VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA (VERA ANDRRON DETIN, Kosovo/ Albania/ North Macedonia 2021, directed by: Kaltrina Krasniqi, produced by: Shkumbin Istrefi) is the winner of the Golden Lily for Best Film (endowed with 10,000 euros in prize money) at the 22nd edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden, Germany. In this thriller, Vera has to face the patriarchal structures of society and fight for her basic rights after her husband has suddenly died The International Jury, chaired by Jasna Đuričić, explained its decision thusly: “The Award for Best Film goes to a film about a woman‘s fight against a primitive male world, against a degraded masculinity which unfortunately still has the power.”

The awards ceremony at Caligari FilmBühne marked the grand finale of an eventful and emotional festival week at goEast. After 7 days full of cinematic art, virtual reality and numerous discussions, lectures and exhibitions, featuring screenings of 87 films and appearances in Wiesbaden by more than 200 guests from the international film scene, the winning films from the Competition, the East-West Talent Lab and the Work-in-Progress Competition for XR were revealed and prizes worth a total of 30,500 euros were awarded.

Directors Anna Nemes and László Csuja won the Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director, endowed with 7,500 euros in prize money, for GENTLE (SZELÍD, Hungary/ Germany, 2022). The film focuses on body builder Edina, who trains for Miss Olympia and is willing to sacrifice a lot to reach her goal. “With a multi-layered approach, the filmmakers have built a story with a delicate attention to details and have created a portrait of a woman with dignity, of a woman longing for appreciation and love”, stated the jury.

BONEY PILES (TERYKONY, Ukraine 2022, directed by: Taras Tomenko) was honoured with the inaugural edition of the CEEOL Award for Best Documentary Film, endowed by the Central and Eastern European Online Library with 4,000 euros in prize money. The documentary was shot at the Ukrainian-Russian front line and focusses on a 14-year-old girl, who lives her daily life among the horrors of war. The jury states the film is “a tribute to the young people living in the ruins of our world.”

In addition, AS FAR AS I CAN WALK (STRAHINJA BANOVIć, Serbia/ Luxembourg/ France/ Bulgaria/ Lithuania, 2021, directed by: Stefan Arsenijević), “a refugee road movie that reminds us that war is everywhere” received a Special Mention in the Competition. 

The International Film Critics' Award from FIPRESCI in the fiction feature category went to PILGRIMS (PILIGRIMAI, Litauen 2021, directed by: Laurynas Bareiša): “The award for the Best Feature Film goes to a complex film that works on many different levels and resonates in many different ways with the terrible war happening right now. It's a moving exploration of personal grief and the different shapes it can take. It is a subtle depiction of how the traces of a violent history are imprinted forever in a community. And in the meantime, it is unconventionally absorbing as both a crime mystery and a road movie.”

In the documentary film category, the FIPRESCI Jury, consisting of Senem Erdine, Konstanty Kuzma and Alik Shpilyuk honoured BONEY PILES (TERYKONY, Ukraine 2022, directed by: Taras Tomenko): “The award for the Best Documentary goes to a film that we found to be convincing on all levels: artistic, cinematic, human, personal, and political. We especially like to point out the filmmaker's ability to empathize with and be respectful towards the protagonist while being both gentle and protective.”

In the Work-in-Progress Competition, featuring 8 participating projects, the jury, consisting of Antoinette Engel, Paola Gazzani Marinelli and Alexandra Gérard, presented the Merck Innovation Award for XR, endowed with 3,500 euros in prize money, to ARCTIC RECALL (Russia, directed by: Anna Tolkacheva): “We believe this project is realizable and deserving of the prize at an important phase of its production. This 6DoF experience will offer a large-scale, poetic fantasy of the Artic, awakening this space for audiences through volumetric collage, bringing its current culture, challenges, people and landscape to life. We recognize the importance of an award such as this for bold, independent projects in a region in which artists are often working alone and outside easily accessible networks of support.” The jury awarded a special mention to IF THESE STREETS COULD TALK (Hungary, directed by: Barna Szász): “A timely location-based interactive mobile AR documentary experience, unearthing the invisible history of Budapest’s Jewish district. Our ability to survive in the face of persecution, and nowadays, during a pandemic, are all the more important to remember as we tackle life anew.”

In the East-West Talent Lab, which was realised with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the participants presented their projects in the Project Market Pitch this morning to a jury consisting of Catherine Colas, Vera Lacková und Alex Shiriaieff. The project I DON’T WANT by Hanis Bagashov from North Macedonia won the Renovabis Research Grant (3,500 euros) for a planned documentary project with a thematic focus on human and minority rights. The jury praised the project as “a very intimate portrait of a family which contains such problematic issues as religion, tradition and exclusion. The jury unanimously agreed it was not only the most promising film project, but the best pitch as well.” The Current Time TV Award (USA), endowed with a 1,500-euro prize, went also to I DON’T WANT by Hanis Bagashov: “It is our hope that the award will help this film reach the wide audience it deserves, since it is a film that audiences can immediately identify with.” The Pitch-the-Doc Award, valued at 500 euros, was awarded to the “very promising social drama” ELENA IN DELEYNA by Elena Stoycheva from Bulgaria. 

goEast media partner 3sat, which has offered an annual broadcasting deal to one film from the programme since the festival's inception, chose the Competition film KLONDIKE (Ukraine/ Turkey, 2022, directed by: Maryna Er Gorbach) in 2022 and explained the decision as follows: “Shot in powerful and thoughtfully framed multi-layered tableaus, recalling classical painting and Western scenarios, Maryne Er Gorbach’s KLONDIKE explores a pregnant woman’s resistance against the brutal realities of a war in which the conflicting parties struggle for the “right” affiliation, tear apart family bonds and destroy the livelihood and livable future of the people in the very region. The masterful direction, full of tension and disturbing in its mixture of realism, surreal moments, and allegorical energy, and above all the brilliant acting by Oxana Cherkashyna as Irka lend a calm force to the story about how to survive in times of war. Thanks to its humanity und universal message this film will endure and remain relevant, even after up-to-date coverage and daily breaking news about the cruelties of war.” The film is slated to celebrate its television premiere on 3sat during the goEast festival week in 2023.

The 22nd edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film took place from 19 to 25 April in Wiesbaden, Germany. Aside from the impressive range of the Competition section and intensive encounters in the cinema, the highlights of this year's festival included visits from internationally celebrated filmmakers such as Paweł Łoziński, a retrospective devoted to Lana Gogoberidze's cinematic work, realised in co-operation with Kinothek Asta Nielsen, and Lana Gogoberidze's attendance at the festival. The goEast Symposium, which was dedicated to the work of Jean-Luc Godard and his relationship to Central and Eastern Europe under the title "Which Way to the East? Godard, Cinema and Ideology in Central and Eastern Europe", enjoyed great resonance with both on-site and remote participants. With Cinema Archipelago, a supporting programme aiming to transcend the traditional cinema experience, made possible with the generous support of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the festival explored new territory, by facilitating, among other initiatives, a successful and empowering programme dubbed "Yugoretten" – a forum for women from ex-Yugoslavia.

The festival took place this year in the shadow of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, which resulted in the removal of three Russian films from the programme, without substitution. Nevertheless, the festival did choose to screen several independent Russian productions that were realised without any state funding. However, the focus lay squarely on Ukrainian filmmakers and Ukrainian productions, three of which could also be seen in the Competition section. One filmmaker from Ukraine even undertook a 45-hour bus trip in order to be able to present his film at the festival. A panel discussion on the subject of a boycott of Russian films took place on the festival Saturday, which provided space for Ukrainian filmmakers to explain their perspectives and needs.

Here is an overview of all of this year's prize winners:

  1. Golden Lily for Best Film
    VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA (VERA ANDRRON DETIN, Kosovo/ Albania/ North Macedonia 2021, directed by: Kaltrina Krasniqi, produced by: Shkumbin Istrefi)
  2. Award of the City of Wiesbaden for Best Director
    GENTLE (SZELÍD, Hungary/ Germany, 2022)
  3. CEEOL Award for Best Documentary Film
    BONEY PILES (TERYKONY, Ukraine 2022, directed by: Taras Tomenko)
  4. Special Mention of the International Jury
    AS FAR AS I CAN WALK (STRAHINJA BANOVIć, Serbia/ Luxembourg/ France/ Bulgaria/ Lithuania, 2021, directed by: Stefan Arsenijević)
  5. FIPRESCI International Film Critics' Award (Fiction Feature) 
    PILGRIMS (PILIGRIMAI, Litauen 2021, directed by: Laurynas Bareiša)
  6. FIPRESCI International Film Critics' Award (Documentary Film)
    BONEY PILES (TERYKONY, Ukraine 2022, directed by: Taras Tomenko)
  7. Merck Innovation Award for XR 
    ARCTIC RECALL (Russia, directed by: Anna Tolkacheva)
  8. Special Mention for XR
    IF THESE STREETS COULD TALK (Hungary, directed by: Barna Szász)
  9. Renovabis Research Grant
    I DON’T WANT (North Macedonia, directed by: Hanis Bagashov)
  10. Current Time TV Award (USA)
    I DON’T WANT (North Macedonia, directed by: Hanis Bagashov)
  11. Pitch-the-Doc Award
    ELENA IN DELEYNA (Bulgaria, directed by: Elena Stoycheva)
  12. 3sat broadcasting deal
    KLONDIKE (Ukraine/ Turkey, 2022, directed by: Maryna Er Gorbach)

TALLINN: Baltic Event Co-Production Market, the largest international coproduction market in Northern Europe, has launched its call for applications earlier than usual. The deadline is 30 June 2022.

What's cooking?

  • Submissions for Baltic Event Co-Production Market open early!
  • Watch the open events of Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event last edition

PRAGUE: The third edition of the Comic-Con Prague Festival, held from 22 to 24 April 2022, culminated with the mayor of Prague appearing in a full-body suit as Iron Man.

NICOSIA: Mediterranean Fever by Palestinian director Maha Haj, an international film coproduced by AMP Filmworks from the Cypriot side, is among the additions to the 75th Cannes Official Selection announced on 22 April 2022.

PARIS: One Lithuanian film has been selected for Cannes Short Films Competition, while two films from Poland and Hungary will compete in La Cinéf. The Cannes Film Festival will be held 17-28 May 2022.

VALLETTA: Merjen is the first Maltese mini-series acquired by a streaming platform in the USA. The mini-series directed by Abigail Mallia, and written by Carlos Debattista and Salvu Mallia, will air on MHz Choice.

NOVI SAD: After a successful workshop in Belgrade in 2021, Ateliers Varan will move this year to Novi Sad, where the workshop will take place from 13 June to 7 August 2022. The deadline for applications is 23 April 2022.

WARSAW: FNE has teamed up with the Brussels based team of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) to bring you regular updates on EU cinema policies that impact all industry professionals across Europe. Click here for FNE UNIC EU Cinema Policy Update.

EU strategy for the cultural and creative industries

12/04: Council adopts conclusions on the cultural and creative industries - UNIC

On 4 April, EU Member States adopted conclusions on a European strategy for the cultural and creative industries ecosystem, sending a signal about their ambitions and strategy for the cultural and creative sectors.

Geoblocking

15/04: Film and audiovisual sector welcomes new European Audiovisual Observatory study - UNIC

Film and audiovisual sector welcomes new European Audiovisual Observatory study paving the way towards a successful end of the Stakeholder Dialogue. Observatory findings confirm wide availability and circulation of non-national European films and AV productions.

12/04: Europeans have access to over 8,500 European films on VOD in their country on average - EAO

The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg has just published a new trailblazing report on the circulation of European films on VOD and in cinemas.

Digital Services Act & Digital Markets Act

13/04: Event announcement - The DSM Directive 3 years on: The Polish challenge to Article 17 and the national transposition maze - The IPKat

Three years after its adoption, the discussion of and around the Directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital SingleMarket 2019/790 (‘DSM Directive’) is anything but exhausted.

Events

22 April - Final Trilogue on the Digital Services Act

25-28 April -  CinemaCon 2022

19 May - European Audiovisual Observatory Film Focus session in Cannes

20 May - EFF in Cannes

21 May - European Audiovisual Observatory conference “Circulation of films – is there enough availability?”

20-23 June - CineEurope 2022

14 June - UNIC & FIAD Screening - El Buen Patrón at Palace cinema, Brussel