Das Filmfest presents a panorama of German films

Most entries in the annual festival have English and Czech subtitles

More than 40 films will be presented in Das Filmfest, with many entries having English and Czech subtitles. The entries include comedies, historical dramas, thrillers and art house films. The festival run Oct 19 to 23 in Prague at cinemas Lucerna and Atlas, and later moves to Brno on Oct. 31. The films come from not only Germany but also Austria and Switzerland, and outside of festivals would likely not be seen in the Czech Republic.

The festival in Prague will begin with Greetings from Fukushima by writer-director Doris Dörrie. The film, which is about two women who meet in Japan after the nuclear accident, will be introduced by actress Rosalie Thomass.

A festival highlight is the comedy Toni Erdmann, which was popular at the Cannes and other film festivals. It has won the FIPRESCI Grand Prix for best film of the year, making it the first time this prize has gone to a female filmmaker, Maren Ade.

The Swiss film Die Schwalbe (The Swallow) is about a woman who travels to the Kurdish section of Iraq in search of her roots. The film depicts two of life’s tragedies: not having our wishes fulfilled and having them fulfilled, according to the description.

The German film 24 Wochen (24 Weeks) is a serious drama concerning a pregnant woman who finds out her fetus has Down syndrome and other serious problems. The issue is further complicated because the woman works in the entertainment industry as a comedian, and as a result she is in the public eye.

The Austrian film, Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert (We Used to be Cool) uses dry humor. Three couples in their 30s decide to have children and try to do it while keeping their ideals.

An offbeat entry in the festival is Attack Of The Lederhosenzombies, a horror comedy in English. A snowboarder and two of his friends become stranded in the alps and take refuge at a ski lodge, and at the same time a scientific experiment gets out of hand unleashing zombies and mutant wildlife.

Not all of the films are new ones. A mountain climbing film from 1929 starring Leni Riefenstahl will be shown with live music from the band Ufajr. Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü (The White Hell of Pitz Palu) was co-directed by Arnold Fanck and Georg Wilhelm Pabst. The story concerns a man's long search for his wife, who vanished while climbing the mountian.

There are several thematic sections in the festival. Das Filmfest Spezial presents significant new films. The section Die Flucht (Escape) examines its theme literally and figuratively. It includes a new version of Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (Diary of Anne Frank) as well as a new version of Heidi, plus Attack Of The Lederhosenzombies, Die Schwalbe and other films.

A new genre of small-scale stories by mostly young filmmakers is Mumblecore. One highlight in this section is Dicke Mädchen (Heavy Girls), the debut film from director Axel Ranisch from 2012. It was an early entry in the mumblecore genre. His more recent film, Alki Alki, is also in the festival. The director will attend the festival to introduce some of the screenings.

The section Die Doku will present documentaries and there is also a section of short films. The accompanying program will also present Tom Tykwer's 1998 film Run Lola Run, starring Franka Potente.

For more information of the festival, visit dasfilmfest.cz

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