For the 16th edition of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, to take place from 20 to 26 April in Wiesbaden, Germany, the festival, hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut, is deepening its commitment to the cause of human rights with the launch of OPPOSE OTHERING! - a new project for the fostering of young filmmaking talent which tackles the phenomenon of focussed misanthropy directed at groups.
After the successful launch of the educational and developmental project Young Filmmakers for Peace last year, goEast, together with Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ), is introducing a new development programme for young, politically engaged filmmakers: OPPOSE OTHERING! is dedicated to the investigation of the phenomenon of misanthropy directed at groups - the project aims to take a close look at the exclusion and marginalisation of individuals of different social, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or sexual orientations and gender identities, otherwise known as "othering". At the same time, the project should also serve to portray positive examples of individuals and initiatives that display solidarity and civil courage by taking a decisive stand against the discrimination of those members of society who have been labelled as "different".
Ten international directorial duos from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe are now invited to take part in an extensive workshop and film programme during the festival week from 20 to 26 April. The programme will show participants how various manifestations of othering can be approached cinematically. The material watched and the lessons learned within the programme are to serve as support and inspiration for the further development of the participants' own project ideas: a Russian-German team would like to document transgender voice training programmes in Berlin and Moscow; a Hungarian-German project aims to investigate the construction of a fence intended to prevent refugees from crossing the border; and a Romanian-German duo will tackle projections and touristy "images of the other" in a so-called Roma ethno-village. At the conclusion of the programme, the two-person teams will present their projects to a three-member jury, which will honour the five best concepts with five individual production grants worth 3,000 euros each. These grants are supposed to support the duos to realise their films and video pieces over the coming year.
It's not only the next generation of filmmaking talent that stands to benefit from what this programme has to offer: among other things, the opening presentations "Reflecting on the Process of Othering" and "The Invisible Representation: Whiteness and Film", by Dr. Andrés Nader, Managing Director of RAA Berlin and film scholar Dr. Susanne Kappesser respectively, will be open to the public free of charge in the Festival Center on 21 April at 5:30 PM. In addition, the programme of the socio-politically oriented festival section Beyond Belonging will also revolve exclusively around the topic of othering this year: under the title "Us and Them? Otherness and Othering", goEast will present a total of 20 films which are exemplary in their focus on exclusionary behaviour and experiences of discrimination. The cinematic spectrum here spans from very recent documentary film productions such as CALL ME MARIANNA (POL, 2015, directed by Karolina Bielawska), which accompanies a transgender woman in her struggle to be accepted by society, all the way to Michael Cimino's epic Western HEAVEN'S GATE (USA, 1981), which brought a devastating and unflinching portrayal of violent xenophobia against Eastern European immigrants in the USA to the big screen - managing in the process to question the validity of the American foundational myth in very impressive fashion.
OPPOSE OTHERING! is made possible with the kind support of Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ), which is also the co-initiator of the project. Further support has been provided by the act of solidarity Renovabis.
goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut and supported by numerous partners. The festival is primarily funded by the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the State Capital Wiesbaden, Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ), Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the Federal Foreign Office, the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds, Krušovice and Renovabis. Media partners include among others 3sat, the FAZ, hr-iNFO and sensor.