26th Festival of East European Cinema, Cottbus
Germany, November 8 - November 13 2016
Twelve new Eastern European films took part in the competition for “Lubina”, the main prize of the 26 th FilmFestival Cottbus that took place from 5–13 November. The annual event, which featured nearly 200 films from 45 countries, focuses on films from Eastern European countries, and this time had a film repertoire in a variety of genres and categories: crime stories, family dramas, films about the consequences of wars, a documentary and even a fresh romantic comedy. Most of the films portray touching human interest stories.
Five directors had a chance to screen their debut works. Rusudan Glurjidze with The House of Others (Skhvisi sakhli, Georgia/Spain/Croatia/Russia); Dane Comljen with All the Cities of the North (Svi severni gradovi, Hungary); Jan P. Matuszynski with The Last Family (Ostatnia rodzina, Poland); Bogdan Mirica with Dogs (Câini, Romania/France/Bulgaria/Qatar); and Nino Basilia with Anna’s Life (Anas ckhovreba, Georgia).
The other films in the main competition were: It’s not the Time of my Life (Ernelláék farkaséknal, Hungary) by Szabolcs Hajdu; Houston, We Have a Problem! (Houston, imamo problem!, Slovenia/Croatia/Germany/Qatar) by Žiga Virc; Planet Single (Planeta Singli, Poland) by Mitja Okorn; Nightlife (Nocno Življenje, Slovenia/Macedonia/Bosnia & Herzegovina) by Damjan Kozole; The Prosecutor, the Defender, the Father and his Son (Bulgaria/ Netherlands/Sweden) by Iglika Triffonova; Kills on Wheels (Tiszta szivvel, Hungary) by Attila Till; and Zoology (Zoologiia, Russia/ France/ Germany) by Ivan Tverdovsky.
One of the most exciting and interesting projects shown at the festival was a focus on “Cuba between East and West”. This programme of 19 films – short, medium-length and long – made by international and Cuban filmmakers (eight of them were guests), was screened before an enthusiastic crowd. This collection of films examines the changing pace of Cuba, which for years had been linked ideologically to the Eastern bloc and now opens up more and more to the world. Impressive titles in this section were Carlos (1966) by Humberto López y Guerra; Havana mi amor (2000) by Uli Gauke; and Transit Havana (2016) by Daniel Abma.(Nachum Mochiach, edited by Birgit Beumers)