A carefully selected lineup of contemporary German Cinema, many of which are already receiving numerous awards in international film festivals, highlights the 2017 German Film Week at the SM Supermalls.
Organized by the Goethe-Institut Philippinen in partnership with SM Retail, SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc., SM Cinema and with support of Film Development Council of the Philippines, the German Film Week offered a diverse selection of films for audiences, with the goal of promoting German language and Culture.
“We are truly excited to unveil this year’s film and new voices to Philippine audiences,” said Goethe-Intistitut Philippinen director and head of Cultural Programs Dr. Ulrich Nowak. “Whether mainstream, romantic comedies, or micro-budget indies, we made sure our festival attendees will be entertained and pleased.
The German Film Week opened at the SM Mall of Asia Cinema 4 with German filmmaker Markus Goller as special guest. Goller, director of My Brother Simple/ Simpel, the opening film, was at the Q & A session after the film’s screening. The succeeding films screened at cinemas at the SM Mall of Asia and SM City North EDSA for Metro Manila.
Aside from the Manila leg, the German Film Week moves on to other Philippine locations: at SM City Clark from Oct 8 to 12; SM City Cebu from Oct 14 to 18; and SM City Davao from Oct 20-24.
The festival will screen 12 films that tackles issues of family, romance, journey, society, terrorism, German history and more.
The opening film My Brother Simple / Simpel directed by Markus Goller, a film based on French bestseller about two brothers – one mentally handicapped – who try to find their long-lost father. Other family related films include Toni Erdmann directed by Maren Ade follows the story of Winfried and his career woman daughter Ines; and Daniel Levy’s The World of Wunderlichs about a single mother accompanied by her family on her casting journey.
There are also films about modern romance. Karoline Herfurth’s You’ve Got a Message / SMS für Dich is about love in the digital age; while The Bloom of Yesterday / Die Blumen von gestern by director Chris Kraus is a love story set in the world of academic discipline. Return to Montauk directed by Volker Schlöndorff re-lives a great but failed love affair.
The German Film Week also brings us to the world of punk rocker Fussel as he struggles between therapy and real life in Happy Burnout; and Marija, a young woman who fights to live a freer, self-determined life. On the other hand,
Mark Rothemond’s My Blind Date with Life, on the other hand shows how Saliya Kahawatte loses his eyesight, yet succeeds in his career.
There are also films that we can say are ripped from the world headlines. Robert Thalheim’s Old Agent Men / Kundschafter des Friedens is about how Jochen Falk and two further former Stasi agents embark on a dangerous mission to rescue the kidnapped president of Katschekistan; while Welcome to Germany / Willkommen bei den Hartmanns tells the story of Diallo, a Nigerian asylum seeker who is taken in by a family in a posh district of Munich.
German Film Week also presents the screening of Captive directed by Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza. Captive was screened during the week-long festival in SM Mall of Asia and SM City North EDSA. The film was screened in competition during the prestigious 62nd Berlin International Film festival, the prestigious Berlinale. This will be followed by a film appreciation video.
“The Brillante Mendoza screening is an addition to this year’s program,” said Dr. Nowak. “Our goal at the institute has always been to promote cultural exchange between Germany and the countries we support. And this is one way to achieve that goal—to share German features and highlight Filipino creativity.”