Lars Kraume’s political thriller THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER (zero one film, TERZ Film) will celebrate its world premiere on the Piazza Grande at the important summer festival in Locarno (5 - 15 August 2015). In addition, DER NACHTMAHR by AKIZ (OOO-Films Produktion, Bon Voyage Films) can be seen as an international premiere in the Filmmakers of the Present sidebar. Kamal Aljafari’s RECOLLECTION will be shown as a world premiere in Signs of Life. In total, 20 German films and co-productions have been invited to Locarno, including three co-productions in the International Competition. The German actor Udo Kier was appointed as one of the members of the Competition jury. 

The Piazza Grande in the heart of Locarno provides space for around 7,000 spectators and an impressive backdrop for the screening of THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER. Director Lars Kraume presents the gripping portrait of the German prosecutor general Fritz Bauer and his battle to bring the Nazi perpetrators to justice at a time when the young Federal Republic was wanting to put this period behind it. In 1957, Bauer received the crucial piece of evidence about where the former SS officer Adolf Eichmann was said to be hiding and thus began researching the background. But he is confronted with resistance right through to the highest echelons. Burghart Klaußner (13 MINUTES, THE WHITE RIBBON), who portrays the title figure, appears opposite a top-notch cast including Ronald Zehrfeld (PHOENIX, BARBARA), Sebastian Blomberg (THE CULPABLE, AGE OF CANNIBALS) and Lilith Stangenberg (THE LIES OF THE VICTORS).

The German co-productions PARADISE by Sina Ataeian Dena (IR/DE, Bon Voyage Films), HEIMATLAND by Lisa Blatter, Gregor Frei, Jan Gassmann, Benny Jaberg, Carmen Jaquier, Michael Krummenacher, Jonas Meier, Tobias Nölle, Lionel Rupp & Mike Scheiwiller (CH/DE, Passanten Filmproduktion), and TE PROMETO ANARQUÍA by Julio Hernández Cordón (MX/DE, Rohfilm) have been selected for the International Competition.

Director AKIZ’s feature film DER NACHTMAHR can’t be classified in any clearly defined genre. Neither a classic coming-of-age story nor a classic horror film, it is described by the director as a “narcotic mindfuck melodrama" or “New German Fantastic Cinema” with roots in the Expressionist films of the 1920s. DER NACHTMAHR had already attracted international attention when it had its world premiere at the Filmfest München. Programmed in Locarno in the Filmmakers of the Present competition for first and second films, the drama tells the story of a girl who is suddenly outside of her manageable world. After a party, the 17-year-old experiences massive nightmares where she is haunted every night by an incredibly ugly creature. Her parents don’t believe her. The only person with whom she can speak about her fears is her psychiatrist. He advises her to make contact with the creature.

FOUR CORNERS OF A CIRCLE by Katarina Stankovic (DE/RS, ZAK Film Productions, Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF) and ZEUS by Pavel Vesnakov (DE/BG, Heimathafen Film & Media) will be presented in the Pardi di domani competitive section which features short and medium-length films by young directors who have not yet made a feature-length film.

RECOLLECTION is the first feature film by the filmmaker Kamal Aljafari, who graduated from the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne and has taught directing at the DFFB, among other places. Aljafari re-edits scenes from American and Israeli films which were made in the city of Jaffa between the 1960s and 1990s. He dispenses here with the protagonists of the original films and has an empty backdrop provided by the city. He thereby creates dreamlike views of the past and delivers a picture album of mementoes. The film is nominated in Locarno for the First Feature Award.


All of the German films and co-productions in Locarno in 2015:

Piazza Grande
THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER by Lars Kraume (zero one film, Terz Film)

Concorso internazionale
HEIMATLAND by Lisa Blatter, Gregor Frei, Jan Gassmann, Benny Jaberg, Carmen Jaquier, Michael Krummenacher, Jonas Meier, Tobias Nölle, Lionel Rupp & Mike Scheiwiller (CH/DE, Passanten Filmproduktion)
PARADISE by Sina Ataeian Dena (IR/DE, Bon Voyage Films)
TE PROMETO ANARQUÍA by Julio Hernández Cordón (MX/DE, Rohfilm)

Concorso Cineasti del presente
DER NACHTMAHR by AKIZ (OOO-Films, Bon Voyage Films)
SIEMBRA by Ángela Osorio Rojas & Santiago Lozano Álvarez (CO/DE, Autentika Films)

Pardi di domani
FOUR CORNERS OF A CIRCLE by Katarina Stankovic (DE/RS, ZAK Film Productions, Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF)
ZEUS by Pavel Vesnakov (DE/BG, Heimathafen Film & Media)

Signs of Life
RECOLLECTION by Kamal Aljafari

Fuori concorso: Art Basel
ANFANGSSZENE by Karolin Meunier

Histoire(s) du cinéma : Exellence Award Moët & Chandon for Edward Norton
FIGHT CLUB by David Fincher (US/DE, Taurus Film)

I film delle giurie
SWORN VIRGIN by Laura Bispuri (IT/CH/DE/AL/XK, The Match Factory)

Retrospettiva Sam Peckinpah
THE CROSS OF IRON by Sam Peckinpah (GB/DE, Rapid Film, Terra Filmkunst)
PASSION & POETRY – THE BALLAD OF SAM PECKINPAH by Mike Siegel (El Dorado Prod., Manic Entertainment)

Open Doors Screenings
CHOUF by Imen Dellil (TN/DE/FR, Goethe Institut Tunis)
SUR LA PLANCHE by Leila Kilani (MA/FR/DE, Vandertastic Films)

Semaine de la Critique
K2. TOUCHING THE SKY by Eliza Kubarska (PL/GB/DE, inselfilm produktion)

Panorama Suisse
ABOVE AND BELOW by Nicolas Steiner (CH/DE, Flying Moon Filmproduktion)


The traditional Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which has special importance for Central and East European cinema, has also proven in recent years to be a great place for German films. Among the many titles shown here were SOURCES OF LIFE by Oskar Roehler in the 2013 Feature Film Competition and ISTANBUL UNITED by Farid Eslam und Olli Waldhauer in the 2014 Documentary Competition. In 2012, Jan Ole Gerster's OH BOY began its successfull festival career in Karlovy Vary. German films stayed on the road to success in this year's 50th edition (3 - 11 July 2015). Visar Morina, who had the international premiere of his BABAI (DE/XK/MK/FR, NiKo Film) in the Main Competition alongside HEIL by Dietrich Brüggemann (REAL FILM Berlin, Bella Firma), was named Best Director. In addition, BABAI won the Europa Cinemas Award. When it had its world premiere at the Filmfest München, the debut by Visar Morina won three of the prizes for Directing, Screenplay and Lead Actor in the German Cinema New Talent Awards, one of the most important German prizes for up-and-coming filmmakers.

Other prizes for German co-productions in Karlovy Vary...

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The premiere screenings of two German competition films HEIL and BABAI were both held in Karlovy Vary's Grand Hall with seating capacity for around 1,200. Both screenings were completely full, with some cinema fans even sitting on the sideaisle steps. Following the international premiere of HEIL German Films hosted a reception in honor of the German films at the festival. The guests included the crew of HEIL headed by director Dietrich Brüggemann, the actors Jerry Hoffmann and Benno Führmann and producer Katrin Goetter and the crew of BABAI headed by director Visar Morina, the actors Val Maloku, Astrit Kabashi and the German producer Nicole Gerhards and the Kosovar and French co-producers, PETTING ZOO's director Micah Magee as well as Tanja Georgieva, the producer of the Documentary Competition entry ONCE UPON A DREAM - A JOURNEY TO THE LAST SPAGHETTI WESTERN. They met the Artistic Director of Karlovy Vary IFF, Karel Och, other international festival representatives, journalists and buyers. There was a lively exchange among some 90 guests gathered in the garden of the Bokova Wine Bar and blessed by splendid weather.

All of the German films and co-productions in Karlovy Vary 2015...


Dresden became the center for international film buyers from such countries as Argentina, France, Korea, Great Britain, Spain and the USA from 8 to 11 July 2015. Around 80 guests from 35 countries were there to see new German films. In total, the German Films Previews showed 15 productions on the big screen at the UFA Kristallpalast Cinema, with six of them being shown for the first time at an industry event for distributors. The Previews were organized by German Films.

Mariette Rissenbeek, managing director of German Films, is pleased about the success of the event: "Our international guests not only watched the new German films with great interest, but the opportunities for extensive conversations and informative networking functioned so well that several deals were made on the spot."
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BECK'S LAST SUMMER by Frieder Wittich (Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion, Senator Film Produktion, ARRI Film & TV Services, B.A. Produktion, 23/5 Filmproduktion; world sales: ARRI Media World Sales) was consequently sold to Korea. Sales agent ARRI Media World Sales is in negotiations with Spain, France and Turkey for A BREATH by Christian Zübert (Senator Film, Senator Film Produktion, ARRI Film & TV Services, BVG Filmproduktion). ABOUT A GIRL by Mark Monheim (Imbissfilm, die film, sales agent: Global Screen) was sold to Argentina.

The wide range of films shown in Dresden extended from drama through comedy and horror film to family entertainment. Apart from the productions being presented in the cinema, the participants could also see films on DVD and Blu-ray at the viewing stations provided. The evening program – organized with Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), among others,  – gave the international guests an opportunity to meet up with the attending representatives of the German sales companies, representatives of the German films as well as with the regional industry. One of the guests was the actor Christian Friedel who can be seen in the title role of Oliver Hirschbiegel's 13 MINUTES (Lucky Bird Pictures, Delphi Medien, Philipp filmproduction). This enabled those international distributors who had bought the film ahead of the Previews to speak with him about the planned release campaigns. He has since been invited to visit Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the UK.

German Films has been organizing the Previews event since 2001. This year was the third time Dresden has hosted the Previews. They had been previously held in Munich, Cologne and Hamburg.


This year saw a large German delegation attending the 32nd Jerusalem International Film Festival (9 – 19 July 2015) which is the country's most significant festival alongside Haifa. The festival successes VICTORIA by Sebastian Schipper (MonkeyBoy, Deutschfilm, Radical Media), WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. by Burhan Qurbani (UFA Fiction) as well as FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER by Rüdiger Suchsland (Looks Filmproduktionen) were among the films programmed. A special program of five German films which had previously been screened in Munich were shown in cooperation with Filmfest München to mark the 50th anniversary of German-Israeli diplomatic relations. Filmmakers such as Arend Agthe, Dietrich Brüggemann, Alexander Costea, Sebastian Schipper, Rüdiger Suchsland and Burhan Qurbani introduced their works in person. Many international guests accepted the invitation of German Films, FFF Bayern and the festival to attend a reception in honor of the German films.

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Director Sebastian Schipper saw two sold-out performances in Jerusalem for his film VICTORIA and an audience who attentively followed the journey through nighttime Berlin. The directors Burhan Qurbani of WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG., Rüdiger Suchsland of FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER, Alexander Costea of THE MEASURE and Dietrich Brüggemann of HEIL together with his lead actor Jerry Hoffmann, and ALKI ALKI DoP Dennis Pausl had travelled to Jerusalem to present their films in lively Q&As.

The Jerusalem audience was completely taken under the spell of TRENKER AND RIEFENSTAHL – A FINE LINE BETWEEN TRUTH AND GUILT by Wolfgang Murnberger about the South Tyrolean mountaineering legend. There were lots of questions afterwards for the screenwriter Peter Probst and the producers. MY FRIEND RAFFI was shown with subtitles in Hebrew. This worked very well with the young audience. They were totally engrossed in the adventures of Sammy and his hamster Raffi and the subsequent Q&A with the director Arend Agthe and actress and co-author Bettina Kupfer.

The reception in honor of the German films at the festival, which was organized by German Films together with FFF Bayern and the Jerusalem International Film Festival in the Cinemathèque, was very well attended. Many Israeli filmmakers and international festival guests came together with the German filmmakers and guests like Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick, FFF Bayern managing director Professor Dr. Klaus Schaefer, the director of the Filmfest München Diana Iljine, the Director of the Israel Film Fund Katriel Schory or the US producer Ira Deutchman.

All of the German films and co-productions in Jerusalem in 2015:

THE PROJECT OF THE CENTURY by Carlos Machado Quintela (CU/AR/DE, Raspberry & Cream)
SIVAS by Kaan Müjdeci (TR/DE, Müjdeci GmbH)

Spirit of Freedom
SONG OF MY MOTHER by Erol Mintas (TR/FR/DE, Mitosfilm)
WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. by Burhan Qurbani (UFA Fiction)

CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (TH/GB/DE/FR/MY, Match Factory Productions, Geißendörfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion)
THE PRESIDENT by Mohsen Makhmalbaf (GB/DE/GB/FR, Brümmer & Herzog Filmproduktion)

Andersson Trilogy
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE by Roy Andersson (SE/DE/FR/NOR, Essential Filmproduktion)
SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR by Roy Andersson (SE/FR/DE/DK, Essential Filmproduktion)
YOU, THE LIVING by Roy Andersson (SE/DE/FR/DK/NO/JP, Thermidor Filmproduktion)


DREAMS REWIRED by Martin Reinhardt, Thomas Tode & Manu Luksch (AT/DE, Bildschön Filmproduktion)

JAUJA by Lisandro Alonso (AR/US/NL/FR/MX/DK/DE, The Match Factory)
VICTORIA by Sebastian Schipper (MonkeyBoy, Deutschfilm, Radical Media)

JFF Classics
THE MEMORY OF JUSTICE by Marcel Ophüls (GB/DE/US/FR, Polytel International Film)

Munich in Jerusalem
ALKY ALKY by Axel Ranisch (Sehr gute Filme)
HEIL by Dietrich Brüggemann (REAL FILM Berlin, Bella Firma)
MY FRIEND RAFFI by Arend Agthe (Mimi & Crow Filmproduktion) 
THE MEASURE by Alexander Costea (schöne neue filme, HFF Munich)

JFF Kids
MY FRIEND RAFFI by Arend Agthe (Mimi & Crow Filmproduktion) 

FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER by Rüdiger Suchsland (Looks Filmproduktionen)

International Shorts
PRIDE by Pavel G. Vesnakov (DE/BG, Director’s Darling)
THE CHICKEN by Una Gunjak (DE/HR, Zak Film Productions)

IRAQI ODYSSEY by Samir (CH/DE, Coin Film)


COLONIA and VICTORIA with Special Presentation at Toronto International Film Festival. More...


German films in MotovunGuanajuanto, Giffoni and Anima Mundi Brazil.

German shorts in Ottawa and Odense.


Awards for German films in GiffoniYerevan and at FIDMarseille.

Awards for German shorts in Espinho, at Anima Mundi and Vila do Conde.


VICTORIA (MonkeyBoy, Deutschfilm, Radical Media) opened in France on 1 July 2015. To date, the film by Sebastian Schipper has been seen there by around 67,000 cinema-goers and has taken 433,000 euros at the box-office.