Welcome to the sixth edition of the Official "Eastern Europe" Challenge. The 10 eligible countries are highlighted in the map above: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, & Hungary.
The goal is to watch as many films from these countries this month.
The Challenge runs from September 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 in your local time zone.
- Each feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one entry.
- Films must be watched one at a time and at single speed (not sped up).
- Rewatches are allowed and are good for the soul.
- Please include year of release and country when listing your viewings.
- I will be the final decision maker on whether or not any particular film is eligible (and for which country it will count), but as always I'm open to hear arguments if you disagree with me.
For films to qualify for this Challenge, they need to have an eligible country listed as a production country on the film's IMDb page, ideally as the primary country listed. If you've seen something that you strongly believe should be eligible and isn't, ask about it in this thread with your reasons why it should count.
A number of Eastern European films are co-productions with non-eligible countries. Please use some common sense to determine whether these films really represent the cinema of this region. As a general guide, a film that has both Germany and Poland as production countries but which is filmed in Poland with a mostly Polish cast and crew is eligible; a film that has Poland listed as a second production country but is filmed in English with a mostly Anglophonic cast and crew isn't eligible (i.e. Inland Empire). I am happy to provide advice for any borderline cases. In most cases, co-productions are eligible unless the involvement of the listed production country is insignificant, such as with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Films from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union will be classified by studio. Most films were produced by state-run studios, so this should be relatively easy to decipher. Notably, Mosfilm and Leninfilm were based in Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg), modern Russia, so films from those studios are not eligible for this challenge.
Here's a good overview of studios from the Soviet Union.
Films produced by (but not necessarily those filmed at) Filmové studio Barrandov, Ceskoslovenský Státní Film, and PragFilm are generally Czech, while those by Slovenský film Bratislava, Štúdio hraných filmov Bratislava - Koliba, Filmové Studio Bratislava, and Studio Hraných Filmov Bratislava are generally Slovak.
UNESCO (Czechia 252-266, Hungary 426-440, Poland 682-696, Slovakia 755-769, Ukraine 886-900)
Belarusfilm Top 20
icmforum's poll: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary
Czech Lion Award
Taste of Cinema's 35 Visually Stunning Czech/Slovak Films That Are Worth Your Time
Eesti Päevaleht: Estonian film classics
Estonian Film 100
Filmarchiv.hu: Free Hungarian Films with Subtitles
Gelencsér Gábor's Recommended Film List for Hungarian Film History
Latvian Cultural Canon: Cinema
Latvian National Film Festival - Lielais Kristaps Award (Best Feature)
Lithuanian Film Academy - Silver Crane Award - Best Film
I can't find a good Moldovan list.
Polish Film Awards - Best Film
Top 15 Ukrainian Films
Dovzhenko Centre's Top 100 Ukrainian Films
1. Cycle through the countries as many times as you can. 1 point for every cycle.
2. Bonus points for films in specific endangered minority languages (there many not be films in any/all of these languages). Eligible languages: Romani & Yiddish (all countries), South Estonian aka Võro-Seto (Estonia), Rusyn (Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine), Latgalian & Livonian (Latvia), Karaim (Lithuania), Gagauz (Moldova, Ukraine), Kashubian & Wymysorys/Vilamovian (Poland), Crimean Tatar & Urum (Ukraine). 1 point per entry.
3. Bonus points for every pair of films from the Soviet & post-Soviet eras from the same country. The timeline isn't the same for every country, but for simplicity sake, and since the majority of the new republics became recognized/de-Sovietized near the end of 1991, the years 1991 & 1992 will be the border. Early films before the Soviet Union will still count as Soviet for the purposes of this challenge. 1 point per pair.