Banklady gets a Golden Garden Gnome
by Birgit Heidsiek
- The 13th German Film Festival in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra attracted more than 18,000 cinemagoers
The German tragicomedy Life Is Not for Cowards [+see also:
film profile] by André Erkau has closed the 13th German Film Festival in Melbourne; the festival attracted more than 18,000 cinemagoers. The Golden Garden Gnome Audience Award, for which voting took place online, went to opening film Banklady [+see also:
film profile] by Christian Alvart. This “drama with hope” was introduced at the festival by lead actress Nadeshda Brennicke, who had initially kicked off the feature-film project and managed to secure some funding for the production. “Banklady has every chance of finding a distributor in Australia,” said Apard Sölter, director of the Goethe Institut in Sydney, which organises the German Film Festival in Australia in cooperation with German Films.
Among the films that thrilled the audiences in Australia were Oh Boy! [+see also:
interview: Jan Ole Gerster
film profile] by Jan-Ole Gerster, Exit Marrakech [+see also:
film profile] by Caroline Link and the Swiss comedy-drama Rosie [+see also:
film profile] by Marcel Gisler, as well as children's movies such as Famous Five 2 [+see also:
film profile] by Mike Marzuk and the family-friendly The Little Ghost [+see also:
film profile] by Alain Gsponer, which sold out screenings. “We would have liked to present more comedies in our programme,” reported Gabriele Urban, of the Goethe Institute in Melbourne, “but even when the filmmakers want to present their films at our festival, the world sales companies sometimes make other choices.”
Featuring special events such as the Swiss Soiree and the Oriental Night, the German Film Festival drummed up a lot of attention in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. One or two screenings were often not enough to meet the high audience demand. For example, the World War I drama Odyssee of Heroes [+see also:
film profile] by Berengar Pfahl, which had already been presented at the 2013 German Film Festival, was shown again this year and filled the screening rooms to bursting point. “The Australians have a strong interest in World War I,” explained Sölter. “For this reason, we also included a focus on 100 Years of History (1914-2014) in our programme.”
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