Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsFilmstiftung-backed production „7500“ on the Piazza Grande at the 72nd Locarno Film Festival

Filmstiftung-backed production „7500“ on the Piazza Grande at the 72nd Locarno Film Festival

  • Feature-length debut by Student Oscar-winner Patrick Vollrath with Joseph Gordon-Levitt und Aylin Tezel
  • Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion realised most of the thriller in NRW
  • „Space Dogs“ by Elsa Kremser and Levin Peters in the Cineasti del presente competition
  • Also in Locarno: „Baghdad in My Shadow“ by Samir, produced by Coin Film, and the WDR production „Das freiwillige Jahr“ by Ulrich Köhler and Henner Winckler, produced by Sutor Kolonko
  • 72nd Locarno Film Festival from 7 – 17 August, 2019

The Locarno Film Festival has just announced that the Filmstiftung-backed productions „7500“, the feature-length debut of Patrick Vollrath, „Space Dogs“ by Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter as well as „Baghdad in my Shadow“ by Samir have been selected for the 72nd edition of the festival. This year’s competition also features the WDR production "Das freiwillige Jahr" by the directors Ulrich Köhler and Henner Winckler, produced by Sutor Kolonko.

"7500" will be shown in Locarno as a world premiere on the world-famous Piazza Grande which seats around 8,000. Joseph Gordon Levitt (known from "Inception" and "500 Days of Summer") appears opposite such actors as Aylin TezelCarlo Kitzlinger, Murathan Muslu and Omid Memar. „Baghdad in My Shadow“ will be screening in the Fuori Concorso section. Haytham Abdulrazaq, Zahraa Ghandour, Kerry Fox, Meriam Abbas and Maxim Mehmet star. Both the thriller by augenschein Filmproduktion and Samir’s new drama, which was co-produced by Coin Film, were shot in large part at the MMC Studios in Cologne.„Space Dogs“ by ElsaKremser and Levin Peter has been selected to screen in the Cineasti del presente competition. The film’s development was supported with the Filmstiftung NRW’s Gerd Ruge Scholarship.

"Congratulations to Patrick Vollrath for being selected to screen on the Piazza. What a great success for the young director’s first feature film which was made almost entirely in NRW. And, of course, congratulations are also in order for Samir on being selected again with a film for Locarno. NRW can look forward to a strong presence in Locarno," says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. "Congratulations also to the 'accomplices' Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach, who will be honoured on the occasion of their 20th anniversary for their unconventional and courageous productions. We wish festival director Lili Hinstin every success for a successful first festival under her direction".

The festival will be honouring the production company Komplizenfilm, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in business this year, with the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico 2019. The three managing directors Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach will accept the award on the Piazza Grande on 8 August.

And the film "Ralfs Farben" by the KHM graduate Lukas Marxt was selected to screen in the Moving Ahead section and is thus in the running for the Moving Ahead Award.  The Filmstiftung is supporting the project for its festival premiere.  Panorama Suisse will be showing "The Innocent" by Simon Jaquemet, which was invited to screen at both the Toronto International Film Festival and San Sebastián last year.  "The Innocent" is a production by 8horses (CHE) in co-production with Cologne’s augenschein Filmproduktion and in association with ZDF and Arte.


About ¨7500¨
The feature film debut of the successful up-and-coming director Patrick Vollrath (director / screenplay) is set exclusively in the cockpit of an airplane and shows the horror of modern terrorism in an unprecedented way.  Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion co-produced with Novotny & Novotny in association with broadcasters SWR BR, and Arte with Universum Film serving as distributor. "7500" was sold at the Marché du Film in Cannes to Amazon.  The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the production with 800.000 Euros, additional backing came from MFG, FFHSH, DFFF, BKM, FFA, ÖFI, Filmfonds Wien and FISA. Principal photography took place at the MMC Studios in Cologne, Mönchengladbach and Vienna.  Patrick Vollrath received numerous international awards, including a Student Oscar, for his short film "Everything Is Okay" and was nominated for an Oscar in the category "Best Short Film¨ in 2016.

About „Baghdad in My Shadow“
Cologne’s Coin Film co-produced "Baghdad in My Shadow" by Samir (director / screenplay with Furat al Jamil) with Dschoint Ventschr (CH), Ipso Facto Productions (GB), with theatrical distribution in Germany by NFP.  The Filmstiftung backed the drama with 350,000 Euros, with principal photography being undertaken at the Cologne MMC Studios, in London, Zurich and Baghdad. Additional funding comes from the DFFF.  Synopsis: Iraqi migrants from several generations often meet in a café in London until their peaceful coexistence is then threatened by a radicalised youth.  "Baghdad in My Shadow" is an ensemble film between the Arab and Western world, addressing such issues as atheism, equality and homosexuality.

About „Space Dogs“
The film was produced by Raumzeitfilm Produktion in co-production with It Works Medien and in association with ORF and RBB. Deckert Distribution is handling world sales. The Filmstiftung supported the development in 2016 with a Gerd Ruge Scholarship. Additional backing came from, among others, MDM, MBB and Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film. Synopsis: The stray dog Laika was the first living being to be sent into space – and thus to a certain death.  According to a legend, she returned to Earth as a ghost and has roamed the streets of Moscow ever since. Following Laika’s tracks and filmed from a dog’s perspective, „Space Dogs“ accompanies the adventures of her descendants.  Their story is one of intimate fellowship, relentless brutality and finally a view on us humans. Interwoven with previously unseen archive material from the Soviet cosmic era is a magical take of voyagers about street dogs in Moscow. The film features both documentary and reenacted scenes  as well as archive material, and the borders between fiction and documentary become blurred


The Locarno Film Festival is one of the most important international film festivals and is being held this year from Wednesday, August 7 to Saturday, August 17.  In recent years, films backed by the Filmstiftung have won numerous prizes, and several Filmstiftung-backed films had their world premieres on the Piazza Grande such as „The People vs Fritz Bauer“ by Lars Kraume (prod co: zero one film), „Paula“ by Christian Schwochow (prod co: Pandora Filmproduktion) or ¨What Doesn’t Kill Us¨ by Sandra Nettelbeck (prod co: Sommerhaus Filmproduktion) last year.