6 Filmstiftung-backed films at the Locarno festival
- „Paula“ by Christian Schwochow on the Piazza Grande
- „Marija“ by Michael Koch and „Der traumhafte Weg“ by Angela Schanelec in Competition
- „Peter Handke – Bin im Wald. Kann sein, dass ich mich verspäte…“ by Corinna Belz in Competition 'out of competition'
- „Cahier Africain“ by Heidi Specogna in the Semaine de la critique
- „Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films¨ (¨Verfluchte Liebe Deutscher Film“) by Dominik Graf and Johannes Sievert in Histoire(s) du cinéma
- Special screening of the TV two-parter „Gotthard“ by Urs Egger on the Piazza Grande on 2 August
- 69th Festival del Film Locarno from 3 – 13 August, 2016
Strong appearance by Filmstiftung-backed films at the 69th Festival del Film Locarno: the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW is represented this year at the 69th Festival del Film Locarno by six films, including five world premieres. „Marija“ by Michael Koch and „Der traumhafte Weg“ by Angela Schanelec can be seen in the festival’s competition, the documentary„Peter Handke – Bin im Wald. Kann sein, dass ich mich verspäte…“ by Corinna Belz is screening 'out of competition' in the Competition, Christian Schwochow’s new film „Paula“ about the artist Paula Modersohn-Becker will be shown on the Piazza Grande, „Cahier Africain“ by Heidi Specogna, another documentary, will unspool in the „Semaine de la critique“, and „Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films“ by Dominik Graf and Johannes Sievert will screen in Histoire(s) du cinéma. In addition, the TV two-parter „Gotthard“ by Urs Egger will be presented on the Piazza Grande as part of a special screening on the day before the official launch of the film festival as a world premiere. The 69th Festival del Film Locarno is being held from 3 to 13 August, 2016.
„Two films in the Competition for the Golden Leopard, another one 'out of competition' in the Competition, a film in the Semaine de la critique, a film in the Histoire(s) du cinéma sidebar and two films on the Piazza Grande: NRW is being represented in Locarno by the whole range of the region’s filmmaking output“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „Last year, we were with the world premiere of 'The People Vs. Fritz Bauer‘ on the Piazza, and now ,Paula‘ will be presented in an open-air screening in front of around 8,000 spectators. We congratulate all of the film teams on being invited to Locarno and wish them a successful festival!¨
The Filmstiftung-backed films for Locarno in detail:
Principal photography for „Marija“, the debut feature by the KHM graduate Michael Koch, took place at original locations in Dortmund. Marija has come from Ukraine to the north part of Dortmund, and she resorts to questionable methods in order to fulfil her dream of opening her own hairdressing salon. But moral scruples and emotions are matters that one must be able to afford. Margarita Breitkreiz and Georg Friedrich appear in the leads. The film from Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion was made in co-production with WDR and Arte as well as Hugofilm (CH) and Cologne’s Little Shark Entertainment. The production received 400,000 Euros support from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, other backing came from DFFF, BKM and FFA as well as Switzerland’s BAK and the Zürcher Filmstiftung. Cologne’s Real Fiction Verleih will release the film theatrically in February 2017, and international sales are being handled by France’s Luxbox Films.
„Der traumhafte Weg“ (Competition)
Greece in 1984. Kenneth, A young Englishman and Theres, a German woman, are singing in the street to finance their holidays. They are in love, When Kenneth gets the news that his mother has had an accident, he rushes off back home, leaving Theres behind. He later realises how much he needs her, but he fails in his attempt to win her back. 30 years later, in Berlin. Ariane, a 40-year-old TV actress, has separated from her husband, a successful anthropologist, after a crisis. He moves into an apartment at the main station. Looking out of his window, he sees a homeless man. It’s Kenneth who doesn’t know that Theres is now living in Berlin as well. The leads in „Der traumhafte Weg“ by Angela Schanelec, which was produced by Filmgalerie 451 in association with the broadcasters WDR and Arte, are played by Miriam Jakob, Thorbjörn Björnsson, Maren Eggert, Philip Hayes and Anaïa Zapp. Large parts of the film were shot in Menden and Schwerte. 150,000 Euros came from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, other backers were Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, BKM, FFA and DFFF.
„Peter Handke – In the Woods, Might be Late…¨ (¨Peter Handke – Bin im Wald. Kann sein, dass ich mich verspäte…“ (Competition, 'out of competition')
In her new documentary „Peter Handke – In the Woods, Might Be Late…“, filmmaker Corinna Belz („Gerhard Richter Painting“) explores the enigma that is Peter Handke. His books read like the titles on a jukebox and became the watchwords of successive generations of readers: „Offending The Audience“, „The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty“, „A Sorrow Beyond Dreams“, „Short Letter, Long Farewell“, „The Weight of the World“, „Immer noch Sturm“. In the 60s, Peter Handke was one of the first to show how to walk the walk of the writer as an angry young man and pop star of the literary world. Yet, the moment he made the bestseller lists, he turned his back on the hullabaloo. He went on journeys and took his readers along with him into the rhythm of his language and his long, pulsating sentences. Handke’s precise, often cinematic eye is palpable in his texts and a previously unpublished collection of Polaroids. The writer is forceful and unexpectedly affectionate as he poses the burning questions: what is now? How do we want to live? „Peter Handke – In the Woods, Might Be Late…“ is a production by zero one film. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the project with 150,000 Euros, other backers were BKM, DFFF, MEDIA, and SWR. Piffl Medien will release the film theatrically, international sales are being handled by Cologne’s The Match Factory.
„Paula“ (Piazza Grande)
She influenced German Expressionism like practically no other – Paula Modersohn-Becker. „Paula“ is Christian Schwochow's take on the fascinating story of this extremely gifted artist and radically modern woman at the beginning of the 20th century. Paula Modersohn-Becker lived her vision of artistic self-fulfillment and a romantic concept of marriage and love against all resistance and with unbridled energy. The leads are taken by Carla Juri, Albrecht Schuch, Roxane Duran and Stanley Weber. The film was produced by Cologne’s Pandora Filmproduktion, the co-producers are Alcatraz Films (F) and Kinderfilm. WDR is involved as a broadcaster alongside ARD Degeto, Radio Bremen and Arte. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the film, which was predominantly shot in NRW, with a total of 1.3 million Euros. Further backing came from MDM, Nordmedia, FFA and DFFF. Cologne-based Pandora Film Verleih will release the film in German cinemas on 15 December, 2016, and world sales are being handled by Cologne’s The Match Factory.
„Cahier Africain“ (Semaine de la critique)
At the centre of the documentary „Cahier Africain“ by Heidi Specogna is a small book, a normal school exercise book with snazzy racing cars on the cover. But instead of being full of vocabulary, its pages are full of the courageous testimonies of 300 Central African women, girls and men. They reveal what Congolese mercenaries did to them in October 2002 in the wake of armed conflict. The book is the piece of evidence they themselves gathered in order to prosecute the rapes perpetrated against them. The camera accompanied the lives of those affected over the course of seven years. „Cahier Africain“ is a production of PS Film (CH) in co-production with Cologne’s Filmpunkt and in association with the broadcasters ZDF and 3sat. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the project with 75,000 Euros, other funders included FFA, BAK (CH), Zürcher Filmstiftung and Amnesty International. The film will open in Germany in November (distributor: Déjà-vu Film); international sales are handled by Cologne’s Rushlake Media.
„Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films¨ (¨Verfluchte Liebe Deutscher Film“) (Histoire(s) du cinéma)
Directors Dominik Graf and Johannes F. Sievert embark on a journey to the nightshades of German film history in the feature documentary „Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films“. A documentary about some of our nation’s most productive and, at the same time, unknown films, and the story of a love: the love of German cinema. Half of the documentary by Augustin Film KG in association with WDR and Arte was made in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the project with 100,000 Euros.
TV two-parter „Gotthard – Progress At Any Cost“ (pre-screening on 2 August on the Piazza Grande)
Urs Egger's film is based on a screenplay by Stefan Dähnert, concentrating on the brutal working conditions as well as the collective passion with which people defy the mountain in order to complete the tunnel. The focus is on three young people: a Swiss waggoner’s daughter (Miriam Stein), a German engineer (Maxim Mehmet) and an Italian miner (Pasquale Aleardi). They love and quarrel, take up opposing positions during the harsh conflicts and yet then always find common ground. The story of the complex as well as emotional and gripping events, which keep to the historical facts about the tunnel’s construction, are told from their perspective. Carlos Leal, Max Simonischek, Joachim Król and Cornelius Obonya are among the other leads.
„Gotthard – Progress At Any Cost“ is a production of MMC Zodiac and Zodiac Pictures as a joint project by SRF, ZDF and ORF. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the two-parter with 600,000 Euros, other funders were MFG Baden-Württemberg , Teleproduktions-Fond, Zürcher Filmstiftung, the film funding programme of the Central Swiss Cantons as well as Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture (BAK). The event two-parter is scheduled to be aired on German, Swiss and Austrian TV at the end of 2016.
The Festival del film Locarno is one of the world’s fifteen A-festivals and is the most important Swiss film festival. This year, it will be held from 3 to 13 August. Supported films of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW have already won numerous prizes here, including the Audience Award for „The Miracle of Bern¨ („Das Wunder von Bern“) as well as „The Syrian Bride“. Burghart Klaußner won a Golden Leopard in 2006 for „The Man from the Embassy“, and the Silver Leopard went in 2008 to the director Malgoska Szumowska („33 Scenes from Life“). Last year saw Lars Kraume's post-war drama „The People Vs. Fritz Bauer“ having its world premiere on the Piazza Grande and was presented with the festival’s Audience Award. The production of zero one film then began its triumphal journey through various festivals and in the cinemas, won numerous prizes and distinctions, and the evening’s big winner at this year’s German Film Awards in May when it took home six Lolas.
For further information: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Tanja Güß, Tel.: 0211-93050-24,