Hynek Dedecius • Artistic Director, CinEast
by Saara Vahermägi
- Cineuropa talks to CinEast artistic director Hynek Dedecius and discovers what this year's edition has to offer
From 9-26 October, Luxembourg City and its neighbouring towns will be hosting the seventh Central and Eastern European Film Festival CinEast. The festival focuses mainly on films from post-communist countries. Cineuropa asked its artistic director, Hynek Dedecius, a few questions about the upcoming event.
Cineuropa: What will the seventh edition of CinEast have to offer to the cinema-goer?
Hynek Dedecius: A rich and varied selection of films from 18 post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including fiction features, documentaries, animations, short films and films for children. We try to present the most interesting recent productions in order to provide a concise and representative overview of current film production in the CEE countries, which rarely makes it to local cinema screens. Given the fact that the CinEast team includes nationals of most of the represented countries, with first-hand knowledge of the film production of their countries, which we consider one of our most important assets, we are quite confident that our nets bring in the best haul. Besides new productions, we pick a few older classic gems every year, too.
CinEast aims to promote this lesser-known cinema and “hidden” talents from the region. A large part of the programme is taken up by young, often debuting directors, and we also understand our mission as helping these talented filmmakers to gain more visibility on the international scene and opening doors for them to new possibilities. Around 25 guests will take part in Q&A sessions after our screenings, which is obviously a great opportunity for the viewers, but hopefully an enriching experience for the guests themselves, too.
What aspects have you focused on when putting together this year’s programme?
A quarter of a century has passed since the fall of the totalitarian regimes in our region, and we quite naturally felt the need to reflect on the journey that the CEE countries have made since that moment, as well as their current situation. The 2014 thematic cycle “So Far So Close” presents a reflection on the process of rapprochement and the differences that still exist between the “East” and the “West”, and it includes a dozen films related to the subject. The theme is also explored in the festival’s photography exhibition, the largest in its history, with over 220 photographs by 16 artists, with the same title, “So Far So Close”. It is also explored during a special evening entitled “25 Years After”, which will culminate in a debate on the topic.
There are also other highlights at CinEast 2014. For the very first time, Ukraine is featured at the festival, with several Ukrainian films, special guest (and president of CinEast’s jury) Sergei Loznitsa and a concert by the Ukrainian band Zapaska. In addition, the “Discover the Balkans” focus provides a closer look at the film production, culture, social issues and gastronomy of the countries of ex-Yugoslavia that are not yet members of the EU. Besides that, we will highlight the work of Moldavian cinematographer Oleg Mutu and Polish actor Dawid Ogrodnik. We have also paid particular attention to screenings for children and young people.
Are there going to be industry events for film professionals?
We see great potential in co-production projects, and that’s why our festival also includes the co-production forum CinEast Pro, a platform for networking and cooperation between producers from CEE countries and from Luxembourg. This year, CinEast Pro will have a particular (but not exclusive) focus on co-production possibilities in the field of animation, taking the brand-new animation feature The Golden Horse (co-produced by Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Denmark) as a “case study”.
What kind of parallel events will there be (besides the film programme)?
CinEast is not only about films. We try to present the wider cultures of the CEE countries, too. Starting with music, the programme includes a concert by the gypsy Balkan brass band Fanfara Transilvania, a live soundtrack by Polish indie rock band Kristen, a jazz evening with the Milcho Leviev trio and a Closing Event with three live bands (Zapaska, Polonia Rocks and INclusion). We also offer several culinary events for fans of not-so-well-known cuisines. The aforementioned So Far So Close photography exhibition will be freely accessible for the whole duration of the festival. We are also lucky to be able to host a masterclass given by Sergei Loznitsa (accessible to the general public).
For more information about CinEast, visit http://www.cineast.lu/2014/