Simone Baumann © Slawomir Grenda
Simone Baumann © Slawomir Grenda

Dear Readers,

“THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE is a highly topical, universal feature film that is impossible to resist“ – this was the jury‘s motivation for selecting the feature film as the German Oscar candidate. The drama by director İlker Çatak will enter the race for Germany to the 96th Academy Awards® in the „Best International Feature Film“category. THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE had already made an impression at this year’s Berlinale where it won the Audience Award, and it was then selected by a jury of experts in August from 13 films submitted to be this year‘s German entry for the Oscars. Director İlker Çatak says in a portrait for this issue of GFQ what it means for him and his film to be selected as an Oscar candidate. Interest in the social drama is also high outside of Germany. Following its North American premiere in Telluride, THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE launched its Oscar campaign at the film festival in Toronto. But Germany wasn’t only represented by THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE in Toronto. Three other German productions had their world premieres at the North American film festival: the two dramas NOT A WORD by Hanna Slak and ACHILLES by Farhad Delaram as well as the road movie ARTHUR & DIANA by Sara Summa. German productions had scored major successes even before Toronto when they were shown at the Locarno Film Festival. Director Katharina Huber was awarded the Best Emerging Director Award for her film A GOOD PLACE, PARADISE EUROPE by Leandro Goddinho and Paulo Menezes received the Pardino d‘argento, and director Ann Oren won the Ticino Film Commission Residence Award for OBJET A in the Locarno Pro section.

The drama THE UNIVERSAL THEORY by Timm Kröger celebrated its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival – in none other than the Venezia 80 competition section. The producer portrait in this issue has Viktoria Stolpe of The Barricades talking about her impressions of being at the Lido and what the invitation to the competition of such an important film festival means for her production company. HOLLYWOODGATE also had its world premiere in Venice. The documentary about the situation in Afghanistan one year after the Taliban came to power attracted quite a bit of attention. The film by Ibrahim Nash‘at was then awarded the Golden Eye in Zurich Film Festival’s Focus Competition a few weeks later.

A total of 15 German productions and co-productions were screened in various competitive sections at this year’s Warsaw Film Festival. The drama BLACKBOX by Aslı Özge had its international premiere here. German productions are also well represented in Asia, with GONDOLA by Veit Helmer and DIE MITTAGSFRAU by Barbara Albert both screening in Tokyo. THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE, ANSELM and MUSIC were shown in Busan.

More than 20 German films will be screened in Tallinn in November, including FALLING INTO PLACE, the directorial debut of Aylin Tezel, which will have its international premiere there. It’s really positive news that German productions and co-productions are now appearing at many film festivals in so many different ways. German cinema has international visibility. All the more reason to keep our fingers crossed again for the German entry to the Oscars this year.

Yours, Simone Baumann
Managing Director