Fareed Majari talks about GERMAN CURRENTS 2014 – October 9 – 12


The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque will celebrate the 8th edition of German Currents on October 9th -12th, 2014 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
German Currents 2014 – 8th Annual Festival of German Film Los Angeles begins with an opening film and gala on the evening of Thursday, October 9th, 2014.
Continuing through Sunday, October 12th, German Currents 2014 will present a varied selection of current German cinema; including features, documentary, and short films, as well as a family/youth film. To learn more about  2014 German Currents we had an interview with Fareed Majari Director of Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.

Cinema Without Borders: Please tell us about 2014 German Currents.
Fareed Majari: The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque will celebrate the 8th edition of German Currents on October 9th -12th, 2014 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Over the last eight years German Currents has grown. We added new features like a children’s matinee to which we bus school children. And we will  have more talents than ever before, who will introduce their films. German Currents is a wonderful opportunity to experience the latest in German language cinema, i.e. movies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I think these three countries have a lot to offer in terms of cinema and with our festival we intend to bring together the great cinephil audience of L.A. with and films that really deserve to be watched.

CWB: Will there be any US premiers among the film screened at German Currents?
FM: You bet. Robert Thalheims’ Parents  is bittersweet dramatic comedy about the balance between career, marriage and family; Arne Birkenstock’s documentary Beltracci about an art forgery scandal that shook Germany’ s art scene, Finsterworld , Frauke Finsterwalder’s dark portrait of contemporary Germany and Petra Volpe’s Dreamland that tells the story of intertwined episodes in the lives of four characters – These are all U.S. Premieres.  And the other films in our line-up are Los Angeles or West Coast premiers.

CWB: Is the film selected by Germany for Best Foreign language Oscar at the festival?
FM: Our opening film, Dominik Graf’s lush historic drama Beloved Sisters, is Germany’s official submission for the 87th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s a romantic drama centered on the love triangle between rising poet Friedrich Schiller and two aristocratic, but impoverished sisters. Set in the late 18th and early 19th century, rebellious poet Schiller and two sisters experience an unforgettable menage-a-trois. Acclaimed German director Dominik Graf does not just focus on Germany’s national poet Friedrich Schiller, but examines whether it is possible to live out an unconventional form of love?

We do not only have Germany’s submission in our line-up, but also the Austrian contender: Andreas Prochaska’s Austro-Western The Dark Valle  brings the conventions of the best American vengeance Westerns into a snow-capped alpine landscape. It reminded me a bit of Sergio Corbucci’s THE GREAT SILENCE, but it is something completely new and it offers stunning imagery and camera work.
I keep my fingers crossed for both films.

CWB: Are there any of the filmmakers or creative crew of the films attending German Currents?
FM: Yes, almost all films will be presented by one or more of the talents involved in the production. I am glad that one of the lead actresses of our opening film, Hannah Herzsprung, will grace our opening.

CWB: Are there any opportunities alleviate to audiences or industry members to meet the filmmakers?
FM: There is a Q&A after each film and spectators have the opportunity to mingle with the talents. It’s October and we will bring some October-Fest spirit to L.A., so at the gala after the opening film we will serve Bratwurst and beer. We are a small festival and, other than in Berlin or Cannes, you can talk to the talents and even have your picture taken with them. For members of the industry we have a film- brunch.

CWB: Are there any events at German Currents beside the film screenings?
FM: The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, in partnership with WUHO -Woodbury University’s center for experimental exhibitions and multi-disciplinary collaborations-  hosts a special Los Angeles engagement of the multimedia exhibition, The Other Worlds of Werner Herzog, which originally exhibited in honor of Werner Herzog’s 70th Birthday in 2012 at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Torun, Poland. I just talked to Werner Herzog, who lives here in Los Angeles, and he will attend the opening of this exhibition.

CWB: How international film fans can attend German Currents?  Are there any discounts available to the students?
FM: Yes, the Egyptian theater offers discounts for students and seniors. International film fans need to buy a ticket to L.A. But no worries. The Goethe-Institut has dozens of film screenings all over the world every day. Thus, we are one of the largest cinemas showing German films. So, just visit your local Goethe-Institut. And don’t forget to check out our German Currents Website: www.goethe.de/germancurrents.


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