The goEast Film Festival launched in 2001, was founded by Claudia Dillmann, the former director of Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF) In the foreword to the first festival catalogue she wrote: “The time has come to open ourselves to the thoughts, images, myths and stories of our Eastern neighbours. To their culture. To their films”. Likewise involved in developing the original festival concept was Swetlana Sikora, who has remained the festival’s Artist Director until 2010.
From the outset, the state capital Wiesbaden and the Hessian state government showed considerable interest in goEast and emphasised this engagement with substantial support. It was in Wiesbaden, a city maintaining rich historical ties with Eastern Europe, that the festival found a home in the Caligari FilmBühne, one of Germany’s finest cinemas. Hilmar Hoffmann accepted the patronage of the festival and goEast very quickly established its profile within the festival landscape.
In autumn 2017 Heleen Gerritsen took over as Festival Director. After Claudia Dillmann, Christine Kopf, Nadja Rademacher and Gaby Babić she is the fifth front woman of goEast.
As a project of Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum e.V. (DFF), goEast has dedicated itself to the task of bringing the diversity and richness of Central and Eastern European cinema into “the heart of the West” and to strengthening the place of these prestigious films’ in the public consciousness.
The festival contextualises its work within the context of differentiated debates on film aesthetics, socio-political and film-theoretical topics. goEast functions as a dialogue forum between East and West, but also as a protagonist and disseminator for creative interaction, all of which can be seen in panels and workshops, lectures and film discussions as well as in the cooperation with other cultural and societal institutions.
Numerous possibilities for networking, exchange and training are offered within the scope of the EAST-WEST TALENT LAB and other programs for young talents.
Every year, goEast transforms the state capital Wiesbaden into one of the most important international centers for Central and Eastern European cinema. Around 110 feature films, documentaries and short films, covering the different sections of the festival, are being screened to appeal to both professional visitors and local cinema audiences alike over the seven festival days.
“For our anniversary edition last year, due to the pandemic and a successful hybrid festival concept, we were able to enjoy eight months of goEast instead of only a single week. This year, however, the festival is returning to its original duration,” commented Ellen Harrington, managing director of DFF.
goEast receives around 400 professional visitors and 12,000 cinema visitors annually. A lot of renowned guests were already welcomed at the festival, including directors and stars such as Agnieszka Holland, Boris Khlebnikov, Ildikó Enyedi, Bence Fliegauf, Martina Gedeck, Julia Jentsch, Otar Iosseliani, Sergei Loznitsa, Jiří Menzel, Kira Muratova, Cristi Puiu, Hanna Schygulla, Jerzy Stuhr, István Szabó, Béla Tarr, Maria Schrader, Bohdan Sláma, Małgorzata Szumowska, Krzysztof Zanussi and many more.
The goEast programme is divided into different sections. The sections serve to build bridges between Central and Eastern European auteur film and experimental film, from contemporary genre cinema to rediscovered historical films. Regarding that, documentaries have conquered their rightful place beside the feature films.
16 films, ca. ten feature films and six documentaries, mostly German premieres, produced in 2019 and 2020 compete for the festival’s main awards – the Golden Lily for the Best Film endowed with 10,000 euros, the Award of the State Capital of Wiesbaden for Best Director and the Award for Cultural Diversity. In addition, two FIPRESCI Critics’ Prizes are annually awarded by members of the International Federation of Film Critics.
A wide range of contemporary genre films, international festival hits as well as notable works from Central and Eastern Europe of the last two years will be shown out of competition in this section. The programme consists of around ten to twelve feature films.
Once again the RheinMain Short Film Award will go to a short film and is endowed with 2,500 euros. Eight short films, with a maximum length of 15 minutes from different Central and Eastern European countries compete against each other. A jury, this time consisting of cinema managers and programmers from the entire Rhine-Main area, decides who will take the award. During the goEast festival week the filmmakers are invited to take part in the East-West-Talent Lab.
With the sections Portrait and Homage (annually alternating), goEast honours filmmakers whose work has set highlights in Central and Eastern European film. While the Homage is dedicated to venerable masters of the film industry, the Portrait focuses on the work of contemporary filmmakers. Former retrospectives were dedicated to Krzysztof Zanussi, Márta Mészáros, Boris Khlebnikov, Radu Jude and Małgorzata Szumowska, amongst many others.
Eight artistically ambitious virtual reality projects from Central and Eastern Europe as well as from German universities are shown at the Museum Wiesbaden and at the DFF in Frankfurt. The works compete for the Open Frame Award endowed with 5,000 euros.
Every year, the interdisciplinary goEast Symposium invites researchers to delve into a topic of social and/or historical relevance. In lectures, discussions and a film programme, the understanding of culture and society of our eastern neighbors, will be strengthened. The topics of recent years have been “Reluctant Feminism – Women Filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe”, “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema” and “Constructions of the Other. Roma and the Cinema of Central and Eastern Europe”.
goEast’s interdisciplinary accompanying program brings filmmakers, artists and the audience from the Rhine-Main area together and aims to increase the visibility of Central and Eastern European culture in our region. “High culture” and “popular culture” meet and stimulate each other in order to dissolve their supposed contradictions. 2020 an actual picnic, in cooperation with cultural associations from the Rhine-Main area, is on the agenda, along with various other events in unexpected locations, like a short film tour through Wiesbaden with Eastern European short films, a master class by a renowned filmmaker, a supermarket language course, a showcase for Eastern European TV series and an exhibition about Meme culture as well as the Instagram project 1m2 by Russian performance artist vreditel_li.
Young filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe present their new projects and take part in workshops as well as master classes. In addition, network events will take place, where amongst others, the talents can get in touch with young German producers.
Every year goEast hosts numerous special events, such as a matinee with a special guest in the Caligari FilmBühne. National film archives, special film festivals and film schools from Eastern Europe are invited to Wiesbaden to present themselves via film screenings and lectures. The film programme is rounded off by numerous exhibitions, lectures, parties and network events, making the festival a diverse platform for Eastern European culture in and around Wiesbaden
What you can find in premiere in the Festival?
Symposium Section, devoted this year to the cinema of Central Asia, can be experienced digitally in its entirety.
New forms, new format and a new form of cinema – experience the Open Frame Award
The Open Frame Award bring the innovation
This year you can experience the Open Frame Award in a variety of ways. You can get a first insight into our projects online via our digital exhibition, which you can visit without logging in in your web browser or on your tablet or smartphone.
Innovation is imperative in times of a global pandemic. The Open Frame Award as part of goEast will bridge the gap between online programs for laypeople and professionals in 2021.
OFA curator Georgy Molodtsov and various artists will guide you through the digital exhibition every day from April 21st to 25th at 6:00 p.m. The tours will be accessible to all interested parties via YouTube livestream.
In cooperation with VRrOOm, a social network for and in virtual reality, our OFA curator Georgy Molodtsov and VR artist and OFA award winner Denis Semionov created a world to discover and exchange in 2020. You can look forward to visiting the digital replica of the Caligari FilmBühne again, but this year we have a few surprises in store for visitors.
Access : You need a powerful Windows PC or laptop. Pre-installation of the VRChat program and registration is required. A VR headset is recommended, but not necessary.
We trIED this experience Today and we promise you a lot of GOOD VIBES
(you can see some picture that we make)
So tomorrow on April 20, goEast Film Festival opens the doors for the grand public. We are honored to be part of this story and spread this great opportunity but also stay on the part of Big change in the film industry
GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS FROM TECHVANGART