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GOEAST 2020

goEast Film Festival preparing its hybrid 20th edition

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- Aiming to overcome pandemic-related obstacles, the Wiesbaden-based gathering is offering part of its content online and postponing events to later dates; it will screen its competition in November

goEast Film Festival preparing its hybrid 20th edition
Atlantis by Valentyn Vasyanovych

The 20th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film was poised to take place from 5-11 May in Wiesbaden, Germany, and was set to feature 107 films from 40 countries, with 21 of them due to enjoy their German premiere at the gathering. Now, despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing this festival anniversary to turn into a festival crisis, goEast aims to overcome all the obstacles. Through a special hybrid solution, the gathering will bring its plentiful programme to everyone by offering online content during the original dates and shifting certain events to later on in the year.

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Starting with the competition titles, which once again comprise 16 films – ten fiction features and six documentaries – festival director Heleen Gerritsen stated: “It was a very strong year for cinema in Central and Eastern Europe. Without exception, the films in this year’s competition tell relevant stories.” The movies will be officially presented on the big screen of the Caligari FilmBühne in November, during the upcoming edition of exground filmfest, in a move that allows the two Wiesbaden-based festivals to support one another. Also, in another gesture of solidarity, the prize money will be divided equally among all competition entries. Aside from that, though, the 2020 jury, headed up by artistic director of DOK Leipzig Christoph Terhechte, will still present the Golden Lily for Best Film, the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director and the Award of the Federal Foreign Office for Cultural Diversity as symbolic gestures.

In detail, the selection includes the fiction features A Dark-Dark Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
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by Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan/France), Atlantis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valentyn Vasyanovych
film profile
]
by Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine), Ivana the Terrible [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ada Solomon
film profile
]
by Ivana Mladenović (Romania/Serbia), My Morning Laughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
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by Marko Djordjevic (Serbia), Negative Numbers [+see also:
film review
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interview: Uta Beria
film profile
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by Uta Beria (Georgia/Italy/France), Nova Lituania [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karolis Kaupinis
film profile
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by Karolis Kaupinis (Lithuania), Rounds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile
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by Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria/Serbia/France), Sunday by Svetlana Proskurina (Russia), What a Country! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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by Vinko Brešan (Croatia/Serbia/Poland) and Zana [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antoneta Kastrati
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by Antoneta Kastrati (Kosovo/Albania). In addition, the documentaries Froth by Ilya Povolotskiy (Russia/Qatar), Heat Singers [+see also:
trailer
interview: Nadia Parfan
film profile
]
by Nadia Parfan (Ukraine), Immortal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ksenia Okhapkina
film profile
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by Ksenia Okhapkina (Estonia/Latvia), Lessons of Love by Małgorzata Goliszewska and Kasia Mateja (Poland), State Funeral [+see also:
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by Sergei Loznitsa (Netherlands/Lithuania) and Two Roads by Radovan Síbrt (Czech Republic) will get an airing.

It should be noted that in November, the audience of the exground filmfest will also have the chance to present a prize to their favourite film, as for the first time, an Audience Award is being introduced. In the meantime, goEast will offer a media library for professional viewers – accredited industry guests and participants in the East-West Talent Lab – who will be able to watch 65 films from the festival’s programme during the original dates of the event. Furthermore, Gerritsen has presented goEast OnDemand, a VoD offering for the general public that includes a limited but lovingly curated range of content. The entire EUROPA, EUROPA anniversary section will be included in this service, along with other highlights from the festival. Gerritsen explained: “Instead of featuring a ‘best of’, we have chosen to focus again on the founding vision of goEast and to fill our anniversary section with contemporary cinematic art that deals with a Europe teetering between East and West. In doing so, our intention was to celebrate the European idea, instead of merely celebrating ourselves. The result is an excellent programme with six films that all tackle particular aspects of European identity, history and diversity.”

In addition, an online master class with Czech director Václav Marhoul is being organised, along with a workshop and conversation with Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude, as well as panel discussions and virtual exhibitions such as Memes From Slavistan. Other sections have been postponed so that the local audience can attend, such as the goEast Symposium, which will focus on “Film Heritage in Transition”, set to unspool from 24-27 July. Also, the second edition of the Pan-European Picnic is set for September, aiming to further intertwine art, culture and politics.

Finally, this year, the Open Frame Award is becoming even more closely aligned with the nature of its experimental VR entries, as the whole event will take place in a virtual space. To achieve this, the Caligari FilmBühne cinema has been recreated in virtual reality and will also be accessible without VR headsets, offering everyone back at home a glimpse of the festival.

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