CPH:DOX The Magic Life of V – film review

Fly-on-the-wall documentary filmmaking has been around for a while. Yet, when Michal Marczak’s All These Sleepless Nights was released back in 2016, many rushed to accuse it of being something different than what it said it was, a non-documentary of a sorts. Devoid of any acknowledgement of a camera being present, and refining its aesthetics […]

Berlinale ’69: The Pit (Die Grube). Film Review

‘The only authentic way you can tell a story from a particular place is to get someone from that place.’ – Taika Waititi The Pit (Die Grube/Гьолът) is the nickname locals have given to a small thermal pool in Varna, Bulgaria’s largest coastal city. This location also becomes the main character in Hristiana Raykova’s titular […]

Berlinale ’69: 5 New East Docs To Look Forward To

At New East Cinema, we love our docs. From Bulgaria’s Roman baths, to Bosnia’s attempts to attract tourism, to a young’s woman’s surreal escapist methods, this year’s Berlinale is full of documentaries worth your time. Here are a few works of non-fiction, from and about the New East, worth your consideration. Kameni Govornici (The Stone […]

Berlinale ’69: 5 New East Fiction Films That Should Not Go Under the Radar

  With Berlinale opening  yesterday,  we compiled a list of some New East films to look forward to this year.   Gospod Postoi, Imeto i’ e Petrunija dir. Teona Strugar Mitevska Macedonia / Belgium / Slovenia / Croatia / France ‘Tell them you’re 24’, advises Petrunya’s mother as her daughter heads off to another interview. But Petrunya […]

Crystal Swan And The Modern-Day Odyssey in Folkloric Belarus

A coming-of-age story in Europe’s last dictatorship, Crystal Swan, as director Darya Zhuk tells me, is neither a one-off life lesson nor an “all-encompassing portrayal of a nation”. Rather, it is a Kafkaesque tragicomedy, a reinvented American Dream portraying universal struggles in an unusual setting. Our main character, Velya, (Alina Nasibulina), is a bohemian butterfly, […]

Our New East Guide to London Film Festival ’18 (Vol. 2)

This year’s London Film Festival already received a pat on the shoulder for gender representation, and it is time for us to applaud it, too. So far 2018 has produced some wonderful New East titles that LFF has intelligently programmed for the British audience.  Showcasing over a dozen films from the region, this year’s festival spreads wide across […]

Our New East Guide to London Film Festival ’18 (Vol.1)

This year’s London Film Festival already received a pat on the shoulder for gender representation, and it is time for us to applaud it, too. So far 2018 has produced some wonderful New East titles that LFF has intelligently programmed for the British audience.  Showcasing over a dozen films from the region, this year’s festival […]

Film Review: It’s Not The Time of My Life

If the term middle class can apply to the New East context, then its embodiment is the central Budapest home of young artistic couple Eszter (Orsolya Török-Illyés) and her husband Farkas (Szabolcs Hajdu). We see them at a supposedly routine evening spent home with another couple over wine. The idyllic picture falls apart once their […]

KVIFF ’18: “All New Life is Born From an Explosion ” – an interview with “Volcano”s director Roman Bondarchuk

Roman Bondarchuk’s Volcano was our highlight at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.  The film was shown as part of the special programme “East of the West” – an international competition for first and second films by directors from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Greece, the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as […]

Film Season: Generations, Russian Cinema Of Change

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Defiant, expressive and electric, this season of cult and landmark films charts an extraordinary century of change in Russia. The world’s largest country has undergone profound upheaval in recent history. Through it all, film has played an important role. This season explores the shifting forms of self-expression, independence and defiance through Russia’s seismic cycles of […]

Sheffield Doc Fest 2018: The New East Docs

There is a wide selection of New East docs screening at this year’s Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, including a look back to 1970’s Yugoslav Black Wave. We have already seen some of those films at the international festival circuit, others we have only dreamed of, but as the festival is beginning, we made a list […]

Cannes Film Festival in Rewind: A Strong Year for Kazakhstan

  In the weeks since the end of  Cannes film festival, we still reflect on how strong this year was with the New East’ presence. Kazakhstan alone had four film premiers, marking an epic year for both the state and Central Asian cinema. One of the films, Ayka, directed by Sergei Dvortsevoy, was chosen for […]

Six Questions With: Yuri Bykov

    Prior to the Manchester Screening of The Fool, we talked to Russian director Yuri Bykov about the film and his outstanding yet unconventional filmmaking career. The world of Bykov’s films is characterized by the depiction of Russian society as a cycle of greed and cowardice, where the characters are constantly faced with choices […]

Six Questions With: Temirbek Birnazarov

    Temirbek Birnazarov is one of the most important Kyrgyz directors working today. His films, deeply observational and concentrated on humanity, often reflect on contemporary political and social issues of the state. His last film, Night Accident (2017) adapted from a short story  The Old Man and the Angel by Talip Ibraimov,  is no exception. […]

Night Accident, Official Trailer

Watch the trailer for Temirbek Birnazarov’s Night Accident, a minimalist and poetic piece of slow cinema, a tale about an old man who finds love and purpose to live in a moment of complete despair.  Premiering Wednesday, 25 April at Barbican Centre. Book your tickets here.

Six Questions With: Alexander Hant

  Before the UK première of Alexander Hant’s How Viktor The Garlic Took Alexey The Stud To The Nursing Home, we talked to the Russian director about the motivations and message behind his unusual and fairy-tale-like reinvention the father-and-son journey in an eclectic Russian setting. The first thing that draws attention is the long, unusual […]

Crystal Swan: A New East Title to Anticipate in 2018

  Born and raised in Belarus, Darya Zhuk moved to the United States when she was only 16 years old. There, she pursued a degree in economics at Harvard University, but somewhere along the way the young woman discovered filmmaking and took a different turn. Having obtained  an honours graduate of Columbia University MFA program in […]

Film Season. Generations: Russian Cinema of Change

  New East Cinema is delighted to announce ‘Generations: Russian Cinema of Change’,  our first film season in collaboration with Barbican Centre.  “Between 26-30 September, Generations will bring together films charting periods of profound change across 20th century Russia. From 1930’s Stalinism to the dawn of the glasnost period in the 1980’s, our programme will […]

Six questions with: Maya Vitkova

Prior to our Manchester screening of Maya Vitkova’s Viktoria, we spoke to the Bulgarian writer-director about her work, inspirations and difficulties facing the audiences in her country.     Although your second film ‘Afrika’ is on the way, we are here to discuss Viktoria – your directorial debut and the first ever Bulgarian film to […]

Netflix snaps up the rights to Russian biopic Dovlatov

The Calvert Journal February 2018 “Online streaming giant Netflix has bought the rights for Alexey German Jr.’s latest Russian-language drama, Dovlatov. The biopic, which snatched a Silver Bear for costume design at this year’s Berlinale, follows six days in the life of Soviet writer Sergey Dovlatov as he struggles to navigate censorship and party politics in 1970s’ […]

Berlinale 2018: 5 Unmissable New East Titles

  As the 68th Berlin International Film Festival has come to an end, we are selecting our top five festival favourites that you just cannot afford to miss this year.                                                   […]

Review: “Viktoria”: A Great Film About Women, by a Woman

The New Yorker April 2016 (Words by Richard Brody) “Viktoria” runs on the power of political pageantry and propaganda, mass political events, ambient jargon. Vitkova’s depiction of historical personae and events suggests the tuning and conditioning of imagination, and of personal identity, through both the ubiquity and the pressure of political power. Boryana—or the actress […]

Her story: how female directors have redefined gender in Croatian cinema

The Calvert Journal 11 December 2017 “For years, Croatian cinema told stories of war, testosterone-fuelled adventures and relationships seen from a male perspective, with women being marginalised, one-dimensional characters. Now a new generation of women directors is bringing more complex female characters to the screen.” Read more:

16th London Polish Film Festival 7-29 March

BFI February, 2018 “The festival will include the latest New Polish contemporary cinema releases as well as screen talks and digitally restored silent films paired with live music performances. Plenty of cultural attractions will be on offer too, including Yiddish cinema and 1920s style dancing to name a few. The 16th KINOTEKA partners up with […]

Films of 2018: the New East cinema you need to see this year

Carmen Grey, The Calvert Journal 30 January, 2017 “2017 was a great year for cinema from the New East, evidenced by a string of high-profile awards. While Hungarian auteur Ildikó Enyedi bagged the Berlinale’s Golden Bear for her offbeat tale of love in a slaughterhouse On Body and Soul, Andrey Zvyagintsev came away with the Jury Prize […]

The Potential of Bulgarian Cinema: An Interview With Maya Vitkova

August, 2017 Electric Ghost Magazine “As opposed to many other films set in the Communist era, Vitkova’s subversion of genre becomes a subversion of Bulgarian cinema’s tendency to award Communism a sense of sacracy by treating it with fearful respect. As terrible as Zhivkov’s regime was, it was also, for the most of it, filled with […]

My 25 Best Films of The Century so Far

June, 2017 New York Times In his list of 25 best films of the century so far, New York Times’ Richard Brody names New East director Maya Vitkova and cinematic masterpiece “Viktoria” along directors such as Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Agnès Varda, and Abbas Kiarostami, to name a few. You can read the whole list here:

Film Review: Hostages

The Hollywood Reporter, February 2017 “Closely based on a real-life hijacking in 1983 in the old Soviet republic of Georgia, Hostages is a good-looking thriller with a tragic Cold War backstory. Georgia-born director Rezo Gigineishvili spent years intensively researching his fourth feature, a Georgian-Russian-Polish co-production that premieres at the Berlinale this week.”

Film Review: Loveless

Electric Ghost, October 2017 “Feeling nothing but growing abhorrence for her husband, Zhenya prefers to indulge in hedonistic pleasures over spending time at home – treatments in the beauty salon and romantic dinners with her new, charming, older boyfriend. Even when she is physically present, her thoughts are with her phone, scrolling purposelessly through her […]

FILM REVIEW: Smith and Genoux’s ‘School Number Three’ (2016) – Teenage voices from the Donbass conflict

CEEL, October 2017 “Yelizaveta Smith and Georg Genoux’s School Number Three is a documentary with a deceptively simple storyline: it records stories told by teenagers who have lived through the crisis in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, which started almost four years ago in November 2013. Based on the documentary play by Natalia Vorozhbyt – one of Ukraine’s leading […]

five senses from my world: ralitza petrova, director, i-D

i-D, February 2017 “Ralitza Petrova’s early life was spent making fine art, with the idea of directing films dawning on her in her early twenties. After making an experimental documentary in Tokyo about teenage suicide survivors, she went on to study Film at University of the Arts, later completing her Masters in Fiction Directing at the National Film and Television School. […]

We are Never Alone (Nikdy Nejsme Sami) – DMovies

DMovies, February 2016 “Director – Petr Vaclav – 2016 In Petr Vaclav’s morbid world, no one is ever alone – just not with the ones with whom they wish to be Controversial Czech director Petr Vaclav returns just two years after the acclaimed The Way Out, a film about a young gypsy woman struggling between […]

We are Never Alone (2016) | Made in Prague Festival 2016 – Filmuforia

  NIKDY NEJSME SAMI | Director:  Petr Vaclav | Cast: Karel Roden, Lenka Vlasakova, Miroslav Hanus, Zdenek Godla, Klaudia Dudova | Czech Republic/France 116min Director Petr Vaclav’s latest film is a provincial drama full of passion, violence and mental health issues. The characters could be straight out of a Sartre play and Vaclav certainly asks many existential questions.

Review of Yury Bykov’s The Fool, Barbican Cinema

  “Borrowing its title from Dostoyevsky’s nineteenth-century classic, The Idiot (1869), Bykov reflects age-old antagonisms of moral principle confronting selfish personal interest. Rather than outright denouncing the state system, Bykov explores the inner moral turmoil of the individuals who through their collective actions, willingly or not, systematically undermine the possibility of democratic well-being of its citizens.”

New East Cinema: No Place For Fools (Oleg Mavromatti, 2015)

  “Sergey Astahov is a gay man converted by church and state propaganda into an orthodox pro-Putin activist. Composed of terrifying images from Astahov’s blog, this documentary by contemporary artist Oleg Mavromatti is the most radical insight into today’s Russia and its ideological clashes.”

The New East in film

The films in this programme, many of which have been picked directly from the international film festival circuit and will be being screened in the UK for the first time, focus on authentic, personal storytelling by emerging and established filmmakers. What unites them is an attempt to navigate the ‘post-socialist’ or ‘post-Soviet’ space in which […]