About Down Under Berlin
Down Under Berlin film festival has been a vital hub for enthusiasts of Australian and New Zealand cinema and culture since 2011. As Europe's leading festival for Australian & New Zealand film, it ranges from independent productions to blockbusters, from student and professional short films to inspiring documentaries – diversity being one of the cornerstones of the program. Besides the annual festival, Down Under Berlin hosts events throughout the year, such as special event screenings, open air nights, previews, and Q&As with filmmakers – like the especially memorable screening of What We Do In The Shadows with directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement in 2014.
Taking place at Germany’s oldest independent cinema, Moviemento Kino, Down Under Berlin thrives in the vibrant cultural atmosphere of Kreuzberg. Well known by film-lovers, the cinema stands out for its award-winning film programming, and is regularly awarded with the “Kinoprogrammpreis” by the state-run film and media funding body Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg for its important contribution to Berlin’s vital film culture.
Bringing Australia and New Zealand to Berlin and Europe
As only a few films from Down Under actually get a European cinema release, most of the poetic, visually stunning images, the distinct quirkiness, dark humour and authentic storytelling, which in their combination are unique to Australian and New Zealand cinema, are too often lost to European and German audiences. Here, Down Under Berlin steps in to bring fresh filmmaking from Australia and New Zealand to Berlin, offering a platform for these incredible films and new audiences to meet at the heart of Europe.
Without a focus on a specific genre, audiences of Down Under Berlin can enjoy all types of films such as drama, comedy, thriller, horror, animation, Indigenous and experimental. To guarantee the best and latest film highlights, the festival program consists of both submitted films and carefully selected cinematic gems. The festival has also co-operated with renowned film institutions and film schools such as the New Zealand Film Commission, Screen Australia, the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (VCA) and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where award-winning director Warwick Thornton began his filmmaking career.
Awards and Prizes
Each year the festival audience votes for its favourite films in the categories “Best Short Film” and “Best Film”, and the winning entries receive the Down Under Berlin Audience Award in the respective category. In 2018, the number of awards increased by two additional awards: the winner in each of the two rounds of the "Battle of the Shorts: AUS vs. NZ" as well as of the "Australian Short Film Today" guest reel - kindly provided by the Chris and Francesca Beale Foundation from New York.