Film|Neu Celebrates 21st Anniversary in Fall 2013
2012 Festival Wrap-up
Film|Neu celebrated its 20th anniversary January 20-26, 2012, with screenings at Landmark's E Street Cinema. Following the closing film, Men in the City II, guests enjoyed a closing party at the Goethe-Institut. Door prizes were raffled off. Congratulations to Luis, the winner of our Grand Prize, a language course here at the Goethe-Institut!
Film critic Eddie Cockrell announced the Audience Favorite films. Third place goes to the closing night film, Men in the City II; second to the film Joscha & Mr. Fischer; and the winner of this year's festival is the opening film, Westwind.
Thank you to our audience, volunteers, donors and partners for a successful Film|Neu 2012!
The occasion of preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Film|Neu led inevitably to thoughts of the changes to the German-language film industries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland over the last two decades.
Sidestepping the more technical and business-oriented answers, two simple, interrelated facts emerged that can explain their successes: funding support and diverse stories.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland stand behind their filmmakers as they do all their artists: with open minds and open wallets. As for diverse stories, a read through these plot descriptions yields, side by side, movies about relationships, experiments in narrative genre cinema, German history, Swiss folklore and Austrian social awareness.
Seen from another angle, the program certainly took on the air of an anniversary during its preparation, with new films from old friends and past festival participants sharing the spotlight with exciting new filmmaking voices.
And that, in the end, is what Film|Neu is all about: exploring the evolution of filmmaking, discovering new talent and enjoying a glimpse of these worlds from the comforts of the Landmark Theatre.
Thank you, the Washington audiences, for the support that made and continues to make the program possible. And for those of you who have been on this trip from the beginning, as well as those just discovering the program, happy anniversary and best wishes for the future.
- Eddie Cockrell is an independent film critic and consulting programmer who was born in Washington, D.C. and currently lives in Sydney, Australia.