News Release
25 August 2016

The feature film TONI ERDMANN by Maren Ade (DE/AT/MC, Komplizen Film, Missing Link Films) will represent Germany as the official submission for the 89th Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. This has been decided by an independent jury appointed by German Films. Jury representative Felicitas Darschin (Bundesverband Regie) announced the decision at a press presentation in the presence of producers Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach and actor Thomas Loibl in Munich today.

The nine-person jury substantiated its decision as follows: "TONI ERDMANN stood out among the eight submitted films with its resolute artistic signature. A bold and stylistically confident cinematic display of character on the pulse of the times. Maren Ade manages to turn 162 minutes of film into a humorous, unmasking stroll through the nuances of a father-daughter relationship. Universal topics like social isolation and the challenge of interpersonal integrity are skillfully dissected. Touching, evocative, implementing societal questions, and an unswerving artistic clarity. Just as modern international cinema should be."

Director Maren Ade commented on the jury’s decision: "I am very happy that the jury is sending TONI ERDMANN into the Oscar® race and am anxious to see how Toni behaves in Los Angeles."

And producers Janine Jackowski & Jonas Dornbach: "We are very honored! The film has already had an incredible journey and this milestone is very special. Internationally, this is a great sign and we hope that TONI ERDMANN will experience even more adventures in the future! With Sony Pictures Classics we have the best partner on our side."

TONI ERDMANN tells the story of Winfried (Peter Simonischek), a music teacher, and his daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller), a career woman who travels the world optimizing companies. Since Winfried doesn’t see much of his daughter at home, he spontaneously decides to visit her in Romania. Instead of informing her of his arrival, he surprises her in the lobby of her office building. His attempts to get closer to her fail miserably. But then Winfried surprises Ines with his radical metamorphosis into Toni Erdmann, his vibrant alter ego. Toni doesn’t mince his words and interferes with Ines’ professional life. Surprisingly, Ines gets into the game, and father and daughter make an amazing discovery: the more they clash, the closer they come.   

TONI ERDMANN is a production by Komplizen Film, in co-production with the Austrian coop 99 Filmproduktion, knm (Monaco) and Missing Link Films. The production was funded by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Eurimages, the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), the German Federal Film Board (FFA), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM, the Austrian Film Institute, Film Industry Support Austria (FISA), Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF) and MEDIA. Co-producing broadcasters are SWR/WDR/Arte.

TONI ERDMANN celebrated its world premiere in competition at the 69th Festival de Cannes and garnered euphoric acclaim from audiences, the press and the industry alike. The international federation of film critics, FIPRESCI, designated TONI ERDMANN as the best film in the competition. Further screenings followed at major festivals, including Sydney, Moscow, and Karlovy Vary, as well as at the upcoming festivals in Toronto, San Sebastian and New York in September and October 2016. TONI ERDMANN is also among the three finalists for the Lux Film Prize of the European Parliament and will be awarded with the the 2016 International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Grand Prix for best film of the past year at the San Sebastian Film Festival opening night ceremony.

The international sales agent The Match Factory has already sold TONI ERDMANN in 100 territories worldwide. The film was very successfully released in France on 17 August 2016 and has already been seen by 105,000 cinema-goers. Sony Pictures Classics is planning to release the film in the USA at the end of December 2016. In Germany, TONI ERDMANN was released by NFP Marketing & Distribution* on 14 July 2016 and has already exceeded 450,000 admissions.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will announce a shortlist of the last nine films in the running for the Oscar® in the category Best Foreign Language Film on 17 January 2017. The announcement of the five films nominated will take place on 24 January 2017. The awards ceremony will take place on 26 February 2017 in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

The German entry for the Oscar® in the category Best Foreign Language Film is determined by an annually appointed selection committee, which is comprised of representatives from eight different associations and institutions of the German film industry.

German Films is responsible for the preparation, organization and implementation of the selection procedure for the German candidate film. In this function, German Films’ responsibilities are strictly of organizational nature. German Films itself is not represented in the selection committee.

Members of this year’s independent selection committee were:

Association of German Film Producers: Karsten Stöter
German Producers Alliance/Cinema Section: Katharina Rinderle
Association of German Film Exporters: Julia Weber
Association of German Film Distributors: Jasna Vavra
German Cinema Owners Association: Christoph Preßmar
German Film Critics Association: Dunja Bialas
Bundesverband Regie: Felicitas Darschin
German Film Academy: Sven Burgemeister, Heide Schwochow

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

Photo TONI ERDMANN © Komplizen Film, NFP Marketing & Distribution*