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23RD German Film Festival 2019 | 24 October- 10 November | Singapore© UFA Fiction 2018

24.10.-10.11.2019
German Film Festival 2019

The Festival’s 23rd edition is back with a wide range of the latest film productions from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to be screened for the very first time in Singapore. The festival will take place from 24 October until 10 November 2019 at various cinema locations and open air venues throughout the city. Be welcome to encounter a carefully selected film programme of fascinating stories, characters and cinematic styles. Film artists from Germany are invited to introduce their works in person to a Singaporean audience. 
 

Films & Tickets

Film Programme

From drama over comedy and children movies to documentaries: Catch award-winning new releases and classics that are sure to entertain, challenge and inspire in equal measure. A section of films featuring classics such as Good Bye, Lenin! or Wings of Desire will be shown to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The 2019 programme has been curated by writer and filmmaker Andreas Struck. As special guests, film artists Stephanie AmarellMehmet Akif Büyükatalay and Carolina Hellsgård are invited to introduce their works in person to a Singaporean audience.

Films & Tickets


Festival Message

What is the focus of this year's German Film Festival edition and why? Find out more about the history of the German Film Festival, its contemporary focus, and how it is the human perspective that connects classics with brand new movie releases.

Welcome to the 23rd edition of the German Film Festival in Singapore!
 
Between 24 October and 10 November, the Goethe-Institut Singapore and Festival partners are proud to present a brand-new programme showcasing the latest film productions from Germany and Europe.
 
Our annual Festival strives to open a window on cinema, presenting the current works of filmmakers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The programme recognises diversity with respect to artistic languages and styles, issues and themes, as well as different genres such as comedies, drama, documentaries and family films.
  Han Song Hiltmann ©Goethe-Institut Singapur
This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Therefore I would like to highlight our retrospective #fallingwalls where we are showcasing films on the history of Berlin – once a divided city and hotspot of the cold war, before it became a site of a peaceful revolution and unification.
 

At the heart of many filmmakers is the human perspective, films that put women and men into the centre of the narrative, to investigate their struggles with the world or their immediate environments.

This is a valuable perspective in a fast-paced society of current times, with its economic, political and technological constraints. And it is the experience through the arts, such as cinema, that can make visible the things which might not be seen otherwise.
 
Since the first film week in 1978, the German Film Festival has continually reached out to a growing audience in Singapore. For the 23rd edition of the Festival, we are delighted and thankful to continue our cooperation with established partners, such as The Projector, Golden Village as well as Evonik, our main Festival supporter. We are especially looking forward to the free outdoor screening together with the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Furthermore, we are embarking on new collaborations with the German European School Singapore and Our Tampines Hub, as well as Marina One for the opening event. In the spirit of European cooperation, we are grateful for our partnerships with the Alliance Française, and the Embassies of Austria, Belgium and Switzerland in Singapore.
 
We welcome you to experience German cinema at its best and we hope you enjoy our programme as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you. We are certain that, amongst the many wonderful films, you too will find your favourites.
 
Han Song Hiltmann
Director
Goethe-Institut Singapore
Films on self-determination and mindfulness
 
In times when a fear of the unknown leads people to treat others in a dehumanising manner; self-aggrandisement and claims to power storm past dignity and mindfulness; and greed is suffocating our planet, we need films that take a stand, but remember to dream as they do. The filmmakers in this year’s programme demonstrate an awareness of history; give visibility to alternatives beyond mainstream norms; and enchant us with cinematographic adventures that encourage self-determination, otherness, community, and a combination of all of those. They are insightful, unafraid to experiment, political, sensual, and passionate.

Andreas Struck ©Ali Ghandtschi The young hero of the opening film combines these qualities playfully. Caroline Link’s All About Me focuses on the famous German entertainer Hape Kerkeling and his childhood in the young Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 70s. He mirthfully flouts gender definitions as he navigates his family through a series of unfortunate events with amusing transformations.
 
A number of films - five in total - tell of the formation of fragile alliances on the journey to independence:

Luzie Loose’s debut Swimming gives us a brutally honest look at the social isolation and validation impulse in digital natives. Searching for stability, two school-age teenagers seal a momentous pact and start a dangerous power game using their phone cameras.

Carolina Hellsgård’s Endzeit - Ever After also depicts a pact between two young women, who learn the importance of friendship during a zombie battle set in a post-apocalyptic landscape; while Sebastian Schipper’s Roads follows a young UK native and his Congolese peer as they travel across Europe and grapple with racism and their unexpected brotherly bond. Another duo, dissimilar in a totally different way, go on a trip along the boundaries between Japanese and German realities and fantasies in Cherry Blossoms & Demons. And finally, in the masterfully animated children’s film Marnie’s World, four charismatic mavericks break out of traditional role expectations and form a tag team that is electrified by adventurousness.
 
The value of community is also at the center of Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay’s Oray, in which a young Muslim’s faith challenges his emotions. In contrast, The Innocent focuses on the radical powers of a congregationalist community in which one scientist’s independent belief is demonised.

The documentary Genesis 2.0 reports on the human invasion, and man’s violent interference in creation: an equally disturbing and fascinating twin portrait of mammoth hunters with “gold fever” and researchers working frenetically to create synthetic biological systems.

Nature and machines also form the foundation of the highly insightful dystopia In My Room, in which a man abruptly finds himself in a world devoid of humans.
 
The programme also features a brilliant homage to dramatist Bertolt Brecht (Mack the Knife - Brecht’s Threepenny Film), stories of emotions thrown off-kilter when faced with contemporary meritocracy (All My Loving, The Ground Beneath My Feet) and plenty of the spirit of life in Berlin (Love Movie, Cleo - If I Could Turn Back Time).
 
And apropos Berlin! 30 years after the fall of the Wall: six unique works memorialize a chapter in German history. The much-too-seldom-screened Westler (1985) is a love story between two men separated by the Berlin Wall. Wieland Speck used a hidden camera to shoot the scenes set in East Berlin.

Another jewel in the programme is the 1990 documentary The Wall by Jürgen Böttcher. With the sensitivity of a painter, the director compresses the final days of the Wall into a masterful collage of image and sound.

The unforgettable cult films Wings of Desire (1987) and Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) conjure existence in both the East and the West back to the screen in magical ways. And the essay films B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin 1979-1989 (2015) and Berlin Bouncer (2019) report on sub and pop cultures in the last decade of the city split in two, as well as on the emergence of illegal clubs and the legendary techno scene as the border opened up.
 
Andreas Struck, September 2019

More about Andreas Struck
 

Venues

This year, a number of new venues have been added, with some inviting you to enjoy the movies free of admission. Find out below where they are located.

1 Sarkies Rd
Singapore 258130

Nearest MRT: Newton

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2 Dairy Farm Lane
Singapore 677621

Nearest MRT: Hillview

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Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road, #07-01 Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839

Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut

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5 Straits View / 21 Marina Way
Singapore 018979

Nearest MRT: Downtown / Marina One

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Oldham Theatre
National Archives Singapore
1 Canning Rise
Singapore 179868

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Festive Arts Theatre
Our Tampines Hub
South Plaza, Lobby H
1 Tampines Walk
Singapore 528523

Nearest MRT: Tampines

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Top Secret – more information will be revealed soon. Follow Blackout Agency on Facebook or Instagram for sneak previews.
Eco Lake Lawn
1 Cluny Road
Singapore 259569

5 min walk from Botanic Gardens MRT

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6001 Beach Road
#05-00 Golden Mile Tower
Singapore 199589

Nearest MRT: Nicoll Highway

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Tickets

Get your ticket and the full programme below. Keep track of all updates and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
 

Cleo: If I Could Turn Back Time
©Goethe-Institut Singapur

Calendar

Find out more about the screening times and ratings for each movie in the overview below. Buy your tickets here.

DATE Time Film  Rating
Thu
24 Oct
 8:00 PM Festival Opening:
All About Me

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft
(By invitation only)
 
PG
Fri
25 Oct
 7:00 PM Cherry Blossoms & Demons
Kirschblüten und Dämonen
 
M18
Sat
26 Oct
 4:00 PM Oray
Oray
 
NC16 (some drug use)
7:00 PM The Innocent
Der Unschuldige
 
R21 (Sexual Scenes)
7:30 PM Marnie's World
Die Sagenhaften Vier
 
PG
Sun
27 Oct
 2:00 PM Cleo
Cleo
 
NC16 (nudity)
7:30PM Mack the Knife
Mackie Messer
 
M18
Wed
30 Oct
 6:50 PM All My Loving
All My Loving
 
PG
7:00 PM All About Me
Der Junge muss an die frische Luft
 
PG
Thu
31 Oct
 7:15PM Endzeit - Ever After
Endzeit
 
PG13 (some violence)
8:30 PM The Wall
Die Mauer
 
PG
Fri
01 Nov
 7:00 PM Swimming
Schwimmen
NC16 (some coarse language and sexual references)
 8:30 PM Berlin Bouncer and DJ Party
Berlin Bouncer mit DJ-Party
 
M18 (nudity)
Sat
02 Nov
 2:00 PM Genesis 2.0
Genesis 2.0
 
PG13
8:00 PM Wings of Desire
Der Himmel über Berlin
 
PG
Sun
03 Nov
 4:00 PM Oray
Oray
 
NC16 (some drug use)
5:00 PM Good Bye, Lenin!
Good Bye, Lenin!
 
M18 (some nudity)
6:50 PM Westler
Westler
 
R21 (homosexual content)
Wed
06 Nov
 7:00 PM In My Room
In My Room
 
M18 (some sexual scenes and nudity)
Thu
07 Nov
 7:00 PM The Ground Beneath My Feet
Der Boden unter den Füßen
 
R21 (homosexual content)
8:30 PM Good Bye, Lenin!
Good Bye, Lenin!
 
M18 (some nudity)
Sat
09 Nov
 5:00 PM Roads
Roads
 
NC16 (coarse language and drug use)
8:30 PM B-Movie and DJ Party
B-Movie und DJ-Party
 
R21 (sexual scenes and nudity)
Sun
10 Nov
 4:00 PM Roads
Roads
 
NC16 (coarse language and drug use)
4:40 PM Wings of Desire
Der Himmel über Berlin
 
PG
7:00 PM Love Movie
Liebesfilm
 
R21 (sexual scenes)

Movie Selection

All About Me Photo (detail): Goethe-Institut

All About Me

In this touching origin story of German entertainer, Hape Kerkeling, the viewer is transported to 1970s Ruhrpott, when a chubby nine-year-old boy learns to use his comedic talents to also heal his own wounds.

All My Loving Jens Harant - Port au Prince Pictures

All My Loving

Stefan, Julia and Tobias are characters in this film who have traded their happiness and personal growth for the security, dullness and controllability of daily life. The various difficulties will inevitably catch up with them.

B-MOVIE: LUST & SOUND IN WEST BERLIN Photo (detail): © Interzone Pictures

B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989

This documentary features the music, art and chaos in the Wild West Berlin of the 1980s, as seen through British musician Mark Reeder’s front-row perspective.

Berlin Bouncer Photo (detail): © Flare Film GmbH

Berlin Bouncer

Witness the transformation of a parted city into the party metropolis of today through the eyes of Frank Künster, Smiley Baldwin and Sven Marquardt – they are among the most famous bouncers of Berlin’s popular clubs.

Cherry Blossoms & Demons Constantin Film Verleih GmbH © Mathias Bothor

Cherry Blossoms & Demons

Ten years after his parents’ death, Karl finds himself jobless and separated from his wife and child. Suddenly, Yu pops up like a hallucination and turns his life upside down.

Cleo: If I Could Turn Back Time Photo (detail): DETAiLFILM Janine Marold

Cleo: If I Could Turn Back Time

Cleo wants to turn back time and undo the death of her parents – with the aid of a magic clock which has been missing since it was stolen during a 1920s robbery.

ENDZEIT - EVER AFTER Picture Tree International GmbH

Endzeit - Ever After

Two years after zombies have overrun the earth, two young women, Vivi and Eva, flee the confines of the Weimar zombie-free community. They later realise that the fight against the undead may not be theirs.

Genesis 2.0 ©Christian Frei

Genesis 2.0

As Siberian permafrost thaws to reveal mammoth carcasses, Russian and South Korean clone researchers are in search of mammoth cells with the right degree of intact DNA to bring the extinct species back to life.

Good Bye, Lenin! Daniel Brühl © Goethe-Institut

Good Bye, Lenin!

After Alex’s socialist mother awakes from a coma, the Berlin Wall has fallen. To avoid shocking her, he hides the truth by refurbishing their home with outdated furniture and repackaging Western food in old East German jars.

IN MY ROOM Pandora Film

In My Room

Things are not working out for Armin, who wishes he can start his life all over again. Then one day he wakes up to find that all the people have disappeared. He can now decide how he wants to live.

LOVE MOVIE Marie Zahir

Love Movie

After an intense party night, 30-year-old Lenz wakes up next to Ira. The two of them fall in love. Everything is beautiful… until the moment when Ira asks the key question that changes everything.

MACK THE KNIFE - BRECHT'S THREEPENNY FILM Zeitsprung Pictures

Mack The Knife - Brecht's Threepenny Film

Following the phenomenal success of The Threepenny Opera in 1928, its author Bertolt Brecht is unwilling to play by the film industry’s rules for the cinematic adaptation.
 

Marnie's World © scopas medien AG

Marnie's World

Not only is Marnie the cat lost and far away from the comfort of her home, she and her quirky animal friends are mistaken for a gang of art thieves.

ORAY filmfaust + Christian Kochmann

ORAY

Oray’s argument with his wife Burcu results in him invoking divorce by calling out “talaq”. By Islamic law, he has to leave his wife for three months, before reassessing the bond between them.

Roads Fionn Whitehead & Stéphane Bak © Missing Link Films

ROADS

British teen Gyllen steals his stepdad’s campervan and drives through Morocco and Spain to visit his real father in France. He is joined by the undocumented William from the Congo, who is searching for his missing brother.

SWIMMING Anne Bolick

SWIMMING

Two 15-year-old girls rely on their friendship for support and orientation in a difficult time of their lives. They develop a game that takes on a destructive dynamic as they turn from victims into offenders.

The Ground Beneath My Feet Valerie Pachner © Novotnyfilm, Juhani Zebra

THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET

Beautiful Lola is a jet-setting business consultant whose career seems on a fast track to success. But when she receives the news that her mentally-ill older sister, Conny, has attempted suicide, her secrets threaten to explode into the open.

The Innocent Judith Hofmann © 8horses

THE INNOCENT

Married with two children, Ruth currently works in a neuroscience research lab. Many years ago, she was forced to build a new life after her former lover Andi was jailed for a crime that she never believed he committed.

THE WALL Jürgen Böttcher

The Wall

This unconventional documentary about the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall makes use of visual elements instead of vocal commentary. The camera captures the historic events from all sides and different angles.

WESTLER Speckfilm

Westler

Two lovers are separated by the Berlin Wall. With the authorities getting suspicious over Felix’s weekly visits with Thomas in East Berlin, and their feelings for each other growing, there is only one way out.

Wings of Desire Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander © Wim Wenders Stiftung – Argos Films

Wings Of Desire

In war-scarred Berlin, gentle trench-coated angels listen to the tortured thoughts of mortals and try to comfort them. One angel, Damiel, wishes to become mortal after falling in love with a beautiful trapeze artist.


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