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Listen up, film fans: the 2013 Audi Festival of German Films will showcase 17 award-winning and acclaimed German-language films at the Palace Centro from the 3rd to the 9th of May this year.
And, if you check out the program, you'll find that it includes some unusual and unexpected entries mixed in with what I regard as more typical works from German film-makers.
For example, I'd expect (and enjoy) crime thrillers from the German film industry, who tend to excel in the dark and twisted. This year, the Dreileben trilogy offers three creepy crime stories from exceptional German directors, taking us into a German forest where murderers and sex offenders lurk.
Likewise, political dramas -- so I'm not surprised to see a movie like Two Lives on the program. This one tells the story of Katrine, who has lived in Norway for two decades after being raised in East Germany. When the Berlin Wall comes down in 1990, classified documents are released, secrets emerge, and Katrine's identity is thrown into question in what's described as a 'compelling' story.
Hanni and Nanni
But I am surprised to see a couple of Enid Blyton stories (!) from German directors. The Famous Five will screen in a number of cities, while Brisbane will be blessed with Hanni and Nanni 2. And a 2012 German-language version of The Adventures of Huck Finn will also be on offer at the Centro.
Other surprising entries that intrigue me greatly include This Ain't California -- a documentary about skateboarders hitting the streets in East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s. And I'm also looking forward to Vampire Sisters -- not a serious, Nosferatu-style neck-biter, but the funny story of 12-year-old Transylvanian twins Dakaria and Silvania, who have a vampire Dad, human mum, and are trying to adjust to life in suburbia with all the other tweens.
Dreileben -- Don't Follow Me Around
More laughs can be found in Hotel Lux, a political satire about fictional comedian Hans Zeisig and his run-ins with authority in communist Russia in the 1930s. And, if you're after romantic films, you'll find some of those on the program too.
Whatever you choose to see at the festival, I'm positive that it will be far more interesting than your standard cineplex fare. My favourite thing about foreign film festivals is that they take me into other worlds, not just of film-making, but also of culture, experience and lives. I hope some of you are interested in taking that journey too.