The 16th edition of the german film festival goEast ‘plac[ed] socio-political questions squarely in its focus’ this week. The festival shows a total of 100 films from 25 countries more typically from Baltic directors and producers, as well as rare submissions from Iran and Israel.
Submissions from Middle Eastern countries may be set to increase.
Presented as part of this year’s festival program, goEast emphasized a deepening of its ‘committ[ment] to the struggle for human rights.’
goEast’s practical measure is called OPPOSE OTHERING!, an initiative which is essentially a “development program for young, politically engaged filmmakers” and ‘is dedicated to the investigation of the phenomenon of misanthropy at groups.’
A way of ‘fostering young filmmaker/voices to “take a close look at the exclusion and marginalization of individuals of different social, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds”.’
On one hand the ambition of the initiative is said to be a platform for exploring the social and political issues of unjust marginalization, but also ‘serving to portray positive examples of solidarity and civil courage.’
On the issue of Eastern European films in “regular cinemas” goEast states on their festival website that there is an under-representation issue and so ‘sees itself as a builder of bridges on many levels.’
Supporting the impact of OPPOSE OTHERING! is co-initiator Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ).
Every year in April goEast transforms the German state capital Wiesbaden ‘into the one of the most important international centers for Central and Eastern cinema.’
As part of the wider festival, “Us and Them? Otherness and Othering” this year presented 20 films which were said to be ‘exemplary in their focus on exclusionary behaviour and experiences of discrimination.’
Related essays appear on the East European Film Bulletin.