A festival is born
Like many Aussies, I decided to take the big trip to Europe, and live in a different country for one year. My first taste of Berlin a few years before gave me the sense of excitement and energy of the city; but on this second trip in 2006, I got to know and love the wonderful many independent cinemas that generate Berlin’s passion for film.
Soon I had fallen in love with the city and decided to stay, and after a couple of years I began working at the oldest independent cinema in Germany, Moviemento. Being part of this cinema allowed me to work with a number of local and international film festivals, and soon enough I realised that I also wanted to contribute to the film festival landscape of my new home.
My idea and passion for Australian cinema culminated in the first Down Under Berlin festival in September of 2011. The festival was a chance for me to share the unique films and cultures of my homeland with the rest of the world. Now that the festival has been established I feel an even greater passion for the wonderful, strong and inspiring films from Australians and Australia.
The Down Under Berlin team is made up of people who share this love of film and cultures from Australia and who work together to bring an important body of work to the big screen in Berlin.
Founder of Down Under Berlin
Since 2011 we have been contributing to Berlin’s movie culture by bringing poetic, visually stunning images, a distinct quirkiness, dark humour and authentic storytelling, which in their combination are unique to Australian and New Zealand cinema, to a screen near you.
Only few films from Down Under actually get a European cinema release. To bring fresh filmmaking to Berlin we co-operate with renowned Australian film schools, such as the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (VCA), which counts actresses like Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman among their alumni or the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where award-winning director Warwick Thornton acquired his education.
We offer graduate students and young filmmakers alike to present their works to an international audience in Germany. Additionally, we have hosted panels where emerging filmmakers could exchange their varied experiences of working Down Under and abroad.
Each year our audience votes for their favourite films in the categories “Best Short Film” and “Best Film” and the winning entries receive the Down Under Berlin Audience Award in the respective category.
To find out more about independent filmmaking and filmmakers from Down Under head over to our YouTube channel. There you will find a number of interviews and Q&A sessions with attending as well as video messages by non-attending filmmakers who participated in Down Under Berlin.
As of 2015 we are putting an equal focus on New Zealand filmmaking. In the course of this important transition we are expanding our reach to film schools and more institutions in New Zealand.
About Down Under Berlin e.V.
Down Under Berlin was established in 2011 and is a project of the not-for-profit association Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival e.V.
Since 2010 it has developed into the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film. As such it provides not only a window to storytelling and cinematography from Down Under but also a platform for filmmakers, who want to present their work to German audiences.
The festival showcases a wide range of films including Indigenous cinema, short films, documentaries, classics, independent feature films but also international hits. To find out how you can support Down Under Berlin click here. Down Under Berlin is a member of festiwelt, the Berlin Network of Film Festivals.
Our venue: Moviemento Cinema
Being one of Germany’s oldest independent cinemas, Moviemento stands out through its award winning film programming. In June 2015 Moviemento’s important contribution to Berlin’s vital film culture was again officially recognized and awarded with the “Kinoprogrammpreis 2015” by the state-run film and media funding body in the region: Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
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