I was on site when Filmkunstmesse 2017 released its program to the public late last month. In the comfortably full foyer of Passage Kinos, program curator Hendrike Bake and Felix Bruder (head of AG Kino Gilde e.V.) took our press group through their packed schedule. It includes more than 60 of the best flicks from various fests the world over, covering mainstream to arthouse, and a brand new chockablock two-day kids program + much more.
One could speak about each film as if it were a festival highlight (as in their own unique way, they all are), but hereâ€™s what stood out to me for the upcoming Filmkunstmesse 2017:
2016 british drama Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd. For fans of Shostakovich (or anyone who has recently read Julian Barnesâ€™ novel The Noise of Time), Shakespeare or classic texts, this movie is based on Nikolai Leskovâ€™s 1865 story Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, inspired by Shakespeareâ€™s Macbeth, which was later written as an opera by the Russian composer. Accolades this film has garnered aside, any story inspired by so many influential artists must be one to see. It looks knife-edge, broody and darkly sexy all at once.
Human Flow – a documentary studying the global refugee crisis, filmed in 23 countries, directed by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. You canâ€™t deny the social impact the work of Ai Weiwei has had in recent history. This work promises to do the same. If you want an example of the polarizing opinions this theme and film create – just have a little read through the comments on that trailer. Interesting.
If your tears feel like a little coaxing, the heart warming/melting true love story Maudie by Aisling Walsh, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, is a must-see.
For those who like a good crime thriller, Taylor Sheridanâ€™s Wind River will float your boat.
For the rugrats in your life, for the first time in 2017, the Filmkunstmesse presents a two-day kids program in partnership with Cinemax Leipzig. Together they will create a magical screen world for the little people featuring some of of the best kids films of recent years. My favourite is My Life as a Zucchini (or Courgette, depending on where you’re from).
(Best double check the language on this one)
â€śKino muss die Leute von der Couch bringenâ€ť
As much as for screen audiences, Filmkunstmesse exists for the industry. Programmers this year have been focussing closely on industry panels and events. Major topics that will be put under the microscope is how the cinema industry can adapt to new data technologies – big data in particular. How can practitioners make cinema an even more rewarding experience? How can they incentivise the process, how can programs be optimised?
Attendees will also hear from guest artists including actor Josef Hader and director Miguel Alexandre (Arthur & Claire), directors Lukas Valenta Rinner (Die Liebhaberin), RP Kahl (A Thought of Ecstasy) and Nicolas Wackerbarth (Casting), among others.
Check out the program. Many films are in English.
Leipzig Filmkunstmesse 2017
25 – 29 September
Various cinemas in Leipzig
Visit the website