GoEast2018: Spotlight On Cinema History Symposium “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema”


In 2018, seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe are celebrating 100 years of independence. “I picked a very special year to make my start as the head of festival,” says Heleen Gerritsen, the new director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. “That’s a cause for celebration, but also invites us to take stock of current circumstances. Especially in the Baltic States the history of independence is a very complicated one and the search for identity is far from resolved”, according to Gerritsen, who is looking forward to vivid discussions with a number of renowned film scholars during the 18th edition of the festival. Under the title “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema” the goEast Symposium also provides ample space for lectures and discussion. The special program Prague 1968, which is devoted to the cinematic reappraisal of the events of the Prague Spring, represents a further historical focus at the festival.

goEast Symposium “Hybrid Identities – Baltic Cinema”

One hundred years of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia: The declarations of independence of 1918 and then once again in 1990 serve as mile markers for this year’s Symposium, which is scheduled to take place from 19 to 22 April at goEast. As in previous years, a host of high-calibre guests are expected to attend the event. “We are especially looking forward to welcoming Ābrams Kleckins, one of the central figures of the ‘Riga School’, to Wiesbaden,” enthuses Barbara Wurm, curator of the Symposium. The lectures will be accompanied by a curated film program, which will include a classic of documentary cinema realised by one of Kleckins’ fellow travellers: Uldis Brauns’ 235,000,000 (1967), which will be screened in a 35mm Director’s Cut version. The program spans the entire range of cinematic art, from fiction features to documentaries all the way to animated films, with gems such as Vytautas Žalakevičius’ Nobody Wanted to Die (1965), Kaljo Kiisk’s Madness (1968), Grigorij Kromanov’s The Last Relic (1969) and two animation programs featuring works from Priit Pärn and Nukufilm Studio.

The lectures will examine the interplay between cinema and socio-political developments. Further attention will be given to the founding of the respective national film studios, which were established over the course of Sovietisation following World War Two. In the scope of discussions open to the general public, award-winning directors such as Latvia’s Laila Pakalniņa, Lithuanian filmmaker Audrius Stonys and Estonian animation artists Priit Pärn and Mait Laas will give their own insightful takes on Baltic cinema.

goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film is hosted by Deutsches Filminstitut and supported by numerous partners. The festival is primarily funded by the State Capital Wiesbaden, the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, ŠKODA AUTO Deutschland, BHF-BANK Foundation, the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege, Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ), the Federal Foreign Office and Deutsch-Tschechische Zukunftsfonds. Media partners include among others 3sat, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and hr-iNFO.

The original article is published on the goEast website www.filmfestival-goeast.de/en. Go online.

Conference program

Conference program

Friday 20, April

10:30 Introduction:
Barbara Wurm

11:00 Lecture
Historical Melodrama – Identities and Mythologies in Latvian Pre-War Cinema
Prof. Dr. art. Inga Pērkone

12:00 Lecture
The Second Awakenings. On the Foundation of the National Film Studios in the Baltic Soviet-Republics
Olaf Möller, Barbara Wurm

14:00 Panel discussion
Pärn, Nukufilm & Co. – Small Estonia, Great Animation
Priit Pärn, Mait Laas und Andres Mänd

Saturday 21, April

10:00 Lecture
Estonian Sixties and the End of the (Soviet) Thaw
Lauri Kärk

11:00 Lecture
On Documentary Poetry and Cultural Identity: The Riga School
Zane Balčus, Ābrams Kleckins

13:15 Lecture
The National and the Transnational in Soviet and Post-Soviet Estonian Cinema
Prof. Dr. Eva Näripea

14:00 Panel discussion
Slow Transitions – Elusive Tranquility.  On the Pace of Baltic Cinema
Elīna Reitere, Audrius Stonys & Laila Pakalniņa

Sunday 22, April

10:30 Lecture
Long 80ies: Lithuanian Film Production in Transition
Dr. Lina Kaminskaitė-Jančorienė

11:30 Lecture
In Search of Identity or: Heroes and Losers in Contemporary Latvian Cinema
Dr. Dita Rietuma

14:00 Closing Discussion

Lithuanian Film Screenings at the goEast Symposium

Classic Feature Films

Nobody Wanted to Die („Niekas nenorėjo mirti“)
Director Vytautas Žalakevičius / Lithuanian SSR 1966

Feelings („Jausmai“)
Directors Almantas Grikevičius, Algirdas Dausa / Lithuanian SSR 1968

Kadras iš A. Grikevičiaus ir A. Dausos filmo „Jausmai“_Lietuvos teatro, muzikos ir kino muziejaus archyvas

Feelings by Almantas Grikevičius, Algirdas Dausa (1968)

Devil’s Bride („Velnio nuotaka“)
Director Arūnas Žebriūnas / Lithuanian SSR 1974

A. Žebriūno filmas „Velnio nuotaka“_Lietuvos teatro, muzikos ir kino muziejaus archyvas (nuotr. aut. Rimvydas Strikauskas)

Devil’s Bride by Arūnas Žebriūnas (1974)

The Children Of The Hotel “America“ („Vaikai iš „Amerikos“ viešbučio“)
Director Raimundas Banionis / Lithuanian SSR 1990

Short Films

The Old Man and The Land („Senis ir žemė“)
Director Robertas Verba / Lithuanian SSR 1965


The Old Man and The Land by Robertas Verba (1965)

A Trip Across Misty Meadows („Kelionė ūkų lankomis“)
Director Henrikas Šablevičius / Lithuanian SSR 1973

The Brick Flag („Vėliava iš plytų“)
Director Saulius Beržinis / Lithuanian SSR 1988

Autumn Snow („Rudens sniegas“)
Director Valdas Navasaitis / Studio Kinema 1992


Autumn Snow by Valdas Navasaitis (1992)

Antigravitation („Antigravitacija“)
Director Audrius Stonys / Studio Kinema 1995


Antigravitation by Audrius Stonys (1995)

Lithuanian Films in Other Sections of goEast

The Ancient Woods
(„Sengirė“) / Competition
Director Mindaugas Survila / VšĮ Sengirė, 2017


The Ancient Woods by Mindaugas Survila (2017)

Miracle („Stebuklas“) / Competition
Director Eglė Vertelytė / In Script, Orka Film, Geopoly, 2017


Miracle by Eglė Vertelytė (2017)

Eastern Business („Kartą Rytų Europoje“) / Bioskop
Director Igor Cobileanski / Alien Film Entertainment, Brio Film Production, Kanoi Film, Just a Moment, 2016

Shil („Shil“) / Open Frame Award
Director Giedrius Tamulaitis, 2018