As someone who loves independent movies and documentaries (and happens to be German) there is one event I’m always looking forward to: The German Film Festival here in Melbourne.
This year the 2014 Audi Festival of German Films in Melbourne will take place from 27 March – 11 April.
Audaciously ambitious in its scope, this year’s programme includes extraordinary dramas, thrillers, comedies, romances, westerns, historical epics, coming-of-age tales and horror-movies, most of which will be screening as Australian premieres. There’s also a good selection of films for the young and the young-at-heart that the whole family will relish.
Launching the Festival in Melbourne will be Banklady, an action crime-drama starring German actress Nadeshda Brennicke, who will be the Festival’s guest-of-honour at the Gala Opening Night events. Based on a true story, Banklady brings to life the escapades of Gisela Werler, West Germany’s first female bank robber who made the transition from shy worker to notorious felon during her heyday in the 1960s.
Klaus and Fritz’s picks for the Festival of German Films:
OH BOY: Niko, a man in his 20s, is beset by a series of unexpected incidents that throw his well-ordered life into turmoil. Shot in black and white on the streets of Berlin, this debut feature by Jan-Ole Gerster has received numerous awards and highlights a side of German life that is not commonly represented in German film.
BELA KISS: PROLOGUE: Five young bank robbers hideout in a remote hotel in the woods. Following a series of unsettling incidents, they begin to suspect that Bela Kiss, a brutal serial killer who strangled and poisoned more than twenty young women a century earlier, may haunt their refuge.
HOUSTON: A company executive in the throes of personal dilemmas due to his job, alcoholism and crumbling marriage, is given an opportunity to recruit a new American CEO for his German company, which leads to a number of confronting events.
MY WAY TO OLYMPIA: A documentary about five athletes with disabilities competing at the 2012 London Paralympics, the focus being on their personal strengths and their families.
Special event: Fall of the Wall
We are celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 — 25 years ago!
The evening will start with I Will not Lose, a documentary about former athletes from East Germany.
A definite highlight of this year’s festival will follow, the live music intermezzo by Berlin cabaret pop band The Beez. The group’s aptly named production Don’t Mention the Wall will take the audience on a journey through the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall presented in an exciting mixture of songs and words. We will end the evening with the remarkable documentary The Family. In addition, the outstanding short film The Aroma of the West will be shown before both movies.
Showtimes: 1 April in Melbourne