By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 31, 2014 at 2:30PM
Taking place from April 8-13, the 31st edition of the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival will have it’s main program in the city of Cologne. A small selection will be seen in Dortmund as well. A total of 106 films from 37 countries will be screened and about 60 international filmmakers are going to be guests in Cologne. The festival will also be putting on a number of events that go beyond what a normal visit to the cinema has to offer. Events intended to spark a critical response to the medium of film via a number of formats – panel discussions, talks and workshops for cinema aficinados and film-makers alike.
Five Germany Premieres Compete for €10,000 Prize
A total of eight exceptional debut feature films will be screened in Cologne, having been short-listed from the 120 international film debuts of the last two years. Of that eight, the festival will present five of them as firsts for Germany – including, as the opening film, the award-winning tragicomedy The Amazing Catfish from Mexico. The other nominees are: Talea (Austria), The Magnetic Tree (Chile), Sense of Humor (France), Matei Child Miner (Romania), Marussia (Russia/France), Under the Starry Sky (Senegal/France) – and The Plague (Spain). Mostly seen against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, shot with stunning visuals and told with surprising concision, these are stories of childhood, family, identity and belonging.
The Jury for this edition will be formed by Kim Yutani, programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, Turkish director Pelin Esmer ( 10 to 11, Watchtower) and German actress Julia Hummer (Gespenster, Top Girl)
At the Cologne location of the Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival, the spotlight is always on the cinematic oeuvre of a particular region or country. This year, the encounter is with Turkey and its women filmmakers.
The Country Focus zooms in on the ongoing demonstrations and protest movements organized by Turkish citizens since the end of May 2013 against the
authoritarian policies of the governing party in Turkey. The program thus sets out to analyze the concepts and definitions of home and identity and to
examine to what extent current protests had already been anticipated there in the films of recent years.
Divided into ten programs the festival will present feature films, documentaries and short films from 2004 to 2013 as well as the historic feature film Dönüs (The Return 1972) by and with the great Turkish actress Türkan Soray.Filmmakers and experts like Deniz Akçay, Pelin Esmer, Serpil Turhan, Rüya Arzu Köksal Kudu, Aysun Bademsoy, Lale Akgün, Mely Kiyak, Can Erdogan, Emel Celebi, Sedef Özge and Güliz Saglam will also be guests. Two panel discussions, a master class with Yeşim Ustaoğlu and the photo exhibition "Tarlabasi - On the Edge of Transformation"round off the programme as a whole.
Let Your Light Shine - The PANORAMA section
Fiction, documentary, essay, avant-garde, experimental films and all the shorter formats: there are no formal restrictions on the Panorama Section and all lengths of movie are welcome. This year, 13 long films and 32 short to medium-length films are on view, including a good few premieres for Germany.
In the course of the selection process, it is the attitude of the women film-makers, the way they represent people in their films and the effect so generated that play an important role. Yet even though the Panorama section attempts to do full justice to the variety of artistic forms of expression, documentary and experimental films are given some priority. Among these are films like Perfect Garden by Mara Mattuschka, Touch by Shelly Silver, Noor by Cagla Zencirci, My Love Awaits Me By The Sea by Mais Darwazah and Rock the Casbah by Laïla Marrakchi and a film program & live performance by Jodie Mack, just to mention a few