As with Locarno, the Venice International Film Festival (30 August – 9 September, 2017) also shows that it has a soft heart of young cinema from Germany: Rick Ostermann is returning with his second feature film KRIEG (Schiwago Film) to the Orrizonti sidebar which is dedicated to new discoveries in international cinema. His first feature WOLFSKINDER had already debuted there in 2013. In addition, the short film THIS IS THE WAR ROOM! by Boris Hars-Tschachotin (Liquid Blues Production) has been programmed in the Venice Classics – Documentary on Cinema Competition.

HUMAN FLOW by Ai Weiwei – produced by Human Flow UG from Germany – will debut in the Venezia 74 Competition along with FOXTROT by Samuel Maoz (DE/IL/FR/CH), which was produced on the German side by Pola Pandora. In addition, there are four co-productions with German participation in the Official Program.

The independent sidebar of the Venice International Film Critics’ Week had already unveiled its program. DRIFT, the feature-length debut Helena Wittmann (Fuenferfilm), another title by a young German filmmaker, has been programmed alongside three German co-productions.

The Venice Days – another independent sidebar – will be presenting LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM by Shirin Neshat (DE/AT/IT), with Razor Film Produktion as delegate producer, along with another two films with German participation. WESTERN by Valeska Grisebach (DE/BG/AT, Komplizen Film), which had its world premiere in Cannes, is one of three films nominated for the LUX Prize of the European Parliament and will be shown during the Venice Days.

About the films:

KRIEG by Rick Ostermann is a film about an unusual grieving process leading to a life and death struggle. It tells the story of  Arnold Stein who has withdrawn to a lonely mountain hut to find his peace after his son was killed during a foreign assignment in the army. But this peace is destroyed when a stranger starts terrorising him and then embroils him in a nerve-wracking struggle. Ulrich Matthes (DOWNFALL), Barbara Auer, Jördis Triebel (WEST) and Thomas Loibl (TONI ERDMANN) can be seen in the leads of this family drama with thriller elements.

The Venice Classics sidebar shows new restorations of film classics as well as documentaries about cinema and its auteurs. Such a documentary is the short THIS IS THE WAR ROOM! by Boris Hars-Tschachotin. It follows the legendary production designer Ken Adam who, at the age of 93 and with cigar in hand, wields his Flo-Master felt pen just one last time to bring the year of 1962 and the iconic war room he created with Stanley Kubrick in DR. STRANGELOVE back to life again.

Helena Wittmann, who studied at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (HFBK), realised DRIFT by closely collaborating with an ethnologist and a sound artist. Two women spend a weekend together at the North Sea. One of them will soon return to her family in Argentina and the other one will cross the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing ship. Thoughts go astray, time leaves the beaten track and the swell lulls to deep sleep. The sea takes over the narration, and when the other one reappears in it, the ground may now be firmly under her feet, but the wind is still in her hair. She returns and the other one could ask: "Have you changed?"

All of the German films and co-productions in Venice 2017…

Dennis Ruh (Festival Relations)
Birgit Koch (Press & PR)