For the first time, eight Goethe-Instituts in Southeast Asia have jointly organized an online film festival called KinoFest. The film festival will be available online for viewers who live in big cities in the Southeast Asia area.

A scene from the movie Undine (2020) by director Christian Petzold. Photo credit: KinoFest

According to event organizers, most of the films are recent productions. The films are available for free of charge at All the motion pictures are shown in Germany with Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese or English subtitles.

The movies set to be screened during this two-week long film festival include the thriller Free country (2019 Christian Alvart); drama, the political satire film Curveball (2020, Johannes Naber); the drama The Royal Game (2021, Philipp Stölz), among others.

The Curveball tells the grotesque, at times even surreal, true story of how the Iraq war was started based on nothing but fake intelligence and the involvement of the German government and the secret service.

Meanwhile, The Royal Game sees director Philipp Stölzl reinterpreting Stefan Zweig’s timeless literature classic. The famous story of the man who survives captivity and mental torture with the help of a chess book becomes an intense game of deception in the new adaptation.
The film was set in Vienna, in 1938 when Austria was occupied by the Nazi regime. The lawyer Bartok was arrested and taken to the Hotel Metropol, the Gestapo’s headquarters, shortly before he was about to flee with his wife to the US. As an asset manager for the nobility, he should now provide the local Gestapo chief Böhm with access to the accounts. But Bartok was sent to solitary confinement since he refused to cooperate. He remained steadfast for weeks and months but became increasingly desperate – until he chanced upon a chess book.

The film The Royal Game (2021) by director Philipp Stölzl. Photo credit: KinoFest

Undine is one of the few romantic films to be featured at this year’s KinoFest. The German-French romantic fantasy film tells the story of Undine Wibeau, a historian who lectured on the urban development of Berlin. When her boyfriend Johannes left, her world collapsed. The magic was destroyed. As the old fairy tale (and her namesake) vanished, if her love was betrayed, she must kill the faithless man and return to the water from which she once came. Undine must defend herself against this curse of destroyed love.