Fringe Box



Films are Winning with Twinning and Guess Who Came to Dinner?

Published on: 7 May, 2023
Updated on: 7 May, 2023

By Barbara Ford

Chair of the Guildford Twinning Association

Film is being used in a way to interest and engage people in the culture of Guildford’s twin town Freiburg and of Germany generally.

Keen followers may remember the Guildford Twinning Association’s (GTA) Short Film Competitions for Schools, held most recently in both towns – which have been such a success with young people that the competition has become an annual event.

Now, for adults and anyone 15 or over, we are running our second Filmfest, namely GTA Filmfest 2023, on Wednesday 10 May 2023 – three films, all free – booking is open now.

The programme includes a German sci-fi romcom, starring Downton’s Dan Stevens as a robot – what more could you ask for?

If you come to GTA Filmfest 2023  on Wednesday, May 10 you can also see a racy and pioneering 1919 silent film and a powerful and thought-provoking more modern drama mystery. All films with English subtitles. Screenings are open to the public and free of charge.

The films will be shown between 3pm and 9pm, by the GTA in collaboration with the University of Surrey on their campus.

The three films are totally different to each other but all showcase German cinematic brilliance from the silent movie era to the present.  Each film will be introduced by an academic from UoS’ Film Studies department.

At 3pm we are showing “Die Austernprinzessin /The Oyster Princess”(1919) (unrated). This was directed by Ernst Lubitsch, before he left Berlin for Hollywood: an early demonstration of “the Lubitsch touch”, a bit risqué, a bit absurd, technically innovative – and funny!  An American heiress wants to marry a prince, but Prince Nucki (yes, really) sends his friend in his place to check her out.

Then at 4.30pm it’s “Das Leben der Anderen /The Lives of Others” (2006) (cert.15) – a multi-award winning must-see so good it’s a must-see-again. In a complex political thriller that touches an emotional chord while keeping you on the edge of your seat, a Communist-era secret policeman in East Berlin conducting surveillance gets involved with the lives of the people he’s watching.

Finally, at 7pm it’s “Ich bin dein Mensch/ I’m your Man” (2021) (cert.15) – A woman scientist reluctantly agrees as an experiment to live for three weeks with a humanoid robot designed to make her happy. Warm and witty, it also asks questions about loneliness and a world in which algorithms can know us better than our human partners ever will.

Come and see any or all of these films, free – for more details and to book your seats click here:

The Mayor (Dennis Booth), the Chair (Barabara Ford & the Deputy Ambassador (Rüdiger Bohn).

The Deputy Ambassador and the Mayor came to dinner

The Guildhall was an impressive venue for the GTA event.

We do food and music too.  In March, Herr Rüdiger Bohn, the Deputy Ambassador at the German Embassy London and Cllr Dennis Booth, the Mayor of Guildford, were, with their wives, guests of the GTA at its members’ annual dinner. 

It was as glittering an occasion as one can manage in these straitened times. The venue was the historic wood-panelled Guildhall which always adds that special something, the meal was simple but delicious and catered by Not Just Hummus (from the V Café at the Guildford Institute), and a serious touch of elegance was added by music performed by a string quartet from Guildford High School, first to welcome guests as they arrived, then to provide a musical interlude during the dinner.

Herr Bohn gave a warmly-welcomed address covering the real friendship between Germany and Britain, the ongoing bilateral discussions being held by government ministers from both countries, and his hope, or even expectation, that the former (ie pre-Brexit) school, cultural and young people’s exchanges might soon resume in full force.

The Guildford High School quartet gave guests a musical welcome as they arrived.

Interested in this 44-year-old relationship?  Or in Freiburg itself or Germany as a whole?  Catch us at our next event, a stall in the Council’s Picnic in the Castle Grounds on Saturday 3 June, or go to our website

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *