New program spotlights German-language films

The Zurich Film Festival’s new Panorama D program aims to showcase German-language films and also shore up the fest’s growing rep as the hot place for local pics. Panorama D features high-profile films such as Uli Edel’s “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” which opens the fest, alongside such competition screeners as “Dr. Aleman” by Tom Schreiber and Luki Frieden’s Luxembourgian-Swiss drama “A Thousand Oceans,” as well as a wide-ranging selection of features and documentaries from Germany and Austria.

“I had the idea for a German-language film section for a long time,” says Antoine Monot Jr., one of the fest’s founding members and Panorama D director. “It was really important for us, as a festival in the German-language market, to provide a special platform for German, Austrian and Swiss films.”

Panorama D presents films from relatively new filmmakers — first, second or third works, says Monot, adding that selected pics tend to be strong actor-driven films and documentaries with powerful subject matter.

“The section is a real panorama, a wide spectrum of films from the past two years,” says Monot.

Set for unspooling:

  • Nicolette Krebitz’s “Das Herz ist ein dunkler Wald” (The Heart Is a Dark Forest), about a woman who discovers her husband is leading a double life.

  • Oezguer Yildirim’s “Chiko,” about two young criminals trying make it in the Hamburg ghetto.

  • “Berlin — 1 Mai” (Berlin — 1st of May), a multidirector, episodic film set around the annual May Day protests in the German capital that includes storylines about young angry Turks and a naive cop looking to calm down the tension on the streets (directed by Sven Taddicken, Jakob Ziemnicki, Carsten Ludwig and Jan-Christoph Glaser).

  • “Revanche,” Goetz Spielmann’s gritty Austrian thriller about guilt and revenge, faith and redemption.

  • “Fleisch ist mein Gemuese,” Christian Goerlitz’s quirky laffer about a young saxophone player who finds respite from his depressed mother, and other problems, with a local band.

  • “Hardcover,” Christian Zuebert’s local buddy comedy about a pulp writer who gets entangled with the mob.

  • “Ich. Immendorff,” Nicola Graef’s documentary about the late Joerg Immendorff, one of Germany’s best-known contemporary painters.

  • “Thieme — King of Pain,” Nikolai Eberth’s documentary about famed stage and film actor Thomas Thieme.

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