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German Film Festival 2022

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Best contemporary German cinema direct from major festivals
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The German Film Festival heads for Australia from 24 May to 22 June 2022 as follows.

Sydney: 24 May – 19 June - venue and ticketing info
Canberra: 25 May – 19 June - venue and ticketing info
Melbourne: 25 May – 19 June - venue and ticketing info
Brisbane: 1 June – 22 June - venue and ticketing info
Adelaide: 2 June – 22 June - venue and ticketing info
Perth: 2 June – 22 June - venue and ticketing info
Byron Bay: 3 June – 19 June - venue and ticketing info

You can browse the full programme online here and stay in touch via the website, Facebook or Instagram for updates, and get the FAQs here. Save by getting group tickets or purchasing eTicket Bundles. Special Event tickets generally fly out the door, hence best to get in early. The Opening Night Event flies across the board in all states and includes a reception, a glass of wine and German snacks, followed by the film. However, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra are the only three states that are afforded a special Q&A screening as well, with the director and screenwriter of The Last Execution, Franziska Stünkel who will be in attendance.

Opening Night event kicks off with A Stasi Comedy. Set in communist East Berlin in the 1980s, Ludger is hired by the Stasi to infiltrate the counterculture scene in East Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district, home to artists, bohemians and free-thinking radicals. However, Ludger ends up living two lives when he gets involved with his targets. Decades later, his past comes back to haunt him and bite him in the backside in this comedy. His wife finds a love letter that she did not write!

The centrepiece is a biography, drama, and no doubt with a few thrills involved in The Forger. It's Berlin1942 and a young man full of the zest of life discovers his talent for forging documents, especially passports. Thanks to his knack for creating new identities, he dares to venture out, hiding in plain sight and navigating around the authorities with inventiveness and charm. It's also an ideal way to help others escape deportation. However, the more lives that are saved, the more the noose tightens.

Kino for Kids brings it home with five films for the kids to enjoy, all of them Australian Premieres. Listed as family, early, middle, and senior years, we all know some of us adults also love kids' movies. There are stories of adventure in a search for a legendary cave in the Black Forest; a 12-year-old who journeys across Eastern Europe in a stolen hearse; an unusual school where children receive a magical animal as a companion; a primary school student who seeks the advice of an influencer and love-struck teenagers who are separated by the heavily guarded border.

There are a couple of films from Austria; Chasing the Line follows two national heroes engaged in a duel for supremacy in downhill skiing. It's packed with thrilling race sequences and set over several days leading up to the contest. Risks and Side Effects questions what true love is when a wife needs a kidney transplant but her husband is afraid of donating his kidney. The couple's friend would do it in a flash to save her life, but his partner has issues with it. Confronted by issues of life and death, the fragility of the relationships within and between the couples are laid bare.

Swiss cinema comes through with Caged Birds and Mount Verità. The first is based on a true story and explores a radical partnership of conflicting priorities between state repression and personal freedom. The second, set in 1906, a young mother of two Hanna Leitner wants nothing more than to free herself from her bourgeois role and its social constraints. She abandons her family and flees to the sanatorium at Monte Verità. She must face a heart-wrenching decision. Can she return to her family without giving up on herself?

There are many gems to discover within the program, including the centrepiece Dear Thomas. A son who would rather be a writer goes against his father and finds himself in prison when his own father betrays him to the Stasi. Released on parole, he departs his homeland for the West, where he's acclaimed and his books become bestsellers. This is a stylish monochromatic biopic with a freestyle flow from renowned filmmaker Andreas Kleinert, Dear Thomas is a vibrant love letter to writer Thomas Brasch.

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Why? German Film Festival 2022
When: 24 May to 19 Jun 2022
Where: Palace Cinemas - Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Byron Bay
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