Film screening

German Angst: A Night of German Horror Shorts

German Angst: A Night of German Horror Shorts


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700 Registration is required for this event

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A short film showcase from the sinister side of German cinema

On Halloween Eve, the German Film Office is pleased to present a short film showcase from the sinister side of German cinema. Curated by Deniz Sertkol, the lineup features five short films from the past two decades, each with a distinct interpretation of the genre. Register The darkly humorous classic Gabelstaplerfahrer Klaus by Jörg Wagner and Stefan Prehn, serves as a ride into the goriness of German workplace horror. The Hermetic Circle by Moritz Uebele takes us on a 16mm journey of mysticism and terror, while Jonathan B. Behr’s Follower—filmed entirely on a smartphone—explores the creeping dread of the digital age. The Sleeper by Alexandra Gerbaulet offers a disquieting and enigmatic experience, while F for Freaks by Sabine Ehrl delves into a post-apocalyptic nightmare of cinematic mastery.

Total screening length: 100 minutes. Preceded by a short introduction by curator Deniz Sertkol.

Forklift Driver Klaus, dir. Jörg Wagner/Stefan Prehn, 2000, 10 min.
Klaus has just passed his driving test for forklifts. But his first day on the job turns out to be the real challenge. Cruel but informative accidents happen. Only few survive the bloodshed. An homage to industrial safety educational films.

The Hermetic Circle, dir. Moritz Uebele, 2016, 33 min.
Set in 1974, a teenage runaway falls under the spell of a New Age sect and its enigmatic leader. The group inhabits a crumbling cabin in the woods by the German-Czechoslovakian border. On the offside of civilization, the teenager encounters a world of secret knowledge, occult rituals, and cosmic mysteries.

Follower, dir. Jonathan B. Behr, 2018, 10 min.
Clara is about to spend a casual evening babysitting in a wealthy family’s home, when she gets a new follower on Instagram. But this one is different; he seems to know a lot more about her, including her location. Clara gets scared and calls her boyfriend for help. Can he make it in time? Citing cult horror movies like Scream, this smartphone thriller successfully blurs the boundaries between social media and real life.

The Sleeper, dir. Alexandra Gerbaulet, 2018, 17 min.
An empty apartment and the story of two women who live inconspicuously at the side of their husbands… For a brief moment, they claim visibility through acts of violence. The Sleeper revolves around the time before these acts take place. The film reconstructs and imagines the stories of these two women who are extrinsically determined throughout their lives, in vain struggling to express themselves, until the only way for them to end the spiral of every-day violence is to resort to violence themselves.

F for Freaks, dir. Sabine Ehrl, 2020, 30 min.
A dystopian world in which tall people hunt the short. Gabriela is deadly ill and can hardly breathe. To stay alive, she orders a new lung and sets out on a difficult and unpredictable journey accompanied by three outlaw bounty hunters.

About the curator

Deniz Sertkol is a Brooklyn-based film curator and horror enthusiast from Germany. After working for the Goethe-Institut’s film department in Munich, she curated a series of German genre films, some of which are featured in this showcase. She has screened and moderated for the Berlinale Forum and is part of the True/False Film Festival’s screening committee. Recently, she completed the Sundance Institute’s Collab course on crafting suspenseful horror films.

Read about Deniz’s take on horror films on (in German).