Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 18 April 2022
The 22nd edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film marks a significant change of the festival’s dedication to XR creators. Two new initiatives, the Work-in-Progress Pitch and a collaborative project called “Tales from the Bathhouse” are introduced in this year’s program, which will go both online and offline during the dates of the festival – 19 April to 25 April 2022.
A major focus of the festival’s XR program is the ongoing war in Ukraine. During the last 4 years of goEast’s Open Frame VR Award, five works were created by Ukrainians, or told about Ukraine. Four of those will be part of a special showcase: “Aftermath VR: Euromaidan” by Alexey Furman, Sergiy Polezhaka (Ukraine, Open Frame Award 2019), “Whispers VR” by Jacek Nagłowski, Patryk Jordanowicz (Poland, Open Frame Award 2020), “BABYN YAR. VIRTUAL MEMORY” by Alona Stulii (Ukraine, Open Frame Award – Honorary Mention 2020) and #PrisonersVoice by Nikita Bohdanov (Ukraine, Belarus, Open Frame Award – Honorary Mention 2021).
In cooperation with HTC Vive the “Focus on Ukraine” exhibition will be held physically at LuisenCenter Darmstadt from 20 April to 25 April and in DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum from 27 April to 5 May 2022.
Starting from 2020, when goEast became one of the first festivals to open its virtual embassy in VR, the festival keeps merging the physical and virtual world together. Virtual visitors from all over the world are invited to visit goEast’s own BathHouse Hub in VRChat – a new venue for this year goEast XR activities, created by Dale “Deac” Deacon & TeamEpic.org based on the famous Wiesbaden’s Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme. In addition to two existing virtual landmarks – Caligari Theatre (another famous Wiesbaden landmark, virtually designed by former Open Frame Award winner Denis Semionov aka SA1NT DENIS) and goEast VRooftop, the BathHouse Hub will give the visitors a full overview of all of the XR activities made by goEast this year.
This includes the Cinema Archipelago project – Tales from the Bathhouse, an exhibition of three commissioned VRchat worlds, created by Eastern European digital artists and creators around the bathhouse topic. The “Hammam” world was created by a team of students from the Cologne Game Lab and visitors are invited to interact with Turkish architecture, music, cultural practices, and stories.
The experience “Exotic with a happy ending” by Uzbekistan-born artist Faina Yunusova will immerse audiences in a place of inaccessible experiences and unexpected surprises. “Bloodbath” is made by an Ukrainian team, who fled Ukraine due to the ongoing war. The experience lets visitors choose a side, while being on the now notorious Snake “Zmeinyi” Island, which was surrounded by the Russian missile warship “Moskva” on the first day of the war and whose defenders pronounced a curse which became the motto for the whole world.