The 39th edition of the Munich Film Festival, which runs June 23-July 2, will screen 120 films from 52 countries, including 35 world premieres, such as “Paloma” by Marcelo Gomes, one of several films in the festival that tackles the subject of trans identities.
The three international competition sections will feature numerous highlights from the Cannes Film Festival, including “Corsage,” which opens the event. Vicky Krieps was honored in Cannes with the best actress award in the Un Certain Regard section for her performance as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as “Sissi.”
Four films come to Munich fresh from Cannes’ main competition: “Leila’s Brothers” by Iranian director Saeed Roustayi, about a family’s struggle for survival in an Iran economically weakened by Western sanctions and consumed by corruption; “Pacifiction” by Albert Serra, in which Benoît Magimel excels as a conflicted police commissioner; “The Eight Mountains,” directed by Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen, a touching adaptation of Paolo Cognetti’s novel about a friendship forged in the spectacular natural environment of the Western Alps; and Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with “Broker,” which received the award for best acting performance in Cannes for Song Kang-ho.
Many female directors are represented in the program. In the CineVision competition, 70% of the films were directed by women; in New German Cinema, it’s 60%. Very often, these female filmmakers tell stories about women. This is certainly true of the CineMasters competition, where Marie Kreutzer’s empowering and eminently modern reinterpretation of the life of Empress Elisabeth, “Corsage,” is being screened alongside Emily Atef’s Cannes Un Certain Regard entry “More Than Ever” — also starring Krieps. CineVision delivers two of the most impressive directorial debuts of the year: “Aftersun” by Charlotte Wells, which played in Cannes’ Critics’ Week, and “War Pony” by Riley Keough and Gina Gammell, winners of Cannes’ Golden Camera.
The festival is launching a new international competition section, CineRebels, dedicated to rebellious cinema. It’s a new platform for those who like to bend the rules, embark on cinematic adventures, and appeal to cinephiles. “The Penultimate” (directed by Jonas Kærup Hjort), “Quantum Cowboys” (directed by Geoff Marslett), “Scarlet” (directed by Pietro Marcello), “Giulia” (directed by Ciro De Caro), and “Cook F**k Kill” (directed by Mira Fornay) are among the 10 productions competing for the first CineRebels Award of 10,000 Euros.
The theme of “50 Years of the 1972 Olympics” will be explored in various ways. These include Klaus Lemke’s “Champagne for the Eyes – Poison for the Rest,” which depicts the lifestyle of Munich in the 1970s, and the series “Munich Games,” which revolves around the terrorist attack at the Olympics.
Christoph Gröner, artistic director of the Munich Film Festival, said: “Finally, we’re once again able to celebrate the entire spectrum of filmmaking, from intricate experiments to surprising blockbusters, from political cinema to exceptional entertainment. The new CineRebels competition is a further expression of this, as are the themes of the 1972 Olympics and body horror. We’re particularly delighted that the spectrum of filmmakers is becoming ever broader, both internationally and nationally.”
This year’s CineMerit Award is being presented to Italian actor Alba Rohrwacher, who “captivates viewers with her low-key, precise acting and her versatility,” the festival said. Her film “Peacock’s Paradise” will screen in the Spotlight section.
Munich is also paying homage to German director Doris Dörrie, whose latest film, “The Pool,” approaches womanhood in its many forms “with a refined sense of humor and receptiveness to dissent.” The tribute will feature her early film “Straight to the Heart” (1983) and — in a newly restored version — “Am I Beautiful?” (1998).
The festival director, Diana Iljine, said: “Doris Dörrie is one of Germany’s great auteur filmmakers. She has always allowed herself the freedom to express herself artistically in her own particular way. The sensitive and passionate performances by Alba Rohrwacher, who has joined us in Munich several times, have also had a lasting impact on international cinema. I am proud to honor these two leaders in filmmaking by women.”
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