If you like movies, you'll love the month of April. What's more, JFK's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech turns 50, and Bonn's Women's Museum presents Palestinian-German live art.
Combine the German words sehen (to see) and Sehnsucht (longing) and you'll get the made-up word Sehsüchte, the title of Europe's largest international student film festival. From April 23-28, young filmmakers from around the world will get together at the University of Film and Television "Konrad Wolf" in Potsdam-Babelsberg.
Twenty competition films are contending in the categories feature film, documentary and animation. But children's films and even music videos are all part of the program.
Where cinema meets art
Movies are in the spotlight this month not only in Potsdam, but also in Munich, where the film festival "Kino der Kunst" - "Cinema of Art" - is taking place from April 24-28. Since the birth of the motion picture, art and cinema have been inseparable. The festival examines the intersections between the two areas with an international competition, retrospectives, and other events.
The festival acts as a cinematic forum for visual artists from all over the world, from Rebecca Horn to Steven McQueen and Julian Schnabel. "Kino der Kunst" is not only a festival, but also an exhibition, where geographical overviews and museum-like installations seek to convey the global language of moving images.
'Ich bin ein Berliner'
When US President John F. Kennedy came to West Berlin in the summer of 1963, ties between the two countries were strained. The Berlin Wall, dividing the city between East and West, had been built just two years before and West Germans felt that the United States hadn't been vocal enough in opposing its construction.
During his speech on June 26 in front of Berlin's city hall, Schöneberger Rathaus, Kennedy smoothed over any bad feelings with his unforgettable expression of solidarity: "Ich bin ein Berliner."
It's been nearly half a century since Kennedy's speech and the Berlin Wall has long since fallen. In honor of the anniversary, a number of Berlin institutions have come together to examine the city's history in the context of Kennedy's historically significant words. From April 30 through June 29, a program including bus tours, exhibitions, readings, lectures and podium discussions is planned.
Art under political duress
Can art serve as a transnational language, a neutral meeting ground where different cultures can come together? Bonn's Women's Museum poses that question in its exhibition, "Art in Focus."
From March 31 through May 12, art will not only be exhibited at the museum, but also created. The first floor of the building has been set aside for visiting artists from Palestine, who will present finished works while creating others on location. The idea for the unique event came out of a symposium at the Fine Arts Department of the Al Quds University in Abu Dis in Palestine.
At the same time, the Women's Museum will be showing the exhibition "Showing Signs in Palestine and Israel," which includes photographs and text by Gamma Thesa Terheyden and Annelise Butterweck. The two traveled to Palestine in November 2012 and have brought back their impressions of the tense political situation in the Gaza Strip and of their meetings with peace activists.