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Film Fanatic: German Film Festival 2020 (Preview)

Screenshot 2020-10-09 at 6.51.33 PM

The German Film Festival (GFF) is back this October, with a diverse range of German films tackling contemporary issues, each with their own gripping narratives and strong characters, who seek their places in an ever changing and complex world. Presented by the Goethe-Institut Singapore alongside The Projector and the Projector Plus, a total of eight films will be presented both live and online, ranging from drama to documentaries and romance.

Since the first film week in 1978, the GFF has reached out to a growing and diverse audience in Singapore. The 24th edition of the Festival is co-presented with The Projector and The Projector Plus, in partnership with The Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore, and supported by Evonik, the main Festival sponsor, and Mate Mate.

The festival opens with young Berlin director and illustrator Xaver Böhm’s debut feature O Beautiful Nightwhich will be screened at The Projector. The film follows the tragicomic journey of a scared young man and his unlikely adventure with Death himself. Living in fear of death, watch as he and Death go down a a bizarro-Faustian trip together through the night, during which Juri meets Nina and falls in love with her. But come dawn, one of them must die.

Other films in the lineup provide challenging, controversial contemporary content for viewers. At the cinema, System Crasher tells the story of rebellious  and unpredictable 9-year-old Benni, whose last hope lies with the anti-aggression trainer Micha. Director Nora Fingscheidt succeeds in translating Benni’s adventurous journey into a highly emotional drama with unforgettable performances. System Crasher has been awarded, among others, with the prestigious Silver Bear (Alfred-Bauer-Prize) at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Die Rüden presents a dark and difficult take on toxic masculinity with an experiment that pushes the boundaries of human tolerance and repression, as a mysterious woman attempts to use aggressive dogs to rehabilitate dangerous criminals in this documentary-like feature. Films like Styx, about a successful female director’s holiday taking a drastic change, and Cocoon, about a young girl growing up and coming out of her shell, tell of the struggle for survival and of finding independence and selfhood.

The past comes back to haunt the characters of The Most Beautiful Couple,  where Malte spots the man who sexually assaulted his wife two years ago, and award-winning documentary animation Chris the Swiss seeks to uncover the circumstances behind filmmaker Anja Kofmel’s cousin’s murder during the war in Yugoslavia. Finally, in the provocative Head-On, the Festival presents a modern classic of acclaimed German auteur Fatih Akin, featuring the late actor Biro Ünel and actress Sibel Kekilli.

Film aficionados in Singapore will be able to choose between theatrical screenings at The Projector for O Beautiful Night, System Crasher, Styx, and Cocoon, or online screenings for The Most Beautiful Couple, Chris the Swiss, Die Rüden, and Head-on, which will be available exclusively at The Projector Plus.

Says Mr Han Song Hiltmann, Director of Goethe-Institut Singapore: “Despite the adverse conditions, we wanted this year’s Festival to take place, and we are proud to present these cinematic voices and perspectives to the Singaporean audience, with films that take our minds beyond the current realities.”

The 2020 German Film Festival runs from 15th October to 1st November 2020, available both on demand and live on screen at The Projector and The Projector Plus, with tickets available here. For the full list of films and more information, visit their website here

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