Cultural swap is good for all, ja?

Many of us in Mecklenburg County know the name comes from the German region where Princess Charlotte lived before marrying George III of England. But most of us probably don't feel any connection to that place, so the Charlotte Film Festival is creating one.

CFF founder Louis Gurgitano took notice when a 50-person delegation from Mecklenburg-Pomerania came to Charlotte in May to revitalize a business collaboration initiated in 1992. Among those delegates were scientists, businessmen, artists and others.

Gurgitano thought a cultural link could jump-start further activity. So he and his team imported “Nacht vor Augen,” a thriller that hadn't even come out in Germany yet, for the September festival. It's about a 25-year-old soldier who returns from Afghanistan to the Black Forest, where his girlfriend and mother notice he's not the man he was.

Next May, a Charlotte delegation will go to Germany to export a film from the CFF. It may be “Dakota Skye,” a drama about a young woman who can always tell whether or not she's hearing the truth; it won the best narrative film award at this year's fest.

Dennis Darrell's Reel Soul Film Festival also brought a German movie, “November Child,” to town earlier this month, though what Reel Soul might send overseas next year remains to be seen.

I hope something will go, whatever it is. We need to know more about world cultures in our Mecklenburg, but the world needs to know more about us.