22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025

Panel: Repressive Policies and its Influence on Culture and Media


Asja Makarevic (mdw-University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Filmakademie Wien), Aliaksei Paluyan (Director „Courage“, Screenwriter), Stefan Kroll (HSFK - Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Research Initiative “ConTrust: Vertrauen im Konflikt”), Daniel Fairfax (Filmwissenschaftler)

Moderation: Heleen Gerritsen (Head of goEast Filmfestival)

The starting point for the event, which had been planned for some time, was as follows: At the latest when the national conservative and right-wing populist governments in Poland and Hungary took office, it was clear that the European community was facing major challenges. These developments have led to a restructuring of the cultural landscape in these countries. It is therefore important to discuss what influence reactionary forces have on the funding and shaping of the creative sector in Europe: What happens when film funding is infiltrated by the state? How can the creative industry stand up to these developments and what is its role in this? To what extent is their work dependent on the state and the political climate?

The war on Ukraine has shifted the perspective. In this panel with a focus on Eastern Europe, the consequences of belligerent politics for film and culture will also be discussed. In this context, it can be asked what role filmmakers and the film industry play in documenting repression and war crimes. How is their role changing and how does this shape their work? The roundtable will discuss restrictions on cultural and artistic freedom under the conditions of repressive and belligerent politics. We would like to formulate, if possible, common (European) ideas, hopes and wishes. This culminates in the question, what kind of values and which principles are constitutive in Europe and how they can be protected or restored.

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Duration 90 min
Language Englisch

Panel Participants:

Asja Makarevic holds a PhD degree in Film Studies at the Goethe University, Frankfurt. Her research addresses the ongoing "post-war" condition of the former Yugoslav countries and concomitant emergence of "non-representational” images of war in post-Yugoslav film. From 2009 till 2017 Asja managed Talents Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Film Festival’s networking and training platform for emerging film professionals from Southeast Europe and Southern Caucasus. From August 2021, Asja works as a University Assistant in the Department of Media and Film Studies at the Vienna Film Academy, at mdw University for Music and Performing Arts.

Aliaksei Paluyan was born in Belarus in 1989. In 2012 he graduated from the State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics in Minsk. In the same year he moved to. Germany and studied film directing in the department of film and television with Prof. Yana Drouz at the Kunsthochschule Kassel until 2020. During his studies Aliaksei Paluyan shot several short feature films and documentaries, which were successfully presented and awarded at international film festivals. COURAGE, his first feature-length documentary, had its world premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival, where it was nominated in the category "Best Documentary". In addition to the Berlinale, COURAGE was shown in competition at the renowned film festivals Visions du Reel, Hot Docs, CPH:DOX, Shieffeld DocFest and Krakow Film Festival.

Stefan Kroll is Head of Science Communication and a senior researcher at PRIF’s research department „International Institutions“. Stefan is also asscociated member at the research initiative "ConTrust: Trust in Conflict. Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty" at Goethe University. His work focuses on interdisciplinary research on norms and institutions, knowledge transfer, and political education for peace and conflict research topics.

Heleen Gerritsen (The Netherlands, 1978) studied Slavonic languages and international economics in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. In 2003 she moved to Berlin, where she started working as a producer, writer and festival manager, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe, mostly in the documentary field. Between 2014 and 2016 she was at the helm of European Documentary Film Festival dokumentART in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Since October 2017 Heleen is the director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, organized by DFF - Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Wiesbaden.

Daniel Fairfax

Congress Future German Cinema

© Asja Makarevic
© Aliaksei Paluyan
© Stefan Kroll