Documentaries from Germany had done very well at the important IDFA documentary film festival in Amsterdam with several competition entries. And this run of success is continuing at the 34th Sundance Film Festival (18 – 28 January 2018) with a world premiere for up-and-coming German directors and the North American premiere for an IDFA hit in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. There are also titles with German participation programmed in other sections of the festival which is particularly important for independent films.

THE CLEANERS (DE/BR, gebrueder beetz filmproduktion), an investigate about one of the most politically relevant issues of our times, will have its world premiere in Sundance's Documentary Competition. The debut by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck is a journey into a hidden shadow industry. THE CLEANERS goes right to the heart of digital censorship - to the very place where the Internet must be 'purged' of violence, pornography and political content. Who is controlling what we see and think?

Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck both studied Directing at the Academy for Dramatic Arts "Ernst Busch" in Berlin. They have worked together since 2007 under the name of "Laokoon" on theater performances and social media productions.

OF FATHERS AND SONS (DE/SY, Basis Berlin, Ventana Film- und Fernsehproduktion) will be coming directly from the International Documentary Film Amsterdam where it had attracted considerable international attention. Director Talal Derki followed the lives of an extended family over the course of two years during the Syrian civil war. OF FATHERS AND SONS will be screening like THE CLEANERS in the World Cinema Documentary Competition of Sundance.

THE HAPPY PRINCE directed by Rupert Everett (DE/BE/IT, maze pictures) had maze pictures from Germany as its delegate producer and 50 percent of the shoot located in Bavaria. The film tells the unknown story of Oscar Wilde's last years spent in exile. With the support of a top-notch acting ensemble, Rupert Everett is also playing the lead role of Oscar Wilde. THE HAPPY PRINCE will celebrate its world premiere in the Premieres section. Samuel Maoz's FOXTROT (DE/IL/FR/CH), produced on the German side by Pola Pandora, will screen in the Spotlight sidebar.

All of the German films and co-productions in Sundance 2018…

The 34th edition of the Sundance Film Festivals is being held from 18 to 28 January 2018 in Park City, Utah. It is regarded as the most important North American festival in the field of independent cinema and is organised by the Sundance Institute which was co-founded by Robert Redford in 1981. The festival is held in high esteem as a springboard especially for up-and-coming directors from the independent film scene.


Nicole Kaufmann (Regional Coordinator USA)
Birgit Koch (Press & PR)