The German Film Festival program features a great selection of 31 films, 29 of them Australian Premieres, 3 special events and Kino for Kids. This year, the festival's footprint expands to Byron Bay and Perth, both states getting onboard their maiden voyage of award-winning dramas straight from Berlinale, to feel-good comedies and psychological thrillers. For the full gamut of amazing films, check the online program, if you haven't already picked up a hardcopy.
Opening night kicks off with a chilling, tense historical event in Balloon. Director Michael Bully Herbig who is known for Germany's all-time highest grossing films, ventures into making a thriller by recreating a true story that'll have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
It's East Germany at the height of the Cold War 1979. Two friends have had enough of the oppressive regime and decide to flee with their wives to freedom, in a hot air balloon. They meticulously sew 1000 square meters of cloth over 18 months with the Stasi hot on their heals. Join this special event for a nerve-racking will they make it, or won't they experience that'll have you in its grip.
A Centrepiece Special Event, The Captain is another study of a real-life case of an individual, an imposter, who dons a uniform of power and assumes his new role with frightening precision. This arresting true tale of wartime imposter, 19 year old private Willi Herold, who goes from risking execution by deserting his rank, to being corrupted by the power vested in a uniform, will challenge your notion of human nature. Actor Max Hubacher is chilling in this darkly evocative and brutally stark return to German cinema.
On a lighter note, Kino for Kids, presented by the Goethe-Institut has six films for the kiddies to enjoy. With superheroes on the forefront, Invisible Sue comes into her own powers after an explosion in her mother's laboratory. It comes in handy when her mother is kidnapped and she needs to use her powers of invisibility to track her down. Help, I Shrunk My Parents is not an unfamiliar theme, but this time, it involves a former school principal rising from the grave, and returning to life with evil intentions. Another magical moment in Little Miss Dolittle who can naturally speak to the animals with that surname! Her special skill set causes a lot of trouble and she vows to keep it a secret until she learns a baby elephant has been kidnapped.
Jim Button and Luke the Locomotive Driver is one of fantasy proportions coming from the best selling author of The Never Ending Story. It's for the adventurous who dare venture into Dragon city to save a kidnapped Princess. Mountain Miracle goes on its own adventure in search of a miracle cure for life-threatening asthma in an ancient summit fire ritual. It's about unexpected friendships and breaking free to finally come home with the rebellious city girl Amelie. Last but not least, go on a journey with wealthy boy Maik whose parents have no time for him, and Tschick, in a stolen Lada Niva. Meet the mysterious Isa and flee from the police in Goodbye Berlin. Filled with magic, adventure and fantasy, Kino for Kids will be a smash hit with the kids and no doubt the adults too, but shhh, don't tell the kids.
This year 2019 marks a very special 30th anniversary: The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 Nov, following a peaceful revolution in the GDR. Tear Down The Walls is a special event co-presented by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Canberra that showcases three stories that inspired writers and filmmakers during these political events from three decades ago. Adam & Evelyn is an offbeat love story about a tailor and a waitress set against the backdrop of a disintegrating 1989 East Germany. This is a relationship comedy infused with gentle humour and a subtle exploration into what the end of the GDR was supposed to have marked.
Sealed Lips follows young German communist Antonia who is trapped in a labour camp in the Russian Soviet Union during the 1940s, labelled a spy. Finally released in 1952 she comes home to the new socialistic GDR, administered by those same Soviet forces she suffered under. Desperate to start life afresh, choices have to be made between her truth and her present. In Gundermann, actor Alexander Scheer is astonishing as a brave and contradictory talent; a German folk singer and songwriter who lived a multifaceted life as a rebel and a spy who got spied on. He also sings every song himself in this biopic that is both about music and love.
Having tasted just the tip of the iceberg, head to this festival event that's filled with Special Events, New German Cinema, Austrian and Swiss Cinema. There's a huge range to choose from to suit everyone. If you're a Palace Movie Club member (you can Join Now) you can save on every session of the German Film Festival, including all special events. Plus, you'll get exclusive invites and festival updates straight to your inbox. If you're not yet a member, upon joining you'll receive a Bonus Ticket (excludes Qld) to use on non-festival sessions, discount tickets to all sessions and events at Palace Cinemas, a $10 birthday voucher (excludes SA & Qld) to use at the cinema bar and cafe and updates as above to your inbox.
Group Bookings are another way to save, so gather family and friends, because good times are better shared. For bookings of 10 or more, you'll receive exclusive ticket pricing and benefits. The plush bar and lounge areas are the perfect backdrop for a pre-movie vino or post-movie debrief; so make it a girls' night out, corporate occasion, birthday party or social soiree. Palace has you covered.
When:Sydney 21 May - 9 June // Canberra 22 May - 9 June // Melbourne 23 May - 9 June // Perth 28 May - 12 June // Adelaide 29 May - 12 June // Brisbane 30 May - 12 June // Byron Bay 29 May - 12 June: 2019