December 2019
December 2019

The festival opened with SYSTEM CRASHER by Nora Fingscheidt in the presence of the Festival Ambassador Wang Jingchung (Silver Bear 2019 for Best Actor), one of China's most popular actors. The opening film was followed by a panel with jury members Sha Dan (film historian, film critic) and Yang Yang (festival curator).

On 16 November, a panel with the architect and professor Cao Xiaoxin and German Films' managing director Simone Baumann followed after the documentary film BAUHAUS SPIRIT by Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch. A day later, on 17 November, there was a Q&A with the filmmaker and jury member Qiu Sheng after the screening of Angela Schanelec's I WAS AT HOME, BUT ..., as well as a Q&A with Zhang Xianmin (lecturer at the Beijing Film Academy, jury member) after the screening of Thomas Heise's HEIMAT IS A PLACE IN TIME.

On 17 November, the Goethe-Institut  organized a program entitled "Klang sichten". The film music event – with a workshop and concert given by the musicians Ulrike Haage and Christian Meyer – gave the Chinese participants the opportunity to engage intensively with the artists and their music.

In 2019, the film selection was made by a Chinese jury for the first time. It consisted of: Zhang Xianmin (professor at Beijing Film Academy), Luo Zhong (film journalist), Yang Yang (program director Broadway Cinematheque), Lu Zhiyu (film critic), Qiu Sheng (filmmaker), and Sha Dan (film curator).

All of the German films and co-productions at the Festival of German Cinema in China 2019 can be found here.


FOR THE TIME BEING by Salka Tiziana will have its international premiere in the Bright Future Competition in Rotterdam. The director shows a family at the height of summer in the Sierra Morena. Larissa travels with her nine-year-old twins to the finca of her Spanish mother-in-law to meet their father. The mother-in-law is preparing for the arrival of her son and grandsons, while her younger daughter goes about her work on the finca. When the father doesn't arrive as planned, the family looks for another way of getting to know each other as well as this place which seems strange, yet also familiar to them.

by Ceylan-Alejandro Ataman-Checa will be screened in the Bright Future Competition as well. The film tracks a young man, Sebastian, as he grows up in Hanover. Being the son of a single mother, he learns to be self-reliant at a very young age. As a teenager he falls in love with Betty. Through her, he gets to know a different family structure, which has a great appeal to him. But soon tensions arise between him and the two worlds surrounding him. As a young man, he poses the question as to what remains of childhood dreams when one becomes an adult.

The third German film in this section is FELLWECHSELZEIT by Sabrina Mertens, which will also have its international premiere in Rotterdam. Stephanie leads a confined life of standstill with her parents. From an early age, she flees into a dark world of barbaric fantasies, which are nourished by the traces of the past and belong to her alone. One day, however, her secret penetrates into the reality of the family...

All German films and co-productions in Rotterdam 2020 can be found here.


The 220 international participants shared experiences about a wide range of topics during the conferences and discussions in the Conservatoire Mulhouse. Further discussion took place in the working groups on German-French co-productions such as "How best to reconcile financing, cast and crew" (moderated by Fabian Gasmia) and "Distribution of small and medium-budget films in France & Germany" (moderated by Christophe Mazodier).

Nine German projects, 12 French projects, one German-French project and a Swiss project featured in this year's Co-Production Market catalogue. The Co-Production Space enabled the participants to meet with the respective producers, directors and screenwriters in a relaxed and private atmosphere.

The director Mia Hansen-Løve was awarded the first prize of the German-French Film Academy for her dedication to cinema in both countries. The Academy awarded this prize for the first time during the Film Meeting in Mulhouse. The German-French Film Academy sees this prize as being a way of acknowledging an artist who has undeniable talent and whose work has continued to intensify the close cooperation between Germany and France.

The partners of the 17th German-French Film Meeting were: FFA, BKM, CNC, ARTE, Region Grand Est, Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération, Mulhouse, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFF Bayern and Institut Français Deutschland.

More information about the German-French Film Meeting can be found here on their web site.



KINO 2019: German Cinema in Turkey 
Izmir was the event's third stop - from 12-16 November (after Istanbul and Ankara in April) before the finale in Diyarbakir from 29 November-1 December. The opening film in Izmir was ROADS by Sebastian Schipper, a German-French co-production. The event was held at the Institut Français. Jakobine Motz (ADAM AND EVELYN) and Cem Göktas (ORAY) were the festival's guests in Izmir. All of the films shown can be found here on the website. 

Approx. 4,000 people were in the cinemas during the Festival of German Films in Moscow. This represents a very significant increase in the number of spectators (compared to approx. 3,000 in the previous year). The most popular films were TRAUMFABRIK (which was released theatrically a day after the festival's opening), THE GERMAN LESSONPRÉLUDE and RUSSIA FROM ABOVE. Additional performances were even organized for the last three titles. You can find out more about the festival here.


German films and co-productions in Mar del PlataCairoSevilleTorinoGoaCorkArrasLa RochelleKerala, at Sundance, at Slamdance, in GijonMacaoHavanaSitgesValladolidBilbao, at the Chicago Children Film Festival, in MarrakeschRioGenevaZlinLanzarotePalm Springs and Sydney.


Awards for German films and co-productions in BilbaoStockholmMar de PlataSevillaBrisbaneTallinn, at the Gold Coast IFF, in SitgesValladolid, at the Chicago Children Film Festival, in ZlinGentLanzarote and Leuven.


BALLOON in Norway (Distributor: Another World Entertainment, World Sales: Studiocanal, theatrical release: 13 December 2019)
INVISIBLE SUE in Poland (Distributor: Vivarto, World Sales: Attraction International Distribution, theatrical release: 7 December 2019)
LARA in Turkey (Distributor: Filmarti, World Sales: Beta Cinema, theatrical release: 27 December 2019)
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUPLE in Taiwan (Distributor: Swallow Wings, World Sales: Beta Cinema, theatrical release: 25 December 2019)


100 THINGS in Norway (Distributor: Northern Film Group, World Sales: Picture Tree International, theatrical release: 24 January 2020)
25 KM/H in the Czech Republic (Distributor: Asociace českých filmových lkubů, World Sales: Beta Cinema, theatrical release: 9 January 2020)
DAS GEHEIME LEBEN DER BÄUME in Switzerland (Distributor: Praesens Film, World Sales: Constantin, theatrical release: 23 January 2020)
DOUBLE TROUBLE - THE MAGICAL MIRROR in Turkey (Distributor: Limonata Reklamcilik Yayincilik, World Sales: ARRI Media, theatrical release: 17 January 2020)
LITTLE MISS DOLITTLE in Russia (Distributor: Kinologistika Show, World Sales: ARRI Media International, theatrical release: 16 January 2020)
TABALUGA in Russia (Distributor: Focus Film, World Sales: Global Screen, theatrical release: 23 January 2020)
THE GOLDEN GLOVE in Norway (Distributor: Another World Entertainment, World Sales: The Match Factory, theatrical release: 10 January 2020)


Detailed general report including figures & data on German films abroad in 2019 will be published in the January newsletter.