Goethe Films, Toronto Photo: Goethe-Institut Toronto

GOETHE FILMS brings the best of German film to Toronto audiences.

Ranging from features to docs, shorts to animation, drama to comedy, the experimental to international festival highlights from Berlin, Leipzig or Oberhausen, the GOETHE FILMS series offers film lovers the opportunity to see a top selection of German contemporary arthouse film in Toronto’s premier cinema.

Programmed and presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto since 2011, the films are presented in thematic clusters throughout the year at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.

Many screenings are enhanced by introductions, Q & A’s as well as discussions with diverse German and Canadian artists, curators and experts, who contextualize what happens on the screen and engage with the audience.

As a reflection of the refugee situation in Europe, the GOETHE FILMS series "Europe between Refuge and Fortress" 2016 presented Oscar-shortlisted "We Are Young. We Are Strong" alongside recent shorts and documentaries examining Europe’s future. Senator Ratna Omidvar, author and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee and Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Marcelle Aleid hotly debated the role of art in political crises.

Other highlights include "fHEISTy Woman Robbing Banks", featuring female bank robbers from the 1998 classic RUN LOLA RUN to the 2015 one-shot wonder VICTORIA, as well as the series "Copy & Paste" about homages, influences and references between directors, which examined how Murnau & Herzog, Petzold & Farocki and Müller & Girardet remake, remix and reimagine films and film. Thematic retrospectives of Wim Wender’s and Fatih Akin’s  oeuvre proved to be particularly attractive. GOETHE FILMS has been called "one of Toronto’s better-kept arthouse secrets" by blogTO.com.

Goethe Films, Toronto, Panel 2016 Affan Chowdhry, Marcelle Aleid, Ratna Omidvar & Kamal Al-Solaylee | GOETHE FILMS: A Long Way: Europe between refuge and fortress, 2016 | Photo: Goethe-Institut Toronto "Many excellent German films don’t get Canadian distribution and when they do, their theatrical run here is often limited. This is a great opportunity for Toronto audiences to see some of the best films coming out of Germany right now, films that they would probably otherwise miss," explains Jutta Brendemühl, the Goethe-Institut’s Program Curator, who founded and is programming the series. "GOETHE FILMS is the heart of our extensive film work. Next to our popular film blog, it’s where we get to share our passion for Kino with our loyal Canadian audiences."


curated by Jutta Brendemühl, Goethe-Institut Toronto Program Curator
June 2011

40 YEARS VIDEOART.DE: RECORD AGAIN > Highlights of German Video Art from the 1960s to the present; introduced by artist Oliver Husain

October 2011
CULTURE+ECONOMY: Two programs of international shorts from 1932-2010, *guest curated by Florian Wüst (Berlin)
Winter 2011/2012

EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS: Featuring actors Hannah Herzsprung, Alexander Fehling, August Diehl, Maria Simon > Four Minutes (Kraus); Life Actually (Gsponer) | Goethe! (Stölzl); And Along Come Tourists (Thalheim) | If Not Us, Who? (Veiel); 23 (Schmid) | Distant Lights (Schmid); Nothing But Ghosts (Gypkens)
March 2012

24 HOURS BERLIN People, Stories, Reality > “Real-time” excerpt from the real-time documentary project of a day in the life of the German capital (Heise & Agneskirchner)

May 2012
IN THE FACE OF CRIME: Love, Death, Mafia. > Canadian premiere of Dominik Graf's award-winning 10-episode Berlin thriller
Fall 2012

CULTURE+ECONOMY: Crisis, Greed & Debt > The City Below (Hochhäusler) | Gravity (Erlenwein) | Crash Course (Wangard); introduction by Social Corporate Responsibility Professor Dirk Matten

March 2013 
OBERHAUSEN ON TOUR > Highlights of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2012 | International Competition | German Competition | Music Video Competition;  panel with designer-filmmaker Phillip Barker and filmmaker Chris Kennedy

May 2013
YOUNG & OLD: Intergenerational Encounters > Hanami (Dörrie) | Cloud 9 (Dresen) | Home for the Weekend (Schmid); shorts: A LOST AND FOUND BOX OF HUMAN SENSATION (Wallner & Leuchtenberg) | YOU AND ME (Kraus); with a co-presentation of Berlin Performance Group’s She She Pop & Their Fathers’ “Testament” at the World Stage Festival Harbourfront Centre

Fall 2013
FATIH AKIN @ 40 RETROSPECTIVE > In July | Solino | The Edge of Heaven Head-On | Soul Kitchen | Crossing The Bridge with live music by Brenna MacCrimmon (Crossing the Bridge) & Debashis Sinha
March 2014
LIFE IS A CONSTRUCTION SITE: Berlin on Film > Kuhle Wampe (Brecht & Dudow) | Life Is All You Get (Becker) | Pool of Princesses (Blümner);  contextualised by Young Mammals experimental art lab for young people, COC Music Director Johannes Debus, theatre innovator Michael Wheeler, PhD arts student Inga Untiks

May 2014
GERMANY LAUGHS at Politics, Love & Itself > Hotel Lux (Haußmann & Timm) | Lila, Lila (Gsponer) | Absurdistan (Helmer) | short: Sonntag 3 (Kuhn)

Fall 2014
BEFORE THE FALL Berlin Wall / 25 Years > Barbara (Petzold) | Wings of Desire (Wenders) | Silent Country (Dresen); introductions by critic Norm Wilner and OCAD Dean Vlad Spicanovic
March 2015

COPY & PASTE: Reimagining, Remixing & Remaking Film > Nosferatu (Murnau) + Nosferatu the Vampyre (Herzog) | Yella (Petzold) + Nothing Ventured (Farocki) | Home Stories (Müller) + Phoenix Tapes (Müller & Girardet);  panel with TIFF programmer Chris Kennedy, filmmaker Isabell Spengler and film professor Stefan Soldovieri

May 2015
CULTURE+ECONOMY: Age of Cannibals > Age of Cannibals (Naber) | Master of the Universe (Bauder) | Houston (Günther); contextualized by a Goethe Film Talk with director Marc Bauder; introduction by critic Robert Bell

Fall 2015 
WENDERS IN THE CITIES (70th birthday retrospective) > Alice in the Cities; Wrong Move | The State of Things; Land of Plenty | Tokyo-Ga; Notebook on Cities and Clothes;  introduction by critic Adam Nayman; accompanied by an exhibition from the Wenders Archive
March 2016
A LONG WAY: Europe between Refuge and Fortress > Colour of the Ocean (Peren); After Spring Comes Fall (Carsenty) | short: The Jean-Monnet Bridge (Center for Political Beauty Berlin); We Are Young. We Are Strong (Qurbani) | Transit Camp Friedland (Sandig); introduced by critic Jason Anderson; panel with Ratna Omidvar, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Marcelle Aleid, Affan Chowdhry

May 2016
CAN YOU HACK IT? Of Cybercrime & Privacy Rights > Who Am I – No System Is Safe (Bo Odar) | Democracy (Bernet) | Blueprint (Schübel)

Fall 2016
fHEISTy WOMEN ROBBING BANKS > Run Lola Run (Tykwer) | Banklady (Alvart); Wanja (Hellsgård) | Victoria (Schipper);  contextualized by artist-filmmaker Daniel Cockburn
March 2017 

HEIMAT NOW: New Heimatfilms > Grave Decisions (Rosenmüller) | Holidays (Knoller) | Learning To Lie (Handloegten) | Schultze Gets The Blues (Schorr) | Sound of Heimat (Birkenstock & Tengeler); introduction & reading by author Frank Goosen

May 2017
PEAK German Docs @ DOK Leipzig > Peak (Lang) | Land in Sight (Keil & Kruska) | Forget Me Not (Sieveking); introduced by Alessandro Ruggera, director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto

October 2017 
MARGARETHE & BARBARA > Marianne & Juliane (Margarethe von Trotta) | Rosa Luxemburg  | Hannah Arendt; introductions by actor Barbara Sukowa, critic Susan C. Cole; accompanied by the exhibition “Early UFA Film Posters: Projecting Women”
March 2018
ULRIKE OTTINGER IN ASIA > Under Snow (Ottinger) | Urike Ottinger: Nomad from the Lake (Kramer) | Exile Shanghai (Ottinger) | Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia (Ottinger)

May 2018
SCHLINGENSIEF: APPROACH THOSE YOU FEAR > The 120 Days of Bottrop (Schlingensief) | Foreigners Out! Schlingensief’s Container (Poet) | German Chainsaw Massacre: The First Hour of Reunification (Schlingensief) | The Holding of Skulls Is Not My Thing! (Schlingensief & Kluge); introduction by filmmaker-actor Bruce LaBruce
October 2018
CULTURE+ECONOMY: BAD BANKS > exclusive Canadian premiere of the TV mini series banking thriller

March 2019
ONE FINE DAY: AFRICA NOW > Supa Modo (Wainaina) | Kati Kati (Masya) | Soul Boy (Essuman) | Nairobi Half Life (Gitonga) | Something Necessary (Kibinge) | Veve (Mukali)

May 2019
PAST FORWARD: DIRECTORS BEFORE CANNES > Everyone Else (Ade) | Be My Star (Grisebach) | Bungalow (Köhler) > celebrating Berlin production house Komplizenfilm (Locarno Best Independent Producer Award 2020)
Oct 2019
STRONGER THAN BLOOD > Dealer (Arslan) | Chiko (Yildirim) | Stronger than Blood (Kienle) > series on migration & masculinity

March 2020
THE END OF TRUTH: 100 YEARS OF SPY THRILLERS > Spies (Lang) | For Eyes Only (Veiczi) | Blame Game (Leinemann) > introductions, talk-backs, online articles by cyber espionage expert Prof. Ron Deibert, East German cinema expert Prof. Gabriele Müller, film critic Adam Nayman

Oct 2020
LOSE MYSELF — A PORTRAIT OF SANDRA HUELLER > Requiem (Schmid) | Above Us Only Sky (Schomburg) | Amour Fou (Hausner) | Finsterworld (Finsterwalder) | Exile (Morina) - Canadian premiere | In the Aisles (Stuber) > women in film