Opening Film: CROSSING // First Competition Films // RheinMain Short Film Award - Decolonizing the Post-Soviet Screen // Co-operations with ZDF/ARTE: ArteKino Classics at the Sunday Matinee & New Voices from Central Asia // Rhine, Wine & Rhymez: Riverboat Outing Featuring Eastern European Poetry // Accreditation & Press Conference: Wednesday, 17 April, 11:00 am

goEast Opening Film – CROSSING

The 24th edition of goEast will open with a screening of the Georgian-Turkish road movie CROSSING (SWE/DNK/FRA/TUR/GEO 2024), by director Levan Akin, whose previous film AND THEN WE DANCED delighted international audiences, including German cinemagoers. With his new film CROSSING, Akin transcends borders and brings human beings from very different backgrounds together. Retired Lia, from the Georgian port city of Batumi, sets off with adolescent Achi to look for Lia’s missing niece Tekla. They are joined in their search by Evrim, a young female lawyer for trans rights in Istanbul, as a hidden web of solidarity and humanity reveals itself in the back courtyards and streets of the glistening Turkish city.

First Competition Films

Also hailing from Georgia is the allegorical religious satire CITIZEN SAINT/ MOKALAKE TSMINDANI (GEO/FRA/BGR, 2023), directed by Tinatin Kajrishvili, who will be vying for the Golden Lily in this year’s Competition section. In the desolate mountain landscape of Georgia there stands a cross with a petrified miner, who is worshiped as a saint by individuals from far and wide. When the stony pitman is scheduled to undergo a little restoration at a local museum, he suddenly vanishes – in his place, a mute stranger appears, and soon proceeds to work miracles. While the villagers initially react sympathetically to this saint incarnate, fear gradually gains the upper hand – what will happen if the holy man begins to speak and opts to divulge the intimate wishes and private prayers that have been entrusted to him? In brilliant black-and-white images composed by cameraman Krum Rodriguez, the film humorously examines the absurdity inherent in the cult-like veneration paid to saints.

This year’s Competition also features the dark-humoured Serbian grotesque WORKING CLASS GOES TO HELL / RADNIČKA KLASA IDE U PAKAO (SRB/GRC/BGR/MNE/HRV/ROU, 2023), directed by Mladen Đorđević. The working class strikes back quite literally here. After a 13-year absence and a stint in prison, Miya returns from Belgrade to his small Serbian hometown. There, he joins a group of former workers whose family members lost their lives in a factory fire five years previously. Led by fearless Ceca, the association demands justice and accountability from the corrupt mayor, the factory owner and the local organised crime boss, a trifecta that rules over life in the small town. To achieve their aims, the comrades resort to increasingly drastic tactics, and – inspired by Miya, who claims to be a medium – to satanic rituals and violence as well. Mladen Đorđević will be on hand in Wiesbaden to present his film. More details regarding the Competition selection will be revealed in early April.

RheinMain Short Film Award – Decolonizing the Post-Soviet Screen

For the fifth year running, goEast is proud to present the RheinMain Short Film Award, endowed with 2,500 euros in prize money and made possible once again with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. A three-member regional festival jury will select the winning film. Taking up the theme of the 2023 Symposium, the program, curated by Maxim Tuula, will focus once again on filmmakers from the post-Soviet space.

The drama THE LATE WIND (KAZ, 2023), directed by Shugyla Serzhan, deals with a young pregnant Kazakh woman whose partner disappears when the city is overrun by protests. AlisiTelengut’s animation BAIGAL NUUR – LAKE BAIKAL (DEU/CDN, 2023), which tells of the formation and history of the eponymous body of water in Siberia, features the voice of a Buriatian woman speaking a language threatened with extinction. In the documentary CHORNOBYL 22 (UKR, 2023), Oleksiy Radynski mixes covert mobile phone recordings of the Russian conquest of the area around Chernobyl with statements from local residents and employees of the former power plant.

Karakalpakstan is a remote region in Uzbekistan which is striving for independence. Mirtemir lives in Nukus, the capital city. MIRTEMIR IS ALRIGHT, directed by goEast alumni Sasha Kulak and Mikhail Borodin, is a witty portrait of a teenager attempting to make the best of an impossible situation – all while still managing to be nice to his grandma. In QIRIM (CZE, 2023), director Kateryna Khramtsova takes a look at a non-binary person’s participation in the activities of the Crimean Tatars and the Euromaidan protests – in the process proving that she is definitely not afraid to experiment.

The filmmakers will be present in Wiesbaden. Following the festival, the short film program will tour the cinemas of the Rhine-Main region.


Co-operations with ZDF/ARTE: ArteKino Classics at the Sunday Matinee & New Voices from Central Asia

As an institution for film heritage and a member of the international archive association FIAF, the preservation, digitalisation and presentation of film heritage are at the centre of the activities of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum – the institution behind goEast. In this connection, it makes perfect sense that the 2024 edition of the goEast Matinee is taking place in co-operation with ArteKino Classics. Under the label ArteKino Classics, ARTE is again presenting a selection of classic European films across the entire continent that are canonical for their countries of origin and represent milestones in the evolution of cinematic storytelling. Zoltán Fábri’s MERRY-GO-ROUND / KÖRHINTA, presented here in a newly restored version, is the special Matinee feature on Sunday, 28 April, starting at 11:00 am at Caligari FilmBühne. MERRY-GO-ROUND, one of the most famous films in Hungarian cinema history, celebrated its world premiere in Cannes in 1956, a decisive year in Hungary’s past, just months before Soviet tanks rolled through the streets of Budapest. The unusual, unbound camerawork and the performance by the very young female lead Mari Törőcsik made this film, which has since become a classic, one of the most highly touted productions at the 9th Cannes International Film Festival. In the film, Mari Pataki, the daughter of an affluent farmer, falls in love with the young co-operative member Máté Biró. However, her father has other plans for her: following the principle “land marries land”, he has chosen the owner of a large farm to be his future son-in-law. At a village festival, the young lovers delight in the intoxicating charms of the eponymous swing carousel – alas for Mari there is still no way out of marrying the rich farmer. At the wedding, Máté causes a scandal when he dances a seemingly endless czardas with the bride. In the end, both love and the Stalinist ideals of the era manage to win out.

The film will be presented by Hungarian-German actress Dorka Gryllus, with an introduction from Györgi Raduly, director of the Hungarian National Film Institute – Film Archive. Following the screening, there will be a reception in the Caligari FilmBühne foyer.

This year also features a co-operation with the ZDF/ARTE’s “Kurzschluss” short film program. In Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan, the film industry reinvents itself time and again. Beyond the realm of the great Soviet studios like Kazakhfilm and the well-worn scenic tropes of mountain and steppe landscapes, new film schools are opening their doors, and artists are organising and connecting in collectives. goEast is showing a small but exquisite program of fiction and documentary films from this vibrant region. A portion of the films will be broadcast in 2025 in the scope of the ZDF/ARTE “Kurzschluss” series, and the program will also be screened in June 2024 at Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg.

Rhine, Wine & Rhymez: Riverboat Outing Featuring Eastern European Poetry

Somewhat outside the realm of cinema and competition fever, a riverboat outing on the Rhine featuring poets and thinkers, under the slogan “Rhine, Wine & Rhymez”, is set to offer some welcome variety for the second time, as a pleasant contrast to the film program. Actresses Ilinca Manolache (Romania), Dorka Gryllus (Hungary/Germany) and Mateja Meded (former Yugoslavia/Germany) along with filmmakers Mladen Đorđević (Serbia) and Aizhan Kassymbek (Kazakhstan) will be reading in their native languages and talking about all things cinema with Wiesbaden-based author Alexander Pfeiffer. The recited poems will be translated live into English.

goEast organised a similar boat outing for the festival audience during the previous year’s festival edition. Following the readings, there will be ample opportunity to relax with a glass of wine and enter into conversation with the filmmakers.

The boat casts off on Saturday, 27 April, at 2:30 pm, from the landing at Rheingaustraße 148, 65203 Wiesbaden-Biebrich.

Accreditation and goEast Press Conference

Members of the press can apply now here for accreditation for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. Accreditation grants admission to the film screenings in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Gießen. In addition, during the festival period accredited industry guests and members of the press receive access to an online media library featuring an extensive selection of festival programming.

The annual festival press conference will take place at Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne on Wednesday, 17 April, beginning at 11:00 am. You can find images related to the festival in our download section.

The full program for the 24th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will be revealed 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 German solidarity initiative for Eastern Europe Renovabis and the Central and Eastern European Online Library GmbH / CEEOL. Primary media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.