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Dear friends and fellow film lovers,

Welcome to the 28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, April 18-20, 2024 at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, April 21-22 at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, and streaming April 23-25 online. 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. It is our firm belief that platforms like this festival are integral in challenging times like now, to upkeep our humanity, empathy, and openness to other ideas and perspectives. It is through cultural exchange that we can widen our horizons and build bridges of understanding.

Our festival opens with the North American Premiere of Markus Goller’s profoundly humanistic “One for the Road,” with a compelling performance by actor Frederick Lau, about a man facing the obstacles of addiction. We will honor Markus Goller with the 2024 Film Maker Award, celebrating the multi-hyphenate’s decades-long career and film industry impact as Director, Producer, and Editor.

We are thrilled to present the North American Premiere of “Girl You Know It’s True,” the long-awaited cinematic telling of the Milli Vanilli story, directed by and written for the screen by Simon Verhoeven. The premiere will be graced by the presence of the real Fab Morvan himself.

We will spend a Saturday afternoon with renowned Swiss Director Bettina Oberli, special guest of Swiss Film & Talks. The event will include an episode of her riveting TV series “The Night in Question,” and a 35 mm projection of the 2006 comedy classic “Late Bloomers,” with the print coming all the way from the Swiss Film Archive. Chosen by our international youth jury, the winning film of the 11th edition of Youth 4 German Cinema is “Weekend Rebels,” directed by Marc Rothemund and starring Florian David Fitz and Cecilio Andresen. It is the story of a father and his autistic son, bonding on their journey to find a favorite football (soccer) team.

Our revamped family matinée program, Berlin & Beyond Junior, features Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt’s “Thabo and the Rhino Case,” a detective story set in the African savannah, and Carolina Hellsgård’s present-day cinematic vision of “The Flying Classroom,” based on the 1933 novel by Erich Kästner.

Other highlights include: the Centerpiece presentation of “Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert,” with a captivating Vicky Krieps as the Austrian author – her life, romances, introspection, and radical writings (for that time period); the Goethe Forum presentation of “Hao Are You” – Director Dieu Hao Do’s exploration of the fragmentation of his family across three continents following the American War in Vietnam; David Wnendt’s “Sun and Concrete,” about four high school friends, surviving everyday life in Berlin-Neukölln; Charly Hübner’s “Sophia, Death and Me,” with four different personalities in one car on a wild ride, racing against time, cheating death, and holding onto what’s most important in life.

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