FilmFestival Cottbus (1-6 November 2011, www.filmfestivalcottbus.de) is
taking a new "anti-nationalist approach," festival director Roland Rust told
FNE, with a regional Polish-Ukraine focus, a parallel to the two countries' joint co-hosting
of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.
along with Connecting Cottbus's (www.connecting-cottbus.de)
new director Bernd Bruder and sponsor Medienboard
Managing Director Kirsten Niehuus greeted guests at their annual brunch during
the Karlovy Vary IFF.
"We want to question the idea of
national cinema," Rust told FNE, adding that he saw a "renaissance of regions
establishing their own identity, regions that cross borders."
The festival will have two
additional regional aspects. One focuses on the Laussitz region, which
comprises the dual language German-Sorbian part of Germany which is home to
Cottbus. "Location Laussitz" will celebrate the reopening of Germany's oldest
functioning cinema, the newly refurbished Welt Spiegel Cinema, where the
festival's main competition will be screened. And as part of the larger
Brandenburg state, the festival is marking the centenary of filmmaking at
The final regional focus will be on
the Weimar triangle: Germany, France, and Poland. Rust said the German Foreign
Ministry has asked Cottbus to be an official contributor to the events taking
place this year. The festival is now developing a concept that includes its two
Finally, following the success of
last year's new globalEAST focus, which looks at the impact of CEE cinema
worldwide, Cottbus is adding it as a permanent section of the festival
beginning in 2011.
While no titles have been unveiled,
Rust added that the festival will certainly screen some films dealing with the
subject of soccer.
The festival is also looking to expand its children's film section to include films for older youth, with Karlovy Vary IFF East of the West competition entry Jez Jerzy (George the Hedgehog) a likely choice. The three young Polish creator/directors of the edgy/alternative animated musical film said the film had split audience reactions.