“Citywide live” is the motto of the 38th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, and this is no empty promise. A collaborative network of creative institutions will extend across large parts of the city from July 1 to 10 and include established and popular open-air cinemas as well as unconventional locations that are temporarily turned into outdoor cinemas.
So this year there are not only fantastic film premieres to discover, but perhaps the odd venue as well that not even locals are familiar with. Here we present our eight open-air venues for the upcoming edition of the festival.
Outdoor movies in the park
Two Munich open-air institutions — one in the north and one in the south of the city — will become exclusive film festival cinemas for the full ten days. Nestled in the beautiful setting of the Olympic Park, Kino am Olympiasee is one of Munich’s major summer events, held annually from May to September. Films and live events can be enjoyed here every evening in comfortable deckchair islands, with Filmfest premieres daily from July 1 to 10. During the day, there’ll be screenings for the whole family — including the program of Kinderfilmfest München — on a giant LED screen.
No less scenic is the location of Kino, Mond & Sterne in the Westpark, which has been a cultural institution in Munich since 1995. Every summer, a balanced mix of mainstream and recommended movies, comedies and feel-good films is presented here. The real star of the city’s oldest outdoor cinema is the location itself: the distinctive ambience and the unique setting of the lakeside stage guarantee an extraordinary open-air experience in natural surroundings.
In the heart of the city
... lie two other institutions that are temporarily being transformed into venues for FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. A picturesque little château — the former Palais Seyssel d’Aix near the university — is home to the Institut français München. An integral part of cultural life in Munich and Bavaria for more than 50 years, the institute promotes French-language culture in all shapes and sizes, through readings, exhibitions, conferences, and, of course, film screenings. This summer, the idyllic garden of the Palais will become an outdoor cinema!
The lawn in the courtyard of the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) will be just as cozy, at the POPUP SOMMERKINO powered by M-net. After the joint kick-off with FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, other film festivals of the city as well as of the students of the film academy will find their home here. In collaboration with the founders of PopUp Autokino München 2020, with whom FILMFEST MÜNCHEN teamed up last year, a festival atmosphere will be created — outdoors and in the middle of town.
The movies are always a shared experience. Since 2015, the Bahnwärter Thiel arts project has, more than anything else, considered itself a place where people come together. A curious hodgepodge of Munich streetcars and subway cars, artfully painted shipping containers, and a crane form a spectacular backdrop for all of what’s on offer here. The club nights, flea markets, and evening movie screenings are a great contribution to Munich’s arts scene. This unique location has already hosted Filmfest screenings followed by legendary parties, and in July 2021, a number of choice films will again be presented on the grounds of Bahnwärter Thiel.
Meanwhile, a brand-new collaboration is bringing together the Filmfest and the Sugar Mountain arts and culture project. On the grounds of the Katzenberger concrete plant in Obersendling, which was closed in 2017, a location has emerged where diverse segments of the population can mingle and people from the neighborhood are invited to participate and interact. This venue aims to bring together art and sports, culture and relaxation. Its sunlit factory hall is complemented by an extensive outdoor area that will become an open-air festival cinema in the first days of July.
Enjoying films in unusual places
The municipal center of arts and culture known as the Pasinger Fabrik is an innovative venue for theater, music, film, the visual arts, literature, and exhibitions on historical and societal themes. This year, for the first time, a set of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN films will also be part of the Sommerfrische festival in the west of Munich when “Homage to Franz Seitz” is presented on the historic grounds of the Ebenböckhaus villa.
The Fünf Höfe shopping center on Theatinerstrasse completes our line-up of venues. This remarkable complex of historic and modern architecture houses more than 60 name-brand stores, bars, and restaurants as well as the renowned Kunsthalle München. This year, for the first time, one of the spacious courtyards will be turned into an open-air location for Filmfest screenings.
In addition to the new venues, some of the traditional Filmfest theaters are returning. In the ASTOR Film Lounge im ARRI, the City Kinos, the Gloria Palast, the Rio Filmpalast and the Filmtheater Sendlinger Tor, the previous evening’s premieres will be screened again in a 5 p.m. slot. Furthermore, the Amerikahaus in the Museum District and the Carl-Orff-Saal in the festival center at the Gasteig will also function as Filmfest theaters.
Other partnering venues, including the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism and the Amerikahaus in the Museum District, will be offering a varied program of side events to promote communication and dialogue.
All of these locations naturally have sophisticated and proven hygiene concepts that allow for sufficient distancing, so that arts and culture can be a shared and safe experience.
You’ll find an overview of all the venues of the 38th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN here.