No One's Child and Koza triumph at goEast
by Vladan Petkovic
- The Serbian festival hit has won the main prize at Wiesbaden, while the Slovak docu-fiction hybrid bagged the FIPRESCI and Best Director Awards
Serbian director Vuk Ršumović's first feature film, No One's Child [+see also:
film profile], has won the Grand Prix at the 15th goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden (22-28 April). This is also the 15th award for the Serbian-Croatian co-production since its world premiere in last year's Venice Critics' Week – where it was voted the audience favourite.
The award, worth €10,000, was given out by the jury headed by Pavel Strnad and comprising Anja Antonowicz, Bernd Buder, Marian Crişan and Ines Tanović, who were "impressed by a film that holds the audience’s attention with a powerful story about a boy who was turned from an animal into a human being while the world around him was going in the opposite direction”.
Ivan Ostrochovský received the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director (€7,500) for Koza [+see also:
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile], which world-premiered in the Berlinale Forum and recently won two prizes at the Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino Pavasaris”.
Koza also won the FIPRESCI Award from the jury consisting of film critics Ingrid Beerbaum, Jean-Max Méjean and Andrey Plakhov.
The Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity, worth €4,000, went to the film Logbook_Serbistan by veteran Serbian director Želimir Žilnik. The documentary about asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East who end up in Serbia on their way to the European Union world-premiered at this year's ZagrebDox.
The goEast Jury also singled out two documentary films with Honourable Mentions: Drifter by Hungarian director Gábor Hörcher, “for showing a character who is struggling to get his life back on track”, and My Home by the Czech Republic's Jiří Stejskal, “for capturing the long-time struggle of a family that is fighting for a dignified life”.
In the Experimental Film and Video Art Competition, the four-minute Eating from the Floor of History by Germany's Sita Scherer received the Open Frame Award, together with €5,000, funded by the BHF-BANK Foundation. The jury consisted of Inke Arns, Fabian Schöneich and Florian Wüst.
The goEast Development Award (€3,500) for the best pitch in the context of the East-West Talent Lab went to the project concept for Messenger from Romanian director Anda Puşcaş from the jury comprising Jelena Goldbach, Susann Maria Hempel and Meinolf Zurhorst.
Thematically, the 15th edition of goEast was heavily influenced by the war in Ukraine. Filmmaking in times of war was one of the core themes of this year’s festival, which was especially evident in the programme of the Beyond Belonging selection.
“We are very happy to see how many people came out and to see the sustained interest that our festival – and, with it, Central and Eastern European cinema – continues to enjoy. For seven full days, Wiesbaden’s heart beat for goEast,” remarked festival director Gaby Babic about the reported 11,450 visitors.