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Program for kick-off event from 30th June to 2nd July at cinema wolfen online!

The program for our kick-off event at the Wolfen cinema is online! With lots of art we want to bring the empty cinema in Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße to new life from June 30 to July 2. Together with you we would like to start a conversation about the upheavals that shape and have shaped the former film city Wolfen, the industrial region Bitterfeld-Wolfen and the „East“ beyond, to set the starting signal for our next festival in 2024.

You can look forward to performances, creative workshops, concerts, readings, excursions and much more! And even independent of the events, there are a variety of artworks and films to discover in the cinema. Last but not least, the landmarked cinema itself is of course an eye-catcher worth exploring! You don’t get in here every day, and it’s due for refurbishment soon. So don’t miss the chance!

Her you finde the whole programm.

OPEN CALL for short films and video art on the topic of structural change in the East

Based on the history of structural change in Wolfen, we are looking for a new generation of filmmakers who engage cinematically with the topic of structural change in the East and/or societies undergoing transformation. An international perspective is welcome. We are particularly interested in films that trace transformations of cities, societies, landscapes and work.

WHO CAN APPLY?: Students of film and art schools and alumni who graduated no longer than three years ago.

FILM DURATION: max. 60 min

LANGUAGE: We welcome submissions in any language. At the same time, we would like to make the films and video works accessible to all. German subtitling of foreign language films is therefore a condition for films to be screened (subtitling can also be added to the film after submission). If your film/video has a German audio track and you have the possibility to subtitle the film in English, we are of course very happy.

FORMAT OF SUBMISSION: Please submit your video as a vimeo link with download function. 

JURY AND SELECTION PROCESS: The winners will be selected by the curators of the OSTEN Festival and notified about the selection by June 12th 2023.

SCREENINGS: The selected films will be screened during 29th June to 2nd July 2023 in the cinema hall of the former cinema at Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 1 in Wolfen. The former cinema is equally da festival center. All events are free of charge.

DEADLINE: 14 May 2023, 11:59 pm

You can find the LINK to the form here.

Download english version as PDF.

SAVE THE DATE: 29th June to 2nd July

Together with a network of cultural institutions and artists already involved in the first festival, but also new ones, the festival team is already working on ideas for the next edition – and invites you to exchange ideas from June 29 to July 2 at the former Wolfen cinema. Which art projects will bring the eventful history of the film factory in Wolfen to life? In which formats can artists and Wolfen residents engage in conversation about the upheavals in the biographies and the city?

For the next festival, as in the first edition, numerous projects are to be created in which people and institutions from Bitterfeld and Wolfen can participate directly.

The program for the opening weekend will be published on May 10 at www.osten-festival.de.

REUNION IN WOLFEN: Festival continuation planned for 2024

After the successful first edition of the OSTEN festival at the Kulturpalast Bitterfeld, the team around the Kulturpark e.V. is again looking for encounters and exchanges with the people of Bitterfeld-Wolfen and is deepening the existing networking and cooperation with cultural institutions in the region. The next edition, which is planned for summer 2024, will focus on Wolfen, the eventful history of the former film factory, and the upheavals that have accompanied it in biographies, urban society, and nature.

Thank you for this amazing Festival OSTEN!

Three great weekends of Festival OSTEN with you are behind us! We are overwhelmed by this beautiful, intensive time and the great popularity that the project has experienced. We welcomed 5.000 visitors from near and far at the Kulturpalast Bitterfeld-Wolfen and at our excursions – wow! We are particularly pleased that so many people from different groups and generations, people from Bitterfeld and Wolfen and visitors from outside, have used art to talk about the region, its history and present. And many a guest who only wanted to stop by the Kulturpalast spontaneously stayed longer because there was so much to discover!

We would like to thank all creative people and artists, partners and sponsors, all technical and other service providers and all the voluntary helping heads and hands! Without you all this would not have been possible. OSTEN is living from the fact that we cooperate with other actors here in the region, in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. We very much hope that these many, valuable contacts will remain with us and that we will be able to expand them in the future!

Film tip: A year in the palace
We were happy to see that many media reported about our festival in the past weeks! We would especially like to recommend the reportage of the MDR culture magazine „artour“, which was published a few days ago. For several months a film team accompanied us during our festival preparations, now „A year in the palace – Bitterfeld and the art festival OSTEN“ can be seen in the ARD-Mediathek! Have fun watching!

WELCOME TO BITTERFELD: Our festival program is online!

WELCOME TO BITTERFELD: Our festival program is online! You can expect an exciting, diverse program of theater and music pieces, films, installations, workshops, talks, excursions to interesting places of Bitterfeld’s industrial history and its present, as well as meetings with artists on the beach of Lake Goitzsche. From July 1 to 17, our festival in Bitterfeld explores and celebrates the „East“ as a landscape of change for people, nature and coexistence. A special focus lies on the history of labor and the traces that this history has drawn into the landscape. Don’t miss it!

Tickets for stage plays, films and workshops can be purchased now directly via the festival calendar and, starting May 12, also at the City and Tourism Information Office of the City of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Many events are free of charge.

We hope you enjoy discovering the program!!!

New Festival-Website: www.osten-festival.de

OSTEN has a new digital home! From now on you can find all information concerning the festival and the cultural network behind it, as well as the participating artists and your visit to the festival online at www.osten-festival.de. Our festival programme, including all theatre and music pieces, films, talks, workshops and excursions, will be announced on 5 May. From this day on, tickets for plays, films and workshops will be available for purchase online and at the Bitterfeld-Wolfen city and tourist information office. Many events are free of charge.

Scholarship from the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and Kulturpark e.V. for artists in cooperation with scientists and contemporary witnesses

Bitterfeld-Wolfen represents the exploitation of nature as well as the rapid change after ’89/90 and a successful ecological redevelopment. Industrialisation, a change of political system, economic upheaval and ecological consciousness raising have left their mark – on the people as well as on the landscape. How can this change be mediated? And what future can emerge from it? In cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, we are offering a tandem scholarship to find out.

Three artists will be given the opportunity to develop a project in Bitterfeld for two months together with scientists and contemporary witnesses. The project will be shown at our OSTEN festival from 1 to 17 July. Two experts from the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA), who work in the Federal Environmental Specimen Bank, and a former employee of the UBA, who herself comes from Wolfen, will be taking part. In addition to the monthly work scholarship and a travel allowance, the scholarship also includes accommodation at the Bauhaus Foundation from May 15 to July 17, 2022.

Do you know artists who might be eligible for the project or would you like to apply yourself? It would be great, if you could share our public tender or send your application documents to tandemstipendium@uba.de by 21 February 2022. More information is available here.


In July 2022, the festival OSTEN is to take place in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Together with the music school „Gottfried Kirchhoff“ the composer and director Ari Benjamin Meyers has a special plan: He wants to found a factory orchestra. If the slogan of the Bitterfeld Way 60 years ago was „Reach for the pen, buddy!“, now it’s „Reach for the instrument!“ In keeping with the tradition of the former Workers‘ Symphony Orchestra. What’s special here is that in this orchestra, the children are the teachers. They teach adults basic skills on their instrument. Together, they create an orchestra that is all about one thing: learning to listen to each other. And not taking themselves too seriously. Ari Benjamin Meyers writes a composition for the new orchestra. In the end, there will be a world premiere at the international arts festival.