With its multi-faceted programme, featuring film screenings, workshops, exhibitions and panel discussions, goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, hosted by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, is equally aimed at local cinema fans, experts from the industry and academia and guests from around the world, and sees itself as a vital platform for culture from the post-socialist cosmos.
What kicked off in earnest thirty years ago in Berlin on 9 November heralded the end of an era that had seen Europe, and the world at large, divided into two parts. However a tiny hole had already been torn in the Iron Curtain back in August of 1989 through an at first glance unremarkable art intervention staged by peace activists: at their “Pan-European Picnic”, the border crossing between Hungary and Austria was opened for several hours and many East German citizens who happened to be vacationing at Lake Balaton were able to make their way into the West. This year, with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, goEast is dedicating a series of events to this singular occurrence, a series that is all about transcending borders, between East and West as well as between the disciplines of film, literature and fine art. Included among the planned events is a genuine picnic too, to be held at Wiesbaden’s Schlossplatz square, where festival guests, cultural creators and Wiesbaden residents can come together.
Symposium: Constructions of the Other – Roma and the Cinema of Central and Eastern Europe
This year’s Symposium, which international film scholars, members of the cultural sector and filmmakers are invited to attend, deals with a controversial complex of topics: On one hand “Gypsy” stereotypes from the world of cinema will be subjected to a critical re-examination, spanning from the Third Reich to Emir Kusturica. On the other hand, films made by Roma filmmakers and the lived realities of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe will be placed in the focus. The film retrospective is framed by a series of lectures which aim to take a close critical look at the various (film-)historical, socio-political and cultural aspects of this thematic field.
Homage: Krzysztof Zanussi
In the Homage section, goEast is honouring the venerable master of the Polish New Wave, Krzysztof Zanussi, with an extensive retrospective. The multi-award-winning director and screenwriter, celebrated by critics as the “Polish Godard”, is celebrating his 80th birthday this year and is among the most important filmmakers of his generation. In 2001, Zanussi served as the first jury president at goEast and he will be returning to Wiesbaden in 2019 to present classics such as STRUKTURA KRYSZTAŁU (THE STRUCTURE OF CRYSTAL, 1969), ILUMINACJA (ILLUMINATION, 1972) alongside his most recent work ETER (ETHER, 2018).
Support for Young Filmmakers: RheinMain Short Film Award
// East-West Talent Lab // Renovabis Grant
Two new prizes and the training programme East-West Talent Lab are intended to enable up-and-coming filmmakers to realise innovative project ideas. For the first time, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain is presenting the RheinMain Short Film Award (endowed with 2,500 euros in prize money), which will go to the winner of the newly established short film competition. The jury is composed of members of cultural associations focusing on Central and Eastern Europe from the Rhine-Main area. Since the early 1990s, Renovabis has been committed to social renewal in the post-socialist countries – this year, the charity has chosen to establish and award a 3,500 euro research grant for documentary projects tackling the topics of human rights and minority rights. Starting this year, the goEast Development Award for the best project pitch in the East-West Talent Lab (also endowed with 3,500 euros in prize money) is made possible with the support of Russian Standard Vodka.
Dziga Vertov’s ANNIVERSARY OF THE REVOLUTION and Other Archive Treasures
In addition to current productions from Central and Eastern Europe, historical films and archive works have traditionally occupied a prominent place in the goEast programme. One particularly bright highlight in this regard in 2018 is the German premiere of ANNIVERSARY OF THE REVOLUTION (GODOVSHINA REVOLYUCII, USSR, 1918) by documentary film pioneer Dziga Vertov. The film, which is possibly the first feature- length documentary in cinema history, and which was considered lost for many years, has been meticulously reconstructed by Russian film historian Nikolai Izvolov. In the scope of a workshop talk, Izvolov will provide insight into his work on this reconstructed version of Vertov’s film.
In the scope of the Symposium, among other films, Bauhaus artist László Moholy- Nagy’s dynamic work BIG CITY GYPSIES (Germany, 1932) will be shown. In addition, two important archive montages will be making their way to the screen as well. First, THE TRIAL (PROTSESS, Netherlands, 2018), in which Belarusian director Sergei Loznitsa employs archive materials from Soviet show trials held in 1930. Loznitsa is scheduled to attend the festival and will also give a master class. Finally, in their enchanting archive montage BRIDGES OF TIME (LAIKA TILTI, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, 2018) Audrius Stonys and Kristīne Briede pay tribute to the poetic Baltic school of documentary filmmaking.