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Emden-Norderney line up highlights

18th International Film Festival Emden-Norderney from 13th-20th June 2007
19 feature films in competition in Lower Saxony’s largest film festival
The competition nominations for the 18th International Film Festival Emden-Norderney have been finalised. 19 feature films from 11 countries will be competing for the three feature film awards – the Bernhard Wicki Award, the DGB Film Award and the NDR Young Directors Award, presented at the Festival for the first time. A further 9 films from 5 countries are competing for the East Friesian Short Film Award. Over the eight exciting days of the Festival a total of 114 films from 26 countries will be shown, including 52 full-length feature films and 62 short films. Many of the films are German premieres, with 19 features and 12 short films being screened for the first time in Emden. The organisers, led by Festival Managers Rolf Eckard and Silke Santjer, are expecting some 20,000 visitors to the Festival.
Famous film guests
Once again, some 70 guests will be coming to Emden. Almost all of the directors will personally introduce their own films and will take questions from the audience. Numerous actors are also expected. British actresses Lorraine Stanley and Georgia Groome have already booked their tickets, and from Germany we are looking forward to seeing Michael Mendl, Edgar Selge, Jürgen Tarrach, Ralph Herforth, Christoph Bach and Thomas Heinze, as well as this year’s Guest of Honour, Sönke Wortmann.
Opening film: “Distraction – and a kind of poetry. The film legend Bernhard Wicki”
The Festival opens on 13th June with a very personal documentary film by director Elisabeth Wicki-Endriss. The film is in constant dialogue with the history of contemporary culture and film, whilst being at the same time a poetic declaration of love to the director’s late husband. Bernhard Wicki was a man of many talents and a great friend of the Festival, where he appeared as a guest a total of seven times. In 1999 the Festival’s main award was named in his honour. Not only the director herself but also a number of Bernhard Wicki’s friends and colleagues will be present for the first cinema screening of “Distraction – and a kind of poetry. The film legend Bernhard Wicki”.
Main themes of the Festival: music films and Africa
Four selected music films form one of the Festival programme’s main themes. The musical spectrum stretches from a film version of a Mozart opera – Kenneth Branagh’s "The Magic Flute" – to the high-speed brass band comedy "Gucha" from Serbia and "Wild Romance", a film biography of the legendary Dutch Seventies rock star Hermann Brood, through to the singer-songwriter musical "Once" with the fantastic Irish band “The Frames”. The other main theme of the Festival relates to films made on the African continent. The moving drama "Sounds of Sand" and the exciting British-Irish thriller "The Front Line" will be screened in competition. "Congo River" and "Bamako" round off our short programme of African films.
Programme sections
New British and Irish Cinema
This year, our traditional Festival programme of films from the British Isles includes award-winning productions such as "Once" – an audience favourite at the Sundance Festival, "Blindsight", winner of the Audience Award at the Panorama/Berlinale, and "London to Brighton", which won the New Directors Film Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Rupert Grint, best known for his role as Ron in the Harry Potter films, can be seen in his first “adult” role in the comedy "Driving Lessons". Fans of British humour can also look forward to "Colour Me Kubrick" with John Malkovich and the colourful Scottish-Indian cooking comedy "Nina’s Heavenly Delights".
New German Cinema
Tangled love affairs, family histories and the search for new paths – personal microcosms are at the heart of many new German films. In "Yella" the protagonist is desperate to hold on to her new life, whilst in "Theo, Agnes, Bibi and the others" we see Dietmar Bär managing successfully to hide his double life for years. Single fathers also feature in this year’s selection. "Fathers, for they know not what to do" by director Hermine Huntgeburth and "A summer with Paul" by Claudia Garde both deal with father-son conflicts, albeit in different ways. "Berlin Round Dance" is a refreshing take on Arthur Schnitzler’s famous play featuring ten erotic episodes. "For the Unknown Dog" - the new film by the directors of Oi Warning, Dominik and Benjamin Reding, takes viewers on the traditional year-long wanderings of a group of apprentices and presents the well-known rapper “Ferris MC” in a starring role. Travel and long journeys is also a theme of the documentary "Seafaring Women" which follows Dorte and Julia in the men’s world aboard a container ship, and will be screened for the very first time here in the seafaring town of Emden.
International Section
The films in this section tell stories from around the world. In "Khadak" nomads from Mongolia are tricked into settling down. "Cold Trail" is a thriller set against the breath-taking scenery of Iceland. The poetic images in "The Daughters of the Chinese Gardener" tell the story of forbidden love between women in China in the Eighties, and "Armin" takes a subtle and often humorous look at the effects of the war in Bosnia.
Honorary Award for Sönke Wortmann
This year’s Festival Portrait is dedicated to the director Sönke Wortmann, seven of whose films will be shown at the Festival. His early short films "Three D" and "Photo Finish" are nuggets of particular interest, with "Little Sharks" and "Alone among Women" providing some early Nineties flair. No selection would be complete without his box-office success from 2003, "The Miracle of Bern". The award-winning director will be our guest in Norderney and Emden and will receive the Festival’s Honorary Award.
Judi Dench Special
A special section in this year’s Festival is dedicated to the grande dame of British cinema, Judi Dench. Viewers can see her as Queen Victoria in "Her Majesty Mrs. Brown", as a novelist suffering from Alzheimer’s in "Iris" and as a cantankerous Lady Arabella in "Tea with Mussolini". The section is rounded off by her current film "Notes on a Scandal", as well as by "Shakespeare in Love", for which she won an Oscar in 1998 for her 8-minute performance as Queen Elisabeth I.
Children’s Films and School Events
The Festival programme also contains five new films for the youngest members of our audience. School classes will also be able to turn the cinema into a classroom during the Festival and have the chance to watch films and talk to directors and actors.
Short Films
The centrepiece of the short film programme is the Short Film Competition evening, during which the audience can choose its favourite film from among nine short films and animations of 20 minutes or under. The film directors will be coming to East Friesia and will be travelling together to present their films first in Norderney, then in Emden. Some familiar faces will also be returning to the Festival: Jan Thüring, winner of the East Friesian Short Film Award 2000, has been selected for the competition for the third time with his new film “3 Travellers”. Seven other programmes of short films will also be on show in Emden, including an evening of final films from students of the Hamburg Media School and another of digital productions from the Bochum International Video Festival.
Awards
A number of awards will be presented on Sunday at the grand Gala Awards Ceremony, including the Bernhard Wicki Award, with a purse of €15,000, the DGB Film Award, the East Friesian Short Film Award, the NDR Young Directors Award and possibly the most unusual award made by a German film festival, “A Writer's Workplace by the Sea“. The latter award consists of peace and quiet, the sound of the sea, walks on the beach and a unique working environment – a two-week “short grant” to develop a project in the loft of the Hotel Seesteg, a small, exclusive and comfortable hotel located directly on Norderney beach. The Volkswagen Screenplay Award, which can already look back on a record of considerable successes, will be presented on the Friday.
Events
No Festival is complete without its Gala and events, and the harbour town of Emden and the Festival island of Norderney can provide the right atmosphere for glamorous, entertaining and exciting events:
- Festival Opening, Wednesday, 13th June
- Midnight Talk in the Grand Café, Thursday, 14th June to Saturday, 16th June
- DGB Film Talk, Friday 15th June
- Award Ceremony for the Volkswagen Screenplay Award, Friday, 15th June
- Talk in the Dunes on Norderney, Saturday, 16th June
- Awards Ceremony for the Film Awards and the Honorary Award, Sunday, 17th June
New Venues
In addition to the main and competition venues in Emden and Norderney, this year the Festival will be reaching out to other East Friesian towns. From 18th to 20th June, highlights from the Festival will be shown in Aurich, as well as for the first time in the towns of Norden and Leer.

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