Film|Neu 2013 - New Films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
From rousing widescreen historical epics to wryly comic black-and-white slacker meditations, the 21st annual edition of Film|Neu has something for every filmgoer's taste. The robust film industries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland continue to produce diverse slates of entertainment that audiences want to see.
"As always, we're grateful to the audiences that enthusiastically support the program each year, bringing keen minds and good taste to each screening. We hope that this year's selection will prove worthy of our efforts and your interest"
- Eddie Cockrell, Washington native and freelance film critic for the trade paper Variety.
For further Information on all films to be screened please visit www.filmneu.org.
Austria's contributions to this year's Film|Neu Festival are 'Kuma' and 'Shine of Day':
When: Saturday, October 5 | 10:00 pm & Sunday, October 6 | 1:00 pm
Austria, 2011, Color, 93 minutes, Turkish, German with English subtitles
Director: Umut Dağ Screenplay: Petra Ladinigg, Dağ Producers: Veit Heduschka, Michael Katz Cast: Nihal Koldaş, Begüm Akkaya, Vedat Erincin, Dilara Karabayır, Murathan Muslu, Alev Irmak, Merve Çevik, Abdulkadir Gümüş, Ali Yıldırım, İlkay Kayku Atalay, Aliye Esra Salebci, Elif Dağ Sales: Films Boutique (Berlin, Germany)
Selectd as the opening night film for the prestigious Panorama section of the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, Austrian-Born Kurd director Umut Dağ's debut feature Kuma is a thoughtful, assured family drama about generational issues and the gap between Turkish and German cultures. At a traditional weeding in Turkey, 19-year-old country girl Ayse (Begum Akkaya) marries the handsome Hasan (Murathan Muslu). When his family delegation, led by kindly Patriarch Mustafa (Vedat Erincin), returns to Vienna, Ayse discovers she's really been recruited as a second wife for Mustafa, as his first, Fatma (Nihal Koldaş), has cancer. Hasan's all right with this, but his five siblings differ in opinions on the new addition. Over the course of about a year, the family comes to grips with Ayse and their own individual challenges, even as the young woman and Fatma develop a strong bond.
First-time screenwriter Petra Ladinigg worked from an original idea by Dağ, and the combination of her rich characters and his confident, unflashy direction results in an authentic depiction of a family dynamic. "In my view," the director has said, "women generally have more fascinating stories to tell." With Kuma, Dağ has given one such story a clear voice. - Eddie Cockrell
Umut Dağ (b. 1982, Vienna, Austria) studied international Relations, Religion and teaching. Following his career as a commercials director, he took up studies at the Vienna Film Academy in 2006. He has directed numerous short films, documentaries, Sitcoms and music videos. Kuma is his feature-length dramatic directorial debut.
The Shine of Day (Der Glanz des Tages)
When: Tuesday, October 8, 7:00 and 9:00 pm
Reception with Austrian treats between the two screenings
Austria, 2012, color, 90 minutes, German with English subtitles
Directors: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel Screenplay: Covi, Frimmel, Xaver Bayer Producer Frimmel Cast: Philipp Hochmair, Walter Saabel Sales: Austrian Film Commission
Audiences fortunate enough to see La Pivellina in the 2010 edition of Filmfest DC witnessed a beguiling docudrama hybrid from documentarians Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel. Their follow-up, The Shine of Day, continues the blend of fact and fiction found in their previous film by focusing on a pair of mismatched relatives and their comically awkward first meetings after many years apart. Walter Saabel, a burly German who played the circus performer in La Pivellina and is one in real life, is Walter, the long-lost uncle of Philipp, played by prominent Austrian stage actor Philipp Hochmair. That the two men are not actually related adds yet another layer of playfulness to an already relaxd, deliberate film. As the two men get to know each other in a wintry Hamburg, each has something to contribute to the other's life: the peripatetic Philipp learns of Walter's skill as a former bear fighter, whilst Walter learns to appreciate Philipp's stagecraft during a production of Woyzeck in which the actor stars. Part encounter group, part neorealist drama and all heart, The Shine of Day is a modest triumph about the intricacies of family and the pleasures of companionship. - Eddie Cockrell
Tizza Covi (b. 1971, Bolzano, Italy) is a screenwriter who lived in Paris and Berlin before studying photography in Vienna and working in Rome. Since 1996 she has collaborated with Rainer Frimmel on films, Theater and photography. Their films together include the documentaries That's All (Das ist Alles, 2001) and Babooska (2005), as well as their fiction debut, The Girl (La Pivellina), 2009).
Rainer Frimmel (b. 1971, Vienna, Austria) studied psychology in his hometown and received a degree photography. In 2002 he founded Vento Film with Tizza Covi. Their films together include the documentaries That's All (Das ist Alles, 2001) and Babooska (2005), as well as their fiction debut, The Girl (La Pivellina, 2009).