The Audi Festival of German Films reaches the major milestone of its first decade in 2011 and to celebrate, festival organisers have programmed a feature showcase of the most acclaimed German films of the decade, and a special visit from arguably the best-known contemporary German filmmaker Wim Wenders, who will present his 3D dance film Pina, fresh from its Berlin premiere.
The 2011 program consists of 39contemporary and classic German films and documentaries, segmented into the following strands: GERMAN CURRENTS - featuring the best of contemporary German cinema, RADICAL DOCS – an eclectic selection of documentaries, and RETRO 2001-2011, a curated selection of festival favourites as well as contemporary films of the period, which the festival was unable to source at the time. The latter selection also includes some perennial SBS favourites, such as Emma's Bliss, Go For Zucker! and Requiem.
The festival tours nationally throughout April, and will open in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide with the lavish costume drama Goethe!, and Melbourne and Perth opening night audiences will be treated to Vincent Wants 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.
2011 Festival highlights include (follow the links for reviews and detailed coverage):
NANGA PARBAT (Director: Joseph Vilsmaier)
Based on a true story and a thrilling real-life adventure, this mountain drama takes you to the
top of the Himalayas and into the abyss of human guilt.
VINCENT WANTS TO SEA (right, Director: Ralf Huettner)
A lively and entertaining adventure in which three damaged souls face up to themselves and
overcome the psychoses of the seemingly normal world.
SINGLE BY CONTRACT (Director: Mark Rothermund)
A fresh and funny romantic comedy with positive girl-power messages and a clutch of toe-tapping tunes – when an unsuspecting girl falls in love with megastar.
THE DAY I WAS NOT BORN (Director: Florian Cossen)
A compelling combination of personal and political histories set in Germany and Argentina:
Who am I? This remains the most fundamental question of all.
THE DAY OF THE CAT (Director: Wolfgang Panzer)
A politcial drama centreing around a wily president of Switzerland in the midst of fighting a bevvy of scandals and conspirators.
THE POLL DIARIES (Director: Chris Kraus)
A deeply moving drama and fascinating history lesson, set on the Baltic coast pre WWI: The
world changes – but is the old guard willing to change in it?
THE RADICAL GARDENER (Director: Hermann Vaske)
An examination of the relationship between radical art and the advertising industry. Malcolm McLaren, Tony Kaye and Jeff Koons, among others, voice their opinion on the uneasy connection.
ON THE SAFE SIDE (Directors: Corinna Wichmann, Lukas Schmid)
A documentary that takes us behind the walls of gated communities from Johannesburg to Las Vegas and asks why such communities exist and what the realities of living “on the safe side” are.
THE SILENCE (right, Director: Baran bo Odar)
A cold–case thriller about the rape and murder of two young girls. In the mid-'80s, Pia was discovered dead in a wheat field. 23 years later to the day, another girl, Sinnika, is found in similar circumstances.
THE WEISSENSEE SAGA – A BERLIN LOVE STORY (Director: Friedemann Fromm)
Romeo and Juliet behind the Wall face unexpected challenges in this family battle of two
opposing political creeds.
ALMANYA (Director: Yasemin Samdereli)
The surprise smash-comedy of the 2011 Berlinale: When a Turkish family leave their home after
30 years in Germany the question arises: Who am I - a German or a Turk?
CLOSE TO YOU (Director: Almut Getto)
What happens when an emotionally blank young man meets an exuberant blind girl? Will his pet
tortoise remain the only living thing he really loves - or he will he break out of his shell?
THE MURDER FARM (Director: Bettina Oberli)
Keeping its secrets well hidden and building to a suspenseful climax, this stylish drama will take
you well beyond the romantic facades of an alpine village.
JULIA'S DISAPPEARANCE (Director: Christoph Schaub)
An entertaining and sophisticated meditation on getting old, feeling young and everything in
between, starring Corinna Harfouch and Bruno Ganz.
Full program details and ticketing information are available here.