Audi Festival of German Films 2011

In 2011 the Audi Festival of German Films will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a spectacular programme of 39 contemporary and classic German films and documentaries throughout April.

A national event, the Festival has continued to grow in popularity since its first outing in 2002 and in 2010 attracted more than 26,000 attendees – a testimony to Germany’s place at the forefront of international cinema. The 2011 programme will be divided into three sections; GERMAN CURRENTS, featuring the best of contemporary German cinema, RADICAL DOCS – an eclectic selection of documentaries, and RETRO 2001-2011, which will showcase 10 of Germany’s most acclaimed
movies of the last decade, many of which have never before screened in Australia.

“It’s looking good,” said Klaus Krischok, director of the Festival and Goethe–Institut Australia. “In addition to 33 feature films, we’re very excited about this year’s focus on documentaries, which has been made possible through our cooperation with ZDF/ARTE.” In Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide the Festival will open with GOETHE! – a sumptuous costume drama in the style of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, whilst Melbourne and Perth opening night audiences will be treated to a screening of the award-winning VINCENT GOES TO SEA, which focuses on the adventures of three lost souls on a life-altering journey.

This year, the Festival’s Sydney season will close with a screening of iconic filmmaker Wim Wenders’ new film PINA, a tribute to dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch, which will be staged at Sydney Opera House and followed by a Q&A session with Wim Wenders who will be a
guest of the Festival. This once in a lifetime event will take place on Sunday 17 April.

Here are some highlights from the festival:

‘1772. Johann Goethe is 23 and studies law. He talks much and drinks no less’
This amusing and poignant portrait of the great German poet centres on the youthful love affair that profoundly affected his life and shaped the writing of his masterpiece The Sorrows of Young Werther. After failing his law exams and experiencing a painful rejection from a publisher, young Johann is sent by his father to the boring town of Wetzlar to mend his ways. Suffocating in the employ of boss Albert Kestner, Johann’s spirits are raised the moment he sets eyes on Lotte Buff, a beautiful, feisty and independent–minded girl. The couple fall in love, but Lotte is supposed to save her family’s fortunes by marrying the dull and awkward Kestner. The spirit of Shakespeare in Love is alive and well in this impeccably performed and beautifully decorated period piece.

The Poll Diaries
‘For as long as I can remember, my father lived for death’
This thoughtful and touching historical drama is seen through the eyes of an adolescent Oda Scheafer, the famed German writer and journalist. In 1914 14–year–old Oda returns to Poll, her family home on the Baltic coast in Estonia, with the remains of her mother who has passed away in Berlin. Her father, Ebbo, is an eccentric German doctor whose questionable interest in racial breeding has made him an outcast in the scientific community. As Europe teeters on the brink of war and Russian forces crack down on Estonian rebels, Oda meets Schnaps, a wounded Estonian anarchist. Hiding him at Poll and secretly nursing him back to health, Oda risks triggering a tragic chain of events. A deeply moving drama and fascinating history lesson, “The Poll Diaries” marks another fine achievement for Chris Kraus.

Vincent Wants to Sea
‘What do you want in Italy, anyway?’
Vincent suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and has been placed in an institution by his politician father, Robert Gellner. His mother has just passed away and Vincent wants to honour her wish by taking her ashes to the seaside. It’s an impossible task under the circumstances, but Vincent is determined and escapes from the clinic in a stolen car. With anorexic Marie and obsessive–compulsive Alex along for the ride, he heads toward the Italian coast. What follows is a lively adventure, in which the three damaged souls face up to themselves. They are being pursued by Robert and therapist Dr Rose, whose neurotic bickering could easily qualify them for clinical observation. Distinguished by a fine cast, "Vincent Wants to Sea" is a richly rewarding road movie.

The Silence
‘Your husband, did he live in Walsen years ago?’
The bicycle of young Sinnika is found in a wheat field. It is 23 years to the day since a young girl named Pia was raped and murdered at this exact location. Her killer was never found. Retired detective Krischan, who failed to solve the Pia case, is convinced the same perpetrator is responsible. His assistant, David, re–opens old files in the hope of finding new clues. Pia’s mother is disturbed by the visit of a polite stranger. Meanwhile, Sinnika’s parents wait in agony for news of their daughter. Based on Jan Costin Wagner’s bestseller, "The Silence" potently interweaves flashbacks with investigations into Sinnika’s disappearance. The result is a compelling cold–case thriller that goes deeply into the emotions of those connected to and deeply affected by the most appalling of crimes. 

Audi Festival of German Films 2011
Dates and Venues:

Sydney 06-18/04/2011 Palace Norton Street
Melbourne 07-18/04/2011 Kino Cinemas
Brisbane 07-12/04/2011 Palace Centro Cinema 
Adelaide 13-18/04/2011 Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
Perth 14-18/04/2011 Cinema Paradiso

Official Site:

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