We are overjoyed to be back in Mainz for the 4th time from September the 30th  to October the 2nd in the iconic CinéMayence.

This year’s focus is on the up-and-coming young filmmakers from Eastern Europe and, as every year, we’d like to promote an exchange between them and the audience. We are convinced that the directors we show can open up new perspectives and visions on our society and thus contribute to important social debates. The stories the filmmakers tell are as diverse as the different cultures of the Eastern European countries: local and universal, empathic and abstract, analytical and stirring, daring and new. This year’s selection includes fiction and documentary formats and variegate stories: From the difficulty of living their own homosexuality in a homophobic environment to an empowering woman story in a patriarchal society, from a psychological drama that involves family and sex (and a bit of blood) to a visually arresting journey through humanity’s endless cycle of war and peace.

The selected films are chosen to represent, in an innovative cinematic way, the current state of the Eastern European world. We support feature-length films that overcome the traditional classifications of genres and are bold enough to take a look at the present: a present which oscillates between realistic, fantastic and political realities. Through their subjective point of view, which can be read in the visual language and the stories told, they give insights into different cultures and realities of life. As ambassadors, they give contemporary insights into everyday life and bring other cultures closer to the audience by addressing contrasts and similarities. The medium of film is suited like no other to transport stories and emotions that everyone can understand. The pictures arouse feelings that speak a universal language.

Countries in focus of this year’s edition are Ukraine – in co-production with Latvia, Germany, Qatar – Romania, Kosovo – in co-production with Switzerland, North Macedonia, Albania. Visionär will offer a selection of first/second feature films, short films and the homage to a well-established director.

Eastern European films: 4 debut films by Easter European directors:

Hive (Zgjoi) by Blerta Basholli, Kosovo, Switzerland, Northern Macedonia, Albania, 2021, 83’

Blue Moon (Crai nou) by Alina Grigore, Romania, 2021, 85’

This Rain Will Never Stop by Alina Gorlova, Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, Qatar, 2020, 102’

Poppy Field by Eugen Jebeleanu, Romania, 2020, 82’


Opening Night: Homage to Věra Chytilová

The festival always opens with a tribute to an internationally established director, who we honour with the screening of their first/second film. This homage to the beginnings is intended to encourage young filmmakers to trust their talent and to critically confront the economic constraints of the film industry. The first feature-length films are always groundbreaking: often still inspired by their role models, they show the will to develop an unmistakable signature, which is reflected in both style and content. These films are often freer and more courageous than later films, which are often under enormous market pressure to succeed.

In 2022, Visionär will honor Vera Chytilová, grande dame and enfant terrible of the Czech New Wave, who really pulled out all the stops in 1966 in what is probably her most beautiful film Daisies (Sedmikrásky): a fireworks display of visual tricks, stylistic gimmicks and formal gimmicks – cheeky, subversive, squeaky-colorful and anarchistic all at the same time – that blows its spotless white anarcho-feminism in our faces with pouty mouths and big, googly girl eyes. In view of this joyful insanity of form, this art that literally goes berserk, it is no wonder that Daisies (Sedmikrásky) was eventually banned in the CSSR. A film that makes you giggle silly, laugh heartily and makes you happy! (Bildstörung)