The 2009 goEast film festival is about to open in Wiesbaden. For the ninth time, the Festival of Central and Eastern European film staged by the German Institute of Film – DIF is mounting a wide-ranging survey of filmmaking in the region, and awaiting the arrival of some 300 special festival guests from Germany and abroad. The ceremonial opening at 19.00 on 22 April 2009 takes place in the Caligari cinema, Wiesbaden, with opening addresses from Gerd Krämer, Secretary of State in the Hessen Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, and Rita Thies, Head of the Wiesbaden Department of Education and Cultural Affairs.

More than 110 short and feature-length films will screen in the course of the seven-day festival, among them a number of international and German premieres. The 2009 Competition offers a strong line-up of ten feature films and six documentaries. Twenty years after the Iron Curtain fell, all of these films offer reflections on the disparate social, political and cultural developments taken by the countries in the region. The competition prizes – including the Škoda Award for Best Film, the Award for Best Director Award from the City of Wiesbaden, and the “Remembrance and Future” documentary prize of the Foundation EVZ – will be announced at 19.00 on 28 April in the Caligari FilmBühne, Wiesbaden. In 2009, Jerzy Stuhr is presiding over the distinguished Festival Jury responsible for choosing the prizewinners. For the third year, the Robert Bosch Stiftung is presenting in the framework of the award ceremony its valuable Co-Production Prize for Young Filmmakers from Germany and Eastern Europe, which will be awarded by an international jury in the course of goEast.

The Highlights section includes the international premiere of the Hungarian film THE FLUKE / MÁZLI (2008) in the presence of its director Tamás Keményffy. The Albanian filmmaker Fatmir Koçi, whose work was the subject of the goEast Portrait in 2007, is likewise coming to Wiesbaden to present his current film TIME OF THE COMET / KOHA E KOMETES (Albania/Germany/France, 2008).

Providing encouragement to young filmmakers is a foremost goal of the festival. For the second year, the festival is staging together with the Robert Bosch Stiftung the goEast Project Market for young filmmakers. The market ideally supplements the existing joint Young Professionals Programme, and gives participants the chance to pitch their ideas to potential producers and co-producers. A further goal of the Project Market is to find partners for a team that can compete for the 2010 Co-Production Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The results so far produced by the film projects that won the prize in previous years are due to be presented at on 26 April in the Caligari cinema (18.00).

The goEast Students‘ Competition is an established highlight for Wiesbaden audiences, who cast their votes to choose the winners of three separate student awards donated by the BHF-BANK-Foundation. In 2009, the film schools invited to compete are I. K. Karpenko-Kary KNU of Theatre, Cinema and Television, Kiev, the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA), Sofia, the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg (FABW) from Ludwigsburg, as well as five institutions based in the Rhine-Main region

Schlachthof arts centre in Wiesbaden, the traditional venue of goEast parties, also plays host to the goEast Reading featuring literary phenomenon Dorota Masłowska from Warsaw. The goEast Party later that evening is graced by the presence of the three ladies fronting the Polish electropunk band Mass Kotki.

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