A feature film with a very topical political issue in Competition, melancholic cheerfulness from a Locarno returnee to the Piazza Grande, and a multi-award-winning newcomer in the Filmmakers of the Present Competition – German cinema is in a good position at the 71st Locarno Festival (1 – 11 August 2018). A total of 16 German films and co-productions have been programmed there. This was announced at today's press conference.

Jan Bonny is competing for the Golden Leopard of the International Competition with his second feature film GERMANY. A WINTER'S TALE (Heimatfilm). It chronicles the story of Becky, Tommi and Maik, a three-headed rightwing terror cell, which lives underground and dreams of nationwide attention. Entangled in a complex relationship of love, hate and friendship their path of destruction leads to a series of violent crimes. Their ostensible values like honor, pride and loyalty increasingly suffer a loss of meaning... COUNTERPARTS, Jan Bonny's debut feature, had its world premiere in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes.

Director Sandra Nettelbeck had already been on the Piazza Grande in Locarno with MOSTLY MARTHA and MR. MORGAN’S LAST LOVE. This year will see her film WHAT DOESN'T KILL US (Sommerhaus Filmproduktion, cine plus Filmproduktion, Ruhrsound) celebrating its world premiere in the impressive 8,000-seater open-air cinema.

Populated with a colorful range of characters, WHAT DOESN'T KILL US is a heart-wrenching yet delightful mosaic of stories just past the midlife crisis, of matters of the heart and identity, of everyday struggles and longtime conflicts. As a divorced father of two teenage daughters, with a head-strong ex-wife for a best friend, too many peculiar patients to keep up with and a new dog, psychotherapist Max certainly doesn't need another challenge. But when Sophie, a compulsive gambler with a boyfriend problem, regularly shows up late for her appointments, she rocks his world in ways he's not ready for.

"If you don't see any problems, you don't have any." This is the attitude taken by Janne in ALL GOOD (TRIMAFILM, Starhaus Filmproduktion, HFF Munich), which has been invited to the „Filmmakers of the Present“ competition section, regarding the fact that her new boss's brother-in-law has slept with her against her will. She keeps the incident under wraps and lets everything take its normal course. Her silence has consequences, though, and not just for her relationship with her partner Piet. Eva Trobisch's debut took home the important "German Cinema New Talent Award" for Best Directing and Best Lead Actress as well as the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at last week's Filmfest Munich.

The "Filmmakers of the Present" section, which is dedicated to new directorial talents, will also be screening Nicole Vögele's graduation film, CLOSING TIME (CH/DE), from the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy.

by Yalda Afsah has been programmed in the International Short Film Competition.

The Histoire(s) du cinéma sidebar features an homage to the director Wolf-Eckart Bühler with two of his works from the 1980s.

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

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