Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFilmstiftung-backed thriller "Inside" with Willem Dafoe to premiere at Berlinale

Filmstiftung-backed thriller "Inside" with Willem Dafoe to premiere at Berlinale

  • Second film in the Panorama: "La Sirène" by Sepideh Farsi from the Cologne-based animation studio Lutterbeck
  • 73rd Berlin International Film Festival from 16-26 February, 2023


The Berlin International Film Festival has just announced the first films to be screened at the festival’s 73rd edition from 16-26 February 2023. Two Filmstiftung-backed productions will be shown in the Panorama section: the thriller "Inside" by Vasilis Katsoupis with legendary star Willem Dafoe and the animated film "La Sirène" by Sepideh Farsi.

"We are delighted for Schiwago Film, MMC Movies and the entire team around Vasilis Katsoupis that they will be celebrating the world premiere of 'Inside' in Berlin. They have succeeded in creating a visually convincing thriller with an elaborate set design in Cologne and headlined by the international star Willem Dafoe," says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. "We also congratulate Sepideh Farsi and TrickStudio Lutterbeck, who are known for their impressive animated films, for the invitation from the Berlinale. We are curious to see the reactions to the two world premieres in Berlin!"


In "Inside", Willem Dafoe plays the professional burglar and art thief Nemo, an absolute genius in his field, who breaks into the luxury penthouse of a renowned collector. When the flat’s security system breaks down, he is locked inside and without any contact to the outside world. The luxury penthouse turns into a golden cage, but also a place of revelation… Vasilis Katsoupis wrote the screenplay for "Inside" together with the renowned author Ben Hopkins. The international co-production by Schiwago Film and MMC Movies Cologne with Heretic (GR) and A Private View (BEL) was shot almost entirely at Cologne’s MMC Studios. Having the highest studio in the world provided the MMC Studios with an opportunity to construct and dress an 800 square metre luxury apartment with a 10 metre-high ceiling. "Inside" was backed by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW with 750,000 Euros and additional support came from MFG, DFFF and BKM. SquareOne Entertainment will release the film in the cinemas in 2023. World sales are being handled by  Focus Features / Universal.

"La Sirène"

The multi-award-winning director Sepideh Farsi realised the animated film "La Sirène" based on a screenplay written by Djavahery Javad. The war drama was produced by TrickStudio Lutterbeck as a co-production with Les Film d’Ici (FRA), Bac Cinema (LUX), Lunanime (BEL) and Katuh Studio (DEU). The Filmstiftung supported the project with 200,000 Euros, and additional funding came from MFG and FFA. Iran 1980: the oil metropolis of Abadan is plunged into chaos after an Iraqi missile attack. 14-year-old Omid, who works as a food delivery boy, is looking for his missing brother and for an escape route from the encircled city.

73rd Berlin International Film Festival

The Berlinale is to take place again as a physical event in February 2023 after two exceptional years dictated by the pandemic. The European Film Market (EFM, 16-22 February, 2023), Berlinale Co-Production Market (18-22 February, 2023), Berlinale Talents (18-23 February, 2023) and World Cinema Fund are also being planned as in-person events.

Last week, the Berlinale announced that the US actress, screenwriter and director Kristen Stewart will serve as the president of the International Jury for the 73rd Berlinale. She was last seen in the cinemas as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s Filmstiftung-backed drama "Spencer", with her performance earning her, inter alia, an Oscar nomination.