This year, German Currents 2013 - 7th Annual Festival of German Film in Los Angeles is taking place at the iconic Egyptian Theater from Oct. 4 -7. A unique film festival that strives to show Angelenos what German film has to offer, German Currents is an event you don’t want to miss. There will be a variety of films suitable for everyone, including documentaries, opulents, family films and more!
The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque are bringing the best of the best in German film this year. Director of Goethe-Institut LA, Fareed Majari, told Campus Circle what audiences can look forward to at this year's festival and discussed the impact German film has made in the international film scene.
Campus Circle: Can you tell us about German Currents' history? How did the festival come to life?
Fareed Majari: It started seven years ago. The idea is to bring to Los Angeles the latest in German cinema. We do this on a regular basis. We do a lot of film cinema work here [at the Goethe-Institut LA]...we show movies in more than 80 institutes worldwide, and that’s what we do here in Los Angeles. We show very recent German cinema in and on our premises. The German Film Festival brings audiences the latest in German cinema…[and] we bring talent over to make it more tangible.
CC: When it comes to selecting the films to show at the festival, do you try to get a variety of different genres?
FM: Yes. I think what’s really good about German cinema is that they have a wide variety of topics, styles and genres. The opening film is an opulent; it’s called Measuring the World…then we have a more experimental, black and white film Oh Boy by a newcomer, shooting star director. We have two documentaries; both are actually about food. One is about honey [More Than Honey] that explores why the bees are dying…the other film is on another food item that’s important to Germans, that’s more important than honey, and that’s beer. It’s called Beerland by American director Matt Sweetwood. He gets drunk with the Germans in order to understand them better. It’s interesting, very funny and a highly entertaining documentary. So we have a very wide range. We also a have a children or family movie with The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain; [it's] a new German approach to this classic. So we have something, pretty much, for all the families and for all tastes.
CC: Can you explain the film workshop that will be at this festival?
FM: Yeah, the film workshop is a project we're doing together with the Echo Park Film Center. That’s before and after the screening of Huck Finn, which is on Sunday. It’s a film workshop that’s for both the young and older that shows how films are made. It’s a glimpse behind the curtain and behind the screen...it tries to bring some knowledge and education about the filmmaking process for maybe the young viewers and also their parents.
CC: Do you think German film has made a large impact in the international film scene, especially here in Los Angeles?
FM: That’s a very good question. I think German film is stronger and more interesting than people normally think. German film has a little bit of a reputation as being very brainy, somber, pessimistic and not easy to view. And I think that’s not entirely true. For example, the first film we have (Measuring the World), it’s a highly entertaining, opulent film with wonderful camerawork. It’s as entertaining as it is intelligent. It deserves a wider audience, and the same is true for the other films...This also doesn’t only apply to German films. France cinema is not as much viewed and doesn’t have the audience it deserves…I think all those [international] films, and German films among them, deliver to a bigger audience. Fortunately, there are independent cinemas that show those films...Our task is to promote German and European cinema in the United States. It’s not an easy task, but I think there are wonderful films that are out there that deserve an audience. The German Currents festival is one way to create that – we’ve been very lucky and very successful. Our opening last year was packed; we had a full house. German Currents helps bring the films to an audience.
The German Currents 2013: 7th Annual Festival of German Film Los Angeles takes place Oct. 4-7 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Student discount tickets are only $9! To purchase tickets, click here.
For more information on the festival, click here.