Close-up Shostakovich
Humour, sarcasm, grotesqueness - and not least an overriding pessimism - are characteristics not only found in Shostakovich himself but also in his music. The film intends to be as authentic as possible in portraying the composer, neither denouncing him as an opportunist nor praising him as a dissident. The seven chapters rather try to reconstruct how the young star composer, who renouncing the traditional was known for his grotesque distortions, became the stiff state composer most of whose life is still shrouded in mystery.
Directed by Oliver Becker - 60'

Into The Cold Dawn – Dmitri Shostakovich
The film recounts the life of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich from the perspective of a film director, played by Armin Mueller-Stahl, who is shooting a movie about Shostakovich. While editing the film, the director shifts through scenes from feature films for which Shostakovich wrote the music during the rule of Stalin. The director meets and interviews family members and companions of the composer, such as Mstislav Rostropovich. Key moments in the life of Shostakovich are re-enacted with marionette puppets. At the end of his investigation, the director realises that he is unable to draw a clear-cut portrait of the composer - what his interview partners tell him is just too contradictory.
Directed by Oliver Becker and Katharina Bruner – 80’

„All Is Fake“ - The Neapolitan Composer and Playwright Roberto De Simone
Former artistic director of the Teatro San Carlo, former director of the Conservatoire San Pietro a Majella, ethnomusicologist, mythologist, playwright, composer, director and reinventor of music theatre... Roberto De Simone, born in Naples in 1933, is an encyclopaedic personality, a phenomenon, of which the public is often aware of only a partial aspect. Roberto De Simone refers as much to the classical and folk culture of Naples and Campania as to his eclecticism as a contemporary artist. 1976, in the wake of his world-famous group 'Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare', "La gatta Cenerentola" is his first great stage work. It achieved immense success, and shortly thereafter gained a legendary reputation. Since then Roberto De Simone has pursued his creative career through the genres. This film is a ritual journey into the spiritual topography of Roberto De Simone, featuring the theatre and music ensemble Media Aetas. Various layers are intertwined, ranging from the music theatre to the fantastic, magical and religious tangle of a traditional world, which is dying out, and from the unsettling setting of an ex-psychiatric clinic to some barely known facets of Neapolitan history.

Directed by René Pandis and Wil Boettger – 60’

Armin Mueller-Stahl
Roberto de Simone