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Fatih Akin presents his favourite films at FIFF

Fatih Akin, Rheingold © Gordon Timpen

Fatih Akin, winner of a Golden Bear at Berlin, Best Screenplay at Cannes and the Grand Jury Prize at Venice, is the guest of honour at the 37th edition of the Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF), which will take place between 17th and 26h March. The German-Turkish director, screenwriter and producer will be in Fribourg to present six powerful films that ignited his passion for cinema. His carte blanche is not the only opportunity for the audience to (re-)discover this compelling artist. FIFF will also screen two of Akin’s films, Soul Kitchen and Rheingold, and the director will be 'In Conversation' with FIFForum.

Every year, FIFF invites an artist to curate the Sur la carte de… section. Following on from Bong Joon-ho, Geraldine Chaplin, Ken Loach and Pierre Richard, it is the turn of director Fatih Akin to present six of his favourite films. Born in 1973 in Hamburg, this socially engaged and uncompromising filmmaker has enjoyed international success: a Golden Bear in Berlin (Head-On, 2004); Best Screenplay at Cannes (The Edge of Heaven, 2007); and the Grand Jury Prize at Venice for the comedic Soul Kitchen (2009). Akin's visit to the FIFF is an opportunity to discover the films that have inspired this world-renowned director, for whom migration and passion are recurrent themes in his work. Thierry Jobin, FIFF's Artistic Director, is thrilled, "When we offered this year's carte blanche to Fatih Akin, the Festival team couldn't wait to explore the cinematic universe that had inspired this acclaimed director and cinephile. Not in our wildest dreams did we think that his choice of films would be so in sync with FIFF's diverse programme. The films he has chosen are as eclectic as they are surprising – from kung-fu movies to art house cinema, via comedy and hip-hop."

Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee, 1972

Fatih Akin’s cinephilia in six films
Fatih Akin was a young boy when he discovered Bruce Lee, thanks to a 15-minute reel of Fist of Fury (1972) which his cousin used to played over and over again on his Super-8 projector. Martial arts feature in two of his other choices: the cult Korean movie Once Upon a Time in High School: The Spirit of Jeet Kune Do (2004), and the explosive third instalment of the Police Story saga starring Jackie Chan (Hong Kong, 1992).  Akin's obsession with the art of filmmaking is reflected in his selection of Amator (1979) by Kieślowski and the groundbreaking Mädchen in Uniform (1931) by German director Leontine Sagan, which caused an uproar on its release due to its lesbian themes. The final choice on his carte blanche is Beat Street (United States, 1984), one of the first films about hip-hop culture. It tells the story of how this emerging music genre transformed the lives of a group of young people living in the Bronx.

Fatih Akin's universe: a cult comedy, a biopic and In Conversation
Two major films by Fatih Akin will also be screened at FIFF 2023. The cult comedy Soul Kitchen (2009), in which Zinos runs a small restaurant in a working-class district of Hamburg with no great ambitions, will be shown in the Genre Cinema: Bon appétit! section, which this year celebrates culinary cinema. His most recent film Rheingold (2022), and most successful in the German-speaking world to date, will be shown as part of the Midnight Screenings programme. This hard-hitting biopic, which has yet to be released in French-speaking Switzerland, tells the incredible story of Xatar. Born in Iran, this German rapper and major music producer once turned to robbery to pay off his debts.

In Conversation with Fatih Akin, a FIFForum event on Friday 25th March, 6 pm, will be a unique opportunity for film fans to meet the director and gain a deeper insight into the artist and his work (free admission, advance booking required).

Download the press release as PDF


Sur la carte de Fatih Akin
Amator, Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1979
Beat Street, Stan Lathan, 1984
Fist of Fury, Wei Lo, 1972
Mädchen in Uniform, Leontine Sagan, 1931
Once Upon a Time in High School: The Spirit of Jeet Kune Do, Ha Yoo, 2004
Police Story 3: Supercop, Stanley Tong, 1992

Midnight Screenings
Rheingold, Fatih Akin, 2022

Genre cinéma: Bon appétit!
Soul Kitchen, Fatih Akin, 2009

In Conversation with Fatih Akin, Friday 24th March 2023, 6 pm
(free admission, advance booking required, as of 1st March 2023 at

image en background

Conception et développement: Agence MiNT

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