Simone Baumann © Slawomir Grenda
Simone Baumann © Slawomir Grenda

Dear Readers,

The first quarter of 2024 is now over and it was a good start to the film festival season for German productions. The 74th Berlinale was particularly successful. Seen from a German perspective, the line-up represented a very special record with a total of more than 50 German productions and co-productions. The 35 German majority-produced films included DYING by Matthias Glasner, FOM HILDE, WITH LOVE by Andreas Dresen and ARCHITECTON by Victor Kossakovsky which were also selected to screen in the Competition. The Silver Bear for Best Screenplay for DYING for Matthias Glasner and the Best Film Award for DIRECT ACTION by Guillaume Cailleau and Ben Russell in the Encounters section were important awards among other numerous prizes for German productions.

Moreover, the Berlinale was the perfect festival and a fitting setting for German Films to usher in its anniversary year. German Films is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024. This anniversary is to be honoured with a number of special events and activities. The film programme entitled “70 YEARS OF GERMAN CINEMA – A SUCCESS STORY“ was unveiled at a press conference during the Berlinale. A programme compiled by Alfred Holighaus of 17 important German films from the past 70 years are to be shown at film weeks during the whole year and made available to film festivals for their own programmes. And the feedback and enquiries have been overwhelming. Several films from the programme have already been shown at the Festival del Cinema Tedesco in Rome and at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto. In May, for example, the film festival in Seattle will be showing a 4K-restored version of WINGS OF DESIRE by Wim Wenders, while six films from the programme will be screening at the Festival of German Films in Australia. As a further highlight, the Raindance Festival in London in June and the Tallinn Black Night Film Festival in November will be having a German focus this year, and naturally featuring films from the retrospective. A total of more than 25 events have been planned so far. This interest shows the high esteem in which German cinema is held, and that makes us very happy.

The film programme won’t be the only way that the anniversary is being celebrated. We would also like to use the year to look back to the past with filmmakers and people who have accompanied us along the way. This issue of GFQ, for example, sees us speaking with Peter Dinges, a member of German Films’ supervisory board, about his work as the CEO of the FFA over the past 20 years. In the interview, he looks back on the highlights and challenges of being at the helm of the German Federal Film Board and offers a glimpse of the future of the German film industry.

The Festival de Cannes will now be taking place from 16 to 25 May. A total of 14 German productions and co-productions will be screening in Cannes. We are particularly happy about the participation of the two short films OUR OWN SHADOW by Agustina Sánchez Gavier and IMMACULATA by Kim Lêa Sakkal in the Quinzaine Des Cinéastes programme. German Films will have a presence at the German Pavilion in the Village International Riviera together with the FFA, BKM and Focus Germany. This year will once again see the location serving as a meeting point for filmmakers.

We look forward to meeting and having an exchange of ideas and information with many filmmakers.

Simone Baumann, Managing Director