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Culture

German Films at Berlinale

Germany's movie industry is presenting 58 films at the Berlin Film Festival. DW-TV's KINO program is taking a closer look at some of them.

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"Head On" by Fatih Akin is one of two German competition entries.

The German film industry has long been criticized for failing to break into the international market. But 2003 was a watershed year: Starting at the Berlin Film Festival, Wolfgang Becker's Good bye, Lenin! set out on a triumphal sweep, packing cinemas across the globe and sweeping the floor at award ceremonies. That was followed with an Oscar for Caroline Link for Nowhere in Africa and continued with respectable success for Margarethe von Trotta's The Women of Rosenstrasse at the Venice Film Festival.

This development vindicates the course to be taken at the Berlin Film Festival, which this year runs from Feb. 5 to Feb. 15. Festival director Dieter Kosslick wants to use the event to strengthen the position of German cinema on the world market. During his first year in charge he introduced the category "German Films" and a new section "Young Innovative Cinema in Germany".

Competition includes two German films

Fifty-eight German productions will be running at this year's festival and two German films are taking part in the competition. Romuald Karmakar's Nightsongs (Die Nacht singt ihre Lieder) is a heavily atmospheric portrayal of a couple with very different ideas about life. The film is based on a work by Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse. Fatih Akin's Head On (Gegen die Wand) looks at the disastrous results of a loveless marriage between the young Sibel, who is trying to escape the influence of her family, and the somewhat older alcoholic fellow Turk Cahit.

The Panorama section includes Andres Veiel’s documentary Addicted to Acting (Die Spielwütigen), a refreshing and entertaining look at four drama students.

Liebe in Gedanken Berlinale 2004

Daniel Brühl and August Diehl in a scene from "Love and Thoughts"

Love and Thoughts ( Was nützt die Liebe in Gedanken) by Achim von Borries is the dramatization of the story of a group of Berlin schoolboys, whose 1927 search for absolute love and passion ended in death for some of them.

The brand new section ”14plus” includes a German entry from Icelandic director Maria Solrun Sigurdottir. Jargo is a thrilling coming-of-age drama about a 16-year-old youth in a Berlin high-rise suburb. It deals with love, friendship and betrayal in a group of kids united by their taste in music. ”14plus” is a forum for films made for young people and includes a prize in this category for the first time.

DW-TV's KINO at the Berlinale

Stephanie Stremler in Die Spielwuetigen

Stephanie Stremler in "Addicted to Acting"

On Feb. 13, DW-TV's cinema magazine KINO takes a close look at these films. The program will include a profile of Alfred Holighaus. The organizer of the festival’s "Young Innovative Cinema in Germany" section will talk about films he has on offer. Kino will also carry up-to-date reports on the stars attending the event and other news of note.

KINO will also be in attendance at the Berlinale. The program will be represented at the European Film Market, a trade fair linked to the festival, where it shares a booth with the film sponsoring body FFA and the body responsible for marketing German films abroad, Export-Union. Within the framework of a series of talks on "German Cinema" and "Young Innovative Cinema in Germany”, KINO will be inviting filmmakers and journalists to join a discussion panel.

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