, mainstream films and audience favourites from the region very rarely make it into movie theatres in Germany. That’s not the case at goEast though: the Highlights section brings together cinematic treats that delighted audiences in theatres and at festivals: exquisite film fare beyond the realm of auteur cinema.


The extra special section without which no festival would be complete. In the Specials, the School Film Days bring together education and festival atmosphere, new jewels from the festival world share the screen with old treasures from the archives, the local community rubs shoulders with movie stars, events arranged spontaneously in light of current events meet traditional goEast formats. And when the lights finally go out in the theatre lobbies, the festival crowd comes together at night for concerts and parties.