From June 11 - 20, audiences at the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) can look forward to a German focus in a class of its own. German productions are also represented in the competition.
China's only A-list festival, the Shanghai International Film Festival, will be inviting local audiences to sample a variety of international films on the big screen for the 24th time from 11 - 20 June. Due to the pandemic, cinema attendance is subject to restrictions as part of a hygiene concept which is the reason why guests from abroad are not allowed to attend. In order for foreign partners to keep abreast with China's rapidly growing market, the festival is taking the step of opening up to all Chinese filmmakers and thus establishing more contacts with the international film industry.
From Germany FUTURE IS A LONELY PLACE by Martin Hawie and Laura Harwath will start in the competition for the Golden Goblet in the feature film section. The gangster-drama is about Frank, who gets involved in a dangerous game of revenge and love behind prison walls. With the documentary MAYOR, SHEPHERD, WIDOW, DRAGON by Eliza Petkova and the short film TO THE LAST DROP by Simon Schnellmann, further German contributions are shown in the Shanghai competition.
The festival has been cooperating with German Films since 2003 and presenting the official selection of FOCUS GERMANY where new German films are screened each year. This then gives filmmakers an opportunity to enter into a dialogue with Chinese audiences and local filmmakers. In 2021, FOCUS GERMANY will present a selection of eight feature films that have already made a name for themselves on the international festival circuit or are newcomer films just waiting to draw Chinese viewers under their spell.
Films being shown include Ronny Trocker's family drama THE HUMAN FACTOR which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of year and was then screened in the line-up of the Berlinale's Panorama section. Eline Gerling's debut film NICO, which follows a German-Iranian nurse's struggle back to life after a racially motivated attack, can also be seen in FOCUS GERMANY. The lead actress Sara Fazilat was named Best Actress at the Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival where the film had its premiere. Festival-goers in Shanghai can also look forward to seeing the successful German documentary MR BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS: Maria Speth's touching portrait of a devoted teacher and his pupils had already wowed audiences when it was shown in the Competition of this year's Berlinale where it received the Silver Bear Jury Prize.
However, there won't be any German delegation present in Shanghai this year due to the pandemic regulations, so the filmmakers of the FOCUS GERMANY will address a few words to the festival-goers in video messages.