Festival will show 237 titles in festival director Andreas Strohl’s last edition.

The Dardennes brothers’ Cannes competition film The Kid With A Bike (Le Gamin Au Vélo) will be the opening film on Friday night at this year’s Filmfest München (June 24 – July 2) which will be festival director Andreas Ströhl’s last edition before he hands over to his successor Diana Iljine.

237 titles from more than 50 countries will be screening in 14 sections with sidebars dedicated to American Independents as well as to new cinema from South America, Sweden, Asia, and France, among others.

This year’s retrospectives will be presenting the complete works of Tom DiCillo and veteran Swedish director Roy Andersson who Ströhl describes as “one of the most exceptional and original filmmakers in Europe” with “a very special, very dry sense of humour.” 

John Malkovich will be travelling to Munich to accept one of the festival’s CineMerit Awards which are presented to outstanding personalities of the international film industry in recognition of “extraordinary contributions to film as an art form”. A gala event on June 27 will have Veronica Ferres, who appeared opposite Malkovich in Raul Ruiz’s Klimt, making a speech in Malkovich’s honour before a screening of Colour Me Kubrick.

A second CineMerit Award will be bestowed upon the veteran Georgian filmmaker Otar Iosseliani during the festival’s awards ceremony on July 1, with a keynote given by Berlin-based filmmaker Dito Tsintsadse and a screening of Iosseliani’s latest film Chantrapas.

As in previous years, Munich’s Filmfest will be programming numerous world premieres of brand-new German films, ranging from Tim Fehlbaum’s apocalyptic thriller Hell and David Wnendt’s Combat Girls through the Cinema Jenin-produced documentary After The Silence and Jan Fehse’s Jasmin to Ben von Grafenstein’s Kasimir and Karoline, a modern-day adaptation of Ödön von Horvath’s play shot at and during Munich’s Oktoberfest.

Meanwhile, actress Sibel Kekilli, producer Ewa Karlström and director Hans Steinbichler will be forming the jury for this year’s Young German Cinema Award, sponsored by HypoVereinsBank, Bavaria Film and Bavarian Broadcasting (BR), which has a total of 46 candidates competing for one of five prizes.

The winners in the categories of Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Production, Best Actor and Best Actress will be announced on June 29.

Moreover, the Arri Award’s jury of filmmaker Lisandro Alonso, festival programmer Sitora Alieva and German film critic Andreas Kilb will be deciding on the best foreign film from a selection screening at the Filmfest, including Polisse, Blue Valentine, Post Mortem, I Am Slave and Le Havre, which will be the festival’s closing film on July 2.

“This is our best programme in a long time. It unites artistic quality with maximum movie pleasure,” said Ströhl, promising “an intoxicating celebration of cinema” over the eight days.