Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 19 April 2023
Encountering Eastern Europe on an equal footing – that has been goEast’s motto since the first edition of the festival. That means talking WITH Eastern Europe, and not just ABOUT Eastern Europe.
Introducing the Competition Jury
The festival team is delighted to reveal the members of the International Competition jury. Chairing the international goEast jury is prize-winning director, critic and festival curator Rada Šešić. Šešić grew up in former Yugoslavia and resides today in The Netherlands. She founded the documentary film competition at Sarajevo Film Festival, and is active as a curator for a range of other festivals. In addition, Šešić is a lecturer at the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam and festival director at Eastern Neighbours Film Festival in The Hague. Šešić is joined on the jury by last year’s Golden Lily award winner, Kaltrina Krasniqi from Kosovo. Krasniqi is a filmmaker and co-founder of the “Kosovo Oral History Initiative” and the cultural café “Dit’ e Nat’”. Her debut film VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA celebrated its premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival and went on to win numerous further international prizes last year in addition to the Golden Lily in Wiesbaden. Director Mikhail Borodin was born in Uzbekistan. His fiction-feature debut CONVENIENCE STORE celebrated its premiere at the 2022 Berlinale. He made an appearance in Wiesbaden the same year, at goEast, with his documentary film COTTON100%, which deals with forced labour in Uzbekistan. In 2022, he also co-founded the Tashkent Film School together with film producer Julia Shaginurova. In addition, he heads the production company SESTRA Films. Belarusian documentary filmmaker and trained cameraman Andrei Kutsila, whose film STRIP AND WAR celebrated its world premiere at goEast Film Festival in 2019, where it won the FIPRESCI Award, is also a member of this year’s jury. In early 2023, Kutsila, who has lived in exile in Poland for a number of years, founded the Belarusian Independent Film Academy together with other independent filmmakers from Belarus. Finally, born in South Africa, Justine Waddell was previously active as an actress for a long period. These days, she works as a producer, and collaborates frequently with filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe. In 2021, with support from BFI-FAN Fund, she founded the online platform Klassiki, which offers a cinephile audience online access to an exclusive selection of first-class films from Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and Central Asia.
The goEast Press Conference
Festival director Heleen Gerritsen presented the programme for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film on Wednesday, 19 April, at a press conference hosted by Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne. Taking place this year from Wednesday, 26 April, to Tuesday, 2 May, goEast features 110 films from 18 countries.
Attendees can look forward to 16 German premieres, one international premiere and one world premiere. The film-historical sections, numerous lectures and a host of film talks also promise exciting cinema experiences, as does the second edition of the Cinema Archipelago supporting programme, which aims to create new spaces for the reception of cinema and audio-visual art forms.
“The City of Wiesbaden is proud of the many lines, extending long into the past, that connect the city to Eastern Europe, which we have watched with great concern for more then a year now due to the war in Ukraine. So it is that I am even more pleased that we will soon be able to set a positive example once again with the 23rd edition of goEast Film Festival and experience a range of exciting films in the cinema that offer a look at the inhabitants of Central and Eastern European countries and their stories”, observed Ellen M. Harrington, director of Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum – DFF. “I would like to thank the City of Wiesbaden, where the DFF was founded more than 70 years ago, and Axel Imholz in particular, for the many years of extensive support that have made this festival possible”, Harrington continued.
In the goEast Competition, current film productions are vying for the festival’s three main prizes, awarded by an international jury: the “Golden Lily” for Best Film, endowed with 10,000 euros in prize money; the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director, endowed with 7,500 euros; and the newly created CEEOL Award for Best Documentary Film, endowed with 4,000 euros in prize money. In addition, a dedicated jury representing FIPRESCI is presenting two International Film Critic’s Awards.
As Heleen Gerritsen, goEast festival director since 2017, explained: “The 23rd edition of goEast starts off with a strong Competition and a selection of special film guests. Encountering Eastern Europe on an equal footing – that has been goEast’s motto since the first edition of the festival. That means talking WITH Eastern Europe, and not just ABOUT Eastern Europe. In times of war and cultural misunderstandings, forums for dialogue like ours are more important than ever.”
Around 350 guests from the Central and Eastern European film industry are expected to attend the festival in Wiesbaden. It is a particularly special honour to welcome Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić, the subject of this year’s Portrait section. In the scope of film talks and an extensive workshop conversation, Žbanić will provide insight into her considerable oeuvre.