exground filmfest 31 presents the focus land the Phillipines. No doubt, Southeast Asia (with the Philippines) is the most dynamic and fastest developing region in the world. Cinematically, the Philippines is the highest-performing powerhouse in this region. With this year’s Country Focus on the Philippines, exground filmfest wants to take a concentrated look at the politics, culture and society of this long neglected country and emphasize its importance in the international context. The Philippines is amongst the oldest nations producing films. The first productions can be traced back to 100 years ago. Today, directors like Lav Diaz, Brillante Mendoza and Khavn De La Cruz are internationally well regarded and multi-award-winners at the biggest film festivals worldwide. exground filmfest will present outstanding works of Philippine filmmaking of the last four decades: classics as well as recent achievements. In the historic area, the close linkage between German art film and Philippine former experimental and present day indie films, nurtured by the exceptional constant engagement of Goethe-Institut Philippines, will be revealed. The current films in our programme deal mainly in a very critical manner with the highly complex and difficult social and political situation in the Philippines. They document Filipino film and cultural works and recent socio-political discourse in the country apart from the officially propagated national self-conception. To facilitate the access to these works of Philippine film culture courageously taking a stand on oppression, corruption and extra-judicial killings, exground filmfest enables the film directors to personally introduce their works and engage in discussion with the audience. To accompany the screenings, two panels will also take place: on “100 Years of Philippine Filmmaking” and “The Human Rights Situation”, featuring highly qualified experts from the Philippines to open up a wider frame of discourse and discussion for and with the interested audience.