By Gugi Gumilang (Curator)

The curation of KinoFest departs from the idea to show that German cinema is a rich and diverse tapestry of influences and voices that reflects the country's complex history and its evolving cultural landscape. From the early expressionist films to the modern works of contemporary directors, German cinema has pushed the boundaries of the medium and offered up bold and thought-provoking visions of the world. Today, German cinema continues to be a vital and influential force in the world of film. Director such as Christian Petzold, have gained international acclaim in recent years for their innovative and thought-provoking films. German cinema has also made significant strides in terms of diversity and representation, with more filmmakers and actors from marginalized communities gaining visibility and recognition.


Perhaps one of the most significant examples of the influence of immigration on German cinema is the emergence of the "Turkish-German" film movement in the 1970s. This movement was characterized by films that were often made by Turkish-German directors and focused on the experiences of the country's Turkish population. These films addressed a wide range of issues, including identity, assimilation, and discrimination, and helped to bring attention to the experiences of a marginalized community.

Directors such as Cem Kaya continue to be prominent figures in the German film industry today, and their work has helped to pave the way for a new generation of filmmakers who are exploring the experiences of immigrant communities in Germany.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent end of the Cold War led to an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe. This wave of immigration brought new stories to German cinema, and helped to expand the industry's focus beyond the experiences of Turkish immigrants.

Films such as We Might As Well Be Dead by Natalia Sinelnikova, says nothing new about the perils of conformity and authoritarianism, it does show how its residents are focused on self-preservation—especially when it comes to issues of class.


In recent years, the ongoing refugee migration has become a major issue in Germany and has found its way into the country's cinema. Films such as Republic of Silence and Nasim have explored the experiences of refugees and migrants, offering a glimpse into one of the most pressing social issues of our time.

These films have helped to humanize the experiences of refugees and migrants, and have provided a platform for dialogue about the challenges facing these communities. They have also helped to highlight the ways in which immigration continues to shape and influence German society and culture.


Overall, the role of immigration in shaping German cinema cannot be overstated. From the early days of the Turkish-German film movement to the present-day reflections on the refugee migration, immigrants have played a vital role in expanding the industry's focus and bringing attention to important social issues. As Germany continues to grapple with the challenges of immigration and integration, it is likely that the influence of immigrant communities on German cinema will only continue to grow.

Our program happens across months of September and November 2023 at various locations across the South East Asian region and pacific such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Timor Leste and New Zealand. We can’t wait to welcome you to see our program at KinoFest Film Festival!


Gugi is a film curator based in Berlin who also currently sits as the Executive Director of an award-winning organisation: In-Docs, the non-profit organisation behind Docs by the Sea, Good Pitch Indonesia and VitaminDocs. Alongside this, Gugi serves as an Executive Board Member of the Documentary Association of Europe. Gugi’s professional interests centre primarily around film projects that focus on societal impacts. He has been a consultant on several impact campaign strategies and often gives talks advocating for sustainable practice within international co-production. He also actively involves himself in the international documentary film industry as a guest programmer, selection committee and juror for several established regional and international film festivals and film funds, including BKK Doc, International Documentary Association, Purin Pictures, DOK Leipzig, Sunny Side of the Doc, Cannes Docs, IDFA Forum, RIDM and CPH:DOX. Gugi’s academic merits include a Master's degree in Global Studies from Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Germany, in partnership with the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales FLACSO Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the University of Chulalongkorn, Thailand.