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Tom Tykwer's 3 makes it's San Diego premier this weekend.

"Do you know San Diego has a German Film Festival?" I asked a friend over dinner.

"Why, no," came her quizzical reply.

"That's the name of the song," I said, giving it my best Mel Brooks.

Instead of humming a few bars, let's cut to the chase. German Currents San Diego's two-day festival of new films from Germany debuts this weekend 'neath the twinkle lights of the Museum of Photographic Arts' Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theatre in Balboa Park.

The festival kicks off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with an opening night reception followed by a screening of Yasemin Samdereli's first feature, Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland. As of yet, I cannot personally vouch for any of the features, although a DVD copy of Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run, Heaven, Perfume: The Story of a Murder) latest is begging me to post this article and pop it in the tray. For now, I'll let the trailers do the talking.

Saturday, 6:30 p.m.: Yasemin Samdereli's Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland.

Sunday, 11:30 a.m.: Two family films, Max Lang and Jakob Schuh's Oscar-nominated animated short, The Gruffalo, follwed by Detlef Buck's feature, Haende weg von Mississippi.

Sunday, 3:00 p.m.: Felix and Percy Adlon's Mahler auf der Couch (Mahler on The Couch).

Sunday, 6:00 p.m.: Tom Tykwer's 3.

Visiting luminaries will include composer Reinhold Heil (3), and Dan Ireland, director (The Whole Wide World) and co-founder of the Seattle International Film Festival. Percy Adlon asked his good friend, Dan Ireland, to represent him at the festival.

Tickets for the opening night gala are $25.00, and include Mediterranean food, Apfelstrudel, German wine and champagne. Tickets for all other features are $14.00, $9.00 for children 12 and under. For you ever-loving purists in the crowd, Almanya - Willkommen in Deutschland and Mahler On The Couch screen in 35mm.

In closing, a gentle reminder to nice folks at German Currents San Diego and the Goethe Institute Los Angeles who were kind enough to sponsor the event. This weekend you're bucking up against one of our town's biggest cultural events, The San Diego Asian Film Festival. Next year, you may want to consider an earlier start date.

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