2021 Video Memories

The 25th Anniversary Berlin & Beyond Film Festival was a hybrid event comprised of virtual cinema and conversations, drive-in movies at Fort Mason, and an in-person return to the Vogue Theatre. This is one of the most unique events we have ever staged, and we want to highlight special conversations from Festival 2021.

Festival Directors Conversation

Festival President and Director of the Goethe-Institut San Francisco Noémie Njangiru presented a special conversation with Ingrid Eggers (Festival Director 1996-2009) and Sophoan Sorn (Festival Director 2010-Present), talking about the beginning of the festival, guiding principles for film selection, and special memories through the years. This video was originally shown following the virtual on-demand showing of Christian Petzold’s “Yella,” chosen by Berlin & Beyond Co-Founder Ingrid Eggers for Berlin & Beyond 25.

Career Achievement Award Tribute to Caroline Link

On the very special occasion of the drive-in screening of “Nowhere in Africa,” which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we presented renowned German filmmaker Caroline Link with the 2021 Career Achievement Award. This video was shown on the Fort Mason Center big screen on May 26th, featuring the virtual award ceremony, with surprise tributes from actors Samuel Schneider, Sylvie Testud, and Juliane Köhler, and a reflection conversation on “Nowhere in Africa” with Noémie Njangiru, Director of the Goethe-Institut San Francisco.

Goethe Forum

Curated by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco Cultural Program, Goethe Forum included Visar Morina’s film, “Exile,” and the boundary-pushing vision “Berlin Alexanderplatz,” followed by a special Q&A with the Director Burhan Qurbani, moderated by Film Curator and Critic Katarina Hedrén.

Watch the Berlin Alexanderplatz Conversation.

The Panel Discussion, “The Beauty of Immersion: Past, Present + Future of Cinema,” delved deep into the fascination and the magic of the cinematic experience. Panelists were: Lisa Gotto (film theorist), Nim Shapira (XR filmmaker), Rana San (Artistic Director, Northwest Film Forum), and Arlin Golden (Drunken Film Fest Oakland). Moderated by Bettina Wodianka, Program Curator of the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Watch the panel discussion.

Swiss Film & Talk

Swiss Film & Talks touched on immigration, the exploitation of immigrant workers, and family dynamics. It featured Bettina Oberli, Director & Screenwriter of “My Wonderful Wanda,” along with Special Guest Amy Kisch, in conversation with Consulate General of Switzerland Cultural and Public Diplomacy Officer Jale Yoldas. Watch the conversation.

Cocoon Q&A

Following the festival’s Closing Night virtual presentation of “Cocoon,” German actor Lena Urzendowsky joined Festival Director Sophoan Sorn for a Q&A.

Youth 4 German Cinema

The 2021 edition of Youth 4 German Cinema, presented by the Goethe-Institut’s Step Into German program and Berlin & Beyond, celebrated this unique initiative, that had brought youth jury members from across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and had shown films to over 6,000 visiting high school and middle school students, through the years.  We had reunion of select youth jury members from past festival editions, in conversation with Sebastian Grobler, Director of “Lessons of a Dream” (“Der ganz große Traum”), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. We welcomed back [virtually] to Berlin & Beyond, Sebastian Ortiz Wilkins (2018, Guadalajara), Katie O’Leary (2019, California), Rodrigo Cardona (2018, Puebla, México), Léa Pailassard (2018, Montreal), Ana Sofía Vázquez Partida (2019, Guadalajara), California), Patrick Thomas Keen (2016, Wisconsin). Where are they now? Here’s a special video montage, with segments made by the jurors themselves.

Special Messages

We have the great honor of welcoming over 200 filmmakers and actors to our festival through the years, and we are moved by these messages from Actor Christiane Paul, Actor Niels Bruno Schmidt, and Director Christian Schwochow.