Fifth Festival of German Cinema in China kicks off in Beijing_Lifestyle_Asia Pacific Daily

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Fifth Festival of German Cinema in China kicks off in Beijing

Lifestyle2017-11-14

When we hear "Germany," many immediately think of beer, sausages and soccer, but a film festival in China is trying to change those perceptions. "The Festival of German Cinema in China," now in its fifth edition, has brought 15 contemporary German films to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing. German Films and the Goethe-Institut have once again compiled an impressive and multi-faceted selection of films. The festival opened with some subtle humor – "In Times of Fading Light," a family saga set in the late days of the German Democratic Republic. Box-office hits such as "Welcome to Germany" and "The Bloom of Yesterday" are in the mix, alongside the multi-award-winning literary adaptation "Goodbye, Berlin" by Cannes award winner Faith Akin. A still from the opening film "In Times of Fading Light." "We have these guests here, and they are also very curious to learn from the Chinese audience. We also present short films. Within one hour or two hours, you can see a lot of genres. Also, we've combined point of view of the Berlinale spotlight and Jia's screening, the foundation found by Jia Zhangke, who also set up a selection of films. So we also bring German and Chinese culture into dialogue," said Dr. Clemens Treter, director of the Goethe Institut that co-organized the event. Mariette Rissenbeek, director and co-organizer of the event, agreed with Dr. Treter and said this year's program was very diversified. "Farewell Europe which deals with important matters and very philosophical questions. Then there's the part about art, like the film "Manifesto" which is one of the most important art films of this year. And then there's the part of let's say today's matter, like "Simple" which is a story about family, brothers, about love between people. Or Marija which is a story about a young woman trying to make a living." Dr. Clemens Treter (L), director of the Goethe-Institut, with Mariette Rissenbeek (R), director of German Films. Another highlight of this year's program is interactive event drama "The Verdict," which asks the audience to decide if it is justified to shoot down a civilian plane taken over by terrorists on a suicide mission. Director Lars Kraume said he would be curious to know how a Chinese audience would react. A still from "The Verdict." "When we were shooting the film, over the course of the whole production I was undecided; I was really happy that I'm not the judge who has to choose on what to do because it's a difficult question. That's the most interesting thing. To discuss with the people you know and you thought you would know what they might say, and they say something completely different. And you have an argument, and that's the most interesting the film makes," Kraume revealed. Chinese filmmaker Yang Chao and Liu Jian have been chosen as the honorary patrons of this year's event. Screened at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Liu Jian's "Have a Nice Day" was the first feature-length, Chinese animation film to be screened at the event. While Yang Chao's "Crosscurrent" won the Silver Bear for Cinematography at the 2016 Berlinale. Chinese filmmaker Yang Chao (L) poses with lead actor of "Simple" Frederick Lau at the Festival of German Cinema in China. "I've always admired German filmmaker's storytelling techniques and cinematography. And events like this are a great way to see a wide genre of quality productions," Yang Chao said. Apart from box-office hits and international festival successes, the event will also feature special screenings for students at the Beijing Film Academy Q&A sessions with German filmmakers and much more. The event runs until November 27. (CGTN)

When we hear "Germany," many immediately think of beer, sausages and soccer, but a film festival in China is trying to change those perceptions.

"The Festival of German Cinema in China," now in its fifth edition, has brought 15 contemporary German films to the Chinese cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing.

German Films and the Goethe-Institut have once again compiled an impressive and multi-faceted selection of films. The festival opened with some subtle humor – "In Times of Fading Light," a family saga set in the late days of the German Democratic Republic. Box-office hits such as "Welcome to Germany" and "The Bloom of Yesterday" are in the mix, alongside the multi-award-winning literary adaptation "Goodbye, Berlin" by Cannes award winner Faith Akin.

A still from the opening film "In Times of Fading Light."

A still from the opening film "In Times of Fading Light."

"We have these guests here, and they are also very curious to learn from the Chinese audience. We also present short films. Within one hour or two hours, you can see a lot of genres. Also, we've combined point of view of the Berlinale spotlight and Jia's screening, the foundation found by Jia Zhangke, who also set up a selection of films. So we also bring German and Chinese culture into dialogue," said Dr. Clemens Treter, director of the Goethe Institut that co-organized the event.

Mariette Rissenbeek, director and co-organizer of the event, agreed with Dr. Treter and said this year's program was very diversified. "Farewell Europe which deals with important matters and very philosophical questions. Then there's the part about art, like the film "Manifesto" which is one of the most important art films of this year. And then there's the part of let's say today's matter, like "Simple" which is a story about family, brothers, about love between people. Or Marija which is a story about a young woman trying to make a living."

Dr. Clemens Treter (L), director of the Goethe-Institut, with Mariette Rissenbeek (R), director of German Films.

Dr. Clemens Treter (L), director of the Goethe-Institut, with Mariette Rissenbeek (R), director of German Films.

Another highlight of this year's program is interactive event drama "The Verdict," which asks the audience to decide if it is justified to shoot down a civilian plane taken over by terrorists on a suicide mission.

Director Lars Kraume said he would be curious to know how a Chinese audience would react.

A still from "The Verdict."

A still from "The Verdict."

"When we were shooting the film, over the course of the whole production I was undecided; I was really happy that I'm not the judge who has to choose on what to do because it's a difficult question. That's the most interesting thing. To discuss with the people you know and you thought you would know what they might say, and they say something completely different. And you have an argument, and that's the most interesting the film makes," Kraume revealed.

Chinese filmmaker Yang Chao and Liu Jian have been chosen as the honorary patrons of this year's event.

Screened at this year's Berlin Film Festival, Liu Jian's "Have a Nice Day" was the first feature-length, Chinese animation film to be screened at the event.

While Yang Chao's "Crosscurrent" won the Silver Bear for Cinematography at the 2016 Berlinale.

Chinese filmmaker Yang Chao (L) poses with lead actor of "Simple" Frederick Lau at the Festival of German Cinema in China.

Chinese filmmaker Yang Chao (L) poses with lead actor of "Simple" Frederick Lau at the Festival of German Cinema in China.

"I've always admired German filmmaker's storytelling techniques and cinematography. And events like this are a great way to see a wide genre of quality productions," Yang Chao said.

Apart from box-office hits and international festival successes, the event will also feature special screenings for students at the Beijing Film Academy Q&A sessions with German filmmakers and much more.

The event runs until November 27.

(CGTN)

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