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Central European filmmakers in the spotlight at the Calvert Journal Film Festival

Warsaw, Poland – Independant filmmakers from Central Europe are being showcased at the Calvert Journal Film Festival, which takes place online between October 18 and 31.

Presenting itself as “a journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia through the lens of the region’s independent filmmakers”, the Calvert Journal Film Festival will screen 35 films across seven categories: documentary feature, animation film, fiction feature, student film, experimental film, short film, and special screenings.

In six of the categories, entries will compete for the prize of best film, awarded by a jury of renowned industry figures. The special screenings category is an out-of-competition group of special screenings, featuring five more boundary-pushing films.

Festival screenings will be open to viewers worldwide, and a special audience prize will also be given to one film from across all categories.

Films will be available for 48 hours on the festival platform, with tickets for individual films available alongside wider category and festival passes. A special series of articles, interviews, and online events will also run alongside the screenings, to spark new conversation on the region’s challenges, opportunities, and contemporary identity.

The programme boasts seven world premieres, including Routes, a feature documentary on migrant’s journeys across the Balkans, Ok Good, a documentary musical on life in Russia’s remote rural areas, All the Dreams We Dream, an animated short on the 1931 famine in Kazakhstan by filmmaker Asel Kadyrkhanova, and The Moon, an experimental film based on an Udmurtian folk tale.

Central European filmmakers will also be showcased during the festival, starting with Warsaw: A City Divided, a moving documentary by Polish Canadian director Eric Bednarski. Based on an amateur 10-minute film shot from both sides of the Warsaw Ghetto walls in 1941, it interweaves rich material from the past with glimpses of present-day Warsaw.

The short Czech animated film Daughter, directed by Daria Kashcheeva, which was nominated for last year’s Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, will be presented in the festival’s animation film category and available on the festival platform on October 22 and 23. In 2019, it won the prestigious ‘Student Oscar’ for best animated film from international schools, delivered by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

On October 26 and 27, The Vibrant Village, directed by Poland’s Weronika Jurkiewicz, and A Swimming Lesson from Dad, by Hungary’s Melinda Biró, will then be showcased in the student film category.

Presented in the experimental film category, Citizens of Nowhere, by Polish British director Zula Rabikowska, delves into the experience of citizenship, nationality, and identity on the backdrop of the Brexit referendum and the increased xenophobia that followed.

Organized by the Calvert 22 Foundation and its award-winning magazine dedicated to covering the culture and creativity of the New East, the Calvert Journal Film Festival aims to use its online presence to bring cinema from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia to global audiences.