9th goEast Film Festival
Germany, April 22 - April 28 2009
goEast — 9th Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden. Every spring, deep in the west of Germany, moviegoers and filmmakers take a special look to the east. For seven days Wiesbaden, the cozy capital of the Federal State of Hessen, turns into the capital of East European cinema, presenting over 110 feature films, documentaries and short films from Germany’s eastern neighbours. The goEast Film Festival was launched in 2001 and very quickly managed to establish its profile. Together with the Cottbus Festival of East European Cinema, it has become the most important showcase for films from the east in western Europe.
During the last nine years, renowned directors and stars have visited the festival to present their films, among them Krzysztof Zanussi, Jirí Menzel, István Szabó, Béla Tarr, Kira Muratova, and Martin Sulík.
This year, Polish actor and director Jerzy Stuhr presided over the festival jury, which also included the German actress Julia Jentsch (Effi Briest). The 2009 competition offered a strong line-up of ten feature films and six documentaries. Twenty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, these films offered reflections on the disparate social, political and cultural developments experienced by the countries in the region.
Around 9.000 visitors came to the 9th edition.
Initiating a cultural exchange and encouraging young filmmakers are the major goals of the festival. For the second time, a student film competition was held specifically to encourage the exchange between young directors from east and west. A symposium advanced the dialogue between historians and film scholars. Under the title “After Winter Comes Spring. Films Presaging the Fall of the Wall” some outstanding films from the pre-1989 era were presented, accompanies by a discussion with a panel of renowned experts.
The festival was founded by Claudia Dillmann, the Director of the German Film Institute (DIF). Likewise involved in developing the original festival concept was Swetlana Sikora, who has stayed on as the festival’s artistic director. For the first time, Nadja Rademacher presented goEast as general director this year. (Florian Vollmers)
goEast Film Festival: www.filmfestival-goeast.de