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© Goethe-Institut Golf-Region

Gulf German Film Festival

The end of this year will bring film lovers in the region the second edition of the GULF GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL. We are excited to return to in-person screenings in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama and Muscat, presenting you the best of new German language movies and international co-productions. The selection ranges from thought-provoking art-house films to box-office hits, and from family matinees to late-night movies.

The GULF GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL will kick off with an outdoor cine concert of Lotte Reiniger's famous silhouette animation THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED with live music by Jad Atoui, Pascal Semerdjian and Fadi Tabbal.

The opening will be followed by I'M YOUR MAN, directed by Emmy Award winner Maria Schrader (“Unorthodox”), starring Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), Maren Eggert (“I Was at Home, But...”) and Sandra Hüller (“Toni Erdmann”). The comic-tragic tale about a scientist participating in a trial with a humanoid robot programmed to make her happy has been selected to enter the race for Germany at the Oscars® 2022.

Another festival highlight is MR BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS by Maria Speth, an award-winning documentary portraying the bond between an elementary school teacher and his students. His unconventional methods clash with the complex social and cultural realities of the provincial German industrial town they live in.

The festival continues with THE ROYAL GAME by Philipp Stölzl, based on Stefan Zweig's timeless literature classic “Schachnovelle”, the bitterly evil satire CURVEBALL – A TRUE STORY. UNFORTUNATELY by Johannes Naber and Ronny Trocker's family drama HUMAN FACTORS.

Important international co-productions include YALDA, A NIGHT FOR FORGIVENESS by Massoud Bakhshi who will also be present for a Q&A, the German-Mexican documentary LUCHADORAS by Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim, European-African co-production LINGUI by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun that premiered at Cannes Film Festival and Sonia Liza Kenterman's debut film and coming-of-old-age story TAILOR. The festival concludes with THE RIVER by Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab.

The GULF GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL is a coproduction of the German Embassy in the UAE, the German Embassy in Oman, the German Embassy in Bahrain, Goethe-Institut and Cinema Akil.

Filmvorstellungen in Oman

Undine © Marco Krüger Schramm Film


Undine works as an art historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.

Gundermann © Pandora Film, Peter Hartwig


Gerhard Gundermann was a heavy equipment operator at a lignite strip mine and a Stasi informer, but above all he was a gifted singer-songwriter with a fanbase in both the former GDR as well as the subsequent, reunified Germany. Director Andreas Dresen takes a sensitive look at this contradictory personality. The result is a perceptive biographical narrative that unreels like a modern musical Heimatfilm [“homeland” film] for East (and all of) Germany.

Too far away

Friendship that emerged from a man-made loss of home: The village in which the twelve-year-old Ben lives with his family has to give way to the open-cast brown coal mine. After relocating to the city, he meets Tariq, who is the same age and whose family has fled Syria. The experience of the new beginning soon welded the two initial competitors in school and in the football club together.

Based on the bestseller of the same name by Judith Kerr.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

To escape the Nazis, Anna’s father has to flee to Zurich; his family follows him a short time later. Anna leaves everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and must face a new life full of challenges and privations.


Programme Oman

Filmvorstellungen in den Emiraten

Opening Night

Prince Ahmed Primrose Productions

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

With “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” Lotte Reiniger created the first full-length feature animated film in the history of cinema. The technical and aesthetic aspects of this film genre had already been developed to cinematic perfection in the 20s. Her style continued the tradition of shadow plays performed in China, which she expanded through the technical possibilities offered by the cinema. 


I'm Your Man

A comic-tragic tale about a scientist participating in a trial with a humanoid robot programmed to make her happy. A film about the questions of love, longing and what makes a human being human. Directed by Emmy Award winner Maria Schrader (UNORTHODOX), starring Dan Stevens (DOWNTOWN ABBEY), Maren Eggert (I WAS AT HOME, BUT) and Sandra Hüller (TONI ERDMANN).

Human Factors

A mysterious home invasion triggers off a shake in the core of a cosmopolitan middle-class family and unveils the fragility of truth and the power of individual perspective.

Yalda © Somaye Jafari

Yalda – A Night for Forgiveness

Maryam is sentenced to death, accused of murdering her husband. During a popular live television show, she is given the opportunity to face the victim's only daughter and asking her for forgiveness. The deeply rooted patriarchal structures of Iranian society are frighteningly reflected in the individual fate of the young woman.


Nikos lives in the attic of the family’s tailor shop. When the bank threatens to repossess the shop and his father falls ill, Nikos takes action: with a wondrously strange tailor shop on wheels, he reinvents himself while bringing style and confidence to the women of Athens.

Lingui, the Sacred Bonds

Amina, a practicing Muslim, lives with her daughter, 15-year-old Maria. When Amina learns Maria is pregnant, they face an impossible situation in a country where abortion is legally and morally condemned.

The Royal Game

The film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stefan Zweig tells the story of a man who survived imprisonment and mental torture with the help of a chess book.


LUCHADORAS portrays the courageous female wrestlers of Ciudad Juárez, a city known for its high murder rate against women - who in the ring and in their daily lives fight to redefine the image of what it means to be a woman in Mexico.

The River © Les Films Du Losange

The River

A man and a woman are about to leave a restaurant situated in the heart of the Lebanese mountains. They are surprised by fighter planes screaming past at low altitude. In the distance, war seems to be breaking out once more. Losing sight of the woman, the man starts looking for her.

Curveball – A True Story. Unfortunately

A bitterly evil satire that breathtakingly illuminates little-known backgrounds of the Iraq war and is based on a true story.

Mr Bachmann and his Class

MR BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS is an intimate documentary portraying the bond between an elementary school teacher and his students. His unconventional methods clash with the complex social and cultural realities of the provincial German industrial town they live in.

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