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FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2024

Munich announces its New German Cinema selection

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- A total of 16 world premieres are scheduled for the Bavarian gathering, exploring various topics and competing for the New German Cinema Awards

Munich announces its New German Cinema selection
Two to One by Natja Brunckhorst

The 41st Filmfest München - Munich International Film Festival (28 June – 7 July) will present 16 world premieres in its New German Cinema section. The works within this selection range from films by established directors to new discoveries, including classic motion pictures, hybrids of fiction and reality, and documentaries.

Doris Metz’s documentary Petra Kelly – Act Now! will open the section. The film invites the audience to rediscover the co-founder of the Green Party, who was an internationally connected environmental activist and feminist until her murder in 1992. Natja Brunckhorst’s comedy Two to One, starring Sandra Hüller, Max Riemelt and Ronald Zehrfeld, is inspired by real events from a time when Germany was still divided and delves into the mechanisms of capitalism through an entertaining narrative about fortunes and fairness. In her satirical film Protected Men, director Irene von Alberti presents a provocative what-if scenario: a world where a virus exclusively affects men. Sad Jokes [+see also:
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, a tragicomedy directed by and starring Fabian Stumm, illustrates how personal lives are intertwined with political implications, telling the story of an unconventional family arrangement.

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Several films in this section explore the topic of migration. Angelina Maccarone’s thriller Turning Tables tells the stories of four uprooted individuals traveling in different directions across Europe and Africa, alongside a conservative politician whose values might lead to her downfall. Noaz Deshe’s drama Xoftex [+see also:
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 (Germany/France) features oppressive imagery from the confined space of a Greek refugee shelter, where filmmaking becomes a form of escape. In contrast, Leis Bagdach’s In the Rose Garden follows a musician who unexpectedly reunites with his estranged Syrian father and embarks on a family odyssey across Germany.

Three films in this section are set in seemingly idyllic vacation destinations, where what appears to be escapism actually reflects societal conflicts. In Judith Angerbauer’s Sabbatical, a young family's attempt to escape their daily grind takes them to Greece, only to find themselves faced with a dangerous baptism of fire when the protagonist's troublemaking brother shows up. Aaron Arens' debut film Places in the Sun (Germany/Spain), set in Lanzarote, presents a tragicomic story about a family's quest for cohesion and acceptance, while Frédéric Jaeger’s road movie All We Ever Wanted follows three protagonists traveling through the desolate landscape of Fuerteventura in a drama exploring class, race, and gender.

Rural absurdities are a hallmark of the "New German Heimatfilm," which explores universal themes within village settings. In Jannis Alexander Kiefer’s Another German Tank Story, a camera crew filming a series for a streaming service uncovers the big dreams and little secrets of a village community. Justine Bauer’s Smell of Burnt Milk follows a young farmer determined to sustain her parents' farm and combat climate change. Jan Hendrik Lübbers’ docufictional hybrid O Chale introduces us to four friends on a basketball court in Accra, Ghana, capturing a pivotal phase in their lives. Camilla Guttner’s The Academy follows Jojo, an idealistic art student, as she navigates the vibrant and challenging world of an art academy. Damian John Harper’s literary adaptation Fresh is a brutally violent yet aesthetically beautiful ballad about brothers.

Finally, the highly topical mockumentary Muxˣ, a sequel to the cult film of a similar name directed by and starring Jan Henrik Stahlberg, also delves into the realm of politics, exploring whether Muxism can save the world.

As explained by curator Urs Spörri, festival director Christoph Gröner, and artistic co-director Julia Weigl, “German films that exceed expectations, or that completely defy convention: these major finds from among this year’s domestic productions will once again be presented in Munich, kick-starting their journey on the international festival circuit, with the involvement of partners from Shanghai to Karlovy Vary.”

As always, selected films from this section will be honoured with the New German Cinema Award in categories such as directing, producing, screenplay, and acting. The award ceremony will take place on 5 July.

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