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German Film Festival Opens Tonight with Gala Event

German Film Festival Opens Tonight with Gala Event in Wellington

The Goethe-Institut launches this year’s German Film Festival tonight with a gala screening of Sound of Heimat at the Paramount in Wellington, from 5:30pm.

Special guests include Kiwi musician Hayden Chisholm, who is back in the country to celebrate his starring role in the documentary - a Kiwi helping Germans rediscover their musical roots. Joining Hayden is Sound of Heimat director Arne Birkenstock and German “Yodelling Queen" Loni Kuisle, who also stars in the film.

Attendees will enjoy refreshments, the screening, and a special Q&A afterwards, which will include a couple of musical numbers from the stars. Limited seats are still available.

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the festival brings together 25 films (18 feature films and 7 short films) showcasing very different facets of German life, both past and present, across a range of genres - from drama, thriller and comedy to horror, war and western.

After opening in Wellington (4-14 September, Paramount) the festival moves to Auckland (11-21 September, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket) and Dunedin (25-28 September, Rialto Cinemas), for the first time since 2009. Gala events on opening night will be held in all host cities.

In addition to the best films German cinema has to offer, the Goethe-Institut is hosting special events designed to expand enjoyment of the festival beyond what’s on screen. In Wellington, a Jazz Concert will be held at Old St Paul’s on Saturday 6 September, featuring Hayden Chisholm (Sound of Heimat). Auckland is hosting a special Yodelling Workshop on Sunday 14 September with Loni Kuisle (Sound of Heimat), and a Film for Foodies night onWednesday 17 September.

Auckland will also play host to a unique opportunity for Kiwi filmmakers. The Goethe-Institut and Documentary Edge with support from Colab/AUT and the NZ Film Commission have put together an International Co-Production Forum, designed to help Kiwi filmmakers find international producers and funding. Led by Producer Alex Lee, the panel of industry experts at the forum includes German filmmakers Arne Birkenstock (Sound of Heimat) and Maren Niemeyer, New Zealand Producer John Barnett (Footrot Flats, Whale Rider, Sione's Wedding and TV's Outrageous Fortune), and the Chief Financial Officer New Zealand Film Commission, Mladen Ivancic. The forum will be held onThursday 18 September.

The full festival programme and events schedule is available online at:


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