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[Film Festival] Kinofest 2023 (2nd German Film Festival)

October 16, 2023

The second edition of the annual German film festival, KinoFest 2023, is back in Manila this October!

After an online debut last year, KinoFest 2023 is returning in an offline format, taking place in various cities across Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. KinoFest 2023 will be held in cities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

KinoFest is a joint production involving eight Goethe-Instituts in Southeast Asia, showcasing the latest films released from 2021 to 2023. “This year, KinoFest features a diverse selection of German films, including dramas, documentaries, comedies, fiction, and thrillers. These films touch on important themes such as interconnections, immigrations, and entanglements,” said Dr Ingo Schöningh, Regional Head of Cultural Programs at Goethe-Institut Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Gugi Gumilang, the curator of KinoFest 2023, added, “The curation of KinoFest departs from the idea to show that German cinema is a rich and diverse tapestry of influences and voices that reflect the country’s complex history and its evolving cultural landscape.”

In Manila, the KinoFest kicks off on October 19 at 6 PM at Gateway Cineplex Cinema 6 with the 2023 release “Sun and Concrete” (Sonne und Beton). The film’s second screening on October 22 at 3 PM will be followed by a Q&A session with the director, David Wnendt, and the author of the book on which the film is based, Felix Lobrecht.

The screenings of other films will follow from October 20 to 22 at the Gateway Cineplex 10 Cinemas 6 and 7. A total of 7 new German films will be screened along with 4 Experimental films from Germany and the Philippines by Khavn Dela Cruz.

Kinofest 2023 Lineup

OPENING FILM: Sonne und Beton (Sun and Concrete)
Germany | 2023 | Narrative, Coming-of-Age | 119 min

The four Friends Lukas, Julius, Gino and Sanchez are trying to survive the everyday life in Neukölln, Berlin between Drugs, Gangs, Rap, Violence and Boredom. Until they are one day making a serious decision with serious consequences because of a dead certain Plan.

Germany | 2023 | Narrative, Drama | 110 min

Twenty-two-year-old Elaha believes she must restore her supposed innocence before she weds. A surgeon could reconstruct her hymen, but she cannot afford such an operation.

Hao Are You
Germany | 2023 | Documentary | 90 min

His mother blames communism, his uncle an inheritance dispute, the others fall silent. Director Dieu Hao Do explores the fragmentation of his family. The American War in Vietnam scattered them across three continents. Nearly 50 years after their escape, contact between the seven family members has all but broken down. How have traumas from persecution and violence inscribed themselves on the bodies and souls of the survivors and their children? After the Fall of Saigon on April 30 1975, more than 1.5 million people fled the communist regime, many of them including the director’s family belonging to the Chinese minority there.

Republik der Stille (Republic of Silence)
Germany, France | 2021 | Documentary | 181 min

Twelve years in the making, Republic of Silence bears witness to a tragedy on an epic scale, accompanied by an ever-expanding mosaic of fragile, deeply embedded moments from Diana El Jeiroudi’s life, beginning with the memory from the age of seven when her father gives her a camera, right up to the present day.

Sisi und Ich (Sisi and Me)
Germany, Austria, Switzerland | 2023 | Dark Comedy, Historical Fiction | 132 min

Story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria from the point of view of her lady-in-waiting, Irma Sztáray, during a period in which the Empress was separated from her husband for many years and was surrounded only by other women, travelling throughout Europe, mastering six languages, and practicing high-performance sports.

The Ordinaries
Germany | 2022 | Satire, Tragic Comedy, Sci-fi | 120 min

The protagonist is a simple Supporting Character, in a repressive three-class society, trying to prove that she deserves to be a Lead.

Germany | 2021 | Narrative, Comedy | 96 min

After his release from prison, Babtou is looking forward to a fresh start, enjoying his freedom and never dealing with German authorities again. However, Babtou finds himself facing deportation when a spontaneous welcome home party goes awry.

KINOFEST SPECIALS: Experimental Films from Germany and the Philippines

Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember
Germany, Philippines | 2016 | Experimental Film, Fiction | 88 min

Mondomanila in the year 2031, where the poorest of the poor live. The dwellers earn their living with the dirty business of coal making. The Kostkas, a gang of street kids steal and kill in the „black capital“. When they go for the ultimate heist and rob the central bank, the robbery goes awry, the money disappears and their boss is jailed for 28 years. After he is released the Kostkas want to know where the money is buried. But the boss doesn’t reveal the location and the gang members are gradually killed off. Panic spreads among the remaining survivors and suspicion grows that one in their midst is behind the killings.

Happy Lamento
Germany, Philippines | 2018 | Experimental Film | 90 mins

The essay film shows in a kind of stream of thoughts the most different things and concepts, both abstract and concrete, in the typical style of Alexander Kluge. He shows elephants during the evacuation of a Russian circus in 1941, electric light, Trump at the G20 summit and brutal street fights among gangs of children in the northern slums of Manila

Love is a Dog from Hell
Germany, Philippines | 2022 | Fiction, Newage Musical | 90 min

LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL reimagines the Orpheus myth as a psychedelic rock musical in a grotesque, surreal interpretation of Mondomanila.

Germany, Philippines | 2020 | Fiction, Newage Musical | 99 min

The myth of Orpheus is well-known: he returns to life from the underworld and laments the loss of his love with his music. Alexander Kluge and Khavn, an exceptional duo with explosive power, take this myth as the basis for a genuine revolution. Orpheus’ journey to the realm of the dead to save Eurydice has been failing for millennia and ends fatally

Admission & Screening Schedule

Tickets to the KinoFest 2023 are priced at 200 Php for all films with regular discounts applicable for students, senior citizens, and PWDs. The opening night on October 19 is free and open to all on a first-come-first-served basis while tickets for the rest of the Manila screenings may be purchased at the cinema counters of Gateway Cineplex 10, via the Gateway Cineplex 10 website, or via the Araneta City App.

DateTimeCinema 6Cinema 7
Oct 19 / Thurs6:00 PMSun and Concrete (Sonne und Beton)
Oct 20 / Fri1:00 PMElahaThe Ordinaries
6:30 PMKinofest Specials: Happy LamentoKinofest Specials: Orphea
8:30 PMToubabRepublic of Silence (Republik der Stille)
Oct 21 / Sat1:00 PMSisi and Me (Sisi und Ich)Hao Are You
6:30 PMKinofest Specials: AlipatoKinofest Specials: Love is a Dog from Hell
8:30 PMElahaThe Ordinaries
Oct 22 / Sun1:00 PMToubabRepublic of Silence (Republik der Stille)
3:00 PMSun and Concrete (Sonne und Beton) *SCREENING FOLLOWED BY A Q&A SESSIONHao Are You

The KinoFest in Manila is made possible through the partnership with Gateway Mall and the support of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Detailed information about KinoFest 2023 can be accessed at www.goethe.de/manila/kinofest.

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