In 2024, several short film programs can be seen at goEast. A list of the various programs and information on online advance booking can be found below.


The short film format is perfectly suited for independent experiments and offers young filmmakers a potential route to entering the film industry. In Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the film industry is constantly reinventing itself. 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. In co-operation with ARTE’s weekly short-film spotlight “Kurzschluss”, goEast is showing an exquisitely curated programme of fiction and documentary films from a vibrant region.

Caligari FilmBühne – Fri, 26.04, 2 pm

Tickets are available here

Symposium Precarious Joy

«…we live here — in this precarious joy —
and we have found preciousness, still.»  
The opening night of the goEast Symposium highlights the stories, struggles and precarious joys of the “other queers” in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Central Asia. Some you find in Simeiz, a small Ukrainian seaside town in currently-occupied Crimea which has been a legendary queer meeting spot since the Soviet era, bringing together the LGBT+ communities from the region for decades. Others you spot on picturesque Croatian islands, staging a queer play in a pine forest, coming out as their true selves through performing. As joy, queer histories are also often precarious – ephemeral traces and memories of communities, political struggle, love, life – that can be violently erased by wars, homo- and transphobic laws and hateronormative dominant narratives. This is where films, as documents of queer existence, come in. They are connecting us to our past, and teach us how to fight for our future – for the small queer bars in villages, for human and even inter-species diversity, for a world in which we can live freely and without fear and for the right to tell our stories.
(Text and curation: Jasmina Šepetavc and Yulia Serdyukova)

Murnau Filmtheater – Thu, 25.04, 07:45 pm

Tickets are available here


Pop music has always tickled the eye as well as the ear. Music videos (and TV appearances with lavish sets and flashy camerawork) create musicians’ personae. In the case of queer artists and/or subject matter, the visual level can amplify, conceal or ironically comment. This selection of music videos from the 1980s to today, from former Yugoslavia and subsequent states, USSR, Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria are slyly subversive, out and proud, polymorphously perverse and simply fab.
(Text: Natalie Gravenor)

Murnau Filmtheater – Thu, 25.04, 09:30 pm

Divlja horda (The Wild Bunch)
Láska je láska (Love Is Love)
No kazvam ti stiga (I’m Telling You To Stop)
L.A.G. Song
Zvenit yanvarskaya Vyuga (A January Blizzard)
Pók (Spider)
Cindy Sherman
Molitva (Prayer)
Tickets are available here


Hi! This is us, the non-white, non-straight, inter-mixed and left-winged diasporic queer outcasts, a swarm of mongrels from the former colonies of today’s Russian neo-fascist empire. How to tell a story of us becoming ourselves? Our roots are convoluted like mangroves, the shrubs that, in fact, are not found in Central Asia or the Caucasus. How come we are natives and strangers at the same time? What chain of events led to such a result? How did we become conscious, independent, post-socialist, creolized and queer?
Since everything began in the past, our first move was to step back and ask the seven generations of our female ancestors about the epochs they lived in (as in the video by Nazira Karimi). The past that had been suppressed for a long time suddenly revealed traumatic events and offered answers to our very first, most urgent questions. Connecting to our origins made us feel more confident, as if protected by the ancestors’ spirits. But when, in a sleepless, disquieting night, we tried to summon those spirits for help, our conjuring failed, and nobody showed up. The blessing became a curse, and what we mistook for a spirit turned out to be just a sheep’s dead head (as in the video by Bakhyt Bubikanova). We realized that protection was an infantile illusion, that in this world we are left alone, to our own devices. That caused our world to shatter. Trying to put it back together, piece by piece, we learned that the problem might be the one that is passed on to us from our parents (as in the video by Gulzat Matisakova). To tackle this, we needed another leap back in time in order to take a closer look at our parents’ lives, to search for the source of it all. So, we plunged down into the depth of therapeutic meditation, which insensibly segued into a new realization: we must be ill, and it’s a hereditary disease. That’s how we reached the turning point, finally caught up with the reality of the present day and had to face it in its frightening proximity. At first it felt like a deafening blast. A moment of suspension, disorientation. But it didn’t last long. Something else had been going on, as if without our intention. Awakened from the oblivion by gentle touching, warm breathing and moans,
we opened our eyes and suddenly, to our great surprise, found ourselves making love to each other. And it was this act of lovemaking that brought back the music, and colours, and odours of the world (as in the video by lucine talalyan). Are we recovered yet? That seemed like a brief moment of happiness, which needed a celebration. We couldn’t just passively go with that flow, we needed to do something — an affirmation of our undeniable existence, an act of our own. So, we went out to the streets and occupied a fountain in the main square, as in protest against subjugation to the normalized regime enforced upon us (as in the video by Anna Shahnazaryan, Tigran Khachatrzan and others). The action was absurd, but it transformed us once again and made us who we are: conscious subjects of our own lives, resisting attempts by government and police to bring us under total control. In that very fountain we gave them the slip! That’s how we escaped and found ourselves inside the improvised micro-utopia: on the rooftop of a residential building, at the clandestine queer ceremony where everything that was got married with everything that wasn’t, but could have been, and probably, in some queer futurity, will be (as in the video by Katipa Apai and krёlex zentre).
Originally presented at D’EST video art festival, cycle #2: Postsocialism as Method: Anti-Geographies of Collective Desires, curated by krёlex zentre, Nhà Sàn Collective, and Fehras Publishing Practices with Ulrike Gerhardt and Suza Husse, District*School Without Center, 2023
(Text: krëlex zentre: Maria Vilkovisky and Ruthie Jenrbekova)

Murnau Filmtheater – Fri, 26.04, 04:00 pm

Tickets are available here


Murnau Filmtheater – Fri, 26.04, 08:00 pm

Post-Yu Queers

In the post-Yugoslav 1990s, there was tension in the air. It had a lot to do with the wars, but also a sense of a lost past and an unknown future; “It all went to shit” (or “It was better before”) was the mantra that the people born at the precipice of Yugoslav disintegration, not knowing any different, grew up with. Retrospectively the mythologized 1980s, a time when we had punk, theory, politics, and visible queers on the streets and in artsy videos, sounded so much cooler and kinder than the 1990’s re-traditionalized societies of newly formed countries, where people outside of the new normal made appearances mostly as “peder” (an old slur for gay in all ex-Yugoslav languages), which was tossed around as a general insult. In media and in everyday life, queer people were erased and marginalized, sometimes whispered about by some gossipy neighbour. When queers eventually made a (re)appearance on regional films and TV, the outcome of their stories was mostly limited to sad beginnings and sad endings.

However the image enters / its force remains within / my eyes (Audre Lorde).

For a time, watching regional films and TV, full of erasure and violence, left a grim impression that there is little space beyond the borders of heteronormativity and patriarchy, little hope of a queer life and future. But this is not another grim story, not at all: luckily societies shift, and queerness is resilient. In recent years, one of the most exciting fields of regional film creativity and images of queerness has been the short film form. Shorts, made with no or very small budgets and often within webs of transnational cooperation of younger filmmakers, reveal a diverse array of cinematic visions, aesthetics, and themes: from no budget DIYs and experimental works to animations and visually slick films, the films queer the visual landscape of the once painfully heteropatriarchal region. Sometimes they still talk about sadness and heartbreak, but queerness is also so much more. It is solidarity, joy, playfulness, fantasy, anger, survival, and revolt.


Tickets are available here


The programme includes six short films from Ukraine, Poland and Romania. They vary in content and form: works with a decent budget and amateur DIY porn, films with a plot and video clips, created by artists and by activists. All of them are based on principles of non-violence, consent and pleasure. They are also about a variety of experiences, which include different bodies, genders, identities, feelings and practices. These films are not only about bodies becoming naked, but also about baring souls. Through this programme, we can see how filmmakers make porn a political gesture of criticism and resistance to conservative society and politics.
(Text and curation: Masha Ravlyk and Ton Malnyk)

Murnau Filmtheater – Fri, 26.04, 10:00 pm

Tickets are available here


As one of the filmmakers from this programme said, a straightforward approach to the “queer” makes it straight. These films are not about LGBT+ experiences as you know them, or not only. They invite you to rebel through (improbable) joy and playfulness, to reflect on the limits of happiness – and humanness – and to empathise with what is left when the joy is washed away by inconceivable grief.
(Text and curation: Yuliya Serdyukova)

RheinMain Short Film Competition

The successor states of the Soviet Union are extremely diverse and have developed in very different ways since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has catalysed efforts towards emancipation. Questions of identity, political independence and culture are in the air. For this reason, the 23rd edition of goEast was dedicated to the theme “Decolonizing the Post-Soviet Screen”. The films of this year’s programme extend this focus, as they vie for the RheinMain Short Film Award, endowed with prize money in the amount of 2,500 euros. The filmmakers will all be on hand in Wiesbaden for the competition screenings. Following the festival, the programme will tour the cinemas of the Rhine-Main region.

Anarcho Shorts

Each year, the goEast team comes together to create a selection of idiosyncratic, anarchic short films. What started as a way for our interns to get their feet wet when it comes to programming has unexpectedly developed into one of the festival’s most popular formats. Come see what the fuss is about – and have your mind blown!

Apollo Kinocenter – Tue, 30.04, 08:00 pm

Tickets are available here