goEast 2022: Solidarity and Cinema in the Shadow of War

    goEast Matinee // Films in Memoriam: Tamara Trampe and Aleksandr Rogozhkin // New Supporting Programme: Cinema Archipelago // Save the Date: goEast Press Conference on 13 April at 11 am in Caligari Cinema

    Wiesbaden/Frankfurt, 17 March 2022

    goEast strongly opposes the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and will devote significant programming space in the upcoming festival edition to Ukrainian filmmakers. As a film festival with a focus on Eastern Europe, the stated aim of goEast since its founding has been to support artists and pursue a clear commitment to freedom of expression and cultivating good relations between the cultures of Central and Eastern Europe, and, of course, between East and West. It is a painful legacy, but nationalism, military aggression and imperialism are a part of the region's history, and the festival must continually engage with this as well. For this reason, goEast will also continue to show works by independent, regime-critical filmmakers from Russia.

    However, goEast has decided to suspend co-operation with Russian state or state-adjacent film institutions and distributors and resolved not to work together with Russian cultural ambassadors or delegations until further notice.

    At the same time, goEast would like to place those voices of Ukrainian filmmakers more strongly in the spotlight which can help us to gain a better understanding of the war and the individuals affected by it. Beyond film programming, goEast is also placing a focus on Ukraine with a special selection of virtual reality projects. This presentation of a group of five VR projects either made by Ukrainian artists or treating Ukraine, all previously featured in the Open Frame Award competition between 2018 and 2021, is intended to provide a special perspective of the country as well as its history and present situation. 


    In 2021, the films of the goEast Competition section were screened exclusively online, including the visually stunning winning film THIS RAIN WILL NEVER STOP (UKR, 2020). Now, on this sad occasion, goEast is showing the film on 24 April in a matinee presentation featuring a special guest appearance by director Alina Gorlova at Caligari FilmBühne, in co-operation with jip Film & Verleih, which will soon be bringing the film to German cinemas for a wider theatrical release. goEast will also be collecting donations for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine at the Matinee.

    The documentary film THIS RAIN WILL NEVER STOP links the destinies of Eastern Ukraine and Syria in the character of Syrian refugee Andriy Suleyman. Andriy lives in Luhansk, where he works for the Red Cross. By combining a documentary portrait with experimental, black-and-white landscape footage and abstract images of a society at war, Gorlova's approach enables her to create a sophisticated and moving reflection on the nature of war.

    Film Programme in Memoriam for Aleksandr Rogozhkin and Tamara Trampe

    Two filmmakers to whom goEast feels a connection passed away in 2021. The festival would like to pay tribute to them with two special screenings on 24 April at Wiesbaden's Theater im Pariser Hof.

    Director Aleksandr Rogozhkin was born in Leningrad in 1949. Although he gained recognition in Russia in the mid-1990s with his comedy PECULIARITIES OF THE NATIONAL HUNT (Osobennosti natsionalnoy okhoty, RUS, 1995) and its sequels, he was considered somewhat of an underappreciated talent. The topics of war and coming to terms with the past play a special role in his oeuvre: CHECKPOINT (1998) criticises the First Chechen War, he was the first director to shoot a film about the Red Terror under Lenin after the fall of the Soviet Union (THE CHEKIST/Chekist, 1991) and THE CUCKOO (Kukushka, 2002), his greatest international success, is set during the Winter War fought between Russia and Finland. goEast is showing the latter work, a humorous examination of fascism and war and a self-aware study of communication.

    Tamara Trampe, born in the Soviet Union during the Second World War, came to DEFA in the 1970s, where she worked as a dramaturg, alongside Iris Gusner and Herrmann Zschoche, among others. Following the fall of the Wall, she also realised her own feature films: the first, known as THE BLACK BOX (Der Schwarze Kasten, DE, 1992), revolves around a confrontation with a former Stasi officer. Trampe served as an advisor to many documentary film projects, including for the filmmakers in the former goEast programme Young Filmmakers for Peace. Tamara Trampe passed away on 4 November 2021. goEast is showing her most personal film MY MOTHER, A WAR AND ME (Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich, DE, 2014), an emotional family portrait wherein the director researches her own history and encounters former female Red Army members in Ukraine in the process.

    New Sidebar Programme: Cinema Archipelago

    goEast is proud to launch a new sidebar programme that emphasises the connections film and audio-visual artforms share with all areas of life, and with public space in particular. Under the title "Cinema Archipelago", various curators explore the current and future possibilities of audio-visual forms of expression. Cinema Archipelago is made possible with generous funding from Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, which has supported goEast for many years.

    To the Internet and Back

    In the programme "To the Internet and Back", the best vertical portrait-format Eastern European videos on the TikTok platform are brought to the big screen in collage form, while the hip-hop and electro tradition of sampling is applied to short films in the "Short Film Remix Battle". Processing and recontextualising bits of existing short films creates something new, in a cinematic dialogue, curated by Alexei Dmitriev and presented online as well as in the cinema. Webcams represent a further front in the interaction between film and public space: in the programme KEEPING AN EYE ON THE EAST, they enable viewers to take a short trip to Central and Eastern Europe from the comfort of their own homes.

    XR: Stories from the Bathhouse

    goEast and guest curator Georgy Molodtsov have invited four teams of independent virtual reality artists to collaborate on a joint project, with the aim of creating an interactive, virtual space in which artists and visitors can encounter one another. In these trying times, what could be more relaxing than a public bathhouse? Most Central and Eastern European countries boast their own spa traditions, just like the state capital Wiesbaden. The invited creative teams will take up the topic and work together on the creation of a VR bathhouse: a public, interactive space. The production will be made available online on the VRChat platform. At the same time, the result will be presented in the scope of an exhibition in Darmstadt.


    Inspired by the "Anti-Fascist Women's Front" (antifašistišcka fronta zena), actresses and performance artists Jasmina Musić and Mateja Meded will open a space in the Cinema Archipelago programme that brings new life to a movement from the 1930s. Under the slogan "Do the Yugorette", they will bring together women* from all over former Yugoslavia in a specially created coffee shop located inside Museum Wiesbaden, for rituals, an exhibition and performances, where they will pursue the question "What is a Yugoslav woman today?", form sisterly bonds and speak about the repression they often face as individuals marginalised through racist and sexist attitudes and treatment.

    Senior Cinema

    Cinema connects us, entertains us, distracts us – no matter how old we are. "Senior Cinema" is conceived for seniors who have often been left out in the cold since the pandemic began; it aims to enable them to participate in the cinema space at goEast. "Most of our seniors haven't been to a movie theatre in 20 years" is a sentence that project co-ordinator Nadine Aldag has heard frequently in her efforts to contact partner institutions. goEast would like to change this situation and enable seniors to participate in cinema culture in a simple way. This can occur either through a cinema booking for a whole group, including transportation, or a screening hosted by an institution (for instance, a care home or community centre, with Nadine Aldag providing an introduction to the films and a film talk following the screening. The films in the programme include: THE KAISER'S LACKEY (Der Untertan, Wolfgang Staudte, GDR, 1951), MY MOTHER, A WAR AND ME (Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich, Tamara Trampe/Johann Feindt, DE, 2014) and THE BALCONY MOVIE (Film Balkonowy, Paweł Łoziński, PL, 2021).

    RheinMain Short Film Programme

    The RheinMain Short Film Programme offers exciting short film art from Central and Eastern Europe. Eight films – from five to twenty minutes in length, from entertaining to affecting, from North Macedonia to Kazakhstan – present a varied portfolio that will tour the cinemas of the Rhine-Main region after the festival's conclusion.

    Save the Date: goEast Press Conference on 13 April

    The press conference for the 22nd edition of goEast will take place on Wednesday, 13 April 2022, at 11 am at Weisbaden's Caligari FilmBühne cinema and in parallel as a video conference. We ask that you please register to attend. The press conference will take place in German. Dial-in information for online participation will be sent in advance in a separate invitation message.

    You can find images related to the festival in our download section.

    The full programme for the 22nd edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film will be announced in late March.

    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 HessenFilm und Medien GmbH, the State Capital Wiesbaden, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Renovabis, Merck, CEEOL and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include 3sat, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.