It's the second year in a row that a German director has made it into the Competition of the Festival de Cannes: Fatih Akin's IN THE FADE (DE/FR, bombero international, Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany, corazón international) will be competing for the Palme d'Or at the 70th edition (17 – 28 May 2017). The third feature film by the German director Valeska Grisebach, WESTERN (DE/BG/AT, Komplizen Film) will celebrate its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. Another seven German co-productions have been programmed in both of these sections. This was announced by the Festival at a press conference today.
IN THE FADE will be joined in the Cannes competition program by the German co-productions A GENTLE CREATURE by Sergei Loznitsa (FR/DE/NL/RU/LT/LV/UA, LOOKS Film & TV Produktionen), HAPPY END by Michael Haneke (FR/DE/AT, X Filme Creative Pool) with the German actor Franz Rogowski in the cast, JUPITER’S MOON by Kornél Mundruczó (HU/DE/CH/SE, Match Factory Productions), LOVELESS by Andrey Zvyagintsev (RU/BE/DE/FR, Senator Film Produktion) and THE SQUARE by Ruben Östlund (SE/FR/DE/DK, Essential Film). Also screening in Un Certain Regard are DIRECTIONS by Stephan Komandarev (BG/DE/MK, Aktis Film Production) and UNTIL THE BIRDS RETURN by Karim Moussaoui (FR/DZ/DE, NiKo Film).
Fatih Akin is no stranger to Cannes: his fiction film THE EDGE OF HEAVEN screened in the Competition in 2007 and won the prize for Best Screenplay. And his documentaries POLLUTING PARADISE (Special Screening in 2012) and CROSSING THE BRIDGE – THE SOUND OF ISTANBUL (Out of Competition in 2005) were also shown on the Croisette. Fatih Akin's other successes include the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2004 for HEAD-ON, the European Film Award and the German Film Award for THE EDGE OF HEAVEN as well as the Special Jury Award at the Venice Film Festival for SOUL KITCHEN in 2009.
The German Hollywood star Diane Kruger is cast in the lead role opposite Denis Moschitto, Numan Acar and Ulrich Tukur in IN THE FADE: Katja's life suddenly implodes when her husband and son die in a bomb attack. The police arrests two suspects: a young couple from the Neo-Nazi scene. Katja wants justice – there isn't any alternative for her.
WESTERN director Valeska Grisebachs's graduation film at the Vienna Film Academy, BE MY STAR, won the Critics Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Grand Prix of the Turin Film Festival. Her second feature film, LONGING, celebrated its premiere in the Berlinale's Competition in 2006 and received numerous prizes at international festivals, including the Special Jury Award in Buenos Aires, the Grand Prix Asturias at the Gijón International Film Festival, and the Special Jury Award at the Warsaw International Film Festival.
WESTERN centers on a group of German construction workers starting a tough job at a remote site in the Bulgarian countryside. The foreign land awakens the men's sense of adventure, but they are also confronted with their own prejudice and mistrust due to the language barrier and cultural differences. The stage is quickly set for a showdown when men begin to compete for recognition and favor from the local villagers. It is the second film in a row by a German filmmaker in the Cannes program – after TONI ERDMANN by Maren Ade in 2016's Competition – where Komplizen Film is responsible as the lead producer.
Other films in Cannes' main program will be announced in the coming weeks. The films for the program of the independent sidebars of Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and Semaine de la Critique and will be unveiled on 20 and 21 April 2017.
Dennis Ruh (Festival Relations)
Birgit Koch (Press & PR)
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