“Damned love German film“, is what Dominik Graf and Johannes F. Sievert called their portrait of German genre film two years ago. Without difficulties, this title can be used to describe the general relationships of the Germans to their cinema. It is object of glorification and ridicule, object of countless passionate debates, public declamations of loyalty and secretive slandering.

Why are young, talented male and female directors often unable to make their personal, brave and different films despite well-endowed public funding? Why do these promising films not find their audience? Why are German films missing from Cannes, Venice or Locarno far too often?

After Edgar Reitz, patron of the LICHTER Film Festival 2016, strongly advocated for a fresh start of film politics, the festival organizers worked for over two years on the Congress of Future German Film. On the 5th and 6th of April, LICHTER shines a light on financing, training conditions and future potential of cinema culture and film distribution with numerous filmmakers at the Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus.

Because we believe in Cinema. We believe that through cinema, society finds possibilities to examine, question and entertain themselves. In short: that a cultural landscape without the cinema is only half as beautiful. Hence we want to make tangible suggestions with our guests on how the German cinema can continue and become part of lively European filmmaking.

More informations on specific items on the Congress agenda coming soon.

Future German Film

Congress on Prospects for German Film- and Cinema Culture

5.4. and 6.4. 2018

Zoo-Gesellschaftshaus (Alfred-Brehm-Platz 16, 60316 Frankfurt am Main)

Current confirmed guests:

  • Edgar Reitz (Director, „Heimat“-Trilogy)
  • Dietrich Brüggemann (Director, „Kreuzweg“)
  • Bettina Reitz (Director of HFF München)
  • Jakob Lass (Director, Love Steaks)
  • Tini Tüllmann (Director, “Freddy/Eddy”)
  • Martin Hagemann (Producer, Zero Fiction Film)
  • Lars Henrik Gass (Festival Director International Shortfilmdays Oberhausen)
  • Julia von Heinz (Director, Screenwriter, Guest Professor for Feature Film Direction at HFF München)
  • Rüdiger Suchsland (Filmjournalist and -critic)
  • Thomas Gammeltoft (Copenhagen Film Fund) 
  • Rembert Hüser (Professor for Media Studies, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
  • Andrew Higson (Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)
  • Svenja Böttger (Festival Director Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis)
  • Alfred Holighaus (President of the Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft)
  • Alex Traila (Producer, Steppenwolf Film, EURIMAGES Representative Romanian Film Centre)
  • Anna Schoeppe (Director of Kuratorium junger deutscher Film)
  • Dominik Tschütscher (Cinema Next – Junges Kino aus Österreich)
  • Christian Jungen (Journalist, Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
  • Claudia Dillmann (former Director of German Filmmuseum and the German Filminstitute – DIF e.V.)
  • Jascha Alleyne (Lawyer for Copyright- and Entertainment Law )
  • Stefan Butzmühlen (Director, “Sleepless Knights”)
  • Roderick Warich (Director and Screenwriter, “2557”)

Film Programme

As accompaniment, the Festival presents the current highlights of the German film scene. More than one Berlinale-Highlight are to be seen in the programme: In den Gängen by Thomas Stuber won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Guild Film Prize not long ago. In the film, the forklift driver Christian falls for his colleague Marion at a wholesale market. Celebrated by critics as well is Transit. In this competition entry by Christian Petzold, today’s Marseille is setting for a story of refugees in the time of National Socialism. In both films, Franz Rogowski plays the protagonist.

The filmic visions of up-and-coming directors are so varied, it is a real joy following their development. Two prime examples for that are the documentary Aggregat and the Drama Rückenwind von vorn around a young teacher stuck in a quarter life-crisis. Almost fully improvised, the acting of the performers in the film of Philipp Eichholtz is riddled with unpredictability. A neutral and yet insightful perspective is taken on by Marie Wilke in Aggregat. The director followed the debates of politicians, Pegida-followers and journalists on the refugee crisis and right-wing populism in Germany for two years.

In in the 1960’s, filmmakers were dissatisfied with the restrictions of classical screen cinema. Because they could not find distributors, Edgar Reitz and Ula Stöckl simply grabbed a projector and showed their films in pubs. At LICHTER there will be a Remake of this pub cinema. At the Mal Seh’n Kino, the audience can choose from an á la carte selection of 22 episodes of the short film series Geschichten vom Kübelkind in attendance of Edgar Reitz.

Two musical documentaries are included in the film series as well. The punk-rock band Feine Sahne Fischfilet is known not only for their music, but also for their commitment against right-ring radicalism. In Wildes Herz, director Charly Hübner documents the musician’s efforts of not letting their home in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania succumb to the brown nationalist sludge. In Shut Up and Play the Piano, Philip Jedicke offers insight into the musical work of Chilly Gonzales between Classical, Electronic, Pop and Jazz and the personality behind the artist.

All information regarding the pre-sale (Film programme and Congress) can be found here.