In 2016, together with Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film has launched the project OPPOSE OTHERING! In 2017, there will be the second edition.
Young filmmakers from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe paired in bi-national tandem teams will set off together on a journey through their countries. Their central objective: to use the means of cinema to investigate exclusionary attitudes towards individuals of different social, religious, cultural, ethnic backgrounds and / or sexual identity and to present portraits of individuals and projects that are working to promote solidarity, civil courage and resistance to discrimination.
The term “othering” refers to the denigration of supposed “others” by a group that defines itself as an “us” in contrast to a “them”. Classic examples of othering include anti-Semitism, antiziganism, homophobia and misogyny, although OPPOSE OTHERING! will also aim to treat other less familiar forms of focussed misanthropy directed at groups, such as the criminalization of homeless people by restrictive laws.
OPPOSE OTHERING! is intended for students and young graduates of film direction courses from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe between the ages of 18 and 35. Tandem teams composed of either one up-and-coming filmmaker from Germany and another from Eastern Europe or two young filmmakers from two separate countries in Eastern Europe who wish to realize a project idea together are both eligible to apply. In addition, individuals may also apply on their own: goEast will match compatible applicants with one another in the run-up to the festival.
/ Training and Networking – The Preparatory OPPOSE OTHERING! Workshop
An independent selection committee will nominate ten directorial tandems to come together to participate in an intensive training session during goEast Film Festival: They will analyze othering phenomena, work on developing their project ideas together with experienced filmmakers and experts and pitch their idea to an expert jury.
/ Realisation – From Pitch to Production
On the last day of the workshop program a three-member jury will select the five pairs of finalists. These duos will receive production prizes of 3.000 Euros. They will have until the next edition of goEast in the following year to shoot short films at two different locations. The OPPOSE OTHERING! project team will support the duos in an advisory capacity, provide them with appropriate contacts and assist them in organizational matters.
/ Spreading the Message – Project Website and OPPOSE OTHERING! Network
The establishment of an OPPOSE OTHERING! network with the aim of bringing together partner festivals and practitioners of human rights advocacy work and providing them with greater visibility will also be a crucial component of the project.
Within the next months goEast will launch the project’s website, where all the partners can spread their news and where the completed short films will be presented. The project’s internet presence will thus become a platform for people and organizations who are confronting the phenomenon of misanthropy directed at groups.
During goEast's festival week in April 2016, an international jury decided which of the ten nominated projects would be awarded with the production grants.
/ Predrag Azdejković (Serbia), festival director of the International queer film festival "Merlinka", writer, editor in chief of of "GayEcho" – LGBT News Portal and Serbia's only gay magazine, LGBT activist.
/ Andrea Kuhn (Germany), film scholar and festival director of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival.
/ Yulia Serdyukova (Ukraine), film maker, producer and correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
These are the five projects that received the production grant and form part of OPPOSE OTHERING!:
/ BELONGING – NOT BELONGING (Judith Beuth, Germany and Jasmin Brutus, Bosnia-Herzegovina): Zejd Coralic, a six-year old boy from Sarajevo, could not enjoy school because he is deaf. But his teacher took an unusual decision: She started to learn sign language with the entire class. By doing that not only Zejd’s but all the children’s situation is changing radically.
/ JOŽKA. THE HERO’S JOURNEY (Hamze Bytyci, Germany and Milan Durňak, Slovakia): Jožka fights a tiresome and power-consuming fight against discrimination of Roma in the Czech Republic. He also fights for a dignified memory of the former Lety concentration camp. Where once Sinti and Roma were murdered, there has been a pig farm for decades now.
/ VOICES (Pierre-Yves Dalka, Germany and Ekaterina Izmestyeva, Russia): The film focusses on the voices of transgendered people in Moscow and Berlin. It is about the physical voices that can take on different timbres but also about the metaphorical meaning of having a voice: trans people speaking out on their experience of the world.
/ ANOTHER DAY (Julia Grauberger, Russia/Germany and Christian Möller, Germany): This is the story of Aljona from St. Petersburg, who loves a woman but does not dare a coming out in a world shaped by misogyny and hetero-normative pressure. On her birthday the situation escalates.
/ FIELD TRIP (Anda Puşcaş, Romania and Dennis Stormer, Germany): A resourceful American business man seemingly turns a Roma village in Romania into a tourist attraction, combining ethno tourism and gipsy romance. But is a dialogue between the village inhabitants and the tourists possible?
Call for Applications is open until January 31st 2017. Download apllication form here.