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14 German productions and co-productions at the Toronto International Film Festival, including three world premieres


The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will hold true to tradition by again starting this year after Canada’s Labour Day from 7 - 17 September, 2023. As the largest North American film festival, TIFF has been like other summer festivals in having to grapple with the effects of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. However, this year will once more see a diverse line-up from the almost 400 titles on offer. As far as German films are concerned, 14 productions and co-productions have been invited to screen in Toronto.

There are three world premieres among the German productions showing in Toronto. The drama NOT A WORD (KEIN WORT, VOLTE Films Balagué & Legrand) by Hanna Slak will have its first screening in the Platform section. The German-Slovenian-French production follows the conductor Nina, who leads a structured life and pursues an ambitious artistic career. When her teenage son Lars has a strange accident at school, she decides to take time out from city life and together they head for her holiday home on the rugged Atlantic coast. Their already brittle relationship is further strained by their silence and unspoken emotions. The leading actress Maren Eggert (known for I’M YOUR MAN) will be in Toronto and present NOT A WORD.

Another two German world premieres will be unspooling in the Discovery section. The drama ACHILLES (Galan Gedan Filmproduktion, Barrierifilm, Basis Berlin) by Farhad Delaram is about a young filmmaker in Iran who works in a hospital. When he takes a mentally ill patient out on a short trip, he gradually finds out who she really is.
The road movie ARTHUR & DIANA (German Film and Television Academy, DFFB) by Sara Summa won the Le Film Français Award at Locarno’s work-in-progress section First Look last year and will now have its world premiere in Toronto. The plot centres on the two siblings Arthur and Diana who embark on a fateful journey from Berlin to Paris with Diana's two-year-old son. 

The Centrepiece section features THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE (if... Productions Film) by Ilker Çatak alongside four German co-productions. The drama, which premiered at the Berlinale 2023 and will screen as a North American premiere in Toronto, revolves around the young teacher Carla who discovers that there have been several thefts at her new school. Carla begins to investigate, thus increasing distrust among the staff, parents and pupils, especially since the main suspect is the mother of her best pupil Oskar. 

Angela Schanelec's MUSIC (Faktura Film) will be screened in the Wavelengths section. Inspired by the Oedipus myth, the drama follows Jon, an adopted child, who faces many hurdles in life. MUSIC will also have its North American premiere in Toronto.

Alisi Telengut’s BAIGAL NUUR - LAKE BAIGAL (ASIFA Germany) is screening In the short films section Short Cuts. The film, which reimagines the creation and history of Lake Baikal in Siberia, had already enjoyed success at the International Animation Festival in Annecy and received the award for Best International Animated Film at the Golden Ger International Film Festival.


German Films & Co-Productions in Toronto 2023 - an overview

Special Presentations
BASTARDEN (THE PROMISED LAND) by Nikolaj Arcel (DK/DE/SE, Zentropa International Berlin)
FOUR DAUGHTERS by Kaouther Ben Hania (FR/TN/SA/DE, Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion)
KIDNAPPEDby Marco Bellocchio (IT/FR/DE, Match Factory Productions)

ABOUT DRY GRASSES by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (TR/FR/DE/SE, Komplizen Film)
FALLEN LEAVES by Aki Kaurismäki (FI/DE, Pandora Film)
SIRA by Apolline Traoré (BF/FR/DE/SN, Panorama Dokumente)
THE SETTLERS by Felipe Gálvez (CL/UK/FR/DK/AR/DE, Sutor Kolonko)  
THE TEACHERS‘ LOUNGE (DAS LEHRERZIMMER) by Ilker Çatak (if... Productions Film)

NOT A WORD (KEIN WORT) by Hanna Slak (DE/SL/FR, VOLTE Films Balagué & Legrand)

MUSIC by Angela Schanelec (DE/FR, Faktura Film)

ACHILLES by Farhad Delaram (DE/IR/FR, Galan Gedan Filmproduktion, Barrierifilm, Basis Berlin)
ARTHUR & DIANA by Sara Summa (German Film and Television Academy Berlin, DFFB)

Midnight Madness
BOY KILLS WORLD by Moritz Mohr (US/DE, Ventaro Film)

Short Cuts
BAIGAL NUUR – LAKE BAIGAL by Alisi Telengut (DE/CA, Alisi Telengut)



Nicole Kaufmann (Head of Regional Desk USA & UK)
Angela Sonntag (Head of Press & Public Relations)