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The producer of Afire, Anton Kaiser, next to the editor of SUR deutsche Ausgabe and the director of the film festival, Uwe Scheele. Migue Fernández
Award-winning Afire puts the focus on global warming at opening of Malaga's German film week
German film week 2023

Award-winning Afire puts the focus on global warming at opening of Malaga's German film week

The producer of the film, Anton Kaiser, told SUR that part of the film's success lies in the influence of the youth on the director

Víctor Rojas

Malaga

Wednesday, 22 November 2023

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Both 'guten Abend' and 'buenas tardes' could be heard in equal measures last night in a packed Cine Albéniz in Malaga. German and Spanish accents mingled to open the German film week in the city, which kicked off with the premiere of Afire, a film that won the Grand Jury Prize at the last Berlinale German film awards ceremony. "It feels good to see so many people coming to see the film. We do not always appear in the premieres, so it is very exciting to see so many people come to this cinema," the producer of the feature film, Anton Kaiser, told SUR minutes before the screening.

In his opinion, the success of his film lies, among other things, in the influence that young people had on him. "It was important to have this approach because during the pandemic young people were forgotten in the background and, in the film, they are brought to the forefront with their ideas, their projects and their approaches," he explained. The feature film is about a hot, dry summer which causes uncontrollable forest fires. Four young people go on holiday at a holiday home by the Baltic Sea, where they are slowly surrounded by a forest fire without them realising. A red sky looms over. They hesitate, they are afraid, but not of the fires; they are afraid of love.

Before watching the film, in the original German version with Spanish subtitles, editor of SUR deutsche Ausgabe and director of the film festival, Uwe Scheele, said that this week will see the premiere of "the latest in German film production".

The coordinator of the cultural programme at the Goethe-Institut Madrid language school, Ana Pérez said that "what we have in common is that we enjoy films on the big screen".

The German consul in Malaga, Franko Martin, also took the floor and made his speech in both languages. Likewise, the mayor of Torrox, Oscar Medina, said a few words in German as well, a gesture very much appreciated by the crowd in attendance. "Thank you for recognising my efforts," said the mayor of Torrox, the municipality with the largest German population on the Iberian Peninsula.

Schedule for German film week

The schedule for this week's film festival was organised by SUR deutsche Ausgabe, together with the German Consulate in Malaga and the Goethe-Institut in Madrid, and ranges from experimental films to comedies, featuring along the way some debuting director's, romantic films and musical dramas, dark comedies, science fiction, tragicomedies and thrillers.

Starting today on Wednesday 22 November, there will be two screenings of The Ordinaries at Cine Albéniz, a tragicomedy by Sophie Linnenbaum that has received much acclaim from critics. The cinema will also have screenings of the musical drama Orphea in Love, about a call centre employee who becomes obsessed with a criminal.

On Thursday 23 it will pay homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder with a screening of Enfant Terrible, where Oskar Roehler portrays the brilliant film director, love-seeker and abuser of actors on sets. Thursday will also show Annika Pinske's Talking About the Weather, a film that addresses the present-day problems stemming from the unification of Germany. The film will be shown for free on Thursday in Mijas and Wednesday in Torrox as both town halls are in collaboration with the festival.

Friday's theme will be identities, with the premiere of Christoph Hochhäuser's Till the End of the Night, which mixes film noir with a story of a trans woman. Skin Deep directed by Alex Schadd will also be on show, a fantastic drama where a couple arrives at an island where people exchange their bodies.

On the final day of the festival, Saturday, the curtain will be drawn with Undine and Frauke Finsterwalder's long-awaited Sissi & I, which tells the story of the mythical Empress Elisabeth of Austria, a widely portrayed figure in cinema.

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