The program of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2021 is here!

Fabio Kühnemuth
Fabio Kühnemuth

In this unusual year, the 38th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will screen 70 feature-length films from 29 countries, including 28 German premieres and 33 world premieres — all on the big screen, at eight open-air locations and in seven Filmfest theaters. Many of the films revolve around issues of community and belonging, sexual identity, and journeys into imagined worlds. It’s an issue-oriented yet entertaining line-up, with films that poignantly tell their stories and yet often reveal a certain lightness.

The program of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2021 is here!

In search of a (new) home

Running throughout the sections of this year’s Filmfest are cinematic explorations of being at home or being homeless. These include returning to the place where one grew up, such as in Franka Potente’s directorial debut, HOME, and in the very personal feature film RESIDUE by Merawi Gerima. Have the old neighborhoods which evoke memories become unrecognizable due to gentrification and structural change, or have the individuals themselves changed? While some return voluntarily, others are evicted. For example, in TOPSIDE (directed by Celine Held and Logan George), a mother and her young daughter are forced to leave their community in New York’s subway tunnels. Driven to the surface, they go on an odyssey in which they transit through hostile places. Ben Sharrock’s LIMBO is about four asylum-seekers waiting on a Scottish island for their asylum case to be processed, a humorously surreal story of finding one’s way in a completely new environment.


Ete 85 Online 01

Summer 85

Individual escape attempts and

fantastic parallel universes

Serious and complex themes are often addressed in a playful way. Breaking out and freeing themselves from social constraints and narrow-minded (gender) conventions are what the characters aim for. Their desire for freedom and emancipation is what drives them. Thus, the young Afro-German protagonist of PRECIOUS IVIE (directed by Sarah Blasskiewitz) gets to know her very different half-sister and increasingly questions her upbringing and self-image. François Ozon’s SUMMER OF 85 tells a bittersweet story of a first queer love and a painful loss. This all takes place against a dreamy, summery backdrop, as does the intimate but tense relationship among sisters in THE MACALUSO SISTERS (directed by Emma Dante). MAYDAY by Karen Cinorre also tells a fairy-tale coming-of-age story. Here, the protagonist suddenly finds herself in a feminist and pointedly satirical parallel universe. No less ironic and metaphorical is Iuli Gerbase’s THE PINK CLOUD, about a woman who is held captive by the entrenched role models of society.


Exceptional genre films

Genre fans will also get their money's worth, with films such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s historical spy thriller WIFE OF A SPY and the dramatic Netflix horror thriller BLOOD RED SKY by Peter Thorwarth. Meanwhile, Anders Thomas Jensen, the grand master of Scandinavian black humor, tells a tragicomic story of revenge in his latest film RIDERS OF JUSTICE with a terrific ensemble led by Mads Mikkelsen. And while the science-fiction film TIDES (directed by Tim Fehlbaum) takes a hypothetical look at a not-too-distant future, two comedies with cult potential — Helena Hufnagel’s COMMITMENT PHOBIA and HEIKO’S WORLD by Dominik Galizia — fully indulge the here and now.


Wife Of A Spy Online 01

Wife of a Spy

This summer, we’re offering our audience as well as the industry an extraordinarily diverse open-air program with entertaining but sophisticated films and wonderful guests. Enjoying films together outdoors and in movie theaters is what FILMFEST MÜNCHEN stands for this year.

Festival director Diana Iljine
Tides Online 01



Sections and competitions

The two competitions, CineMasters and CineVision, each present ten German premieres — by established directors of renown and by exciting newcomers, respectively. The CineMasters competition holds a “best of world cinema”, presenting big names alongside exciting discoveries.This year’s nominees include François Ozon (SUMMER OF 85), Anders Thomas Jensen (RIDERS OF JUSTICE), and Zaida Bergroth (TOVE). The CineVision competition focuses on talented international directors with a groundbreaking approach to film. Their current works compete for the CineVision Award. The films in this year’s competition deal in particular with (female) self-determination and emancipation. Meanwhile, the Spotlight section features highlights of international cinema with stellar casts, such as Emma Seligman’s debut film, SHIVA BABY, the music documentary A-HA – THE MOVIE (directed by Aslaug Holm and Thomas Robsahm), and Anni Seitz’s intimate portrait ASK ME ANYTHING - FRANZ SEITZ.

For all those who like it short, the BEST OF FILMSCHOOLFEST and the winning short films of the online festival UNIFIED FILMMAKERS are recommended.

We’ve already announced the films in the New German TV Movies and New German Cinema sections. All the films in these two sections will be screened as world premieres.


As a section especially for young audiences at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, the Kinderfilmfest also invites you to a very special edition of the festival with five films and lots of afternoon open-air fun. The world premiere of the live-action adaptation of the children’s classic LAURA’S STAR (director: Joya Thome) will open the Kinderfilmfest. With Tobias Krell (“Checker Tobi”) as its new director, a virtual school workshop, and a youth-oriented series, the Kinderfilmfest is also breaking new ground. Detailed information on the program of the KINDERFILMFEST will follow shortly.


Guests of honor and Filmmakers Live!

As announced, FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will be honoring no fewer than four outstanding women who have played a major role in shaping international cinema both in front of and behind the camera. The legendary Senta Berger and US actress and director Robin Wright will each be honored with the CineMerit Award for their achievements in the art of film. Multitalented artist Franka Potente will receive the Margot Hielscher Award, while internationally renowned, multiple award-winning Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska will be honored in a special tribute. A film premiere is of course not complete without guests. Whenever possible, members of the cast and crew of the films being screened will be in attendance and will also participate in“Filmmakers Live!” discussions at the Gasteig. In all cases, however, there will be pre-recorded Q&As with the filmmakers, which will be available for viewing prior to the respective screenings. In addition, there will also be extensive “Filmmakers Live!” discussions via video with selected guests (such as CineMerit award-winner Robin Wright) that will be posted online.


I Predatori Online 02

THe Predators

Suzanna Andler Online 02

Suzanna Andler

Mainstream Online 04



Closing films

The 38th edition of the festival will end with a festive final chord. Instead of one closing film, there will be six closing screenings this year. On the evening of July 10, the following films and series will be shown at various venues: ERNA AT WAR by Henrik Ruben Genz, starring Trine Dyrholm; THE PREDATORS by Pietro Castellitto; MAINSTREAM by Gia Coppola, with Andrew Garfield; SUZANNA ANDLER by Benoît Jacquot; the animated film SNOTTY BOY by Marcus H. Rosenmüller; and, in cooperation with Seriencamp, the series THE ALLEGATION by Daniel Prochaska, based on a screenplay by Ferdinand von Schirach.


Advance ticket sales

Tickets are expected to go on sale during the week of June 21. Further information will of course be announced in due time. By the way: We have compiled answers to the most important questions about our open-air festival in our continuously updated FAQ.

See also

Goodbye, Eberhard Hauff

Goodbye, Eberhard Hauff

October 18 2021

FILMFEST MÜNCHEN mourns the passing of its founding father and longtime festival director Eberhard Hauff.

A mark for the culture!

A mark for the culture!

July 14 2021

It's done. FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2021 is over. The #ffmuc team says thank you to all helpers, supporters and visitors.

Three to see

Three to see

July 10 2021

The film tips for the last day of the festival, July 10