Film plays an important role in Germany. In recent years the nation’s films have enjoyed enormous critical and commercial success both at home and abroad. The first half of 2013 saw a rise in the number of people going to the cinema to almost 63 million, the highest ever recorded in the country, generating profits of almost €500 million (again a national record), with around 27 per cent of ticket sales going to German films, an increase of almost 10 per cent on 2012 (FFA 2013). Internationally, the last two decades have seen German productions become regular guests at all the major film festivals, from Sundance to Tokyo, winning awards across the globe. As reviewers are keen to point out, the industry appears once again to be reaching the aesthetic heights that brought it the praise of critics internationally from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Cinematic success is helping to cement a wider shift in the international perception of Germany, and is an element in its growing ‘soft power’.