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Focus: Accomplices

This year’s focus programme invites feminist solidarity across the history of cinema. For ever since films have been made, women have been involved in creating images for cinema. At the same time, all important epochs of the feminist movements were and are flanked by cinematic stories of self-empowerment. Five long feature films and documentaries, three short film programmes, the legendary Film All-Nighter and a lecture on the pioneers of Arab cinema offer the opportunity to forge relationships in cinema beyond the present and to show solidarity with accomplices of past times.

Five feature-length films span female filmmaking from 1915 to 2023: From the fantastic cross-dressing silent film Filibus (IT 1915) in a newly restored version, Elisabeth Bergner’s first sound film Ariane from 1931, the queer romantic comedy Alles wird gut (DE 1998) by Angelina Maccarone with the first Afro-German cast in the leading roles (Kati Stüdemann, Chantal de Freitas et al.). Christiana Perschon’s documentary Sie ist der andere Blick (AT 2018), made in collaboration with five Viennese women artists, and Aufräumen (DE 2023), Claudia Richarz’s tribute to the groundbreaking film work of Helke Sander, which the festival presents as a world premiere. All feature-length films will be accompanied by pre-films from the 1910s, presented in cooperation with the EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam and supported live by musicians Mariá Portugal (drums) and Gunda Gottschalk (violin).

Other accomplices populate the screen in the short film programme Best of Accomplices, the music video programme One Thousand Ways to Skin It and at the popular Film All-Nighter under the motto Radical accomplices. There will be a reunion with artists such as Yoko Ono, Clara van Gool, Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hanna, Peaches, Jennifer Reeder, Kurtwin Ayub, Jodie Mack and many more.

Finally, Irit Neidhardt, author and expert on Arab cinema, invites us in her film lecture Pioneers, Divas, Visionaries to rediscover women from the early days of Arab cinema, such as Haydée Chikli, a pioneer of Tunisian film, after 100 years.

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