PT04  Audience                                                                             10/2019

Mountain Film Tegernsee, 17th International Festival from 16 – 20 October 2019 

“The Latinos of Lake Tegernsee” 

Mountain films fascinate people across all age brackets. The audience catches fire, films carry their viewers off and set something in motion. It is probably one of the nicest rewards for film makers to experience the impact of their footage first hand in Tegernsee.

They suffer. Not just the cutesy animated bees who at first buzz cheerfully across the silver screen. Screams erupt among the audience when one bee after the other empties out the contents of its guts after consuming too many pesticides. A profound silence ensues when the last surviving bee tries to return from the mountains to its bee house. No applause is audible at the end, even though Marcel Barelli’s cartoon clip very well deserves it. But who can happily clap their hands after witnessing the death of the very last bee? Fortunately, it is not something the children of Tegernsee are capable of. They only rediscover their joy when event host Florian Schwarz personally gets wildlife reporter Anna on stage – just back from her roamings with alpacas in the Andes. Numerous hands shoot up, the kids have a bunch of questions. But they only speak when it is their turn. Being able to talk to the people who usually remain untouchable on screen, that’s novel – and fantastic.

The miracle not only applies to the Children’s Cinema with its total of 720 enthusiastic guests. Even though the grown-ups do not participate, cheer and suffer quite as loudly, adult audiences at the various venues fully engage with the screened films. And that tends to surprise some of the visiting protagonists. “It’s unbelievable how involved people get here,” Swiss film maker Caroline Fink is delighted to say at the Bayern-2 Night. “This was certainly the most emotional audience I have experienced so far in reaction to my film “Frauen am Berg” (Women on the Mountain). Georg Bayerle, hosting at Ludwig-Thoma-Saal, is not surprised. He has been familiar with this Latin-style audience, his “Latinos of Lake Tegernsee”, since the festival’s inception. “They’re like that here,” he confirms.

Tegernsee audience members are thrilled to take part in the conversation. They don’t just look for fantastic footage and unusual perspectives, but also for close contact with the “film people”. For instance with Puria Ravahi (German Alpine Club Prize for the Best Alpine Film 2017). The film maker from Rosenheim, Bavaria, premieres his latest film in Tegernsee and has brought along his protagonist. He appreciates the afflicted silence following upon the screening of his film. “That’s exactly what I was striving for,” he says. “If everybody was cheering, I would have done something wrong.” The message has sunk in. Both at the Children’s Cinema and during the B-2 Evening. Because “these are films based on passion. We encounter the unforeseeable, things that move us,” explains Stefan Maier, director of the Bayern 2 public broadcasting station. What was the motto of the bee film again? “When I tell a story, I do it from my heart” – and that’s why it reaches its target. Not just with the “Latinos of Lake Tegernsee.”