12nd goEast Film Festival

12nd goEast Film Festival, Germany (April 18 - April 24, 2012)

It is not accidental that the International goEast Film Festival is referred to as a cultural link to the eastern part of the Old World. The festival was set up at the start of the century with the idea of introducing countries of the former socialist camp to the European Union with the help of the universal language of cinema. In the course of the 12 years of its history it has gained a reputation as a cineforum with clear-cut aims, and what is more important the Wiesbaden film event has managed to retain its specific character without becoming "one of many". For a period of seven days the city turns into an arena for a dialogue between cultures and heated discussions that make it easier to comprehend the past and the present of the constantly changing Europe, and to define prospects for a common future. History, in particular the history of cinema, helps examine the problems of present day Europe — the vector of development chosen by former socialist countries — through a magnifying glass.

The symposium "RealAvantGarde — With Lenfilm Through the Short 20th Century" included in this year's program was an homage to the legendary Lenfilm Studios. The audience got a glimpse of films produced over the years that were unknown to the public at large, as well as archival masterpieces.  For one of them, namely "Gopak", it was a world premiere, dozens of years after its creation. The film connoisseur Nikolay Izvolov discovered this long lost experimental work by the classic director Mikhail Tsekhanovsky in the film vault in Prague. Attempts to privatize Lenfilm, making its future unpredictable, have raised worries in the cinematographic world. Given its contribution to world cinema the organizers of the Festival wanted to draw attention to the dreary fate of the Lenfilm Studios, once an avant-garde laboratory and a birthplace for a new cinematographic language.

"Recalling the past we become responsible for the future", is the philosophy of the Festival organizers. The retrospective screenings of documentary works by Sergei Loznitsa enable us to see the author's view on Russian history. This subjective view was retained in the director's feature debut My Happiness.

The overall program of the Festival comprised of 141 films from 26 countries with the competition being the "goEast" brain focus. Among the competitors were new works by film directors from Germany, Romania, Russia, Czechia, Serbia and Hungary, as well as films from Georgia and the Middle Eastern countries. There's also a Students' section and the Forum for young cinematographers appears to be the Festival's soul. The new projects of the young presented in Wiesbaden attract attention from European producers. For the winners it may mean new productions and co-productions which will eventually lead them to the competition program. In this way the "goEast" festival outlines its own perspective, reflects on the dialectical prospects of European cinematography, and offers a forecast of a European "tomorrow" to the movie-goers. (Larissa Malyukova)

goEast Film Festival: www.filmfestival-goeast.de 

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Living Zhit Living
(Russia, 2012, 119 mins) Jury: Maya Dimitrova (Bulgaria) , Bernard Besserglik (France) , Larissa Leonid Malykova (Russia)

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