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Cleo, German Film Festival New Zealand: a young woman jumps in front of houses© Detailfilm, Johannes Louis

German Film Festival 2020

Ten movies, three countries – from the 22nd of September to the 10th of December, film lovers could watch the newest movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In cooperation with the embassies of these three nations, the Goethe-Institut, presented a selection of German-language films in cinemas and online.

Special times require new formats, and we trialled a hybrid version this year. There were one-off screenings if and where possible as well as an online festival from Friday 20th to Monday 30th November. We are delighted that, in spite of the challenges this year has brought, we have been able to bring these excellent films cost-free to film lovers all over New Zealand. Thank you to everybody who streamed our offerings and supported our programming. The Goethe-Institut is greatly thankful for all our partners and sponsors for their generous support.

We already look forward to presenting the German Film Festival 2021.


Adam & Evelyn - teaser image: four friends sit on steps and eat ice cream © Goethe-Institut

Adam & Evelyn

Summer 1989 in the GDR, the demise of which can be sensed and even heard on West German radio: Tailor Adam and his girlfriend Evelyn have to make a decision while on holiday in Hungary.

Cleo - teaser image: four friends sit on a table © DETAiLFILM _ Johannes Louis


A big city fairytale full of wit and bizarre supporting characters from the past, it’s romantic, playful, and, at the same time, a love letter to Berlin. 

Cocoon - teaser image: three teenage girls are sitting on the lawn © Goethe-Institut


Berlin-Kreuzberg is Nora’s microcosm. A sweaty forehead, sunburnt skin and butterflies in her stomach: 14-year-old Nora meets free spirit Romy in a glowing Berlin summer.


Leif in Concert - Teaser Image: two people sit at a table in a pub and chat © Goethe-Institut

Leif in Concert Vol. 2

A declaration of love to the microcosm that is the 'pub', with its stories and figures filmed from the neighbouring table.

Narcissus and Goldmund - Teaser Image: a young man kneels and looks up to a priest © Betacinema

Narcissus and Goldmund

Young unruly Goldmund is sent to a monastery by his father to atone for the sins of his mother, who abandoned them. It is there that he meets Narcissus, a brilliant, scholarly novice, who is introverted and aloof. A unique and deep life-long friendship is born.

One-way to Moscow - teaser image: a group of people sits on a theatre stage © Langfilm

One-way to Moscow

Zurich, 1989. A dutiful policeman is tasked with gathering information on the city’s left-wing theatre people. But the more he looks behind the curtain, the less he believes in his mission.

Relativity - teaser image: a man and a woman meet on a platform at a train station © Trimafilm


For Nora and Aron, it's love at first sight when they meet in the subway one rainy day. A complete chance meeting, Nora says. Everything is predetermined, Aron says....

System Crasher - Teaser Image: a young girl stands along amidst trees © Goethe-Institut

System Crasher

Foster home, group home, special needs school – no matter where Benni ends up, she is always immediately kicked out. The uncontrollable nine-year-old is what the child protection services refer to as a "system crasher".

Walchensee Forever - Teaser Image © Flarefilm

Walchensee Forever

Director Janna Ji Wonders tells the story of the women in her family over the last century. The film’s unifying element and silent chronicler is Lake Walchensee in Bavaria, where the family opened a café in 1920 which still exists today.


Partner German Film Festival 2020© Goethe-Institut