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North Face (Nordwand)

North Face
photo © Dor Film-West

Summer 1936. Toni and Andi are passionate mountain climbers. There's one mountain in particular that fascinates them: the Eiger North Face, the most dangerous rock face in the Alps, which has yet to be scaled. Being the first means not only a longed-for boost of their social standing, but also Olympic gold. As they get ready for their climb, they meet Luise, Toni’s childhood sweetheart, a journalist who has been sent to report about the conquest of the mountain with her fellow reporter Arau, a Nazi follower. Though she and Toni fall in love again, Luise also feels drawn to Arau. Nonetheless, the now distraught Toni begins the ascent with Andi. On the way they meet Willi and Edi, their most tenacious rivals.

Everything goes smoothly and they make good progress. On the terrace of the Grand Hotel at the foot of the Eiger, the four men are being watched with telescopes by enthusiastic crowds and the world press. Luise, too, is among them, and she realizes that Toni is still her real love.

Suddenly the weather turns, and Willi injures himself. It looks as if the Eiger is going to win again. While a dramatic struggle for survival unfolds on the North Face, Luise sets out to save her lover. A race against time and the forces of nature begins...


Philipp Stölzl studied Set Design at the Münchner Kammerspiele theater. He then worked as a freelance set designer and exhibition architect with, among others, Robert Wilson. He gained international recognition with his video productions. The British design magazine Shots praised the new director on his work for the US. His videos for Garbage and Madonna however led the way to his international breakthrough. His films include: MORITURI TE SALUTANT (short, 2000), BABY (2002), NORTH FACE (NORDWAND, 2008), and GOETHE! (2010).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2008
Director Philipp Stölzl
Screenplay Johannes Naber, Philipp Stölzl, Rupert Henning, Christoph Silber
Cinematography Kolja Brandt
Sven Budelmann
Christian Kolonovits
Udo Kramer
Cast Georg Friedrich, Ulrich Tukur, Benno Fürmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek, Simon Schwarz
Producers Rudolf Santschi, Boris Schönfelder, Danny Krausz, Benjamin Herrmann
Production Companies Dor Film-West, Medienkontor Movie/Berlin, Dor Film, Triluna Film/Zurich, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARD Degeto, SRF/Zurich, Majestic Filmproduktion, Lunaris Film- & Fernsehproduktion/Munich
Length 126 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Locarno 2008 (Piazza Grande), Shanghai 2009, Moscow 2009, Palm Springs 2010
Awards German Film Award 2009 (Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design)
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, OFI Oesterreichisches Filminstitut, ORF Film-/Fernsehabkommen, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), EDI Bundesamt fuer Kultur Schweiz, Zuercher Filmstiftung
German Distributor Majestic Filmverleih

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