16.04. ‐ 21.04.2024

International Film Program 2023

The international film program turns to a special theme every year. For the 16th edition of the LICHTER Filmfest, we turned our attention to "Love".




WED, 19. AprLichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

18:00 h

Riceboy Sleeps

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Anthony Shim

Familiendrama, 2022

Language: English, Korean with English subtitles

Playtime: 117 min

Toronto Film Festival 2022: Best Canadian Film, Busan International Film Festival 2022: Publikumspreis


Wednesday, 19 April 2023, 18:00 h, Kino des DFF

Incredibly sensitive and hauntingly filmed, Riceboy Sleeps tells the story of single mother So-Young and her son. After emigrating to Canada, life certainly is not easy: Dong-Hyun must quickly become David, lest he be the strange boy with the unpronounceable name at his new school. Meanwhile So-Young is hard at work trying to feed them with her factory job.

THU, 20. AprLichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

18:00 h

All The Beauty and the Bloodshed

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Laura Poitras

Documentary, 2022

Language: English with German subtitles

Playtime: 117 min

Venice Film Festival 2022: Winner Golden Lion, Academy Awards 2023: Nomination for Best Documentary Feature

Thursday, 20 April 2023, 18:00 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

Is it acceptable to accept money from a family that profits from the pain of thousands of people? Artist and activist Nan Goldin confronts the biggest museums in the world with this question. Because they are still funded by the Sacklers, central actors in the opioid crisis and one of the most powerful pharma families in the USA.

18:15 h


Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Carolina Cavalli

Comedy, 2022

Language: Italian with english subtitles

Playtime: 93 min

Venice Film Festival, Festival du Film Italien de Villerupt 2022: Best Film


Thursday, 20 April 2023, 18:15 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

Feeling unfulfilled and plagued with a chronically bad temper, Amanda wanders through her hometown in Italy after studying abroad in Paris. And no, she no longer has any friends, her family is too bourgeois for her, and her credit card is practically useless. Everything calls for a change and thus, with internal and external odds highly stacked against her, Amanda sets out on a mission: she needs to find a best friend, a job, and a great love…

20:00 h

Burning Days (Kurak Günler)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Emin Alper

Thriller, 2022

Language: Turkish with German subtitles

Playtime: 127 min

Antalya Golden Orange Festival 2022: 6 Awards, a.o. for Best Film; Cannes 2022: Nominee Queer Palm & Un Certain Regard Award

Thursday, 20 April 2023, 20:00 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

The questions this film leaves its audience with are as burning as the eponymous heat of the title. As the new prosecutor in the small Turkish town of Balkaya, which has to contend with heavy landslides, Emre soon finds himself caught in a web of political intrigue. When a young woman is raped, he has to wonder if he is only a victim and saviour but actually a perpetrator as well. For political reasons, the film’s funding in Turkey was withdrawn.

20:15 h

© Eric Dumont

The Worst Ones (Les Pires)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret

Drama/Comedy, 2022

Language: French with English subtitles

Playtime: 99 min

Cannes 2022: Winner un certain regard, TIFF 2022

Thursday, 20 April 2023, 20:15 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

A casting call at a French school. Four troubled teens suddenly become parts of a filming community – where nothing is as expected. While things can get messy here, there are also no teachers and parents. Only adults who want to make a film and have yet to forget about their childhood. Les Pires thoughtfully depicts first love, how difficult it is to build trust, and how easily friendships can form.

FRI, 21. AprLichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

18:30 h

I Like Movies

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Chandler Levack

Comedy, 2022

Language: English

Playtime: 99 min

Toronto Film Festival 2022: Canada’s Top Ten, Calgary International Film Festival 2022: Emerging Artist Award


Friday, 21 April 2023, 18:30 h, Kino des DFF

17-year-old Lawrence is a hopeless film nerd. People outside the screen don’t really interest him at all. What could ease his way to director stardom better than a job at the local video store? I Like Movies holds its own in comparison to high school comedies like “Superbad” and “Booksmart” and reveals Lawrence’s first crush, his only friendship and his love for film.

20:00 h

The Innocent (L'Innocent)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Louis Garrel

Comedy, 2022

Language: French with German subtitles

Playtime: 99 min

César Awards 2023: Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay

Friday, 21 April 2023, 20:00 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

Where can you find love? For Sylvie, prison seems to be the answer. But her son definitely does not agree, and his late friend’s girlfriend will help him get things straight. In Louis Garrel’s romantic comedy, people are constantly pretending to be others, trying to deceive people, luring them into making questionable choices, and juggling with their feelings. Whoever shows signs of naivete will get devoured by the harshness of life. How hard can it be to hide true love?

20:30 h


Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf

Dokumentarfilm, 2022

Language: Spanish with English Subtitles

Playtime: 84 min

Berlinale 2022: Crystal Bear for the best film Generation 14plus, Teddy Award Best Documentary

Friday, 21 April 2023, 20:30 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

Bógota, Columbia: Ten young women live in a shelter for homeless women. Each of them closes their eyes in front of the camera and pictures an imaginary friend named Alis. Alis - fellow sufferer, friend, one of them. What happened to her? Only an abstract idea at first, Alis comes closer and closer with time. Alis is an impressive portrait of young women who, no matter how bad life has been for them, still have an inspiring resilience in their lives.

22:00 h

Disco Boy

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Giacomo Abbruzzese

Drama, 2023

Language: French, English, Flemish, Igbo, Polish with English subtitles

Playtime: 91 min

Berlinale 2023: Outstanding Artistic Achievement


Friday, 21 April 2023, 22:00 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

How far are you willing to go to defend your territory? Love can take many forms, and it can lead to aggression if that which you love is under attack. In Disco Boy, a Belarusian fighter travels to go to war for France in Nigeria in exchange for the promise of a French passport; but guerrilla fighters in the African country will go to great lengths to defend their sovereignty. A stylish, entrancing and surprising film with a plot driven by obscure forces that will not be easy to forget.

22:00 h

A Film About Couples (Una Película Sobre Parejas)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada

Comedy, 2021

Language: Spanish with German subtitles

Playtime: 89 min

Syndicat Français De La Critique De Cinéma: Best Film

In Anwesenheit der Regisseur:innen Natalia Cabral und Oriol Estrada

Friday, 21 April 2023, 22:00 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

A film about a film about couples: Natalia and Oriol have not only been a couple for 13 years, they also make films together. At least when they are not currently discussing who is directing, whether a cactus is worth filming or if parents always have to do everything perfectly. In this mockumentary, the filmmakers curtly act as themselves and show how similar film and love can actually be.

SAT, 22. AprLichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

18:30 h

Lan Yu (Restored)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Stanley Kwan

Hong Kong Classic, 2001/2022

Language: Mandarin with English subtitles

Playtime: 86 min

Golden Horse Awards Taiwan 2001: 5 awards, including Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 18:30 h, Kino des DFF

Desperate for money, young student Lan Yu spends a night with businessman Handong. At first, Handong tries to minimise their interaction to a mere exchange of sex and favours, however, it soon becomes clear that they both harbour deeper feelings for each other. Despite their age and class differences, the two men develop a complex relationship with one another. Director Stanley Kwan tells the story of a clandestine love affair that took place in China at the end of the 1980s – the period between the economic crisis and the Tian'anmen Square protests. - This film is hailed as one of the most important queer films in Asian cinema.

19:30 h

The Beasts (As Bestas)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Rodrigo Sorogoyen

Thriller/Drama, 2022

Language: Spanish, French with English Subtitles

Playtime: 137 min

Goya Award 2023: 9 awards, including best film and best director, César Award 2023: best foreign film

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 19:30 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

The title already gives it away: the Galician village Olga and her husband Antoine have moved to is not as idyllic as one might assume. The couple has made their dream of owning a farm reality; a dream which is more and more being threatened. The local farmers, who are sceptical or even openly hostile towards the whimsical neighbours anyways, vehemently demand their support for an investment project. Two ways of life clash – and never has a tomato harvest been this thrilling or buying sheep been this nerve-wracking. Nothing but love for this thriller!

20:00 h

Living Bad (Viver Mal)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: João Canijo

Drama, 2023

Language: Portuguese with English subtitles

Playtime: 125 min

Berlinale 2023

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 20:00 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

Tensions simmer among the guests of an old hotel in Portugal. We follow one couple whose rocky relationship is hurt by obsession with social media. Our eyes drift towards another couple shaken by the towering presence of one of their mothers. We eavesdrop on another couple starting out and threatened by jealousy. João Canijo constructs a tale of lust and disappointment in LIVING BAD, proving that loving is a path full of thorns.

20:30 h

© 2022 JP Production

No Bears (Khers Nist)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Jafar Panahi

Drama, 2022

Language: Farsi, Azeri, Turkish with English subtitles

Playtime: 107 min

Venice Film Festival 2022: Special Jury Prize

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 20:30 h, Kino des DFF

After being denied permission to leave Iran, director Panahi takes up residence in a village near the Turkish border to remotely oversee the shooting of his new film. Despite being initially welcomed by the village community, he soon finds himself garnering anger after becoming a supposed witness to a forbidden love affair. - In 2010, Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and was banned from working for 20 years due to the making of his film.

22:00 h

Kokomo City

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: D. Smith

Documentary, 2023

Language: English with English subtitles

Playtime: 75 min

Berlinale 2023: Panorama Audience Award, Sundance 2023

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 22:00 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

Self-love overcomes all odds: four Black trans* sex workers invite director D.Smith into their world through openhearted accounts of their life. The focus lies on the daily discrimination that the four of them face in a racist, patriarchal, and transphobic society that also shapes their experiences with the local Black community. Filmed in black and white and sporting a powerful soundtrack and music-video aesthetic, Kokomo City is an eye-opening experience.

22:15 h

International Shorts - Love

Section: International Shorts

2022 - 2023

Language: German, Greek, Swedish, Urkainian with English subtitles

Playtime: 60 min

Saturday, 22 April 2023, 22:15 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

“LOVE is a losing game” is a good song and may contain some truth. In our LICHTER INTERNATIONAL SHORTS LOVE/LIEBE we will present short films that deal with the reality and fantasy of love in romantic, familial and social relationships which can have both happy and painful consequences for the people involved. Curated by Saul Judd

SUN, 23. AprLichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

12:00 h

© ARRAY Releasing H

Mars One (Marte Um)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Gabriel Martins

Family Comedy, 2022

Language: Portuguese with English subtitles

Playtime: 115 min

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 12:00 h, Kino des DFF

A family film through and through! But not one filled with overused clichés: We are in Brazil right after the election of Bolsonaro, and the mood in the country is tense. The film catapults us head-first into the political as well as the very personal chaos of the Martins family. The road ahead is a tumultuous one, and each person must find ways to overcome it, either alone or as a family. All we have to say is: Alcoholics Anonymous, great love, money shortage, dream soccer careers, disastrous pranks, first apartments, rage-inducing card games, insomnia, stargazing, cat-sitting, and trips to Mars!

18:00 h

Opponent (Motståndaren)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Milad Alami

Drama, 2023

Language: Farsi, Swedish with English subtitles

Playtime: 119 min

Berlinale 2023


Sunday, 23 April 2023, 18:00 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

From bustling heat into dark snow: Fearing persecution, Iman and his family have to leave their Iranian home and flee to Sweden. Even after their arrival, they still cannot find peace having to move from one refugee shelter to the next. To inch closer to the longed-for residence permit, Iman resumes his career as a wrestler – but the biggest struggle he faces is with himself.

18:00 h

War Pony

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Riley Keough, Gina Gammel

Drama, 2022

Language: English

Playtime: 115 min

Cannes 2022 - Camera d’Or (Best Debut), Zürich Film Festival 2022: Special Mention Golden Eye (Feature Film)

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 18:00 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

When do we feel we belong somewhere? What place do we call home? For two young Native American men living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the United States, these questions circle their hearts as they try to find their place in the middle of a tug-of-war between modernity and tradition, community and individuality, belonging and breaking away. Finding love in harshness may be difficult but they will soon find it essential for finding their path.

18:00 h

Motherhood (La Maternal)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Pilar Palomero

Coming of Age, 2022

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Playtime: 100 min

San Sebastián International Film Festival 2022: Best Leading Performance, Gaudí Awards 2023: Best New Performer, Goya Awards 2023: Nomination Best Film

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 18:00 h, Kino des DFF

Carla is a rebel. She doesn’t let anyone tell her anything, least of all her single mother - until she gets pregnant at fourteen. She comes into the care of the “La Maternal” centre, where, together with the other girls, she learns about what motherhood is like. A vivid portrait of becoming an adult with outstanding young actress Carla Quílez.

20:00 h

SPECIAL „Toi jamais“ – Short Films About Love

Section: International Shorts

Playtime: 90 min

Experimental film reel

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 20:00 h, Kino des DFF

TOI JAMAIS - a program of short films curated by Gunter Deller, Karola Gramann, Heide Schlüpmann Love cannot be grasped - despite all attempts: reporting, telling, singing about love. Showing it as in film. A short film program gathers slipping endings, fleeting fascinosa, moments and lets them pass before our eyes. Among others, there will be shown films by Gunter Deller, Peggy Awesh, Bruce Baillie, Angelika Levi, Vlatko Gilić. (possible changes.) In cooperation with Kinothek Asta Nielsen.

20:15 h

20.000 Species of Bees (20.000 Especies de Abejas)

Section: International Feature Film Program

Direction: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren

Family Drama , 2023

Language: Spanish, Baskisch with German subtitles

Playtime: 129 min

Berlinale 2023: Prize of the AG Kino-Gilde, Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance (Sofía Otero)

Closing film

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 20:15 h, Eldorado Filmtheater

8 year old Coco is currently on a path of self-discovery, which is not made easy for her: Her family in their Basque hometown still calls her by her birth name Aitor, which she does not identify with anymore. The film skillfully recounts peer pressure and familial tensions that touch us deeply. The 9 year old Sofia Otero won the award for Best Leading Performance at the Berlinale as the youngest winner in its history.

20:15 h

International Short Film Program

Section: International Shorts


Language: Arabic, German, France, Portugies with English subtitles

Playtime: 80 min

Sunday, 23 April 2023, 20:15 h, Mal Seh'n Kino

International Short Film Program A great accomplishment of cinema is to let us take a second, different look at things and stories. It quite literally immerses things in a different light. The four films in the international short film program show this in very different ways. They explore spaces, history, feelings and time beyond the fleeting first glance. Included are again films of our partner festival from Contis and award winners of the festivals from Berlin and Rotterdam.