goEast Goes On: Central and Eastern European Cinema Returns to the Theatre

    On site, in person and on the big screen: goEast 2020 presents postponed festivalOn site, in person and on the big screen: goEast 2020 presents postponed festivalsections at DFF cinema in Frankfurt // “Film Heritage in Transition” Symposium shedslight on a turbulent era with gripping imagery from 24 to 27 July 2020 // goEastPORTRAIT of Radu Jude brings the Romanian director’s oeuvre to the cinema screen

    Wiesbaden/Frankfurt (Germany), 20 July 2020 

    goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is returning to the place where it belongs: the cinema! Movie theatres across the country were able to reopen on 2 July 2020, creating the right conditions to experience cinema again in its traditional setting. After goEast was compelled with a heavy heart to present its 20th anniversary edition online and on-demand from 5 to 11 May 2020, the festival is now moving forward with the next stage of this year’s hybrid festival programme. Over the coming months, goEast will be presenting selected festival sections at the cinema of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut und Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main. 

    This next stage kicks off with the Symposium “Film Heritage in Transition: Central and Eastern Europe 19851999” from Friday 24 July to Monday 27 July. The cinema heritage of the relatively recent past will take centre stage at goEast, foregrounding significant issues in terms of both subject matter and institutional realities: “Many filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe treated the upheaval in society during the transitional period in their works, resulting in wild, experimental films as well the breaking of societal and historical taboos,” as festival director Heleen Gerritsen observed, adding: “On the other hand, the political changes led to the collapse of state film funding, the bankrupting of whole film studios, the disappearance of film copies and confusion regarding film rights that is still widespread today.” Numerous questions regarding the preservation and availability of these highly significant works remain unresolved to date. At this year’s goEast Symposium, film scholars and researchers, filmmakers and archivists will be addressing these unresolved questions in the scope of a host of lectures and panel discussions. The Symposium curators, Prof. Dr. Schamma Schahadat (University of Tübingen) and Dr. Margarete Wach, have assembled a comprehensive programme. The discourse formats will be accompanied by a multi-facetted film programme featuring digital restorations as well as rarely screened 35mm copies. The subject matter of this section, which is traditionally approached from a historical and academic angle, serves to bring film experts and the general public together for an intimate and fruitful dialogue. “The relocation of the Symposium to the DFF cinema in Frankfurt enables us to realise the originally planned programme almost without omissions,” as festival director Heleen Gerritsen commented. 

    The film programme is extraordinarily diverse here. The opening film is a fitting distillation of the topic at hand: in ULYSSES’ GAZE / TO VLEMMA TOU ODYSSEA (1995, directed by Theo Angelopoulos), Harvey Keitel is caught up in a winding trek across the Balkans of the 1990s in search of lost film reels. In MY TWENTIETH CENTURY / AZ ÉN XX. SZÁZADOM (1989), Ildikó Enyedi – goEast’s 2018 jury president – takes us along on a fairy-tale-like journey through the preceding century in eccentric black-and-white images. In addition, the programme boasts the world premiere of digitized versions of the Ukrainian films DECAY / ROZPAD (1990) by Myhailo Bielikov and FAMINE 33 / HOLOD 33 (1991) by Oles Yanchuk. Both films tackle topics previously considered too taboo to touch: the former treats the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, while the latter deals with the Holodomor, the famines that ravaged the population of Ukraine in 1932–33. The short film programme on Parallel Cinema, a subversive avant-garde movement that took shape in the final years of the Soviet Union, serves as a testament to the great formal experimentation of the era. The full film programme is available on the festival website at www.filmfestival-goeast.de, or from DFF at www.dff.film. 

    The goEast Symposium is made possible with the support of our technical partner Videmic. The lectures, panel discussions and film talks will be recorded live and broadcast directly to smartphones via the Videmic app. 

    The Symposium “Film Heritage in Transition: Central and Eastern Europe 19851999” is made possible with funding from the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany. 

    From 4 to 26 August 2020, with the PORTRAIT section goEast is offering its local cinema audience a deep look at the work of master director Radu Jude. In the scope of an extensive workshop talk for goEast Online back in May, the Romanian filmmaker gave insight into his personal approach to cinema and his hybrid style, which makes use of the means of fictional narrative cinema, documentary film and theatre. The name Radu Jude has become increasingly synonymous with the creative blurring of boundaries between fiction and reality. With immense acuity, he manages to simultaneously reveal the injustices of society, the state of contemporary politics and the darkest corners of Romanian history. 

    The PORTRAIT features twelve films in total, including six short films, and spans from Jude’s early work all the way to the immediate present. With UPPERCASE PRINT / TIPOGRAFIC MAJUSCUL (2020), the feature-film programme also includes his most recent film, which celebrated its world premiere at the 2020 edition of the Berlinale. The DFF cinema in Frankfurt offers the opportunity to experience this comprehensive retrospective in the theatre, as intended. The film series is made possible with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute. 

    All festival events will take place in accordance with the current regulations and recommendations of the responsible public health agencies and the hygiene policies of DFF. You can find regularly updated information online at www.filmfestival-goEast.de and www.dff.film 

    goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum and made possible with the support of numerous partners. Primary funding partners are the State Capital Wiesbaden, the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, Renovabis, BHF BANK Foundation, Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, the German Federal Foreign Ministry, the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 

    Last modified on 20-07-2020