Powerful, Compassionate, Multi-layered: The Serbian-Croatian Debut Film NIČIJE DETE / NO ONE’S CHILD from Vuk Ršumović Receives the Main Prize at goEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden
The winners at goEast 2015 have been announced! The four awards of the Competition for Fiction Features and Documentaries at the 15th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film have been presented to films from Serbia, Croatia, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. The festival, hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut, reached its conclusion Tuesday evening in Wiesbaden, Germany, with an awards ceremony in a packed house at Caligari FilmBühne presided over by Festival Director Gaby Babić.
Ms Babić summed up the festival week positively: “We are very happy with the success of this past festival week and with our nearly 11,450 guests this year, which is an all-time record number of festivalgoers for goEast”, as Babić emphasised at the awards ceremony”, as Babić emphasised at the awards ceremony.
The main prizes, worth a total of 21,500 euros, were presented by the international membership of the goEast Jury, chaired by Czech producer Pavel Strnad.
The Award for Best Film, worth 10,000 euros, went to NIČIJE DETE / NO ONE’S CHILD from Serbian director Vuk Ršumović.
In their statement regarding the selection, the Jury wrote: “The Jury was impressed by a film which holds the audience’s attention with a powerful story about a boy who was turned from an animal into a human being while the world around him is going in the opposite direction.”
Ivan Ostrochovský won the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (7,500 euros) for his film KOZA.
The film was selected for the award “for portraying a special character on a journey to his limits” and “for a distant directing which brings us very close to the protagonists”, as the Jury explained in detail in their statement.
The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity (4,000 euros) went to the film DESTINACIJA_SERBISTAN / LOGBOOK_SERBISTAN from Želimir Žilnik.
The Jury commented on the selection, saying that it was fitting “for a film which is discussing present European key issues in a very striking, multi-levelled way and reflects East-West and North-South relations from an unusual point of view.”
The goEast Jury also distinguished two films with Honourable Mentions: they were impressed by Gábor Hörcher’s DRIFTER “for showing a character who is struggling to bring his life back on track” and honoured Jiří Stejskal’s JÁMA / MY HOME “for capturing a long time struggle of a family who is fighting for a dignified life”.
Every year at goEast, a jury representing FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, presents the International Film Critic’s Award. This year the prize went to Ivan Ostrochovský’s boxing drama KOZA, which was also honoured with the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director. The FIPRESCI jury explained their selection thusly: “This very well observed poetic road movie reflects impressively the difficult and depressing situation in Eastern Europe, portraying a simple young man and former box champion who’s struggling to make ends meet. In well-set, beautiful images the film creates a catching atmosphere and tells also the story of a strange but great friendship with an open ending.”
In the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition, the best work was honoured with the Open Frame Award, worth 5,000 euros. The prize is funded by the BHF-BANK Foundation. The jury for the Open Frame Award chose ESSEN VOM BODEN DER GESCHICHTE / EATING FROM THE FLOOR OF HISTORY from Sita Scherer.
The jury was especially impressed by the visual language employed by the German artist: “The treatment of the film material, shot with a decidedly subjective camera and oscillating between documentary footage and associative montages, was sovereign and sure-handed and uses these means to approach the overgrown but never sealed layers of German history”.
The goEast Development Award (3,500 euros) for the best pitch in the framework of the East-West Talent Lab went to the project concept for SOL / MESSENGER from Romanian director Anda Puşcaş. The jury praised the project outline for being “a story about the importance of family ties that goes beyond assumptions, touching upon our beliefs of human existence (…) a story of life and death, religion and faith, confronting us with a closed and distant community”. Puşcaş previously received the award for best documentary in the student competition at goEast in 2012.
goEast was able to realise the East-West Talent Lab thanks to the support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and the BHF-BANK Foundation.
The Festival Center in the rooms of the Wiesbadener Casino-Gesellschaft continued to be popular among guests and festivalgoers alike.
“We are very happy to see how many people came out and to see the sustained interest that our festival – and with it Central and Eastern European cinema – continues to enjoy. For seven full days Wiesbaden’s heart beat for goEast. Directors, producers and young filmmakers from Eastern Europe received the attention and respect that their artistic work deserves here. Connections were made between cultures and individuals. The festival week was an equally intense, inspiring and exciting time for both festivalgoers and team members. Talented filmmakers, delightful guests and a passionate audience all combined to create a wonderful atmosphere that makes us really especially happy and for which we are very grateful”, enthused Festival Director Gaby Babić.
Thematically, the 15th edition of goEast was heavily influenced by the war in Ukraine. Filmmaking in time of war was one of the core themes of this year’s festival, which was especially evident in the programme of the Beyond Belonging selection.
In the pilot project Young Filmmakers for Peace, particular care was given to promoting dialogue between young Russian and Ukrainian filmmakers. goEast has succeeded in establishing a space for intensive and fruitful encounters, a very significant achievement indeed in light of the current political tensions between East and West.
15th Annual goEast Film Festival from 22nd to 28th April 2015 in Wiesbaden
Filmmaking in time of war is one of the core themes of this year’s edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which will take place for the 15th time from 22nd to 28th April in Wiesbaden, Germany. Every year since 2001, the festival, hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut, has presented cinematic work from Central and Eastern Europe in all its great diversity. Whether unconventional auteur films or mainstream productions, features or documentaries – the selected works are impressive cinematic feats, most of which have yet to be discovered by the Western film market.
The richness of Central and Eastern European auteur cinema is on display in the 16 contributions selected for the Competition for Fiction Features and Documentaries. Moving, idiosyncratic and ground-breaking productions paint a nuanced portrait of the societies of Eastern Europe.