Welcome to the Autumn Showcase 2021

Dear friends and fellow film lovers, 

We welcome you to the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival Autumn Showcase, continuing the commemoration of our 25th Anniversary Season. 

Despite all the circumstances of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the challenges that we are facing, we feel immensely grateful to have this opportunity to be with you, face to face, in-person for 3 Nights & 3 Cities in San Francisco, Mountain View, and Berkeley. 

Berlin & Beyond continues to be an open forum and a gateway for contemporary German and European cinema to reach the American public. Journey with us through a broad spectrum of dynamic stories, diverse voices, personal experiences, and impactful dialogue. Amidst the exciting Awards Season, we are honored to present, for the first time, the three national entries to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film consideration from Germany (I’m Your Man), Austria (Great Freedom), and Switzerland (Olga).

Opening our festival and screening in all three cities is the captivating I’m Your Man, directed by the multi-talented Maria Schrader, who was our inaugural Berlin & Beyond Career Achievement Award honoree in 2019. The dynamic duo played by  Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens lead this film’s soulful and witty contemplation on the power of consciousness, love, and relationships.

We are honored to welcome to San Francisco producer Lisa Blumenberg and actor Dan Stevens.

We witness stories of courage, perse-verance, and the unwavering human spirit. Franz Rogowski plays a gay man repeatedly incarcerated under Paragraph 175 in Sebsatian Meise’s Great Freedom. In Elie Grappe’s Olga, a gymnast is torn between her newly found country of opportunity and her troubled homeland. Back to the big screen is the Goethe Forum special presentation of Burhan Qurbani’s new vision of Berlin Alexanderplatz, taking Alfred Döblin’s famous text to 2015 Berlin, telling the story of 30-year-old refugee Francis. We will also host the NorCal premiere of Dominik Graf’s dazzling adaptation of Erich Kästner’s classic of Weimar literature, Fabian: Going to the Dogs.

The Goethe-Institut San Francisco is proud to be the founding and presenting partner. As we look back at over two and half decades of great cinema, memories, and relationships forged, we are grateful for the empowering support of all of you –our sponsors, partners, and friends from near and far. Your enduring generosity makes this festival possible. Likewise, we extend our gratitude to our 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, particularly those in the San Francisco Bay Area, for attending the festival, year after year. Welcome back to the cinema.

Respectfully,

Noémie Njangiru
Director, Goethe-Institut San Francisco
President, Berlin & Beyond 

Sophoan Sorn
Director, Berlin & Beyond