The best of German cinema at the Rome Film Festival


By John

The fourth edition of the German Film Festival returns to Rome from 14 to 17 March at the Cinema Quattro Fontane. This is the result of the German Films initiative which, for over 25 years, has been promoting German cinema around the world, and which this year celebrates 70 years of activity. The Festival will take place in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and the Embassy of the Republic of Germany in Rome. Over the four days of programming, some of the most interesting recent German film productions will be presented, for which the Roman public will be asked to vote for their favorite film. A selection of films, including Italian previews and first works, which range across genres and themes, from female emancipation to the vindication of the rights of queer athletes, passing through genre cinema and coming-of-age stories.

To open the festival, in Italian preview, «Falling into place», the first work by director Aylin Tezel, who is also the protagonist. Kira and Ian, two strangers fleeing from their past, meet during a weekend on an island: for 36 hours everything seems possible, but back in London, unaware that they live a short distance from each other, they will only be able to find each other after facing his demons.
Among the films in competition is “Black Box”, directed by Asli Özge, award-winning director of Men on the bridge, awarded for Best Screenplay at the Rome Film Festival. «Elaha» (from the name of the protagonist, a young Kurdish-German), a surprising first work by Milena Aboyan, was premiered in Berlin. Also in the Italian premiere is “When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before” by Sonja Heiss, a touching coming-of-age story set in a large psychiatric hospital.

Among the titles also the docu “Life is not a competition but I'm winning”, the first work by director Julia Fuhr Mann, the story of a group of queer athletes who were barred from participating in sporting events. A collective of queer athletes enters the Olympic Stadium in Athens with the intention of honoring those who have always been excluded from the winners' podium. Closing this fourth edition is «Lola Corre» (Lola run), a 1998 film written and directed by Tom Tykwer, starring Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu, one of the symbolic films of modern German cinema after the fall of the Berlin Wall which is revived from the festival on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of German Films.

The one present in Rome is a selection of works by authors and directors under the attention of critics and international festivals, carefully selected by the jury composed of Cristiana Paternò, Mauro Donzelli and Miriam Mauti. The festival program is completed by a selection of short films from the main German film schools released in 2023.

The German Film Festival is promoted by German Films Service + Marketing GmbH, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and the Embassy of the Republic of Germany in Rome with the support of Cinema Quattro Fontane. The films will be presented in the original language with Italian subtitles.