Hungary, October 7 - October 14 2008
The proliferation and, we might add, the importance of film festivals seems to be in direct proportion to the escalating Hollywood domination of mainstream theatrical screens. The festival with the almost imperative title “Moveast”, held annually in the historic city of Pécs, Southern Hungary, is actually one of those pleasant small festivals, where you could enjoy the company of friends and colleagues, new and old, in a relaxed atmosphere. The festival displays two laudable tendencies: a serious attempt to meet the broadening interest in Eastern European cinema and the no less challenging attempt to offer support to young and unknown filmmakers by showcasing their first feature films. It is very well attended, too, since Pécs has a university with a department of cinema studies, and the festival screening halls and hallways are alive with students.
The main competition, out of which the FIPRESCI price is chosen, consisted of 12 films this year. Apart from the competition, other sections also featured films from Eastern Europe (excluding Russia), and an intriguing focus on Austrian cinema was included. Since the organizers are avid music fans, especially of blues, concerts were scheduled as parallel source of attraction not only at night but also throughout the day. Pécs will be the European Cultural Capital in 2010, and certainly is worth the journey, preferably during the film festival. (Thomas Rothschild)