BERLIN & BEYOND – 16th Anniversary, Film Festival Opens at The Castro, October 20th

Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Opening Thursday, October 20th and playing through Wednesday, October 26th – the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival celebrates its 16th year with an exceptional lineup of the year’s best films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and an array of panels, parties and industry guests sure to delight both the cineast and the casual fan of German-language film. Presenting over 20 films and a forward-thinking program of short films and on-stage discussions, this year’s Berlin & Beyond Film Festival celebrates the theme “Light, Love & Revolution” with a number of international programs building on a core of films illuminating Germany’s volatile post-war era. Other programming strands explored in this year’s festival are Migration and Multiculturalism and Das Leben Der Kinder (The Lives of Children). The festival will screen 29 films overall, including three international premieres, and two North American premieres.
Click here to order tickets on-line: Berlin & Beyond

7:00 pm – Opening Night Film: Almanya – Welcome to Germany
9:30 pm – Opening Night Party

The festival’s Opening Night celebrates the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigration, launching with the charming magical-realist family comedy Almanya – Welcome to Germany by Nesrin and Yasemin Samdereli, winner of both Best Screenplay and Outstanding Feature Film at this year’s German Film Awards. After six-year-old Cenk is bullied in the schoolyard when he is unable to identify himself as either German or Turkish, his cousin begins to tell him the story of his grandfather Hüseyin and his immigration to Germany as part of the country’s “guest worker” program. Later, at a family dinner, his grandfather announces that he has purchased a house in Turkey and the family bedgrudgingly embarks on a pilgrimage that promises to bring their past and future into balance. Following the screening, the Opening Night party kicks off at at 9:30 pm on the beloved Castro Mezzanine, where film fans can celebrate and mingle with luminaries while enjoying delicious cocktails and delectable culinary treats. To accompany the film, the festival will host a panel discussion, entitled “In Transit: A Panel on Migration and Multicuturalism” as a forum for the discussion of the film and the current multi-national climate in Europe. Nina Kusturica’s Little Alien, boxing doc Klitschko and the time-spanning love story Remembrance also explore festival programming strand “Migration and Multiculturalism”.

Joschka & Mr. Fischer Filmladen Filmverleih

FRIDAY, October 21st
3:30 pm – Mount St. Elias
6:00 pm – Joschka & Mr. Fischer
9:15 pm – How About Love (preceded by Miramare)

SATURDAY, October 22nd
1:00 pm – Winter`s Daughter
3:00 pm – Little Alien (with In Transit: A Panel on Migration & Multiculturalism)
6:45 pm – The Poll Diaries
9:45 pm – Sennentuntschi

SUNDAY, October 23rd
11:00 am – The Tigerduck Gang
1:00 pm – Face the Wall
3:30 pm – The Fatherless
6:00 pm – Centerpiece Film: Bold Heroes
8:45 pm – The Day I Was Not Born (preceded by Raju

MONDAY, October 24th
4:00 pm – Winter`s Daughter
6:30 pm – Stopped on Track
9:15 pm – Klitschko (preceded by Between Heaven and Earth)

TUESDAY, October 25th
3:30 pm – Jane’s Journey
6:00 pm – Remembrance (preceded by Laula)
8:30 pm – The Sandman

WEDNESDAY, October 26th
2:30 pm – 100 Years Hollywood – The Carl Laemmle Story
4:30 pm – Lila, Lila (preceded by The Visit
7:00 pm – Closing Night Film: If Not Us, Who
9:30 pm – Closing Night Party

SATURDAY, October 29th – Encore Day
At San Jose Camera 12 Cinemas , 201 South Second Street, San Jose

1:00 pm – The Sandman (preceded by Lights)
3:00 pm – The Poll Diaries
6:00 pm – Young Goethe in Love
8:30 pm – 3

The Festival’s Centerpiece screening, Bold Heroes, winner of the Zurich Film Festival Audience Award and the Swiss Film Prize for Best Actor, is sure to be a mid-festival highlight. In equal parts inspirational and amusing for its light-hearted slant on the story of four mischievous boys determined to live up their teenage years despite the various conditions that keep them hospital-bound, Bold Heroes also leads the festival’s third programming strand “Das Leben der Kinder” (The Lives of Children), encompassing Chris Kraus’s The Poll Diaries, Johannes Schmid’s Winter’s Daughter, and animated matinee feature The Tigerduck Gang.

Festival Closing Night film, If Not Us, Who, is the winner of the 2011 German Film Awards Best Film (in Bronze) and the Alfred Bauer Prize following its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. Using the restless love affair of two students-turned-revolutionaries as a foil for the changing times, Andres Veiel’s debut feature deftly weaves a narrative through Germany’s explosive 1960′s, connecting the dots between the disparate revolutionary ideologies of figures like Stokely Carmichael and Andreas Baader, and exploring the expanding link between popular culture and political sea-change. After the screening, the Closing Night party takes place at 9:30 pm on the Castro Mezzanine, celebrating the conclusion of another year of innovative programming with an assortment of local tastes and themed drinks. German documentaries Joschka & Mr. Fischer and Face the Wall, and Austrian narrative The Fatherless continue the Light, Love and Revolution programming strand.

Click here to order tickets on-line: Berlin & Beyond

Click here for more festival information: 16th Annual Festival

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:

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