WELCOME | WILLKOMMEN
Dear friends and fellow film lovers,
Welcome to the 27th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, March 23-28, 2023 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and virtually. We hold dearly this opportunity to be with our beloved Berlin & Beyond community, amidst the changing landscape of cinema arts exhibition and cultural programming. It is our privilege to share this special selection of contemporary German cinema with thought-provoking stories, cross-cultural exchanges, diverse voices, and urgent messages for the crises that affect us globally.
This year, Berlin & Beyond comes to neighborhood arthouse cinemas, led by the historic Roxie Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District, as the main venue. Through the years, the Roxie has been “home” to our Autumn Showcases and special screenings. Likewise, we are excited and grateful to be at the Vogue and Berkeley’s Elmwood. These cinemas are gems that enrich the cultural life of our Bay Area community.
Our festival opens with Marten Persiel’s spellbinding, call-to-action environmental docu-fiction “Everything Will Change” with the presence of lead actor Noah Saavedra. His breakthrough role in “Egon Schiele: Death and the Maiden” (Berlin & Beyond 2016) garnered him the New Faces Award and the Romy. He also played lead roles in Julia von Heinz’s “And Tomorrow the World” and Xaver Böhm’s “O Beautiful Night.” We are excited to have him with us at the festival. For Closing Night, we are honored to show in 35 mm film this year’s 4-time Academy Award® winner, “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Set in WWI, Edward Berger’s momentous adaptation of the landmark, anti-war novel by Erich Maria Remarque, is unfortunately still relevant today, as we have to face the horror and pain of war in Europe once again.
Where would we be without the next generation that is eager to share and learn from stories of humanity and creativity? We are proud to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Youth 4 German Cinema. This exemplary and impactful program, co-produced with Step Into German, features an international youth jury that has awarded and selected films that were shown to over 6,000 visiting students through the years. Some of our alumni jurors even went on to direct films, continuing their love and creativity in the cinema arts. This year’s winner, the alternate universe sci-fi “The Ordinaries” will be joined by actor Noah Tinwa in person at the festival.
Other highlights include: the North American premiere of Fatih Akin’s “Rhinegold,” diving into German hip hop culture and Xatar’s life journey; the wondrous world and mind of “Werner Herzog – Radical Dreamer”; the Goethe Forum presentation of “Piaffe” – a visceral journey into control, gender, and artifice; Barbara Kulcsar’s post-retirement relationship comedy “Golden Years” from Switzerland with screenwriter Petra Volpe (who has also directed several noteworthy films, including “The Divine Order”); Andreas Dresen’s “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush,” about a mother who defied all odds to bring her son back home from imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay.
We are grateful for the steadfast support of our sponsors, partners, and friends from near and far, whose enduring belief in our mission and work and whose generosity make this festival possible. Due to the reduction of in-person attendance and ticket sales for cultural events locally and worldwide – and for film events in particular – we need your support now more than ever. Please consider making a donation to our annual fund to help sustain Berlin & Beyond for the present and future.
We extend our gratitude to our hardworking and dedicated festival team, volunteers, and collaborators. Special thanks to the filmmakers and industry professionals for sharing their cinematic work with us. And, of course, thank you, our filmgoers and film lovers, for attending the festival, year after year. Vielen, vielen Dank.
Noémie Njangiru, Director, Goethe-Institut San Francisco & President, Berlin & Beyond
Sophoan Sorn, Director, Berlin & Beyond