Cinema Archipelago Returns: RheinMain Short Film Award, VR, TikTok 2023 // "Space Age Animation" from Hungary and Estonia + Estonian Funk Embassy // Guest Country Slovenia // Accreditation & Press Conference

Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 23 March 2023 


Cinema Archipelago – The East as an Island?  

For the second time already, goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is presenting the interdisciplinary sidebar programme Cinema Archipelago, made possible with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. With this special festival programme, the festival once again has the possibility to shine a spotlight on new medial forms of expression in Central and Eastern Europe. In the wake of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, an acute desire for decolonization has arisen in the cultural scene and film sector in the post-Soviet space. The Symposium “Decolonizing the (Post-)Soviet Screen” brings research, scholarship, film heritage and cinematic practice together under the direction of Barbara Wurm and Heleen Gerritsen. The film selection features works from former Soviet states, but also films by filmmakers from indigenous or hitherto marginalised groups that are attempting to redefine their identities and relationship to dominant Russian culture. 

RheinMain Short Film Award – Native Edition 

Already celebrating its fourth edition, goEast is delighted to once again present the RheinMain Short Film Award this year, featuring 2,500 euros in prize money. A three-member regional jury will select the winning film. This year features a new thematic twist: the short films of the selection were all made by indigenous filmmakers or those representing marginalised groups. The Russian Federation is home to 185 ethnic minority groups. The Central Asian republics are also very ethnically diverse – and the official national borders artificial and arbitrary. The short films in this year’s competition come from the autonomous republics of Kalmykia (EXULTATION, 2022, Arslan Manasyan), Sakha (AITAL, 2021, Vladimir Munkuev) and Chechnya (NO NATION WITHOUT CULTURE, 2022, Vladlena Sandu), as well as from Uzbekistan (TALE, 2022, Kamila Rustambekova and ARALKUM, 2022, Daniel Asadi Faezi and Mila Zhluktenko) and Kirgizstan (NEITHER ON THE MOUNTAIN NOR IN THE FIELD, 2022, Gulzat Egemerdieva). Ukrainian director Sashko Protyakh also appears here with KHAYT (2021), a futuristic short film, in which he fantasises about a future shaped by Asov-Greek culture for the (in the meantime completely destroyed) port city of Mariupol. The filmmakers will be in attendance in Wiesbaden. Following the festival, the short films will head out on tour, visiting cinemas throughout the Rhein-Main region. 

Tales from the Bathhouse 

The traditional bathhouse culture found in Wiesbaden is also a cherished part of Eastern European cultures. Following the successful experiment last year, the festival is returning to the VRChat bathhouse with this year’s virtual reality programme. In 2023, goEast and guest curator Georgy Molodtsov are offering three groups of Central and Eastern European artists the possibility to breathe new life into their stand-alone VR works by transforming them into multiplayer online environments. Through this collaboration, goEast is able to provide greater visibility for these works and enable the artistic VR world to emerge from beneath the shadow of an industry dominated by pure entertainment products. 

goEast’s bespoke bathhouse invites members of the public to slip into their finest avatar bathing outfits and immerse themselves in the artistically designed world, or to explore the designers’ creative works at the new festival location Altes Gericht in Wiesbaden. Admission to “Tales from the Bathhouse” is open to the general public at no charge.  

TikTok 2023 

What is on the mind of Generation Z in 2023? Questions of identity, racism, Russia’s war of aggression – young TikTokers speak their truth or slip into the skin of an alter ego for little sketches, like the “ungrateful Ukrainian refugee” or the “Balkan dad”.  Once again, goEast has collected TikTok videos from our focus region as well as from young Eastern Europeans in exile, in order to present the festival audience a big-screen collage consisting of existential angst, absurd dance videos, uncomfortable opinions and bad puns. 

“Space Age Animation” from Hungary and Estonia + Estonian Funk Embassy 

Estonia and Hungary have more then their Finno-Ugric languages in common: they are both also home to unique animated film cultures. In Tallinn and Budapest of the 1970s and ’80s, the marginal position of animated film enabled artists to operate outside of mainstream film culture and to create subversive and experimental works that frequently managed to evade the censors.

These films from Estonia and Hungary are characterised by topics such as the conquest of outer space, sociocultural critique, the era of stagnation with its bourgeois tendencies, escapism, the dangers of technocracy and the creative desire to experiment. Now, a new short film programme at goEast brings together a selection of these works, such as AATOMIK & JÕMMID (1970) by Elbert Tuganov, founder of the Estonian film studio Nukufilm, THE FLIGHT (1973) and COLOUR-BIRD (1974) by Rein Raamat, founder of Joonisfilm. A further block consisting of two Pannonia short film programmes offers the festival audience an opportunity to appreciate the films of Pannonia studio founder Gyula Macskássy and his daughter Kati on the big screen. Kati Macskássy’s art is particularly affecting for its animation of children’s drawings and letters, which she used to indirectly expose the official propaganda of the era. Sándor Reisenbüchler’s psychedelic and socially critical collages, such as PANIC (1983) and THE YEAR OF 1812 (1972), and two feature-length films, SON OF THE WHITE MARE (1981) by Marcell Jankovics and BUBBLEBATH (1979) by György Kovásznai, also occupy well-deserved spots in this programme. In the “Space Age Animation” section, festival attendees can enjoy a total of 20 classic animated films on the big screen. 

Those who can’t get enough of the groovy animation soundtracks here are warmly invited to attend the Psychedelic Funk Party at Wiesbaden’s Schlachthof dance club on the Festival Saturday for a night of musical fun in the spirit of the special animation programme, featuring the DJs of Tallinn’s Estonian Funk Embassy. 

Guest Country Slovenia 

Slovenia, a young nation with a literary and cultural tradition extending back for centuries, is 2023’s Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. To complement this feature, goEast is inviting the festival audience to discover Slovenia’s vibrant cinema scene. This coming fall, a Slovenian film series will be presented at the DFF cinema in Frankfurt am Main. goEast is offering the audience a small sneak preview during the festival week, in co-operation with the “Slovenska kinoteka”, which has been dedicated to the formation, preservation and presentation of a film collection since its founding in 1996. In the scope of the festive goEast Matinee, with the director of the Slovenian Cultural Centre Berlin also in attendance, filmmaker Maja Weiss will be on hand to personally present her film GUARDIAN OF THE FRONTIER (2002). Živojin Pavlović’s FAREWELL UNTIL THE NEXT WAR (1980) will also be screened in the scope of the archive presentation – the film processes the horrors of the Second World War from the subjective perspective of a former Slovenian partisan fighter. 


Since 3 March, members of the press can register here for accreditation for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. During the festival, accredited industry guests and members of the press will receive access to an online media library featuring the festival films. Accreditation is free of charge for members of the press who wish to report on the festival. 


Save the Date: goEast Press Conference 

The press conference will take place at Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne as a live, in-person event on the morning of Wednesday, 19 April, starting at 11:00. 


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

The full program for the 23rd edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will be announced in April. 

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, the film festival funding program of the Goethe-Institut in co-operation with the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Renovabis, the City of Eschborn and the Central and Eastern European Online Library GmbH / CEEOL. Primary media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.