Audi Festival of German Films 2014

By February 26, 2014 Events

A Visual Journey into the Heart of German Cinema

With a line-up as tasty as Schnitzel, satisfying as Sauerbraten and enticing as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, it’s no wonder that the Audi Festival of German Films 2014 is whetting cinematic appetites!  For the event’s 13th annual season, Festival Director, Dr. Arpad Sölter and his international jury of movie experts have selected over 50 award-winning and critically lauded features, shorts and documentaries that showcase Germany’s multi-layered, vibrant and ever-evolving culture.

Proudly presented by the Goethe-Institut in association with German Films, screening partner Palace Cinemas, and the support of Audi, whose vehicles are a byword for European automotive excellence, the 2014 Festival will take place over two weeks in six luxurious Palace cinema locations across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, commencing in Sydney on 26th of March.

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 joyous selection of films for the young and the young-at-heart that the whole family will relish, as well as designated school sessions and numerous special events which, in addition to the Festival’s screenings, frame the enormous variety of the Audi Festival of German Films.

Launching the Festival in Sydney and Melbourne will be Banklady, an action crime-drama starring celebrated German actress Nadeshda Brennicke, who will be the Festival’s guest-of-honour at the Gala Opening Night events in both cities.  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.

Screening highlights of the 2014 Festival include:

BELA KISS: PROLOGUE (Screening in Sydney & Melbourne)

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.

EXIT MARRAKECH (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane)

Academy Award winning director Caroline Link (Nowhere in Africa) returns with an exploration of culture and personal discovery set in Morocco. A celebrated theatre director and his disaffected teenage son try to reconnect as they explore resentments and issues from the past.

GOLD (Screening in Sydney & Melbourne)

Directed by Thomas Arslan, protagonist of the “Berlin School” of filmmaking (German New Wave) and starring famed actress Nina Hoss, this engrossing drama follows  the adventures of a group of German-American immigrants, seeking gold in northwest Canada’s Klondike region in the late 19th century.

HOME FROM HOME (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane)

The Heimat series, by Edgar Reitz, did much to portray Germany as a significant, historic identity. Now, Reitz returns with this revisionist view of ‘Heimat’ (homeland), set in the 19th century, when many Europeans settled in South America to escape the poverty and famine of the time.

HOUSTON (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne & Canberra)

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.

OH BOY (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Canberra)

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.

SOURCES OF LIFE (Screening in Sydney & Melbourne)

From writer/director Oskar Roehler comes a compelling portrait of post-war West Germany from the viewpoint of an ordinary man.  A WW2 veteran returns to find his life dislocated by an emerging nation and a family trying to cope with significant social change. Starring Jürgen Vogel & Moritz Blebtreu.

VISITORS (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane)

Amidst hidden resentments, Jacob, a chemist, visits his three adult children after many years. His struggling offspring happily take his money, but are unwilling to relate to him in any real manner.  But when Jacob reveals he is unemployed and can no longer support them, simmering tensions, including the question of how they will cope in the future, erupt.

In addition to the Festival’s many planned Q&A sessions, to be attended by a host of exciting European guests, some of our special events include:

25 YEARS AGO – FALL OF THE WALL (Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane)

Journey through the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall via two fascinating documentaries and live music from Berlin cabaret pop band, The Beez.

READING PERFORMANCE WW1: 1914 – 1918 (Sydney/Melbourne/Canberra)

Renowned actor, director and performer, Justus Neumann, revisits Karl Kraus’ satire The Last Days of Mankind (1918) in an inspiring lecture about the absurdity of war.

LIVE MUSIC AND FILM – MUSICAL SUNDAY (Sydney/Melbourne)

Take a voyage from jazz to reggae, accompanied by live music, refreshments plus screenings of As Time Goes by in Shanghai, Journey to Jah and I Feel Like Disco.

HORROR PARTY – MOONLIGHT MANIA (Sydney/Melbourne)

Join us for the movie Bela Kiss: Prologue, a Q&A with lead actor Angus McGruther and diabolical drinks prior to our equally dark second feature, The Station — sweet dreams guaranteed!

THE SWISS CONSPIRACY – SWISS SOIREE (Melbourne)

Indulge in an authentic Swiss feast, two fabulous Swiss movies and music from Swiss DJ Moses Iten. Presented with the kind assistance of the Swiss Consulate.

ORIENTAL NIGHT (Sydney/Melbourne)

Depart your everyday life whilst enjoying the movie Exit Marrakech and let your senses succumb to an exotic Moroccan-themed evening.

MICHELLE LANGFORD BOOK LAUNCH  (Sydney/Melbourne)

Michelle Langford, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at University of NSW, will launch her Directory of World Cinema: Germany Vol. 2 in a special evening at the Goethe-Institut.

FESTIVAL DATES & VENUES:

Sydney:                 26 March to 10 April     Chauvel Cinema & Palace Norton Street

Melbourne:         27 March to 11 April       Palace Cinema Como & Kino Cinemas

Brisbane:              28 March to 3 April        Palace Centro

Canberra:              1 April to 6 April              Palace Electric Cinema

The Festival Website will soon be live at: http://www.goethe.de/ozfilmfest