The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, and the American Cinematheque will celebrate the 7th edition of German Currents on October 4th through 7th, 2013 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Fareed C. Majari director who talked to Bijan Tehrani about 2013 German Current, is the director of the Goethe-Institute Los Angeles . He studied English and Slavonic Studies in Marburg, Germany, and Coventry, U.K. and Film at the All-State Film Institute in Moscow. He worked as visiting professor at the University of Connecticut and taught German at the Goethe-Institute Munich. For the Goethe-Institute he developed software for Computer Assisted Language Learning programs. He headed the Goethe-Institute in the Palestinian Territories, followed by a directorship of the Goethe-Institute in Lebanon.
Bijan Tehrani: Please tell us about German Current 2013 and what will be new in this series?
Fareed Majari: German Currents has been bringing the latest in German cinema to audiences in Southern California. Out festival mirrors the diversity of German cinema. Our opening film is both eye-candy and intelligent. “Measuring the World” is an opulent historic drama based on the globally best-selling novel with the same title by Daniel Kehlmann. The film is shot in 3D and tells the story of two of Germany’s most important scientists: Alexander von Humboldt und Karl-Friedrich Gaus, whom most of us remember vaguely from math classes. “Oh Boy”, for instance, is a very intelligent and subtle comedy, shot in black and white. It was a great success in the German cinema. It received the 2013 “Lola” – the German Film Award – for best feature film. The Swiss documentary “More than Honey” employs high-end technology to explore why bees are on the verge of becoming extinct. A threatening perspective if you visualize that there is no food for us humans without pollination through bees. And we have “Beerland”, a light-hearted documentary whose director tries to better understand the Germans by getting drunk with them. These are only some of the slate of eight films of this year’s festival. What’s new? For the first time the Swiss and the Austrians co-present this festival. We included a family matinée and a workshop in which kids learn hands on, how movies are made.
BT: Are there US premiers and Los Angeles premiers among the films screened during German Current 2013?
FM: Most of the fims actually are. “Measuring the World” and Thomas Arslan’s Western “Gold” and “Layla Fourie” are U.S. premieres, ”The Shine of the Day”, “Beerland” are LA or West Coast premieres.
BT: Will there be gust filmmakers or guest actors attending the festival?
FM: Yes, shooting star Jan-Ole Gerster, the director of “Oh Boy” and Matt Sweetwood, director of “Beerland” promised to attend. And we are working hard to bring even more talent.
BT: Are there any events held during the film festival?
FM: Apart from the family matinée together with Magnet Media we offer the workshop ”Hollywood in Germany and Vice Versa”. It addresses producers, film makers and distributors.
BT: How audiences attend German Current screenings?
FM: Attending is super easy. The festival is open to everybody. Just go to our website or Fandango and purchase tickets. They are very affordable and you get to see two films for the price of one.
BT: Does German Current screenings help German films to find US distribution?
FM: I am absolutely convinced that German Currents does exactly that. We create buzz around new German films. And German cinema has a lot to offer and it deserves bigger audience here in the U.S.