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2015 AUDI FESTIVAL OF GERMAN FILMS

The Audi Festival of German Films is bringing fifty new German-language films to Australia this May, sure to thrill audiences with an exhilarating program of features, shorts and documentaries in addition to special guests from Germany. In this 14th annual season, the festival will showcase the breadth, dynamism and creativity of the Germany film industry.

Goethe-Institut Australia Director, Dr. Arpad Sölter said, “While this is my last year in Australia, before leaving to Stockholm/Sweden, the Audi Festival of German Films will continue to delight Australian audiences, as it expands to eight cities. The festival reflects Germany’s current status as a vibrant and culturally diverse hotbed of multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and creativity, producing unique and wonderful cinema.”

Proudly presented by the Goethe-Institut in association with German Films, screening partner Palace Cinemas and with the support of Audi, the 2015 festival takes place over two weeks in ten cinema locations across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Byron Bay and Hobart. Spanning social dramas, corporate thrillers, quirky comedies, an Alpine western and historical romance, the wide-ranging program presents a rich world of German cinema, with a majority of screenings as Australian premieres.

The festival will be launched at gala opening night events in Sydney (May 13) and Melbourne (May 14) with Beloved Sisters (2014), a sumptuously crafted period romance by acclaimed director Dominik Graf. Set in eighteenth-century Germany, two aristocratic sisters meet the rebellious, young writer Friedrich Schiller and the three enter into an unconventional romance. Beloved Sisters stars guest-of-honour Florian Stetter, known for his performances in Sophie Scholl (2005), Lucie de Beaune (2005) and The Taste of Appleseeds (2013). Stetter will also appear at the 2015 festival in Stations of the Cross (2014) and Nanga Parbat (2009).

Stetter heads a line-up of exciting German talent attending the 2015 Festival and participating in a number of special event screenings, including German composer and multimedia artist Thomas Köner (Faust); prominent German screenwriter Sascha Arango (Tatort, The Adventures of Huck Finn); and renowned German journalist Peter Claus.

2015 SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS:

AGE OF CANNIBALS (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane & Hobart)
Directed by Johannes Naber, this slick, black comedy presents the seedy world of two ruthless business consultants. Hoping for a promotion, the men get stuck with a feisty female colleague instead, and the film slides from high-stakes drama into a biting satire of corporate greed.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra)
This astonishing film follows 14-year-old Maria, who belongs to a deeply conservative Catholic sect. Her only desire is to become a saint and ascend to heaven. As Maria completes the fourteen stages of the Stations of the Cross, Dietrich Brüggemann’s austere and astonishing film offers a chilling examination of radical faith and unquestioning devotion.

STEREO (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide)
Motorcycle repairman Eric’s peaceful, rural life is upset when the past comes back to haunt him in Maximilian Erlenwein’s smart-but-rough, multi-layered thriller, which builds to an explosive finale. The film features two real stars of contemporary German cinema: Jürgen Vogel (Hotel Lux, Rosenstraße, Rabbit Without Ears, etc.) and Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run, Not My Day, Soul Kitchen, etc.).

SUCK ME SHAKESPEER (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth & Byron Bay)
Germany’s highest grossing film of the year is directed by Turkish-German director Bora Dagtekin and stars Elyas M’Barek (Turkish for Beginners). An ex-con attempts to get his hands on stolen loot buried under the school grounds after being mistaken as a substitute teacher. A raucous and riotous outing that hurtles along from beginning to end.

THE CUT (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra)
The latest film from award-winning German-Turkish director Fatih Akin (Head On, The Edge of Heaven, Soul Kitchen) opens in Mardin, 1915, as the Turkish police round up all the Armenian men in the city including the young blacksmith, Nazaret Manoogian, separating him from his family. Years later, he learns that his two daughters are still alive. Akin’s ambitious drama follows Nazaret from the Mesopotamian deserts to Havana and the barren and desolate prairies of North Dakota.

THE DARK VALLEY (Screening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth & Hobart)
From Austrian director Andreas Prochaska comes a visually stunning Euro-western set in the Alps of nineteenth-century Austria. A lone rider makes his way along a hidden path, and finds a mysterious village with a dark past.

WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG (Screening in Sydney & Canberra)
Based on the tragic racist outbursts in Rostock in August, 1992, Afghan-German Burhan Qurbani’s latest film explores former East Germany at boiling point, as a depressed economy and feelings of social alienation mount after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Apathetic teenager Stefan stands at the centre of this gripping chronicle of real-life intolerance, hate and violence.

WHO AM I – NO SYSTEM IS SAFE (Screening in all cities)
Baran bo Odar’s slick, fast-paced and visually striking cyber-thriller is a white-knuckle ride from start to finish. Socially inept Benjamin finds friendship by joining a subversive hacker group. As the gang carries out a series of spectacular attacks on political parties Benjamin and his group will need to execute the most brilliant of plans just to stay alive.

In addition to the festival’s many planned Q&A sessions, to be attended by a host of exciting European guests, some of our special events include: Thomas Köner plays FAUST (Bris. 22 May; Syd. 23 May; Can. 25 May; Mel. 26 May; Hob. 30 May) German artist Thomas Köner is a distinctive figure in the fields of contemporary music, visual arts, and media art installation. At this year’s festival, Thomas will create a live soundtrack for the 1925 silent film FAUST by German cinema legend FW Murnau.

The Rules of Seduction in Screenwriting (Syd, 22 May) Sascha Arango is one of Germany's most prominent screenwriters known for his work on the long running detective series, Tatort. Sascha will participate in a panel discussion in collaboration with the Sydney Writers Festival.

Screenwriting at its Best (Syd, 23 May; Bris, 25 May; Ade, 30 May; Mel, 26 May) Sascha Arango will give us a glimpse into the world of screenwriting with a Q&A after the screening of The Adventures of Huck Finn.

iAm the Future! (Mel, 19 May; Syd, 26 May; Bri, 24 May) Following the screening of Alphabet will be a panel discussion with local educators and researchers responding to the claims made by the film.

Fascination Africa (Mel, Syd 18 & 25 May) Let us take you to the continent of bright colours, engaging rhythms, and wide landscapes, captured by the lenses of German documentary filmmakers.

Swiss Soiree (Syd, 28 May; Mel, 25 May) invites festival guests to indulge in an entertaining Swiss evening surrounded by Swiss delicacies and alpine tunes, thanks to the Swiss Consulate.

Soul Kitchen (Mel, 27 May) Melbourne’s Hophaus dishes up a truly nourishing experience with a screening of Fatih Akin’s cinematic declaration of love of German food and his hometown Hamburg – at Southgate Deckchair Cinema, followed by German-inspired soul finger food and German beers and wines, accompanied by soul DJ Marcus Knight.

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FESTIVAL DATES & VENUES:
Sydney: 13-28 May (Chauvel & Palace Norton St);
Melbourne: 14-31 May (Palace Cinema Como & Kino);
Brisbane: 21-28 May (Palace Centro);
Canberra: 20-26 May (Palace Electric Cinema);
Adelaide: 27-31 May (Palace Nova East End Cinema);
Perth: 28-31 May (Cinema Paradiso);
Byron Bay: 29-30 May (Palace Byron Bay)
Hobart: 29-30 (State Cinema);
www.goethe.de/ozfilmfest

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