German Film Festival 2023

The 2023 German Film Festival kicks off in Sydney this week. This year’s festival boasts 33 films to choose from. And with those 33 films there is easily a movie for anyone. From romance to drama, music and children’s films; it’s a stacked month.

The festival is presented by Palace Cinemas who have some wonderful cinemas around the country. In association with German Films the festival showcases some favourites from major European festivals. There are also a selection from neighbouring countries Austria and Switzerland.

To help you decide what to watch this festival, here at Novastream we’ve taken our favourites from each category.

First up is the Kino For Kids and the Australian Premiere of My Life as Lotta – Okey Dokey Alpaca! (MEIN LOTTA-LEBEN – ALLES TSCHAKA MIT ALPAKA!). A tale of friendship, crushes and a haunted youth hostel. The movie is bright and colourful and a lot of fun suitable for early to middle years.

Lotta is heading on her first school trip. But to make matters worse, so is her Father as a chaperone. Lotta’s school trip goes from bad to worse when she finds the Youth Hostel they are staying in seems to be haunted and one of the girls has gone missing. But with Lotta’s gang, the “Wild Rabbits”, the friends set out to find Channel making for one memorable trip.

Ticking two boxes for the festival is the Special Presentation by Female Director Frauke Finsterwalder and her film, Sisi & I (SISI & ICH). The tale of a beautiful friendship surrounded by unhappiness in an otherwise unkind world. 

Sisi, who’s official name is The Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary, is living in a women-only commune at her summer residence in Corfu, Greece. Countess Irma von Sztaray Sisi’s lady in waiting has been sent to spend the summer with her. 

Sisi immediately takes a liking to Irma and they find pleasure in each other’s company. But when Sisi can’t handle her life’s pressures, the two concoct a plan to break free of her chains and visit the outside world. 

The movie is a reimagining of the historical writings of Irma and the iconic Empress. And while it’s classed as a drama you’ll certainly find plenty of scenes entertaining. 

And finally is the Music, Art and Chaos retrospective. The Novastream pick is the B-Movie: Lust & Sound In West Berlin 1979-1989. A chaotic documentary of the wild West Berlin in the 1980s through the eyes of Mancunian Mark Reeder. 

With Nick Cave starring in unreleased footage and original interviews we take a journey through the epicentre of pop culture where anything was possible in a divided city, West Berlin. 

Some worthy mentions is, Merkel. A documentary about how a triple political outsider, a woman, a scientist and an East German, became one of the most powerful politicians in the World. Angela Merkel the first female Chancellor of Germany.

A Thousand Lines (TAUSEND ZEILEN) is the story based on journalist Lars Bogenius when the news magazine, Die Chronik, finds inconsistencies in his cover story. Based on actual events, Freelance Journalist Juan Romeo does his own research and discovers a political scandal.

The festival starts in Sydney on May second and screens in Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Byron Bay for the month of May. You can book tickets and see what other films are being shown via the germanfestival.com.au website.

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