The pandemic is not yet fully over, but our hopes for a halfway to normal summer season seem to have been fulfilled, as the film festivals from August to October are planned as physical events. Maybe some of you are even holding this issue in your hands on the Piazza Grande or at the Lido, enjoying the special atmosphere and the interaction with colleagues that has been denied us, not only in the film industry, for so long.
In spring, there were signs of a slight easing of the situation, so that the Festivals of German Films in Australia, Madrid and Rome, organised by German Films, could be held on location in the film metropolises and with an audience, except for minor cutbacks. They have also shown that cinema is slowly but surely returning and along with it, our task and desire to make German filmmaking visible internationally.
There are high expectations on both sides: Following the cinema openings, filmmakers and cinema operators – in view of the many pending premieres of finished titles – hope for loyal viewers who, as soon as a safe return is possible, will shift their film consumption back into our cinemas. Audiences, on the other hand, expect a unique cultural experience that they cannot find in their living rooms or in other forms of entertainment; one that only cinema can and, more than ever, should offer them. Only time and the still tense global situation will show whether these expectations can be fulfilled.
The line-up in Locarno provides a strong start to the festival summer: 20 German films and co-productions are represented in various sections. Among the films competing for a Leopard are ZEROS AND ONES (DE/UK/US) by Abel Ferrara, in the main competition, and Sabrina Sarabi‘s adaptation of the novel NO ONE’S WITH THE CALVES, celebrating its world premiere in the Concorso Cineasti del presente. There are also several German films in competition in Karlovy Vary, including e.g., LE PRINCE by Lisa Bierwirth or NÖ by Dietrich Brüggemann. Meanwhile, an exciting announcement came from Toronto: In the Special Presentations section, the audience in September can look forward to Maria Schrader‘s I’M YOUR MAN.
We are eagerly anticipating things to come.
But first of all, I hope you enjoy the new GFQ issue and find fresh inspiration, including from the continuation of our series on diversity in the German film industry, many new productions, and exciting portraits.
It still sounds a bit odd, but I‘m sure we‘ll see you at one of the upcoming festivals!
Yours, Simone Baumann