First weekend at CinÉast

by Maddy 07.10.2019

I hope all of you had a great weekend, but I do not think it was better than mine. In case you have already a pass for the Cinéast Festival, then you know what I am talking about.

I started my weekend with the Balkan Party, where Shantel & Bucovina Club Orkestra held an amazing concert that slowly transformed into a party with none other than DJ than Shantel himself.

Shantel is a German and DJ producer that has some balkanic roots from both his parents. He mixes the traditional Balkan and gypsy music with electronic beats. The concert started with their famous song Disko Partizani and continued with the mixture of beats and sounds until morning. The atmosphere created by them was authentic and everyone let go of all worries they had over the week.

I believe that the authenticity of the show came from the connection created and the interaction with the audience. You could see they enjoyed being the kings of the party and wanted everyone to understand the Balkan way of partying.

On Saturday, we went to a showing of 10 animations at the Cinematheque in Luxembourg. These were animations created in a number of eastern European countries including the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Croatia, Poland and Hungary. I was really surprised by the depth and complexity of the subjects tackled in these short animations, ranging from the absurd and comic to the dangerous, shocking and sad.

The short films touched a lot of things ranging from discrimination, to the harmful effect of technology on our social lives and up to posing the question of “where is our place in this world?” Personally, I enjoyed “You Are Overreacting” by Karina Paciorkowska. Not only did it talk about an issue that is still hugely problematic in our society (attitude towards women, objectification and sexism) but it also did it though a quite unique and refreshing way (using several media statements and everyday events translated into a rather personal animation style which had notes and suggestion of absurd).

You are overreacting (c) CinEast

Also, another very interesting one was “Daughter” by Daria Kashcheeva (winner of the 2019 Student Academy Award) which recollects the struggles between the complex relationship of father-daughter. What was really nice, was the animation technique used in this piece which was something special in itself. Puppets brought the story to life through the use of stop-animation, a difficult feat because it wanted to capture the warmth and innate life of human feelings and relations through using a lifeless element (the puppets). Needless to say, it managed to achieve its goals brilliantly.

You can find the animation names here and I recommend you watch each and every one of them because each has its own charm and manages to suck you into their surreal universe.

On Sunday, we went to the women’s event, where we saw the “Little star rising”, a documentary about the first hijab-wearing woman in Europe to finish the Ironman triathlon. The story of Nudzejma Softic is a very inspiring and empowering story as her determination to compete in such a competition is unimaginable.

Little star rising (c) CinEast

She fell in love with running at a low point in her life, finding in this sport a place where she could be free and rediscover herself. After starting to run in half-marathons and marathons, she started being cyber bullied for who she was and what she believed in (her religion and the country she was born in). All these made her want more, so she started training for the Ironman.

For those of you who never heard of this triathlon, Ironman is a triple marathon consisting in swimming, cycling and running without resting in between. When she decided she wanted to compete, she didn’t know how to swim, and she wasn’t riding a bicycle on a regular basis. After a few years she succeeded to finish more than one half-Ironman and the Ironman itself.

She is not only very determined in achieving these goals and succeed in these competitions, she also likes to help and encourage people that have obesity problems in following a healthier lifestyle.

In case you have missed it and you want to see it, you can make a trip on the 16th to Vianden at 18:30 at the Ancien Cinema.

This week, the showing of the films in the competition start and many other amazing movies are on the program. Also, don’t forget about the gastronomic evening on 8th October at Bosso Braserie, where you can enjoy some Balkanic traditional dishes (reservations are recommended), the cine-concert on 10th October at Cinematheque, the Slavic Night on Saturday night and a Jazz Sunday morning with Artur Dutkiewicz.

I hope you have bought your passes for the festival, if so, don’t forget to show you passes and ask for a ticket at the entrance as the places are limited. If not, what are you still waiting for?