The Calvert Journal Film Festival 2021

A journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia through the lens of the region's independent filmmakers.
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Spring

2020 Documentary Feature Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine 00:53:27
Streaming Date
18-19 October 2021
Synopsis

Trapped by the Covid-19 pandemic, 14 people seek joy in self-isolation.

Director
Anna Sarukhanova, Ola Pankova, Tatev Hakobyan, Alexander Dorinov, Denis Duzhnik, Tatiana Chekhova
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Box of Matches

2020 Documentary Feature Russia 00:40:00
Streaming Date
18-19 October 2021
Synopsis

Twenty years ago, one group of DJs brought soul, funk and hip-hop to Moscow. Now, a documentary is telling their story.

Director
Tatiana Chekhova
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Routes

2021 Documentary Feature Serbia 01:08:13
Streaming Date
18-19 October 2021
Synopsis

A journey across the Balkan Route through the eyes of the refugees who risk their lives on their way to the EU border.

Director
Petar Bojovic
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Dead Souls' Vacation

2020 Documentary Feature Georgia 01:06:23
Streaming Date
18-19 October 2021
Synopsis

A famous bass player in Tbilisi finds himself jobless, joyless, and crammed into a one-room apartment with his elderly mother.

Director
Keko Chelidze
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Warsaw: A City Divided

2019 Documentary Feature Poland 01:10:00
Streaming Date
18-19 October 2021
Synopsis

Based on a 1941 film and survivors’ accounts, A City Divided remembers the wartime tragedies of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Director
Eric Bednarski
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Nova Lituania

2019 Fiction Feature Lithuania 01:36:00
Streaming Date
20-21 October 2021
Synopsis

1938. As war looms, a geographer proposes creating a “backup Lithuania” overseas to keep the country’s inhabitants safe.

Director
Karolis Kaupinis
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Isaac

2019 Fiction Feature Lithuania 01:44:00
Streaming Date
20-21 October 2021
Synopsis

In Soviet Lithuania, a film director’s retelling of the Kaunas pogrom forces the protagonist to face his past.

Director
Jurgis Matulevičius
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Otto the Barbarian

2020 Fiction Feature Romania 01:50:00
Streaming Date
20-21 October 2021
Synopsis

Teenage punk Otto deals with the guilt he feels for his girlfriend’s death, while inhabiting the void she left behind.

Director
Ruxandra Ghițescu
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Dawn

2015 Fiction Feature Latvia, Estonia, Poland 01:32:00
Streaming Date
20-21 October 2021
Synopsis

An idealistic young man living on a commune in Soviet Latvia betrays his father, sparking a series of unexpected events.

Director
Laila Pakalnina
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I Work at the Cemetery

2020 Fiction Feature Ukraine 01:40:00
Streaming Date
20-21 October 2021
Synopsis

As 35-year-old cemetery worker Sasha gets involved in his customers’ tragedies, he is forced to confront his own past traumas.

Director
Oleksii Taranenko
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Daughter

2019 Animation Film Czech Republic 00:14:50
Streaming Date
22-23 October 2021
Synopsis

A small bird crashes into a hospital window — unearthing painful childhood memories for the patient on the other side.

Director
Daria Kascheeva
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Arka

2020 Animation Film Croatia 00:14:40
Streaming Date
22-23 October 2021
Synopsis

The story of a transoceanic cruise ship reveals the inevitable necessity of transformation.

Director
Natko Stipanicev
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Imbued Life

2019 Animation Film Croatia 00:12:15
Streaming Date
22-23 October 2021
Synopsis

A young taxidermist searches for answers after she starts finding rolls of undeveloped film inside the animals she treats.

Director
Ivanja Bosnak, Thomas Johnson
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Cosmonaut

2019 Animation Film Estonia 00:11:38
Streaming Date
22-23 October 2021
Synopsis

A retired cosmonaut tries to come to grips with life on Earth, while missing his place among the stars.

Director
Kaspar Jancis
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My Favorite War

2020 Animation Film Latvia, Norway 01:21:58
Streaming Date
22-23 October 2021
Synopsis

A coming-of-age film on growing up in Cold War Latvia, and escaping the brainwashing of an authoritarian regime.

Director
Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen
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The Old Man

2021 Short Film Lithuania 00:30:00
Streaming Date
24-25 October 2021
Synopsis

Vaiva, a carer in rural Lithuania, dreams of living with her boyfriend in Spain. Then, he unexpectedly stops taking her calls.

Director
Elena Rožukaitė
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The Buzz in the Void

2020 Short Film Latvia 00:21:57
Streaming Date
24-25 October 2021
Synopsis

Ainārs has served as a music school principal for forty years. But when he is unexpectedly fired, his world is turned upside down.

Director
Beate Olekte
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Outsiders

2019 Short Film Lithuania 00:16:38
Streaming Date
24-25 October 2021
Synopsis

Two young men struggling with gangs, alcoholism, and their violent upbringing find purpose and refuge in streetball.

Director
Almantas Pektūnas
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Vereja

2021 Short Film Russia 00:07:12
Streaming Date
24-25 October 2021
Synopsis

As a boy, Igor Andreev was banned from joining his local all-female crochet club. Now, his sustainable knitwear brand is famous across the world.

Director
Elena Vakhnik
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History of Civilization

2020 Short Film Kazakhstan 00:15:00
Streaming Date
24-25 October 2021
Synopsis

As she starts a new life in London, Indira dares to explore what she’ll leave behind in her native Kazakhstan.

Director
Zhannat Alshanova
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The Vibrant Village

2019 Student Film Hungary 00:06:58
Streaming Date
26-27 October 2021
Synopsis

In a quiet Hungarian village, men drink beer at the bar, while women mass-produce sexual satisfaction.

Director
Weronika Jurkiewicz
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Les Deux

2021 Student Film Ukraine 00:05:21
Streaming Date
26-27 October 2021
Synopsis

A love story in a remote Ukrainian village is recounted through a pile of old letters and secret voice recordings.

Director
Lada Kopytova
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A Swimming Lesson From Dad

2020 Student Film Hungary 00:14:06
Streaming Date
26-27 October 2021
Synopsis

After a swimming session with dad, Vivi realises there are more terrifying things in life than the children’s pool.

Director
Melinda Biró
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Sigh

2019 Student Film Moldova 00
Streaming Date
26-27 October 2021
Synopsis

A grey man lives in a smog-covered city — until one day, he realises there is colour even in life’s darkest moments.

Director
Vlad Bolgarin
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The Moon

2021 Student Film Russia 00:12:08
Streaming Date
26-27 October 2021
Synopsis

Based on an Udmurtian folktale, The Moon is an audiovisual reflection on death and emptiness.

Director
Yu Manka
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State of emergency

2020 Experimental Film Georgia 00:11:35
Streaming Date
28-29 October 2021
Synopsis

State of Emergency takes viewers through a deserted video game. There, a virtual city mirrors time itself, a labyrinth that is both endless and uncertain.

Director
Mariam Natroshvili, Detu Jintcharadze
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Citizens of nowhere

2019 Experimental Film United Kingdom, Poland 00:06:57
Streaming Date
28-29 October 2021
Synopsis

A Polish filmmaker creates an autobiographical response to the Brexit referendum — and the increased xenophobia that followed.

Director
Zuzanna Rabikowska
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All the Dreams We Dream

2020 Experimental Film Kazakhstan, United Kingdom 00:21:05
Streaming Date
28-29 October 2021
Synopsis

A hand-drawn animation brings to life memories of the 1930 famine in Kazakhstan.

Director
Asel Kadyrkhanova
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Microcassette

2020 Experimental Film Croatia 00:19:21
Streaming Date
28-29 October 2021
Synopsis

In a garbage heap on a Croatian island, Zoki uncovers a microcassette that sets him off on an unexpected journey.

Director
Igor Bezinovic, Ivana Pipal
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Cities I Haven't Been To

2019 Experimental Film Croatia 00:07:06
Streaming Date
28-29 October 2021
Synopsis

An abstract travelogue traces the skylines of unknown cities.

Director
Damir Cucic
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Taniel

2018 Special Screenings UK, Armenia 00:20:00
Streaming Date
30-31 October 2021
Synopsis

Film noir images and prophetic verse tell the story of Taniel Varoujan, a poet killed in the Armenian Genocide.

Director
Garo Berberian
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Ok Good

2021 Special Screenings Russia 00:21:00
Streaming Date
30-31 October 2021
Synopsis

Through silence, music, and everyday conversations, this musical documentary captures life in a remote Russian village.

Director
Sasha Kulak, Yulia Kurmangalina
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Rhythms of Lost Time

2021 Special Screenings Tajikistan 00:45:00
Streaming Date
30-31 October 2021
Synopsis

A journey though the last remnants of traditional culture in Tajikistan.

Director
Anisa Sabiri
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Road to Paris

2020 Special Screenings Ukraine/UK 00:16:36
Streaming Date
30-31 October 2021
Synopsis

A team of Ukrainian ballroom enthusiasts peep through the Iron Curtain in pursuit of success at the French World Open.

Director
Daniel Delikatnyi
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2 Angels

2019 Special Screenings Azerbaijan 00:08:30
Streaming Date
30-31 October 2021
Synopsis

A deaf caretaker goes about his day in a sculptor’s studio in St Petersburg — until something strange and unexpected disturbs his peaceful routine.

Director
Ramazi Baranov
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The Calvert Journal presents The Calvert Journal Film Festival — a journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia through the lens of the region’s independent filmmakers.

Taking place online between 18 and 31 October, the festival will screen 35 films across seven categories: documentary feature, animation film, fiction feature, student film, experimental film, short film, and special screenings. In six of the categories, entries will compete for the prize of best film, awarded by a jury of renowned industry figures. The special screenings category, meanwhile, is an out-of-competition group featuring five more boundary-pushing films. Festival screenings will be open to viewers worldwide, and a special audience prize will also be given to one film from across all categories.

Films will be available for 48 hours on the festival platform, with tickets for individual films available alongside wider category and festival passes. A special series of articles, interviews, and online events will also run alongside the screenings, to spark new conversations on the region’s challenges, opportunities, and contemporary identity.

By showcasing fiction and documentary films that are both authentic and original, the Calvert Journal Film Festival hopes to be a window on a diverse region that is still underrepresented in mainstream film festival programmes — celebrating the rich culture and creative output of its 28 countries.

Festival Passes

All-Access Pass

57% Discount

Documentary Feature Category Pass

40% Discount

Fiction Feature Category Pass

40% Discount

Animation Film Category Pass

40% Discount

Short Film Category Pass

40% Discount

Student Film Category Pass

40% Discount

Experimental Film Category Pass

40% Discount

Special Screenings Category Pass

40% Discount

Supporting Events

Opening event

What is the place of cinema from Eastern Europe and Central Asia on the world screen? with Natalia Libet, Norika Sefa, and Carmen Gray
MON 18 October
6PM UK TIME

Animating the past

How can animation be used as a tool to revisit the past? with Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen, director of My Favourite War
TUE 19 October
5PM UK TIME

Cinema post-Brexit

Eastern European film and culture in the UK post-Brexit with Zuzanna Rabikowska, director of Citizens of Nowhere
Thu 21 October
5PM UK TIME

Gen Z on screen

Representations of Gen Z in film with Ruxandra Ghitescu, director of Otto the Barbarian
Mon 25 October
5PM UK TIME

Cinema and queer activism

Film as a tool for queer activism with Romas Zabarauskas, Lithuanian director and judge at The Calvert Journal Film Festival
Wed 27 October
5PM UK TIME

Migration and Central Asian cinema

The theme of migration in contemporary Central Asian film with Zhannat Alshanova, director of History of Civilization
Thu 28 October
5PM UK TIME

Partners

FAQ

Where can I watch the films?

Films from the festival programme will be streamed on our Eventive platform.

How can I buy tickets?

Tickets are available to purchase via Eventive. You can purchase tickets for individual films (£2) here, or a category pass (£6) or festival pass (£30) here.

When can I buy tickets?

Ticket sales begin on 15 September.

Are the films available worldwide?

Most of the films in the programme are available to watch from anywhere in the world, with the exception of a few titles which have geoblocking requirements. This information is available on the page of individual films.

How can I attend the events?

Online events will take place on The Calvert Journal’s Instagram page.

Can I watch the films anytime?

Films in each category are available for a two-day period, starting at 00:00 BST on the first day indicated by the schedule above. All films will be available to watch for 56 hours after they go live on the festival site, according to the event timetable. Please note that the 56-hour window does not start when you buy a ticket, so please time your purchases according to the schedule to make sure you have enough time to watch each film. Once you click play, even if that is at the end of the 56-hour availability window, you will still have 6 hours to watch the film.

Do you accept ticket cancelations and refunds?

Unfortunately, we do not accept ticket cancelations and refunds.

Can I transfer the tickets and passes to someone else?

You can transfer tickets and passes to someone else via Eventive as long as you haven’t watched the film(s) already.

Are the films subtitled or dubbed?

All the films screened as part of The Calvert Journal Film Festival will be in their original language with English subtitles.

I have a press request. Who can I contact?

For press enquiries, please contact [email protected]

I need more information. Who can I contact?

If you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Legacy

The Calvert Journal Film Festival launched in 2020, bringing together over 5,000 people to watch seven films, both fiction and documentary features, in the course of a week.