goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is returning for its 23rd edition, from April 26 to May 2, 2023. This year’s festival is taking place in Wiesbaden and the surrounding region, with a portion of the programme available for online streaming in Germany in collaboration with VoD platform Filmwerte. The festival’s Competition section offers a diverse selection of films that present highlights from the contemporary Central and Eastern European cinema scene.
The festival will open with Aurora’s Sunrise (Armenia, Germany, Lithuania, 2022), directed by Inna Sahakyan. Then, the competition section is the heart of the event, offering a diverse range of films, including documentaries, dramas, and comedies. A five-member international jury will preside over awards, while a dedicated FIPRESCI jury will present two International Film Critic’s Awards.
Among the films featured in the competition section is Not a Thing (Veszélyes lehet a fagyi, Hungary, 2022), directed by Fanni Szilágyi. This film tells the story of Adèl and Evá, identical twins who find themselves in sharply contrasting life situations. In Cristina Groșan’s feministic sci-fi drama Ordinary Failures (Běžná selhání, Czechia, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, 2022), the destinies of three women intersect as the world is about to end. Remember to Blink (Per arti, Lithuania, 2022), directed by Austėja Urbaitė, is a compelling, psychologically profound drama about a French couple preparing to adopt a pair of siblings from Lithuania. The documentary Motherland (Mutterland, Sweden, Ukraine, Norway, 2022), directed by Alexander Mihalkovich and Hanna Badziaka, follows a Belarusian mother who fights to hold her son’s murderers accountable and put an end to the Belarusian army’s vicious hazing practices. We Will Not Fade Away (My ne zgasniemo, Ukraine, France, Poland, 2023), directed by Alisa Kovalenko, is a coming-of-age-in-war documentary that follows a group of adolescents growing up in Donbas.
The goEast film festival’s Bioscope section will showcase unique cinematic experiences and highlights from the festival circuit with a broad spectrum of current film productions from Central and Eastern Europe. It will present diverse genre films to experimental works, including a tribute to cinema master Jerzy Skolimowski with his homage to Robert Bresson’s 1966 classic Au Hasard Balthazar, entitled EO. The Anarcho Shorts program promises to provide a wild program of colourful, unconventional films.
goEast’s exhibition room at the Murnau-Filmtheater will feature works from the «illustrators_native» collective, which was founded by Seseg Jigjitova and Rinchina Azheeva from the Republic of Buryatia. The project aims to create a supportive and inspiring community for diverse illustrators from indigenous populations in Russia and to present works by illustrators devoted to the depiction and rethinking of their native cultures and stories. Works on display will include graphic novels, textile art, and video installations.
Slovenia, the festival’s guest country, will present a Slovenian film series at the DFF cinema in Frankfurt am Main, with a sneak preview of the series during the festival week in cooperation with the «Slovenska kinoteka.» Additionally, the festival’s goEast Matinee will feature filmmaker Maja Weiss presenting her film, Guardian of the Frontier (2002), and Živojin Pavlović’s Farewell Until the Next War (1980) will also be screened in the archive presentation.
Furthermore, the festival will feature a goEast Portrait of Jasmila Žbanić, a notable Eastern European filmmaker who is in the middle of her career journey.