German Current 2013


Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut and the American Cinematheque, with the invaluable support of Deutsche Welle, German Films, the Friends of Goethe, and ELMA, German Currents 2013 is also proud to announce its cooperation with the Consulates General of Germany, Austria and Switzerland to bring a diverse program of some of the best of recent German, Austrian, and Swiss films to the historic Egyptian Theatre.

German Currents opens with the U.S. Premiere of Detlev Buck’s visually stunning historical epic Measuring the World. The line-up continues with Jan Ole-Gerster’s Oh Boy, which swept the 2013 German film Awards. The North American premiere of Pia Marais’ thriller “Layla Fourie”, (Honorable Mention Berlinale 2013) is paired with the U.S. premiere of Thomas Arslan’s Germano-Western “Gold”, starring Nina Hoss.

Two documentaries focus on other types of gold: The U.S. premiere of American born Matt Sweetwood’s “Beerland” looks at Germany’s beer culture, one glass at a time, while Oscar® winning Markus Imhoof’s “More than Honey” is a study of bees in crisis.

The L.A. premiere of Rainer Frimmel and Tizza Covi’s The Shine of Day, offers an improvisational character study of two entertainers. The U.S. premiere of Hermine Huntgeburth’s lively adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic “The Adventures of Huck Finn” is part of a family matinee with two all-ages film workshops conducted by the Echo Park Film Center.
A roundtable discussion with film industry experts entitled Make your Film Production Transatlantic, presented at the Goethe-Institut by our partners Magnet Media Group rounds out the Festival.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of our partners, sponsors, volunteers, as well as you, the audience. Without your appreciation of cinema, this festival would not be possible.
I look forward to welcoming you back to the historic Egyptian Theatre for another festival of German Currents.” – Fareed C. Majari, Festival Director- Director Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

(The 2013 selection commitee- Gwen Deglise, Daniel L. Chaffey. Fareed C. Majari)

Friday, October 4th 7:30pm
MEASURING THE WORLD German Currents 2013 / US Premiere / Gala Opening Night
OPENING PARTY (ticket holders only)

“Die Vermessung der Welt “(Measuring the World)
Germany / Austria (2012), 123 min. DCP, German, French, Spanish with English Subtitles
Two of the greatest minds of the 19th century, mathematician Carl Friederich Gauss (Florian David Fritz) and scientist Alexander von Humboldt (Albrecht Abraham Schuch), dedicate their studies to measuring and comprehending the world they live in.
Based on Daniel Kehlmann’s best-selling novel of the same name, this visually stunning epic is a playful re-imagining of the great men’s lives.
Humboldt, a man with a passion for global exploration, is contrasted with Gauss, a man who experiences his world through mathematical theories and figures. Humboldt, aided by his colleague, Aimé Bonpland, travels the globe physically engaging the world he wishes to understand, applying modern, scientific thinking to comparatively unknown regions.
Though he remains in the same destitute community for much of his life, Gauss’ interior journey of mathematical discovery proves to be just as rich and visually stunning as Humboldt’s adventures in remote areas of the world.
Fact and fiction are mixed, often to humorous effect, to chronicle the findings of two very different men, who nevertheless sought the same answers.

Nominated for German Film Awards 2013: Best Set Design, Best Costume Design.
Winner Austrian Film Awards 2013: Best Costume Design, Best Make-up Design
Director: Detlev Buck, Screenplay Detlev Buck, Daniel Kehlmann, Daniel Nocke
Cinematography: Slawomir Idziak
Cast: Florian David Fitz, Albrecht Abraham Schuch, Sunnyi Melles, Katharina Thalbach
Producers: Claus Boje
Production Company: Boje Buck Produktion/Berlin, in co-production with Lotus Film/Vienna

Detlev Buck Born in 1962 in Bad Segeberg, Germany, Detlev Buck began his career as an actor, director and screenwriter at the age of 22. Buck’s directorial credits include the cult classic “Time to Knock Off” (Erst die Arbeit und dann…?), as well as “Rabbit Fever” (Karniggels), and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (Wir können auch anders) which received honorable mention at the Berlin Film Festival and two German Film Awards.
In 2004, he was awarded the German Film Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Berlin Blues” (Herr Lehmann), directed by Leander Haussmann.
His recent works as a director are: “Tough Enough” (Knallhart), “Hands Off Mississippi” (Hände weg von Mississippi), both of which won German Film Awards in several categories, and “Same Same But Different.”

Saturday 10/05 7:30pm/ 9:00pm OH BOY / BEERLAND
Double Feature:”Oh Boy”, “Beerland”
In Person: Director Jan-Ole Gerster (Oh Boy) and Matt Sweetwood (Sweetland)

Program begins with a short film; title to be announced.
Discussion between films with directors Jan-Ole Gerster and Matt Sweetwood ( Beerland).
Evening concludes with a reception in the Egyptian Lobby for all ticket holders.

“Oh Boy”
Germany (2012), 85 min. DCP Projection. German with English subtitles
Jan Ole Gerster’s wry and vibrant feature debut “Oh Boy”, which swept the 2013 German Film Awards, paints a day in the life of Niko, a twenty-something college dropout going nowhere fast.

Niko lives for the moment as he drifts through the streets of Berlin, curiously observing everyone around him and oblivious to his growing status as an outsider.
Then on one fateful day, through a series of absurdly amusing encounters, everything changes: his girlfriend rebuffs him, his father cuts off his allowance, and a strange psychiatrist dubiously confirms his ’emotional imbalance’. Meanwhile, a former classmate insists she bears no hard feelings toward him for his grade-school taunts when she was “Roly Poly Julia,” but it becomes increasingly apparent that she has unfinished business with him. Unable to ignore the consequences of his passivity any longer, Niko finally concludes that he has to engage with life. Shot in timeless black and white and enriched with a snappy jazz soundtrack, this slacker dramedy is a love letter to Berlin and the Generation Y experience.

Jan Ole Gerster trained as a paramedic following his civil service, then completed an internship at X-Filme Creative Pool, working together with Wolfgang Becker on Good Bye Lenin! He then studied at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB).
A selection of his films includes: Der Schmerz Geht – Der Filma Bleibt: “The Making Of Good Bye Lenin!” (2004), “‘adore Le Cinema” – Yann Tiersen und die Filmmusik (2004), “Oh Boy” (2012), and numerous commercials and videos.

Director: Jan Ole Gerster
Screenplay: Jan Ole Gerster
Cinematography: Philipp Kirsamer
Cast: Tom Schilling, Friederike Kempter, Marc Hosemann, Ulrich Noethen
Producers Marcos Kantis, Alexander Wadouh
Schiwago Film/Berlin, in co-production with Chromosom Filmproduktion/Berlin, HR/Frankfurt, in cooperation with ARTE/Strasbourg US

Best Screenplay Award Munich 2012
Best Film & Audience Award, Seymour Cassel Award Oldenburg 2012
Special Mention for director Jan Ole Gerster Zurich 2012
Best Director, FIPRESCI Jury Award & Fedeora
Jury Award Bratislava 2012
Red Hering Award & Audience Award Tallinn 2012
Bavarian Film Prize 2012 (Best Actor: Tom Schilling & Best Screenplay)
Special Jury Prize and Audience Award Angers 2013
Focus Fox Grand Prix Sofia 2013
German Film Awards 2013 (Best Film: Gold, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Score)

Beerland  Los Angeles Premiere!
Germany (2012), 85 min. Digital. German and English with English Subtitles
Matt Sweetwood hails from the Midwest. Though he has lived in Germany for over ten years, the people and their culture remain a mystery to him. He undertakes a last-ditch attempt to figure the place out: by exploring the heart of German culture, their beer. If he delves into their rites and rituals, explores all the contradictions and stereotypes, will that make him, finally, a part of them? The infinite variety of beers, breweries and beer fests, the age-old history of beer, is more overwhelming than the American ever imagined.
The trail of his research leads him to places far off the beaten tourist path, light-years away from the Oktoberfest. He encounters people whose dialect he barely understands.
Amazingly he finds that a country as small as Germany is subdivided into a thousand different tongues and customs, with beer as the common thread. He discovers a land full of oddities and contradictions. The Germans are deathly serious and silly at the same time, tradition-bound and weirdly visionary. Ultimately, he forms a real bond with them, finding friends where he least expected them.

Dokuwettbewerb, BR-Telepool 2009 Proze Winner
Honorable Mention Achtung Berlin – New Berlin Film Award
William Dieterle Filmpreis ( Special Prize), Germany
Grand Jury Prize, Gzdoc, Guangzhou ( China)
Gierson Trust Award ( Best Documentary) – Editor 2012
Audience Award Ippokrates International Health Film Festival, Kos ( Greece)
Special Jury Award Joris Ivens Competition – IDFA Documentary Festival Amsterdam
Prize of the State Film Service Rheinland-Pfalz, 22nd Video/Filmtage Koblenz ( Germany)

Sunday 10/06 2:00pm     Matinee and Workshop:
Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, in cooperation with Austrian Consulate General and the Consulate General of Switzerland; with support of Deutsche Welle (DW), German Films, The Friends of Goethe, and ELMA.

Join us at 1:00 PM in the Egyptian courtyard, where the Echo Park Film Center will lead audience members of all ages in an afternoon of exploration and education, creating cinematic wonder using traditional analog motion picture film. A second workshop will take place after the film, at 4:00 PM.

“The Adventures Of Huck Finn”, 2012, Betacinema, 102 min, Germany,
 Dir: Hermine Huntgeburth
A lively German language adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic satire. Huck Finn, having found treasure with his best friend Tom Sawyer, is now chafing in the shoes and starched shirts that come with his new wealthy lifestyle. He’d like nothing more than to kick off his shoes and run wild along the river. He gets his chance when his drunken father (August Diehl) arrives and demands a share of Huck’s money. Huck decides to escape downriver and he brings along Jim, the house slave who has recently discovered that he will be handed over to a slave trader. The two travel the Mississippi River on a makeshift raft, hoping to outrun Huck’s violent father and find a place where Jim can be accepted as a free man. Twain’s timeless adventure is exuberantly brought to the screen in a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. In German with English subtitles.

Director: Hermine Huntgeburth
Screenplay: Sascha Arango
Cinematography: Sebastian Edschmid
Cast: Leon Seidel, Jacky Ido, Louis Hofmann, August Diehl
Producers: Boris Schönfelder
Production: Company Neue Schönhauser Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Majestic Filmproduktion/Berlin, Filmaufbau/Leipzig

Hermine Huntgeburth studied Film at the Hamburg Hochschule für Bildende Künste and in Sydney, Australia. Following her work on several short and documentary films, she was awarded the German Film Award for Best Newcomer Director in 1991 for her feature film debut Im Kreis Der Lieben.  Her Filmography includes several award-winning television films, as well as her feature film credits such as “Trio” (1998), “Bibi Blocksberg” (2002), “The White Massai” (2005), “Effi Briest” (2009), and “Tom Sawyer” (2011).

FILM WORKSHOPS: 1:00 – 1:50 pm & 4:00 – 4:50 pm
Join the Echo Park Film Center for an afternoon of cinematic exploration and education with the EPFC “Filmcicle” in the courtyard of the Egyptian Theatre.
The “Filmcicle” is a bicycle powered cinema and school on 3 wheels. Using traditional analog motion picture film we encourage audience members – young and old – to spend some time with us creating cinematic wonder.

Sunday 10/06 5:30pm/ 7:00pm
Double Feature:GOLD / LAYLA FOURIE
Program begins with a short film; title to be announced.

“Gold”  Los Angeles Premiere! 5:30pm
Germany (2013), 101 min. Schramm Film Koerner & Weber (Berlin).Language: German and English with English Subtitles
Summer 1898. Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush.
Seven German immigrants set out in search of gold in the backwoods of British Columbia. Each have their motives: an older couple seeking security, a father (Lars Rudolph) hoping to help his impoverished family, an unpleasant newspaperman (Uwe Bohm) chronicling the journey, and a mysterious packer (Marko Mandic) with a past to outrun.
The last to join is Emily Mayer (Nina Hoss), a metropolitan woman whose delicate demeanor masks a steely determination to survive. Assembled by a deceptively confident businessman of questionable motives, the settlers must travel through a relatively uncharted stretch of Canadian wilderness to reach their goal, the gold fields of Dawson.
As the path grows more treacherous, betrayals come to light and desperate choices are made.
Following in the footsteps of McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Meek’s Cutoff, “Gold” is an epic that offers an unconventional take on the well-worn Western genre.

Film Festivals: 63. Berlin International Film Festival: Competition
CPH PIX 2013: Spotlight Germany
Join us at 4:00 PM in the Egyptian courtyard, where the   Echo Park Film Center will lead audience members of all ages in an afternoon of exploration and education, creating cinematic wonder using traditional analog motion picture film.

Director: Thomas Arslan
Screenplay: Thomas Arslan
Cinematography: Patrick Orth
Cast: Nina Hoss, Marko Mandić, Peter Kurth, Uwe Bohm
Producers: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Production Company Schramm Film Koerner & Weber (Berlin) in co-production with Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) (Köln), Degeto Film GmbH (Frankfurt am Main), Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) (München)

Thomas Arslan was born in 1962 in Braunschweig, Germany and spent four years during his schooling in Ankara/Turkey. He studied Germanics and History in Munich and Film at the German Film & Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin.He has been working as a writer and filmmaker since 1992. His films include “Mach die Musik leiser” (1994), the trilogy, “Geschwister” (1996), “Dealer” (1998) and “A Fine Day” (Der Schoene Tag 2000), “Im Schatten” (2009), and “Gold” (2013).

“Layla Fourie” North American Premiere! 7:00pm
2013, The Match Factory, 105 min, Germany, Dir: Pia Marais
Winner of the Jury Special Mention at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, “Layla Fourie” is a film about a single mother living with her son in Johannesburg and getting by with casual work. After training as a polygraph operator, she manages to secure a job with a company specialising in lie detectors and security. On her way to her new workplace, she is involved in an accident which will fundamentally change her life. Layla becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. The truth could lead to the loss of her son. For her third feature film, Pia Marais – who has lived in Berlin for many years – returned to South Africa where she grew up to make this classic thriller. She uses the genre to take a look at a country which still bears the scars of apartheid. In this way, everyday life in South Africa enhances the tension in the screenplay, which she co-wrote with Horst Markgraf. Almost casually, “Layla Fourie”  develops into a political thriller which takes the audience into the paranoia, fear and mistrust of a society that is still profoundly affected by racial conflict. In English.

Monday 10/07 7:30pm/9:15pm    
Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, in cooperation with Austrian Consulate General and the Consulate General of Switzerland; with support of Deutsche Welle (DW), German Films, The Friends of Goethe, and ELMA.

More Than Honey  7:30pm
RECEPTION 6:30 Egyptian Theatre Theatre Lobby (Ticket holders only)
Pre-screening beer reception begins at 6:30 PM in the courtyard for all ticket holders.

“More Than Honey”  7:30pm
2012, Kino Lorber, 90 min, Switzerland/Germany/Austria, Dir: Markus Imhoof
Winner of multiple awards, including the 2013 German Film Award (Lola) for Best Documentary film, “More Than Honey”, directed by Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (“The Boat Is Full”), tackles the vexing issue of why bees are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite photography of the bees in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis. Writes Eric Kohn in Indiewire: “Imhoof captures the breeding of queen bees in minute detail, ventures to a laboratory to witness a bee brainscan, and discovers the dangerous prospects of a hive facing the infection of mites. In this latter case, the camera’s magnifying power renders the infection in sci-fi terms, as if we’ve stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg’s “The Fly”.” This is a strange and strangely moving film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well as apiary terms. In German and English with English subtitles.

“The Shine Of Day” 9:15pm    
2012, Austrian Film Commission, 90 min, Austria, Dir: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Philip (Philip Hochmair) is is a young and successful actor working for the most important theatres in Vienna and Hamburg with a committed and single-minded approach to his craft. During a season in which he is busy with a production of Buchner’s Woyzeck, Philip is visited by the elderly Walter (Walter Saabel), who introduces himself as the uncle he’s never met. Walter is a former circus artist and the two men soon bond over stories of their careers. These two entertainers, both at different stages in their lives, learn from each other’s experiences. As his conversations with Walter grow more philosophical, Philip slowly emerges from his once isolated lifestyle. He is even inspired to enlist Walter’s assistance in helping a Moldavian neighbor with an immigration issue. The actors, though not related, essentially play themselves and the largely improvised script was developed around their personal experiences. The result is a rare onscreen friendship that feels warm and sincere. Co-directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel draw on their documentary filmmaking background to create a naturalistic atmosphere in which these performances can flourish. In German with English subtitles.

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About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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