The German Film Festival

Palace Electric Canberra
26 May to 13 June 2021

This year’s festival boasts a selection of 30 films, the best and latest in German cinema, a number of which are screening for the first time outside Germany. Fassbinder receives particular attention with Lola and the Australian premiere of Enfant Terrible.

The city of Berlin also features prominently in this year’s festival. For example, documentary Berlin Bouncer tells the story of Berlin – from a divided city to the party metropolis of today.

The festival opening night and reception features Next Door(Nebenan), fresh from its world premiere at the Berlinale.

Austrian cinema is represented, for example with  Backstage Vienna State Opera (Backstage Wiener Staatsoper), a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at cultural institution the Vienna State Opera, portrays the variety of often invisible work that enables the world-renowned singers, conductors and musicians to delight their audience.

Music is also at the heart of The Audition (Das Vorspiel). A meticulously arranged visual concerto from acclaimed German actor-director Ina Weisse, this gripping drama stars Nina Hoss as a woman trapped in the pursuit of success. Thanks to Palace Electric, The German Film Festival and Asha Holmes Publicity, Living Arts Canberra attended a preview.. The cast is superb, with much said in silences and facial expression. It was thought-provoking and, I found, quite unsettling. The quality of this film and the variety of offerings promise a fine festival.

The multi award-winning Closing Night film, Berlin Alexanderplatz is an adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s influential 1929 novel of the same name, and follows an undocumented immigrant from West Africa on a dark odyssey through Berlin.

As part of the festival, the Goethe-Institut presents the popular sidebar ‘Kino for Kids’, films especially curated for children and teens.

Top photo: The Audition