Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFilmstiftung NRW with 27 supported productions and the third „Drama Series Days“ at the 2017 Berlinale

Filmstiftung NRW with 27 supported productions and the third „Drama Series Days“ at the 2017 Berlinale

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW is represented at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival (9 to 19 February, 2017) with a total of 27 supported productions in all of the important festival sections – including two world premieres in the Competition. In addition, it is now a partner for the third year running of the considerably expanded „Drama Series Days“ in the framework of the European Film Market (EFM). The Filmstiftung will be representing the film region again at the „Focus Germany“ stand in the EFM, and it will host the traditional NRW Reception along with the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia on the first festival Sunday.

„NRW will be presenting itself at this year’s Berlinale with a total of 27 supported films and an impressive showcase of filmmaking in NRW. It ranges from international co-productions through German arthouse and documentaries to young cinema and debuts. The invitations to all of the sections at one of the most important film festivals are a special honour for all of the producers and filmmakers from NRW. It is particularly encouraging to see the development of the Drama Series Days which the Filmstiftung initiated together with the European Film Market – they are now continuing on their successful course with a third edition offering even more events at a larger venue“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „We are looking forward to the 2017 edition of the Berlinale with premieres, great cinema moments, a creative exchange and interesting meetings.“

Beuys“ by Andres Veiel and „Ana, mon Amour“ by Calin Peter Netzer are two Filmstiftung-backed productions competing for the Golden Bear. Romuald Karmakar's new film „If I Think of Germany At Night“ (Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht“) can be seen in the Panorama. The Forum will be showing „My Happy Family“ (Meine glückliche Familie“) by Nana & Simon, which also screened in the competition of this year’s Sundance festival, and Dominik Graf and Johannes F. Sievert are back with „Open Wounds – A Journey Through German Genre Films“ (Offene Wunde Deutscher Film“), the sequel to their film from last year’s Berlinale, „Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films“ („Verfluchte Liebe Deutscher Film“). The Generation K+ competition line-up includes „Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg“ (Die Häschenschule – Jagd nach dem goldenen Ei“) by Ute von Münchow-Pohl, and the Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar features the documentary „Ironhead“ („Eisenkopf“)  by the KHM graduate Tian Dong. Lars Henning's „End Of The Season“ (Zwischen den Jahren“) is also screening in this section. „The Young Karl Marx“ (Der junge Karl Marx“) by Raoul Peck will have its premiere in Berlinale Special. Rainer Werner Fassbinder's „Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day“ (Acht Stunden sind kein Tag“) will also be presented here with the first screening of its restored version. The passing of Werner Nekes will be marked by the screening of the film „Werner Nekes – Das Leben zwischen den Bildern“ as a tribute in Berlinale Special. In addition, the Lola@Berlinale sidebar will be presenting 16 current Filmstiftung-backed productions, including the Oscar-nominated „Toni Erdmann“.

Drama Series Days“
This will be the third time that the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW is serving as the official main partner of the „Drama Series Days“ within the framework of the Berlinale’s European Film Market. Following the success of the last two years, the programme of the „Drama Series Days“ has been expanded considerably and now runs for three days.  A change of venue was therefore also necessary: the third edition of the „Drama Series Days“ will be held from 13 to 15 February at the Zoo Palast for the first time. The „Drama Series Days“ will be opened on the morning of 13 February by the Berlinale’s director Dieter Kosslick, EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol and Filmstiftung CEO Petra Müller. This will be followed by a panel on „How to Make Your Series Go Global? Co-Production, Financing and Distribution Strategies for Binge-worthy TV”, organised by the EFM together with the Filmstiftung NRW and IFA and in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter. The afternoon will see the current instruments for funding series in Europe being presented under the heading of „European Series Funding at a Glance“.

Co-Production Market
36 feature film projects will meet international partners from the areas of co-production and financing within the framework of the 14th Berlinale Co-Production Market as part of the EFM.
The selected projects include the Filmstiftung-backed „7500“ by Patrick Vollrath from Cologne’s augenschein Filmproduktion. Cologne-based Weydemann Bros. will be taking part in the Company Matching.

The NRW films at the Berlinale in detail

Competition: „Beuys“
The Berlinale will see Andreas Veiel presenting his new documentary „Beuys“ about one of the most famous German artists. The man with the hat, some felt, and the Fettecke. Thirty years after his death, he still seems to be a visionary, way ahead of his time. Back then, he was trying patiently to explain how “money shouldn’t be a commodity.” He knew that the money market would undermine democracy. But there’s more. Beuys boxes, parleys, lectures, and explains pictures to a dead hare. He asks with a grin: “Do You Want a Revolution Without Laughter?“ His expanded concept of art leads him smack into the middle of debates that are still socially relevant.  With “Beuys”, director Andreas Veiel and his team have compiled a collage of previously unknown visual and audio documents. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the documentary about Joseph Beuys by zero one film and Cologne’s Terz Film with 180,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM, FFA, DFFF and MEDIA. SWR/ARTE and WDR are onboard as broadcasters. Piffl Medien will release the film in the German cinemas. „Beuys“ is also nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Film Award.

Competition: „Ana, mon amour“
The Romanian-German-French co-production „Ana, mon Amour“ by Calin Peter Netzer is the story of extreme love. Ana and Toma decide to fight for their relationship in spite of Ana’s mental illness and the difficult circumstances of their family backgrounds, and they create a union that drives them into co-dependency. It is a psychogram of a relationship, whose existence is threatened by its own extreme nature. The lead roles in the international co-production by Parada Film (RO), augenschein Filmproduktion und Sophie Dulac Productions (FR) were taken by Diana Cavallioti and Mircea Postelnicu. The Filmstiftung supported the drama with 250,000 Euros, additional funding came from Eurimages, with HBO Romania onboard as a broadcaster. The Cologne-based distributor Real Fiction Film will release „Ana, mon Amour“ in the German cinemas, international sales are being handled by Beta Cinema.

Panorama: „If I Think of Germany At Night“
Romuald Karmakar places techno at the centre of his new film „If I Think of Germany At Night“. Techno frrom Germany is unique worldwide and one of the most important cultural exports. This film gets to the bottom of this phenomenon. Interviews are conducted with the most important music producers and Djs from Germany, and they are exclusively accompanied to the stages of the leading clubs and festivals in Germany and Europe. The production of Arden Film in co-production with Cologne’s Rapid Eye Movies was made in association with the broadcasters ZDF and Arte and supported by the Filmstiftung NRW with 50,000 Euro; other backers were MBB, Hesse Film Fund, DFFF and the FFA. Rapid Eye Movies will also release the film theatrically.

Forum: „My Happy Family“
„My Happy Family“ is the name of the new film by the director duo Nana & Simon, which has just been presented in the Competition at the Sundance Festival. The film focuses on the literature professor Manana who announces to her completely astonished family on the evening of her 52nd birthday that she is going to move out after having been married for 30 years and living with her husband, her parents and her two grownup children plus son-in-law in a three-room flat in Tbilisi. But when she actually packs her suitcase, they are all shocked and speechless. After all, she is long past 'divorce age' and has a perfect husband who doesn’t drink, take drugs or beat her. But Manana remains resolute and does something that is unthinkable in patriarchal Georgian society – she moves into a small flat to live on her own. The drama is a production of augenschein Filmproduktion with Polare Film (GE) and Arizona Productions (FR) and was made in association with ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 250,000 Euros, other backers were Eurimages, BKM, DFFF, GNFC Georgian National Film Center, CNC and MEDIA Development.

Forum: „Open Wounds – A Journey Through German Genre Films“
Last year saw Dominik Graf and Johannes F. Sievert at the Berlinale with „Doomed Love – A Journey Through German Genre Films“. They are now back this year with the sequel „Open Wounds – A Journey Through German Genre Films“ in the Forum. The feature-length documentary essay embarks on another archaeological journey into the depths of German film history and tries to show some of the paths that were blocked, that one didn’t have to follow – but could have…. Half of the shoot for this production by Augustin Film, made in association with broadcasters WDR and Arte, took place in NRW and was supported by the Filmstiftung NRW with 35,000 Euros.

Generation K+ competition: „Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg“
„Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg“ by Ute von Münchow-Pohl is the latest in a long line of high-quality animated films supported by the Filmstifting. In the lovingly updated version of the Easter classic, the scrappy city rabbit Max lands in the rabbit school. Thanks to training from the mysterious Madame Hermione and with the aid of the cute Emmy, Max not only learns the secret techniques of the Easter bunnies, but also quite a lot about himself, and finally surpasses himself in the final battle with a scheming fox family. The production by Akkord Film Produktion in co-production with Virgin Lands, NDR und SWR was supported by the Filmstiftung with 380,000 Euros, additional backing coming from FFF Bayern, MFG, FFHSH, MBB, Nordmedia and FFA. Universum will release the film in German cinemas on 16 March, international sales are being handled by Sola Media.

Perspektive Deutsches Kino: „Ironhead“
KHM graduate Tian Dong will be travelling to the Berlinale with his graduation film „Ironhead“. The feature documentary is about a special young football team which is attracting incraeasing attention in China: the „Shaolin Kungfu Football Team“. Their way of playing football combines the traditional ball game with elements of the ancient Chinese martial art. Techniques like the Shaolin „ironhead“ or the Shaolin „tornado kick“ are deployed in the game, all the while adhering to the FIFA regulations. The training with Kungfu elements is supposed to improve the players' strength, condition and flexibility. The production by the KHM was supported by the Filmstiftung with 19,000 Euros. „Eisenkopf“ is also nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Film Award.

Perspektive Deutsches Kino: „End Of The Season“
Cologne-based Radical Movies Production produced the film „End Of The Season“ by the writer-director Lars Henning with Peter Kurth, Catrin Striebeck and Karl Markovics entirely in North Rhine-Westphalia. About the film: Becker, a taciturn, rather coarse man, has been released from prison after a life term. His old life is just as far behind him as the terrible deed he committed back then. Now he just wants his peace and quiet to lead a new life. But then Dahlmann appears, the man whose life Becker had destroyed 18 years ago. When Dahlmann’s wife surprised him during an armed robbery, Becker killed her and her little daughter Lili. Becker begs Dahlmann for forgiveness, but he doesn’t have a chance with Dahlmann, who is looking for retribution when all is said and done.  Becker must stop him to protect the people who are important to him, and the violence he had banished from his life now catches up with him again. WDR and Arte were onboard as broadcasters, the Filmstiftung backed the film with 450,000 Euros. Temperclayfilm will release the film theatrically on 16 March.

Berlinale Special: „The Young Karl Marx“
„The Young Karl Marx“ with August Diehl, Stefan Konarske and Vicky Krieps in the lead roles will screen in Berlinale Special. Raoul Peck’s stunning portrait of the early friendship between Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels centres on the meeting of two intellectual giants who wanted to change the world and overcome the old society order. In larger than life images and with great sensitivity, Raoul Peck presents the genesis of a world-renowned idea as the portrait of a close friendship. He succeeds in delivering both an intimate and precise view of German intellectual history that was shaken up by two brilliant and smart minds as never before since the Renaissance. „The Young Karl Marx“ is a production of Rohfilm, AGAT Films, Velvet Film and Artemis, with broadcaster SWR as partner. The Filmstiftung NRW supported the film with 300,000 Euros, additional backers are MDM, MBB, DFFF and the German-French Funding Committee. Some of the film’s scenes were shot in Bocholt’s textile factory. Neue Visionen will release the film theatticially on 2 March.

Berlinale Special: „Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day“
„Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day“, one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s early works for television, produced by WDR in 1972 and now been painstakingly restored by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with support from the Museum of Modern Art and ARRI Media. It is one of  Fassbinder’s last TV productions where the rights had previously not been available for the series to be distributed on DVD, in the cinemas or online. The restoration drew upon the original 16mm print and delivered a version to the latest technical standards with original picture and sound quality. The Filmstiftung NRW supported this restoration with 100,000 Euros, other backers are the FFA, R.W.F. Werkschau and Verlag der Autoren. The five-part TV series „Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day“ sees Rainer Werner Fassbinder dealing with working life in the 1970s, although the subject has not lost any of its topicality in the light of today’s globalisation. How many hours are left after an eight-hour working day that aren’t dominated by professional, political and family problems? This was the first time that a family series was set in a working-class environment, social-political and economic enlightenment linked to with exciting and entertaining stories of everyday life. Gottfried John, Hanna Schygulla, Luise Ullrich, Werner Finck, Irm Hermann, Wolfgang Schenck, Hans Hirschmüller and many others can be seen in the leads. The lavish restoration will have its premiere at the Berlinale, and a DVD will be released simultaneously by Studiocanal.

Berlinale Special Tribute: „Werner Nekes – Das Leben zwischen den Bildern“
The Berlinale will mark the death of Werner Nekes by showing the recently completed documentary by Ulrike Pfeiffer about Werner Nekes, who is regarded as one of the most important contemporary experimental filmmakers as well as owning the world’s greatest collection of pre-cinematic objects. The film explores the work of the extraordinary filmmaker and discovers the universe of the experimental filmmaker in a former leather factory in Mülheim a. d. Ruhr. Alexander Kluge, Bazon Brock, Helge Schneider and leading protagonists of the "other cinema" in Germany provide Werner Nekes with a fitting escort. „Werner Nekes – Das Leben zwischen den Bildern“ was produced by TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion in co-production with Kinescope Film. The Filmstiftung supported the film with 60,000 Euros, other backers are BKM, nordmedia and FFHSH as well as the Rudolf Augstein Foundation. The event will serve as a Tribute to Werner Nekes, who died on 22 January. Festival director Dieter Kosslick and Daniel Kothenschulte will give introductory addresses.

In the Lola@Berlinale sidebar the Berlin Film Festival presents the productions which are in the shortlist for the German Film Awards. This year, they include 16 films which received funding from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW: „At Eye Level“ by Evi Goldbrunner, „All Of A Sudden“ by Asli Özge, „Cahier Africain“ by Heidi Specogna, „Heart Of Stone“ by Johannes Naber, „The Center Of My World“ by Jakob M. Erwa, „Original Bliss“ by Sven Taddicken, „Happy Hour“ by Franz Müller, „Kundschafter des Friedens“ by Robert Thalheim, „Marija“ by Michael Koch, „Mullewapp – A Pig’s Tale“ by Tony Loeser und Theresa Strozyk, „Fog In August“ by Kai Wessel, „Paula“ by Christian Schwochow, „Robby and Toby’s Fantastic Voyager“ by Wolfgang Groos, the Oscar-nominated „Toni Erdmann“ by Maren Ade, „Who Is Oda Jaune?“ by Kamilla Pfeffer, and „Wild“ by Nicolette Krebitz.

Focus stand and NRW reception
During the festival staff members of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will be at the European Film Market in the Martin Gropius Bau to provide information about funding opportunities in NRW. The Filmstiftung will have a presence at the stand of Focus Germany, the amalgamation of the eight leading German film funds. In addition, the NRW reception of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will be held in NRW’s Berlin Representation during the festival.

More detailed reports and interviews about the NRW films in the official Berlinale sections are presented in the forthcoming edition of „Film und Medien NRW – Das Magazin“, which is being published to coincide with the film festival. The magazine will be available as a download from the website of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW from 6 February.

All information about the activities of the Filmstiftung NRW at the Berlinale, the funded films and the premieres during the festival can be found at

Overview: NRW films at the 2017 Berlinale


  • Beuys“ by Andres Veiel
  • Ana, mon amour“ by Calin Peter Netzer


  • „If I Think of Germany At Night“ by Romuald Karmakar


  • My Happy Family“ by Nana & Simon
  • „Open Wounds – A Journey Through German Genre Films“ by Dominik Graf und Johannes F. Sievert

Generation Kplus competition

  • „Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg“ by Ute von Münchow-Pohl

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

  • Ironhead“ by Tian Dong
  • End Of The Season“ by Lars Henning

Berlinale Special

  • The Young Karl Marx“ by Raoul Peck
  • Eight Hours Don’t Make A Day“by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • „Werner Nekes – Das Leben zwischen den Bildern“ by Ulrike Pfeiffer (Special Tribute)


  • At Eye Level“  by Evi Goldbrunner
  • All Of A Sudden“ by Asli Özge
  • Cahier Africain“ by Heidi Specogna
  • Heart Of Stone“ by Johannes Naber
  • The Center Of My World“  by Jakob M. Erwa
  • Original Bliss“ by Sven Taddicken
  • Happy Hour“ by Franz Müller
  • Kundschafter des Friedens“ by Robert Thalheim
  • Marija“ by Michael Koch
  • Mullewapp – A Pig’s Tale“ by Tony Loeser und Theresa Strozyk
  • Fog In August“ by Kai Wessel
  • Paula“ by Christian Schwochow
  • Robby and Toby’s Fantastic Voyager“ by Wolfgang Groos
  • Toni Erdmann“ by Maren Ade
  • Who Is Oda Jaune?“  by Kamilla Pfeffer
  • Wild“ by Nicolette Krebitz