Focus on German films at DIFF

DUBAI — Six films representing the best of contemporary and classic German filmmaking will make up the ‘In Focus: Germany’ segment of the eighth Dubai International Film Festival to be held from December 7 to 14.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Tue 22 Nov 2011, 8:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:38 AM

The ‘In Focus’ segment this year will open with the red carpet gala screening of director Christian Zubert’s Three Quarter Moon (Dreiviertelmond); and also includes Verena S Freytag’s Burnout (Abgebrannt); David Wnendt’s Combat Girl (Kriegerin); Robert Thalheim’s Westwind and Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s 1929 classic Pandora’s Box (Die Büchse der Pandora), its print restored painstakingly over 12 years; and Ulrike Ottinger’s Under Snow.

“In Focus Germany” is organised in cooperation with German Films and Goethe-Institut Gulf-Region. Pandora’s Box, a silent melodrama is based on Wedekind’s play Lulu and stars the mesmerising Louise Brooks as a thoughtless young woman who brings ruin to herself and those who love her.

Brooks’ intense and timeless performance as Lulu made her one of the icons of cinema. The print has been restored by Martin Koerber of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

Making its international premiere at DIFF 2011, the comedy-drama Three Quarter Moon is a delightful human story of a grumpy, xenophobic taxi driver who finds himself stuck with an energetic, six-year-old Turkish girl who speaks only Turkish. The film is the red carpet gala of the Festival’s In Focus: Germany showcase.

Under Snow, also making its international premiere, leads audiences into the reality of beauty and austere living conditions of the Japanese region of Echigo, where the local population experiences heavy snowfall for six months in the year. The mythical tracks considered the ‘gods of paths and roads’ and mountain spirits are personified within a fairytale love story of a beautiful fox and her lover. The film will be screened for free at The Walk at JBR, the Festival’s outdoor venue, and will be accompanied by the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra (UAEPO) conducted by Philipp Maier.

Burnout is the moving story of a tattooist and single mother of three who finds herself in conflict with the demands of motherhood. Her relationship with a young man who is a drug dealer nearly results in her losing her children, her job and then a place in a rehabilitation home for single mothers. The film will make its Middle East premiere at DIFF.

Westwind is also based on a true story, about two 17-year-old East German twin sisters and rowing champions who go to a training camp in Hungary in 1988, a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall. They meet three young West German men and for one sister, rowing becomes secondary to romance and hopes of flight to the West.

Combat Girl, which also makes its Middle East premiere at DIFF 2011, is a look inside modern neo-Nazi culture from the point of view of a young woman, 20-year-old Marisa, the ultimate rebel who lives by her gang’s rules of hate, violence and heavy parties. Based on true events, the film is a powerful drama about disaffected young people and the steep price of redemption.

Sheila Whitaker, Director of the Festival’s International Programming, said: “For our In Focus segment this year, we are delighted to present some of the best films from Germany, from the classic to the contemporary which we hope will give a flavour of the vibrancy and relevance of German contemporary filmmaking. It is our honour to present these films in the UAE on behalf of both the German industry and the local community.”

More German films will screen in other segments of the festival. DIFF is also introducing German producers, distributors, sales agents, studios, scouts, festivals and development agencies to their counterparts in Dubai and the wider Arab world through its In Focus: Germany film industry events.

In previous years, DIFF has showcased films from Italy, France and Mexico, receiving actors, directors, producers, films and industry delegates from each nation.

The eighth edition of DIFF will be held in association with Dubai Studio City, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF.

The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

Accreditation to the Festival is now open. For more details, log on to

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