goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern Europea Film

goEast – a project of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum – takes place every spring and presents the full range of Central and Eastern European filmmaking in Wiesbaden and additional locations around the Rhine-Main region

From 2001 to 2009 I was the Festival Manager, responsible for the preparation and implementation of the annual festival. During this time, Christine Kopf was the Festival Director and Swetlana Sikora the Artistic Director. I managed the organization, the team, the partnerships, curated the side program and moderated some events.

The festival

Over the course of seven festival days, goEast presents the full range of Central and Eastern European filmmaking in Wiesbaden and additional locations around the Rhine-Main region, in a programme featuring current trends, new positions and film-historical rarities, always within the context of discourse regarding socio-political concerns, cinema aesthetics and film theory. Among the most significant and frequently discussed subjects here are European identity/identities and the profound processes of transformation, both historical and contemporary, occurring in the festival’s culturally and politically diverse focus region. Since the beginning of its second decade of existence, goEast has increasingly devoted itself to promoting transcultural perspectives and addressing global issues.

goEast understands itself as a forum for dialogue between East and West, but also as an agent for change and a cultural multiplicator. Panels and workshops, film series and film talks, collective projects with other cultural and societal institutions – the possibilities for creative interaction are many and varied. With virtual reality projects and 360° films as an integral part of the programme, as well as the hybrid format of the festival since 2020, which has advanced the integration of online programming, goEast is also playing a pioneering role when it comes to conceptual innovation. The festival is a platform for networking, exchange and further education. In particular up-and-coming filmmakers and children and adolescents from the region benefit from the creative and pedagogical focal points at goEast.

The programme of goEast is organised in diverse sections, each with their own respective profiles. Central here are, among others, the Competition, with its twin categories for fiction features and documentary films, the Symposium, the East-West Talent Lab, the Portrait/Homage (alternating annually), Bioscop and the goEast Specials. Each section is carefully curated, supported by festival correspondents and experts and – in the Competition – led by a selection committee. Genres and film categories are mixed in the sections. Beyond the cinema space itself, goEast offers a richly varied supporting programme, often assembled in co-operation with local and superregional partners, including Central and Eastern European cultural associations.

A look back