Newsletter
JULY 2016
 
 
 
 
IMPRESSIVE GERMAN LINE-UP IN LOCARNO

Angela Schanelec with THE DREAMED PATH (Filmgalerie 451) and the feature film debutant Michael Koch with MARIJA (DE/CH, Pandora Film Produktion, Little Shark Entertainment) in the International Competition, Christian Schwochow with PAULA (DE/FR, Pandora Film Produktion) and Maria Schrader with STEFAN ZWEIG – FAREWELL TO EUROPE (DE/FR/AT, X Filme Creative Pool) on the Piazza Grande, a retrospective about cinema in the young Federal Republic of Germany, a lifetime achievement award for German actor Mario Adorf and director Edgar Reitz as the Pardo di Domani jury president – the German presence at the Festival del Film Locarno has rarely been as strong as at the 69th edition (3 – 13 August 2016).

In addition, the Cineasti del presente competition will open with Douglas Gordon’s I HAD NOWHERE TO GO (moneypenny filmproduktion, olddognewtricks). The world premiere of Corinna Belz’s new documentary PETER HANDKE – IN THE WOODS, MIGHT BE LATE will be presented ‘out of competition’. ETAGE X by Francy Fabritz (DFFB) will be competing in Pardi di domani, the competition for short and medium-length films.


About the German films:

Angela Schanelec, who was in Cannes in 2014 with her short film contribution to THE BRIDGES OF SARAJEVO, is presenting a feature film about powerlessness and happiness in THE DREAMED PATH. Theres and Kenneth love each other, but can’t prevent drifting apart again. Thirty years later, the TV actress Ariane splits up from her husband after a crisis, and he subsequently moves into an apartment at the main railway station. He observes a homeless man, it is Kenneth. And so their paths lead them back to Kenneth and Theres.

MARIJA is about a young Ukrainian woman who is a cleaner in a hotel in Dortmund, but dreams of her own hairdressing salon. Determined to realize her dream, she is prepared to subordinate her body, her social relationships and even her own feelings to achieve her declared objective. Director Michael Koch, a graduate of the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne, won the German Short Film Award in Gold for his graduation film POLAR in 2009. MARIJA is his feature film debut.

The impressive backdrop with seating for 8,000 and a giant screen will be the venue for the premiere of Christian Schwochow’s feature film PAULA about the German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, a pioneer of Expressionist painting. Director Christian Schwochow – known for NOVEMBER CHILD, CRACKS IN THE SHELL and WEST – has cast Shooting Star Carla Juri (WETLANDS) in the title role to tell the universal story of a modern woman who fights for her creative self-fulfilment and a romantic concept of marriage and love.
 
Maria Schrader also dedicates herself to an important personality in STEFAN ZWEIG – FAREWELL TO EUROPE. The years in exile of the Austrian writer (as portrayed by Josef Hader) are recounted in a series of episodes. At the peak of his international fame, he despairs from his life in emigration about the downfall of Europe which he had long predicted. The film is about losing the old world and searching for a new one. Over 150,000 cinema-goers have already seen the film in Germany. Maria Schrader is one of Germany’s leading actresses, her directorial debut LOVE LIFE was shown at the film festival in Rome.

The opening film of the Cineasti del presente competition, I HAD NOWHERE TO GO by the filmmaker and video artist Douglas Gordon, who lives in Berlin among other places, is based on the diaries of Jonas Mekas, the driving force of the American avant-garde cinema He had to leave his home village in Lithuania more than 70 years ago when he was 22 years old and was incarcerated in a labor camp in Germany. Mekas is now one of the last living contemporary witnesses and displaced persons of his generation. He speaks about his life in exile and his emigration to the USA. Gordon and Mekas will personally introduce the film on its world premiere in Locarno.

Her new feature documentary PETER HANDKE – IN THE WOODS, MIGHT BE LATE, which is screening ‘out of competition’, sees Corinna Belz exploring the enigma of Peter Handke and the central questions of his literary oeuvre. This is the second time after GERHARD RICHTER PAINTING that she has turned her attention to an exceptional contemporary artist.

The competitive section of Pardi di domani shows short and medium-length films by young directors which have not yet made a feature film. The 14-minute ETAGE X by Francy Fabritz shows a chance meeting of two elderly women in a department store’s lift which gets stuck and forces them to improvise.


About the retrospective "Beloved and Rejected: Cinema in the Young Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963":  

In close cooperation with the Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF) and with financial  support from German Films, the festival is devoting this year’s retrospective to the cinema of the young Federal Republic of Germany. The focus will be on over 70 films made between 1949 and 1963. It is shedding light on a creative period which has, to date, rarely been the subject of much attention in either Germany or abroad. On the one hand, there are entertainment films as a mirror of the gender relations of those times, individual fears as well as addressing or trying to escape from the traumas of the recent past. On the other hand, films surprise with their artistic sophistication.

The retrospective’s catalogue will be published by the Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF on 28 July 2016. After the presentation of the retrospective in Locarno, a selection of the films will go on an international tour. Apart from presentations in Trieste and Torino, the other confirmed stops for the tour include the Cinemateca Portuguesa, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

The German actor Mario Adorf will be presented with the Pardo alla carriera for his life’s work. There will be screenings of films as part of the retrospective as well as international productions with his participation, and a conversation with the audience.

All of the German films and co-productions in Locarno in 2016…

 
 
TWO PRIZES FOR ORIGINAL BLISS IN KARLOVY VARY

Director Sven Taddicken, the actors Ulrich Tukur and Johannes Krisch, the producers Alexander and Manuel Bickenbach and the rest of the ORIGINAL BLISS team were satisfied with their trip to the 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (1 – 9 July 2016). There was enthusiastic applause from the audience during the closing credits for the adaptation of A.L. Kennedy's eponymous novel on the occasion of its international premiere in the Main Competition; there were positive reviews in such publications as VarietyThe Hollywood Reporter and Screen International, and ORIGINAL BLISS received the International Federation of Film Critics' prestigious FIPRESCI Award. In addition, the film received the Europa Cinemas Label Award for the best European film in the competition, which provides support for the release of a film in the European cinemas.This year saw the European Film Promotion (EFP) inviting ten promising up-and-coming European filmmakers for the second year to take part in the FUTURE FRAMES program during the festival. The director Clemens Pichler was nominated by German Films and selected as the German participant by the festival with his experimental drama DIORAMA. The second edition was a great success with ten sell-out screenings, very lively Q&As with the directors, and included a masterclass with the Oscar®-nominated director Felix von Groeningen.    

German Films organized a reception in honor of the German films showing at the festival following the international premiere of ORIGINAL BLISS. Those attending along with the team of ORIGINAL BLISS included the director Daniel Abma and the team of TRANSIT HAVANA (DE/NL, Kloos & Co. Medien, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF), which was programmed in the Documentary Competition. They met with international guests from the worlds of festivals, the media and distribution.

All awards for German films and co-productions in Karlovy Vary 2016...

All of the German films and co-productions in Karlovy Vary 2016…

 
 
INTERNATIONAL BUYERS VIEW GERMAN CINEMA

The German city of Bremen became the center for international film buyers from 6 - 9 July 2016:  the German Films Previews played host to 74 guests from 33 countries, who screened 14 new German films and had an opportunity for effective networking with the German world sales companies and the local industry. A number of deals were sealed straight after the event.

Picture Tree International sold ORIGINAL BLISS by Sven Taddicken to Greece (Danaos Cinema), Slovenia and ex-Yugoslavia (FIVIA d.o.o.); moreover, the sales agent is in negotiations with other territories like France, Italy, the Benelux and Spain. In addition, Picture Tree International sold FACK JU GOETHE 2, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY and THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON to Turkey (Sinema TV). THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY and THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON also went to Italy (Nomad Film Distribution). Global Screen sold TIME HEROES to Turkey (Medyavizyon).

Other titles which were popular among the international buyers included LOU ANDREAS-SALOMÉ by Cordula Kablitz-Post, a biopic about the legendary Russian-German author, the psychological thrillers DOLORES by the first-time feature director Michael Rösel and FOUR HANDS by Oliver Kienle. There was also great interest in the trailers for PAULA by Christian Schwochow and the feature documentary THE INVISIBLES by Claus Räfle.

Mariette Rissenbeek, managing director of German Films: "This year’s event was quite unique. We had a number of high-quality family entertainment films combined with high-profile festival films which proved their potential in the competitions of the world’s A-festivals in Shanghai, Moscow and Karlovy Vary just now, and others can be seen at upcoming international festivals this summer and fall. The German Films Previews proved they are attractive for international buyers from all over the world."

German Films has been organizing the industry event for distributors since 2001. It has previously been held in Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and Dresden.

Photos on Facebook…

 
 
SUMMER FILM SHOOTS: UPCOMING GERMAN CINEMA

Summertime is the time for film shoots. Here are some of the interesting German feature film projects by Oscar®-winners, box-office stars, leading directors and promising newcomers, which are being shot in the summer months.

Oscar®-winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (THE LIVES OF OTHERS) is directing WORK WITHOUT AUTHOR (WT - Pergamon Film, Wiedemann & Berg Film), a psychological thriller about three periods in German history. The lead roles are taken by Tom Schilling (OH BOY, GENERATION WAR, WHO AM I – NO SYSTEM IS SAFE), Sebastian Koch (BRIDGE OF SPIES, HOMELAND, THE LIVES OF OTHERS), Paula Beer (4 KINGS, THE DARK VALLEY, THE POLL DIARIES), Saskia Rosendahl (WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG., LORE) and Ina Weisse (NOTHING BUT GHOSTS). Even after escaping to West Germany, the young artist Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) continues to be tormented by the experiences of his childhood during the Nazi years and under the GDR regime. When he meets the love of his life, the student Ellie, he succeeds in creating paintings which not only reflect his own fate, but also the traumas of a whole generation.

JUGEND OHNE GOTT (die film, Constantin Film) is a new adaptation of the eponymous novel by Ödön von Horváth. Alain Gsponer is the director (MY WORDS, MY LIES - MY LOVE, HEIDI). The film is set in a not-too distant future: cities are futuristic hellholes and are in stark contrast to a fairytale future. The young schoolgirl N is found dead in the forest during the final year's annual assessment camp. The fragile cohesion of a youthful elite is in danger of falling apart. Fahri Yardim, Jannis Niewöhner, Alicia von Rittberg, Jannik Schümann and Anna Maria Mühe can be seen in the leads.

Series:

The end of May saw the beginning of principal photography for the first German Amazon Originals series YOU ARE WANTED (Pantaleon Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Warner Bros. International Television Production Deutschland) in Berlin. Matthias Schweighöfer (THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY, THE MANNY), one of the biggest German film stars, is directing. He appears in front of the camera in the lead as Lukas Franke whose life becomes one single nightmare when his identity is hacked.

Principal photography also rolled in May on the series project BABYLON BERLIN (X Filme Creative Pool, Beta Film, ARD, SKY,), which is being realised by Tom Tykwer (CLOUD ATLAS, PERFUME - THE STORY OF A MURDERER, RUN LOLA RUN), Hendrik Handloegten (SUMMER WINDOW) and Achim von Borries (LOVE IN THOUGHTS) as authors and directors. Shooting will continue to the end of year. BABYLON BERLIN draws on the internationally successful bestsellers by Volker Kutscher about police inspector Gereon Rath's investigations in Berlin of the 1920s to portray the whole variety of a city between drugs and politics, murder and art, emancipation and extremism. The leads feature Volker Bruch (GENERATION WAR) und Liv Lisa Fries (ZURICH, HEIL) supported by a top-notch acting ensemble including Hannah Herzsprung, Benno Fürmann, Lars Eidinger, Fritzi Haberlandt, Matthias Brandt, Peter Kurth, Mišel Matičević, and Christian Friedel.

Newcomers:

2015's Student Oscar®-winner Ilker Çatak is working on his first feature film ONCE UPON A TIME IN INDIAN COUNTRY (Riva Film), which tells the difficult coming of age of 17-year-old Mauser from a drab high-rise estate on the outskirts of Hamburg. The lead role has been taken by Leonard Scheicher (FINSTERWORLD, SOURCES OF LIFE), Emilia Schüle (JUGEND OHNE GOTT, KU’DAMM 56) has been cast as Mauser's girlfriend, with Clemens Schick (4 KINGS, THE DARK VALLEY) appearing as Mauser's father Zöllner.

Stephan Lacant (FREE FALL) was shooting FREMDE TOCHTER (kurhaus production), a love story, until May. Lena (Elisa Schlott) is impulsive, assertive and aimless. She and her mother (Heike Makatsch) have always managed alone. She suddenly becomes unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 17. Farid (Hassan Akkouch), the child's father, is a Muslim. Two worlds collide, and their love which cannot be, is not only putting them both to the test.  

The director Jan Zabeil (who was in Toronto with THE RIVER USED TO BE A MAN) is also working on his second feature film, THREE PEAKS (DE/IT, Rohfilm Productions), with Alexander Fehling (LABYRINTH OF LIES, HOMELAND) and Bérénice Bejo (THE ARTIST) in the leads. The family drama centers on Aaron, who has invited his girlfriend Lea and her son on a trip to the mountains. He is determined to bring his relationship to Lea to a new level and win Tristan's respect. However, the nights and days in the little hut at the foot of the Three Peaks turn out to be more difficult than expected. The situation escalates when Aaron leads the boy to the mountain plateau and they both get lost in the dense fog. 

 
 
FESTIVALS

Maren Ade and Werner Herzog in Toronto. More... 

Two films from Germany in San Sebastian New Directors Competition. More...

German films in Guanajuato and Ottawa.

 
 
INTERNATIONAL RELEASES

4 August 2016:  
COLONIA in Greece (Distr: Videorama, World Sales: Beta Cinema)
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY in the Czech Republic (Distr: Bontonfilm, World Sales: Picture Tree International)

10 August 2016:
STEFAN ZWEIG - FAREWELL TO EUROPE in France (Distr: ARP, World Sales: Films Distribution)

12 August 2016:

I'M OFF THEN: LOOSING AND FINDING MYSELF ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO in Taiwan (Distr: Swallow Wings, World Sales: Global Screen)

17 August 2016:
TONI ERDMANN in France (Distr: Haut Et Court, World Sales: The Match Factory)
TONI ERDMANN in Belgium (Distr: September Film, World Sales: The Match Factory)

18 August 2016:
HEIDI in Argentinia (Distr: Electique S.A./Impacto Cine, World Sales: Studiocanal)

19 August 2016:
THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER in the United States (Distr: Cohen Media, World Sales: Beta Cinema)

26 August 2016:
HEIDI in Spain (Distr: Savor Ediciones, World Sales: Studiocanal)

 
 
NSU GERMAN HISTORY X: PREMIERE ON NETFLIX US

The German drama-series NSU GERMAN HISTORY X by Christian Schwochow, Züli Aladag and Florian Cossen (Gabriela Sperl Produktion für Wiedemann & Berg Television, SWR,  ARD Degeto, MDR) premiered on Netflix throughout North America, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in July. 

The award-winning drama has been sold by Beta Film to numerous further territories, among them all major Scandinavian public broadcasters as well as Belgium and the Netherlands, further deals are in final negotiations. In the aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain. a clandestine far-right German terrorist group called National Socialist Underground, or NSU, began operating in Germany by killing immigrants in cold blood, termed the Bosporus Serial Murders. It took the police and intelligence services over ten years to hunt down the perpetrators. Beate Zschäpe, suspected to be an active member of the NSU, is still on trial today.

 
 
US-DEBUT FOR GERMAN DIRECTOR STEPHAN RICK

German director Stephan Rick (THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON) is shooting the mystery thriller THE SUPER, starring Val Kilmer, in the United States. Dick Wolf (LAW & ORDER, MIAMI VICE) is producing, the sript is by John J McLaughlin (THE BLACK SWAN). More...

 
 
BOX OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

After only six days in the German cinemas already 100.000 visitors had seen Maren Ade's Cannes hit TONI ERDMANN (DE/AT, Komplizen Film) and the number of prints have been exanded in the second week. Currently TONI ERDMANN has reached a box office of around 1.4 million euros and has been seen by over 155,000 cinema-goers.

I'M OFF THEN: LOSING AND FINDING MYSELF ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO by Julia von Heinz (UFA Cinema, Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany, Gesellschaft für Feine Filme) has reached a box office of 102,000 US-dollars in South Korea since its release on 14 July 2016 and is at position 9 in the cinema charts.