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About the Film Festival

Film|Neu 2019 - Banner
© Film|Neu 2019

Welcome to the 27th edition of Film|Neu, Washington’s annual festival of contemporary cinema from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This year’s films explore the absurd, the challenges that come with pursuing ambitious dreams, remaining true to oneself in the face of great change, and being an outsider torn between belonging and remaining a misfit.

We open this year’s festival with All About Me (Der Junge muss an die frische Luft): a touching, funny, and uplifting glimpse into the colorful and complex childhood of Hape Kerkeling, one of Germany’s most treasured comedians. Based on Kerkling’s autobiography of the same name, Bavarian Film Award-winning screenwriter Ruth Toma (Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod – Gloomy Sunday, dir. Rolf Schübel (1999); Solino, dir. Fatih Akin (2002)) and Academy Award-winning director Caroline Link adeptly bring to life 1970s West Germany.

In Berlin Bouncer, we draw back the curtain on the notorious nightlife of the techno-charged Berlin club scene as documentarian David Dietl spotlights three of the most famous doormen – a profession described as „absurd“ by one of the main figures. Our Austrian comedy tackles absurdity from a different angle with The Miracle Method (Die Wunderübung), taking place over the course of a 96-minute marriage counseling session; meanwhile, Annika Blendl and Leonie Stade’s meta-mockumentary All I Never Wanted explores the absurdity of the modeling and entertainment industries, revealing the delusion behind the perfect success story.

From the ragtag gang of rehab residents in The Goldfish (Die Goldfische) who embark upon a wild criminal roadtrip, to the cursing and untamed nine-year-old Benni of System Crasher (Systemsprenger), to an upstart sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation leader in Swiss film Zwingli, Film|Neu 2019 offers many narratives of rebels, misfits, and outsiders whose existences are revolutionary – whether in loud or quiet ways. This theme perhaps culminates with the festival’s closing film, Andreas Dresen’s multi-award-winning Gundermann – a biopic of a man whose life story sounds deceptively more like legend than true life. Cinematographer Andreas Höfer brings 1980s East Germany to the screens of Washington through the lens of both a brilliant cameraman and a close friend of the film’s subject.

Aside from a variety of feature films, we are proud to partner with DC Shorts International Film Festival for this year’s short film showcase and subsequent panel discussion. We will also be fortunate enough to have all three of our special guests under one roof for a special conversation on filmmaking and film festivals, moderated by co-director of Double Exposure Festival and Georgetown University professor Sky Sitney.

We look forward to welcoming you to another year of Film|Neu at Landmark’s E Street Cinema.

Note: All films have English subtitles.

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