The film festival seeks to explore the contemporary issues of the region through the lens of its independent filmmakers.
The Calvert Journal has launched the second edition of its film festival, which is scheduled to take place online from October 18 to 31.
The Calvert Journal Film Festival is a journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Screening 35 films across seven categories — documentary feature, animation film, fiction feature, student film, experimental film, short film, and special screenings — the festival seeks to explore the contemporary issues of the region through the lens of its independent filmmakers.
Compared with last year’s edition, The Calvert Journal Film Festival has introduced six prizes into the programme. For the first time, entries will compete for the best film prize in their respective categories. The winners will be chosen by a jury of renowned industry figures including Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Bosnian actress and educator Selma Alispahić, Kosovan filmmaker Norika Sefa, and Lithuanian director Romas Zabarauskas.
The 2021 programme also includes a category of specially curated screenings, featuring five thought-provoking films. The screenings will be available online 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, and viewers have the option of purchasing tickets for individual films or getting a category or festival pass. A special series of articles, interviews, and online events will also run alongside the screenings. Exploring themes such as the representations of Gen Z on screen, the rise of Eastern European film in the post-Brexit era, and cinema’s relationship with queer activism, the goal of these additional events is to spark deeper conversation on the region’s challenges, opportunities, and contemporary identity.
Spanning feature-length and short films from Tallinn to Tashkent, the festival’s kaleidoscopic programme brings together a diverse representation of cinematic voices. The film festival boasts seven world premieres, including Petar Bojovic’s Routes, a feature documentary on migrants’ journeys across the Balkans; Sasha Kulak and Yulia Kurmangalina’s Ok Good, a musical documentary on life in Russia’s remote rural areas; Asel Kadyrkhanova’s All the Dreams We Dream, an animated short on the 1931 famine in Kazakhstan by filmmaker Asel Kadyrkhanova; and Yu Manka’s The Moon, an experimental film based on a Udmurtian folk tale.
The festival will also screen Karolis Kaupinis’ award-winning black-and-white period drama Nova Lituania, Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen’s animated Oscars submission My Favourite War, and Anisa Sabiri’s documentary Rhythms of Lost Time. Other festival highlights include Eric Bednarski’s Warsaw: A City Divided, a documentary on Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto in the 40s, Ruxandra Ghitescu’s award-winning Romanian teenage drama Otto the Barbarian, and Kaspar Jancis’ Cosmonaut, the animated tale of a retired Soviet astronaut.