10th Annual German Currents (Oct. 20 - 23)

Full Program Line Up Announced with a selection of the best new  German, Austrian and Swiss Cinem
Award Winning Director Wolfgang Becker (Good Bye Lenin!) to open the festival at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre with Me and Kaminski

Since 2007, THE German Currents FILM FESTIVAL has brought the best of German, Austrian and Swiss Film to the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, offering Southern California audiences the chance to experience the films and culture of these three German-speaking nations.   Celebrating its 10th year, German Currents features an expanded program including screenings of ten LA premieres, conversations with prolific German directors, writers and actors, as well as the return of the free family matinee film screening for local schools.
2016 has been a successful year for German language cinema, not only in Europe, but across the globe.  Beginning on Thursday, October 20th 2016 German Currents will open this year’s 4 day festival with the red carpet event Los Angeles premiere of Wolfgang Becker’s 5x German Film Award nominated film Me and Kaminski, starring Daniel Brühl. Over the remaining three days viewers will have the chance to see award-winning highlights of recent German language cinema and engage in discussions and Q&A’s with these talented filmmakers, including Swiss director Alain Gsponer’s adaptation of the children’s classic HEIDI, starring Bruno Ganz (German Film Award 2016 - Best Children’s Film), acclaimed writer-director Doris Dörrie’s award-winning FUKUSHIMA, MON AMOUR, screening with Anna Zohra Barrached’s multi-award- winning 24 WEEKS starring Julia Jentsch and Bjarne Mädel (2015 Berlinale Competition). Austrian director Händl Klaus’ Teddy Award (Berlin Film Festival LGBT award) winning TOMCAT is presented as a special matinee. Writer-director Gerd Schneider’s multi-award- winning debut  THE CULPABLE, starring Sebastian Blomberg, screens with 2012 Student Oscar winner Thomas Stuber’s A HEAVY HEART ,starring Peter Kurth (winner of 3 German Film Awards in 2016). Writer-director Annekatrin Hendel’sacclaimed documentary FASSBINDER also screens as a special matinee. Writer-director Nicolette Krebitz’ controversial Sundance Film Festival selection WILD, starring Lilith Stangenberg, screens with Swiss writer-director Tobias Nölle’s FIPRESCI Prize Berlin 2016-winning debut feature ALOYS, starring Georg Friedrich.
Following the success of last year’s TRIBUTE TO ROLAND EMMERICH, the GABA Film Initiative and the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles will host a TRIBUTE TO WOLFGANG BECKER this year, featuring a conversation about his career and followed by a filmmaker brunch.
GERMAN CURRENTS is produced and presented by the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque, with support of German Films, Deutsche Welle (DW) and The Friends of Goethe, and in-kind cooperation with the German Consulate General, the Austrian Consulate General, and the Consulate General of Switzerland.
This year’s festival trailer is directed by German filmmaker, screenwriter, and creator of Ground Hero Film, Diana Cignoni (www.groundherofilm.com). The trailer connects Berlin through the Goddess Victoria (or “Golden Lizzie”, as it is known in Berlin slang) with its sister city, Los Angeles, bringing German films to the City of Angels.
The festival takes place at:
Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, Ph: 323.466.FILM

Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.fandango.com/egyptiantheatre_aaofx/theaterpage
To keep up with GERMAN CURRENTS, visit the official Festival website at
Like the GERMAN CURRENTS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/germancurrents. Follow us on Twitter @GI_LosAngeles and join the conversation by using the hashtag #GERMAN CURRENTS
Thursday, Oct 20th, 7:30 pm (Gala Opening Night)
Ich und Kaminski | Me and Kaminski
Los Angeles Premiere
Directed by Wolfgang Becker
Germany/ Belgium (2015), 120 min, German with English subtitles

Failing arts journalist Sebastian Zöllner (Brühl) believes he has the perfect subject to jump-start his failing career: painter Manuel Kaminski (Christensen). As famous in his day for his progressive blindness as he was for his artwork, the now reclusive Kaminski is in the twilight of his years.  Devious, obnoxious, and opportunistic, Zöllner plans to schedule the release of his book in time to capitalize on Kaminski’s imminent death, as well as expose his blindness as a gimmick. Hoping to earn Kaminski’s trust, Zöllner leads the artist on a journey to visit Kaminski’s lost love, Therese.  What follows is a tragicomic road trip with the far from feeble Kaminski that is a humbling experience for Zöllner, who finds that no amount of bravado will save his failing career or his many broken relationships.  Reuniting both director and star of GOODBYE, LENIN!, Becker’s film is full of playful visuals and surprising supporting turns by such talents as Jördis Triebel, Denis Levant and Geraldine Chaplin.  The script, based on Daniel Kehlmann’s bestselling novel of the same name, deftly balances its comic moments with thoughtful ruminations on art and regret.
Director Wolfgang Becker is confirmed to attend.
Friday, Oct 21st, 10:00 am (Private screening for schools)
Los Angeles Premiere
Winner Best Children’s Film German Film Awards | Bavarian Film Award
Directed by Alain Gsponer
Germany (2015), 105 min, German with English subtitles

Johanna Spyri’s classic children’s novels return to the screen for a new generation.  When Aunt Dete (Schinz) sends young orphan Heidi (Steffen) to live with her gruff and solitary grandfather (Ganz) in the Swiss Alps, the two get off to a rough start.  However, Heidi soon melts her grandfather’s heart and the two form a close bond.  As Heidi grows to love her new Alpine home and her friend Peter (Agrippi) the goatherder, Aunt Dete returns to take Heidi away to Frankfurt to live as a companion to the wealthy, wheelchair-bound young girl, Klara (Ottmann).  Though homesick and out-of-place, Heidi makes the best of her situation, soon inspiring those around her.   Screenwriter Petra Volpeand Director Alain Gsponer offer a fresh take on Spyri’s spirited heroine, emphasizing the stark realities of Heidi’s situation.  Gorgeous shots of the Swiss Alps are contrasted with authentic depictions of era, where despite such bleak circumstances, Heidi’s resilience and ingenuity shine ever brighter.  This is a timeless story of knowing who you are and remaining true to yourself, no matter where you might be.
Friday, Oct 21st, 7:30 pm – DOUBLE FEATURE
Grüsse aus Fukushima | Fukushima, Mon Amour
Los Angeles Premiere
CICAE Art Cinema Award Berlinale 2016| Heiner Carow Award 2016 | Bavarian Film Award 2016 (Best Actress, Rosalie Thomass)
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Germany (2016), 104 min, German with English subtitles

Desperate to move past the heartbreak of her broken engagement, a young German woman, Marie (Thomass), joins the charity circus troupe “Clowns4help” and travels to Japan, hoping to bring joy to the elderly survivors of the 2011 nuclear disaster still living in emergency shelters. Burdened by her own problems, and panicked by the devastation in Fukushima, Marie finds herself ill-suited to bring joy to others whose hardships she cannot imagine.  Just as she decides to leave Japan, Marie encounters Satomi (Momoi), Fukushima’s last geisha, who is determined to return to her home in the radioactive exclusion area. Rather than retreating, Marie stays, electing to help Satomi rebuild her life.  Though initially very different, the two find themselves united in the need to confront the ghosts of their respective pasts.  Thomass’ “fish out of water” comedic timing blends perfectly with Momoi’s resourceful performance as the wise-cracking, aging geisha.  Infusing both characters and script with her trademark tragically comedic style, writer-director Dörrie, shooting for the first time exclusively in Japan and in black and white, brings a refreshingly off-beat perspective to an otherwise emotionally heavy subject.
Friday, Oct 21st, 9:30 pm (approximately) – DOUBLE FEATURE
24 Wochen | 24 Weeks
Los Angeles Premiere
Berlinale 2016 - Preis der Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater
Directed by Anne Zohra Berrached
Germany (2016), 103 min, German with English subtitles

Popular stand-up comedian Astrid Lorenz (Jentsch), her manager/Markus (Mädel) and their 9-year-old daughter Nele (Pieske) lead a seemingly idyllic life. With Astrid‘s career on the rise and a new baby boy on the way, things couldn’t be any better for the young family. When a six-month check-up reveals that their unborn child has severe Down syndrome, the couple is devastated.  Through the support of friends and family, they embrace their future with a differently-abled child.  However, as Astrid’s pregnancy progresses, her doctors discover that the child’s condition is worse than expected. Quickly overwhelmed by the far-reaching consequences their child’s situation will have on all of their lives, Astrid is forced to make a difficult decision with no chance of an ideal outcome.  Cinematographer Friede Clausz‘ strikingly intimate visuals capture the family’s most private moments. Writer-director Anne Zohra Berrached and co-writer Carl Gerber have crafted a story of a woman‘s dilemma and a family’s struggle to answer the unanswerable question: „Who decides whether a child will have a life worth living?“ in unflinching detail.
Actor Bjarne Mädel is confirmed to attend.
Saturday, Oct 22nd, 10:00 am
A Tribute to Wolfgang Becker
Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Free Admission | By Invitation Only
This event is produced by GABA – Film Inititative and White Bear PR

Wolfgang Becker studied German, History, and American Studies at the Free University in Berlin, followed by a job at a sound studio in 1980. He then began studies at the German Film and Television Academy (dffb). He started working as a freelance cameraman in 1983 and graduated from the dffb in 1986 with Schmetterlinge (Butterflies), which won the Student Academy Award in 1988, the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival, and the Saarland Prime Minister's Award at the 1988 Ophüls Festival Saarbrücken. He directed an episode of the popular German television drama Tatort, Blutwurstwalzer, before making his second feature Kinderspiele (Child's Play, 1992), and the documentary Celibidache (1992). In 1994, he co-founded the production company "X Filme Creative Pool" with Tom Tykwer, Stefan Arndt, and Dani Levy, later working with Tykwer on the Berlinale competition feature Das Leben ist eine Baustelle (Life is All You Get, 1997). In 2003, he received international attention for Good Bye Lenin!, starring Daniel Brühl. He was a member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 2004. His film Ich und Kaminski (ME and Kaminski) will open the 2016 German Currents Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Saturday, Oct 22nd, 11:00 am
Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Free Admission | By Invitation Only
Following the Tribute to Wolfgang Becker will be a filmmaker brunch at the
Goethe-Institut. Meet filmmakers and talent attending the festival while enjoying a continental breakfast by Downtown LA’s Bier Beisl Imbiss
This event is sponsored by German Consulate General Los Angeles and Bier Beisl Imbiss.

Saturday, Oct 22nd, 5:00pm (Matinee)
Kater | TomCat
Los Angeles Premiere
Panorama Special, Berlin 2016
Teddy Award 2016
Young Cinema Competition Jury Prize Winner, Hong Kong 2016
Directed by Händl Klaus
Austria (2016), 114 min, German with English subtitles

Andreas (Hochmair) and Stefan (Turtur) seem to have a blissful existence together with their cat, Moses; they live in a beautiful old house in the vineyards near Vienna and even work in the same orchestra as manager and musician.  The couple’s passion  for  music,  their  large  circle  of  friends  and  colleagues,  and their furry companion define their daily lives.  But one morning an unexpected outburst of violence from Stefan shakes their harmonious relationship to its core.  From this moment on, their once idyllic lives are plagued by skepticism and alienation that strain their relationship.  While Stefan is losing the ground beneath his feet, Andreas tries to reconcile his love for Stefan with his newfound mistrust. Writer-Director Händl Klaus skillfully portrays the expulsion of two lovers from paradise, demonstrating exceptional sensitivity for the male psyche. Cinematographer Gerald Kerkletz’ draws the viewer into Andreas’ and Stefan’s most intimate physical and emotional moments in this poetic ballad about of the fragility of love.
Saturday, Oct 22nd, 7:30pm – DOUBLE FEATURE
Verfehlung  | The Culpable  
Los Angeles Premiere
Audience Choice Award Santa Barbara 2016
German Film Critics Award 2016 (Best Debut Film)
German Film Festival Ludwigshafen (2015) Special Jury Award +Screenplay Award
Directed by Gerd Schneider
Germany (2015), 92 min, German and English with English subtitles

Senior Catholic priests Jakob Völz (Blomberg) and Dominik Bertram (Schumann) are preparing to conduct mass when two police officers appear and ask Dominik to accompany them to the station.  Upon learning from their mutual friend, the Deputy Vicar General, that Dominik, who works with troubled youths, is accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in his care, Jakob remains convinced of Dominik’s innocence. Embarking on his own investigation into the accusations, Jakob soon has reason to doubt his friend, and by extension, the church officials who rushed to cover up the matter.  Burdened with this knowledge, Jakob is thrown into a crisis of faith: torn between his beliefs and loyalty to the church, and his moral outrage and drive to take a stand against injustice.  Writer-Director Gerd Schneider deftly handles the delicate subject matter of this timely story by telling it from Jakob’s unique insider perspective.  Blomberg’s quiet intensity grounds the drama, allowing the tragedy to unfold frankly and without melodrama.
Writer-Director Gerd Schneider is confirmed to attend.
Saturday, Oct 22nd, 9:30pm (approximately) – DOUBLE FEATURE
Herbert | A Heavy Heart
Los Angeles Premiere
German Film Award 2016 Best Make-up, Best Feature Film, Best Actor
Directed by Thomas Stuber
Germany (2015), 109 min, German with English subtitles

Former East German boxing champion Herbert Stamm (Kurth) is an abrasive, tattooed heavyweight whose best days precede the fall of the Berlin wall. Now scraping by as a bouncer and debt collector for a local gangster, Herbert‘s only personal relationships are his tattoo artist, his on-off girlfriend, Marlene (Wendel), and his pet fish.  Herbert‘s last tie to his beloved sport is his protégé, Eddy (Hasanovic).  Following a training session, Herbert suddenly collapses. Although he initially dismisses the incident, his worsening symptoms are diagnosed as ALS.  With his once-powerful body deteriorating, Herbert senses his time is limited. Longing to correct his past mistakes, Herbert reaches out to his estranged daughter, Sandra (Lauzemis), now a mother herself.  Capturing the gritty reality of Leipzig’s underbelly, cinematographer Peter Matjasko provides the dark environment Herbert inhabits. Stuber’sreversal of the classic struggling up and coming boxer narrative is   elevated by Kurth’s powerful portrayal of brutal aggression and vulnerability in Herbert‘s search for redemption.
Sunday, Oct 23rd, 5:00 pm (Matinee)
Los Angeles Premiere
Directed by Annekatrin Hendel
Germany (2015), 92 min, German with English subtitles

Rainer Werner Fassbinder is arguably one of the most prolific and controversial figures in German film history. Abruptly cut short by his untimely death in 1982 at the age of 37, Fassbinder’s legacy included his revolutionary work in theater, as well as the 44 films he directed in only 18 years.  Fassbinder’s unique ability to portray German society with such painful honesty, often polarizing the nation, remains unparalleled.    

Skillfully blending elements of Fassbinder’s tremendous body of work with his biography, Annekatrin Hendel illustrates various details of Fassbinder’s personal life through carefully selected autobiographical elements within his films.  Never-before-seen archival material, excerpts from Fassbinder’s early literary work, as well as rare interviews with his friends and colleagues Irm Hermann, Margit Carstensen, Harry Baer, Hanna Schygulla, Volker Schlöndorff and Juliane Maria Lorenz all shed new light on Fassbinder’s career.   
Hendel blurs the lines between Fassbinder’s life and art to explore the roots of New German Cinema’s enfant terrible, providing fresh insight into the audacity, determination and assertiveness Fassbinder relied upon in order to become the notorious, obsessive artist, driven by a desire to create at all costs.
Writer-Director Annekatrin Hendel is confirmed to attend.
Sunday, Oct 23rd, 7:30 pm – DOUBLE FEATURE
Los Angeles Premiere
German Cinematographers Award 2016
Directed by Nicolette Krebitz
Germany (2015), 97 min, German with English subtitles

When twenty-something office drone Ania‘s (Stangenberg) boss Boris (Friedrich) tells her that “With a little effort, you could be quite something,” his thoughtless comment is nevertheless surprisingly prescient.  Ania will indeed make an effort to be something, though what she becomes will horrify those who know her.  Having spent much of her life caring for others, Ania has had little time to figure out who she wants to be.  Aimless and introverted, she seems entirely apathetic, until the day she encounters a wolf in the woods near her home.  Gradually, and with growing intensity, the need to establish a bond with the wolf comes to dominate Ania’s life.  Her eventual co-habitation with the wild animal prompts Ania to reject societal norms and embrace an anarchic side that may have existed in her all along.  Reinhold Vorschneider’s haunting cinematography and Sylvester Koziolek’s suitably bleak art direction emphasize the disparity between Ania’s banal professional and personal lives and the liberating chaos she experiences with her lupine companion.  Krebitz’s film is a provocative, daring, and decidedly dark modern fairy tale that challenges viewers‘ notions of conformity.
Sunday, Oct 23rd, 9:30 pm (approximately) – DOUBLE FEATURE
North America Premiere
Berlin, Panorama, FIPRESCI Award 2016
FEST Festival 2016 (Golden Lynx: Best Feature)
FICLPGC 2016 (Audience award)
Saas-Fee Filmfest 2016 (Best Film)
Directed by Tobias Nölle
Switzerland/ France (2016), 104 min, German/ Swiss German with English subtitles

Aloys Adorn (Friedrich), a middle-aged private detective who lives and works with his father, experiences life from a safe distance. He records everything with his surveillance camera, obsessively collecting and reviewing the tapes.  When his father dies, Aloys’ sheltered existence begins to fall apart. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up on a bus to find that his camera and precious tapes have been stolen. Soon thereafter, a mysterious woman (von Overbeck) calls, offering to return the tapes if Aloys will go ‘telephone walking’ with her, an obscure Japanese game, where imagination is their only connection.  As he is drawn deeper and deeper, falling in love with the woman’s voice on the other end of the phone, their game opens up a new universe that may allow Aloys to break out of his isolation and into the real world. Supported by cinematographer Simon Guy Fässler’s stunning visuals and flawless performances by Friedrich and von Overbeck, Nölle’s psychological drama leads the viewer on a journey into the expansive world of the mind.
About the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles: The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. The institute promotes knowledge of the German language abroad and fosters international cultural cooperation. The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles operates on a partnership basis.  For individual projects, as for longer-term joint ventures, Goethe-Institut connects with stakeholders in the cultural scene – institutions, organizations, companies, people in and from Southern California and Arizona, Germany, and other countries (in particular our European neighbors).
For more information, please visit:  http://www.goethe.de/losangeles
About American Cinematheque: Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a 501 C 3 non-profit viewer-supported film exhibitions and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents daily film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on Dec. 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman's first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922. In January 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
For more information, please visit: www.americancinematheque.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EgyptianTheatre and Twitter @SidGrauman