Look East for Great Films: Let’s CEE Film Festival

Where
Austria
When
2016
Who
LET’S CEE filmfestival association
Key objectives of the measure:
  • increase visibility and circulation of film-productions from the CEE region in Austria
  • strengthen cross-border cooperation between filmmakers from the CEE region, Austria and other countries
Scope of the measure:
International
Nature of the measure:
institutional
Main feature of the measure:

Since 2012, Vienna hosts the LET‘S CEE Film Festival once a year. The festival features exclusive high-quality productions from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including the Caucasus region and Turkey. While the historical and geographical proximity to Austria might suggest otherwise, films from those countries have had a hard time finding their way into Austrian cinemas. The festival’s programme features a selection of the best current feature films, documentaries, short films as well as promising debuts, all of which take part in the festival‘s four competitions. With only a few exceptions, almost all of the featured films are presented in the respective original versions with English or German subtitles. Many of these are Austrian premieres, being accessible to the Austrian audience for the first time ever.

The LET’S CEE festival is accompanied by a support programme (up to 200 side events) emphasising the festival’s role as a place for cultural exchange, reflexion, know-how-transfer and networking between film professionals from Austria and the CEE region. The support programme ranges from high-class industry meetings to informal get-togethers, as well as workshops, master classes, lectures, panel discussions. Concerts, lectures and exhibitions, a party-line and other events complete the offer.

Furthermore, the LET’S CEE festival offers screenings of selected films for school classes, including Q&A sessions with the respective filmmakers. In 2015 approximately 1,100 pupils attended these screenings. In cooperation with the festival’s main partner Cineplexx a year-round programme for school classes is under preparation, considering skype interviews with the filmmakers. 

Since its first instalment 2012 the festival presented 305 films in 429 screenings in total and welcomed 323 international film guests in Vienna. It attracted an overall audience of about 43,000 people, half of which only last year, which clearly indicates the growing awareness and interest for Central and Eastern European cinematography in Austria.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • advance the international level of acceptance and distribution of Central and Eastern European films
  • initiate and support international film cooperation between filmmakers from the CEE region, Austria and other countries
  • promote and support promising talent from Central and Eastern Europe and Austria and the know-how transfer between them
  • make a significant positive contribution to a modern and exemplary understanding of intercultural dialogue, both on a national and international level
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

The overall annual budget of the festival is approximately EUR 500,000 comprising contributions in kind as well as financial contributions.

The main partner of the festival is the Austria-based cinema operator Cineplexx (with annual contributions in kind worth about EUR 150,000), a subsidiary of the Constantin Film Holding GmbH.

In terms of funding the main funding is provided by the City of Vienna (municipal departments for cultural affairs and for integration and diversity) supporting the festival since 2014 with about EUR 45,000 per year. Further funders and sponsors include the Raiffeisen Bank International, the Austrian Film Institute, the Collecting Society of Audiovisual Authors VDFS, the Austrian Association of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Austrian Integration Fund, and the companies General Logistics Systems GLS Austria and Art Deluxe art and culture management.