ART hound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

The 18th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival—the best and newest in German Language Cinema, starts Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre

Georg Maas’ “Two Lives” (Zwei Leben, 2012), Germany’s official entry into the 2014 Academy Awards, kicks off  the 18th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, January 15-21, 2014, at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre and the Goethe-Institut.   Europe in 1990—the Berlin Wall has just crumbled.  Katrine is a Norwegian "war child," raised in East Germany, who has been living in Norway for the past 20 years.  She enjoys a happy life with her mother, her husband, daughter, and granddaughter. When a lawyer asks Katrine and her mother to testify in a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of the war children, she resists.  A web of tightly-held secrets and deceit is unveiled.  This drama addresses an important but taboo topic in Norwegian history: the way Norwegian women who had relationships with German occupation soldiers were treated by their country after World War II, and what happened to them under the Stasi regime in the former East Germany. The film features the legendary Liv Ullmann in a rare performance.  Filmmaker Georg Maas will attend.

Georg Maas’ “Two Lives” (Zwei Leben, 2012), Germany’s official entry, short-listed for the best foreign language Oscar at the 2014 Academy Awards, kicks off the 18th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, January 15-21, 2014, at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre and the Goethe-Institut. Europe in 1990—the Berlin Wall has just crumbled and the Cold War has ended. Katrine (Juliane Koehler) has been living in Norway for the past 20 years but is is a Norwegian “war child.” Her father was a soldier in the German occupying troops during WWII and she was sent to and raised in totalitarian East Germany, only able to reunite with her Norwegian mother (Norwegian legend Liv Ullmann) long after WWII’s end. When a lawyer asks Katrine and her mother to testify in a trial against the Norwegian state on behalf of the war children who were relocated, she resists. A web of tightly-held secrets and deceit about Katrine’s true identity is unveiled. This drama addresses an important but taboo topic in Norwegian history: the way Norway, after World War II, treated Norwegian women who had relationships with German occupation soldiers and what happened to their children, many of whom were transported to what became Stasi-ruled East Germany. Adaptation of the novel “Eiszeten” by Hannelore Hippe. Filmmaker Georg Maas will attend.

For film lovers in the Bay Area, the annual Berlin & Beyond Film Festival is an essential—it’s where one goes to see the very best new films by German, Austrian and Swiss directors and the crème of the crop of international collaborations from directors working beyond these borders.  The focus is Germany and German language but it’s the exceptional storytelling, intense drama and highly cinematic nature of the films, and the complete abandonment of Hollywood special effects, that make this relatively small scale festival a stand-out in the myriad of festivals that are cropping up everywhere.  The festival will mark its 18th season with a dazzling roster of special guests onstage and will screen 30 feature length films and 7 shorts, including six North American premieres and two US premieres.  Festival director Sophoan Sorn, at the helm for his fourth year now, has collaborated with Festival President Sabine Erlenwein to select films that showcase this year’s theme “Courage in Motion”—delivering cinematic stories that embrace overcoming life’s myriad of obstacles.  The festival kicks off Wednesday evening with Germany’s official entry into the 2014 Academy Awards, Two Lives (Zwei Leben, 2012) and an opening night party at Tank18, one of the City’s finest wine bars.  It closes (at the Castro venue) with the North American premiere of Nana Nuel’s Silent Summer (Stiller Sommer, 2013), with Nuel and renowned actor Hans-Jochen Wagner in attendance.   This year’s festival pays special tribute to legendary author, film producer, screenwriter and filmmaker, Peter Sehr, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in acting.  Mr. Sehr, who had a knack for the political period drama, passed in May 2013 from cancer, but his wife and creative partner, director Marie Noëlle, will be present at the festival to receive the posthumous award and will appear in person at the screening of their final film, festival centerpiece Ludwig II (2012), at the Castro Theatre on January 17th, at 5:30 PM.  It all begins Wednesday, January 15, and runs Sunday, January 19, in San Francisco, at the historic Castro Theatre, with additional evening screenings on January 20-21 at the Goethe-Institut SF (530 Bush Street).

The festival marks its 18th season with a dazzling roster of special guests onstage—Ali Saghri (producer, Breaking Horizons); Anne Thoma (director/writer, Miles & War); Aylin Tezel (director, Inhale (short film); actor, Breaking Horizons & BFF 2012 Opener Almanya); Christian Schwochow (director, West); Georg Maas (director/screenwriter, Two Lives, The Real World of Peter Gabriel); Hans-Jochen Wagner (actor, Silent Summer); Katja von Garnier (director, Windstorm); Marie Noëlle (director/screenwriter, Ludwig II); Nana Neul (director/screenwriter, Silent Summer); Udo Kramer (production designer, LOLA nominee for Measuring the World 3D); Marc Rothemund (director, The Girl with Nine Wigs; nominee, Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 2006 for Sophie Scholl – The Final Days); Walter Steffen (director/writer, Munich in India); Xavier Koller (director, The Black Brothers; winner, Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 1991 for Journey of Hope.  For more information and tickets, browse the festival’s official website and stay tuned to ARThound for coverage.

The lineup for the 18th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival:

Castro Theatre:

Wednesday, January 15
4:00 pm Sensational Seven – Short Films 2014
7:00 pm Opening Night Film: Two Lives
9:30 pm Opening Night Party at Tank18

Thursday, January 16
1:00 pm Windstorm
4:00 pm The Shine of Day
6:30 pm Hanna’s Journey
9:00 pm Gold

Friday, January 17
11:30 am Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing
3:00 pm Lullaby Ride
5:30 pm Centerpiece: Ludwig II
9:15 pm Shores of Hope

Saturday, January 18
11:15 am Sound of Heimat – Germany Sings
1:45 pm The Girl With Nine Wings
4:30 pm Miles & War
7:00 pm West
9:45 pm Late Show: Measuring the World (3D)

Sunday, January 19
11:30 am Munich In India
2:00 pm The Black Brothers
4:30 pm Breaking Horizons and Inhale
8:00 pm Castro Closing Night Film: Silent Summer

GOETHE-INSTITUT AUDITORIUM

Monday, January 20
6:00 pm More Than Honey
8:30 pm Free Fall

Tuesday, January 21
6:00 pm Redemption Impossible
8:30 pm Shifting The Blame

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January 12, 2014 - Posted by | Film | , , , , ,

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