One of Singapore’s biggest and longest running foreign film festivals is set to return with its 23rd edition. This year’s German Film Festival (GFF) will be held from 24 October to 10 November 2019 at various cinema locations and open air venues throughout the city.
Presented by the Goethe-Institut Singapore, a cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach, 20 films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – ranging from drama and documentaries, to comedies and family films – will be screened throughout the Festival.
Films about self-determination, diversity, and social awareness are the central theme of this year’s Festival.
According to the Festival’s curator, Mr Andreas Struck, “In times when a fear of the unknown leads people to treat others in a dehumanising manner, when self-aggrandisement and claims to power storm past dignity and mindfulness, and when greed is suffocating our planet, we need films that take a stand but also remember to dream as they do so.”
The GFF opening film ‘All About Me’ is an award-winning story of the German entertainer and comedian, Hape Kerkeling, who overcomes great personal tragedies from his childhood. The narrative is compelling, as it is based on the biography written by the entertainer himself, charting his childhood in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. It is the long-awaited new film by director Caroline Link, who won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003 for ‘Nowhere in Africa (2001)’. ‘All About Me’ has been awarded recently with the Bavarian Film Awards and the German Film Awards.
Mr Han Song Hiltmann, Director of Goethe-Institut Singapore, explains that this year’s GFF also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: “Our retrospective #fallingwalls will showcase films on the history of Berlin – once a divided city and hotspot of the cold war, it became a site of a peaceful revolution and unification.”
Films in the #fallingwalls category are ‘Westler’, a love story between two men separated by the Berlin Wall; the cult films, ‘Wings of Desire’ and ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’; and the three documentaries ‘The Wall’, ‘B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989’ and ‘Berlin Bouncer’.
“But we are not only looking back in history. Especially in times when new walls are on the rise again, it might be worthwhile to remind ourselves how separation and alienation might harm us, and that dialogue, collaboration and exchange might be more challenging at first, but certainly offer many more chances in the long run,” he adds.
Several Goethe- Institutes worldwide are currently joining a social media campaign under the hashtag #fallingwalls to address issues of separation and segregation, and to promote transnational dialogue and exchange.
“The filmmakers in this year’s programme demonstrate an awareness of history, giving visibility to alternatives beyond mainstream norms while enchanting us with cinematographic adventures that encourage a combination of self-determination, otherness and community,” highlights Mr Andreas Struck in his curatorial statement.
Not forgetting, filmgoers in Singapore will have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with Stephanie Amarell, leading actress of ‘Swimming’, Carolina Hellsgård director of ‘Endzeit -Ever After’, and Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay director of ‘Oray’ at the post-show events.
Since the first film week in 1978, the GFF has reached out to a growing audience in Singapore. The 23rd edition of the Festival is presented with the cooperation of established partners, such as The Projector and Golden Village, as well as Evonik, the main Festival supporter.
The collaboration with the Singapore Botanic Gardens continues with a free outdoor screening of the children’s animation movie ‘Marnie’s World’. New collaborations are also forged with the German European School Singapore (GESS) and Our Tampines Hub.
Tickets are on sale as of 10 October 2019. To purchase them, click here.
For more information about the Festival, click here.