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Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsFilmstiftung-supported: „Toni Erdmann" in the Competition at the Cannes Film Festival

Filmstiftung-supported: „Toni Erdmann" in the Competition at the Cannes Film Festival

  • Drama by director Maren Ade with Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischeck shot in NRW, among other places
  • NRW with a total of three films backed by the Filmstiftung at the Côte d’Azur
  • Apprentice" by Boo Junfeng in „Un Certain Regard“
  • Short film „Die Nacht im Hotel by Konstantinos Sampanis and „The Bleak Farm“ by Christian Zipfel in the „Short Film Corner“
  • 69th Festival de Cannes: 11 – 22 May, 2016
  • Film- und Medienstiftung NRW am Stand von Focus Germany im „German Pavilion“

The Filmstiftung-supported international co-production „Toni Erdmann" by Maren Ade, with Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek in the leads, will have its world premiere in the Competition of the 69th Festival de Cannes. In total, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW will be represented in Cannes with three supported films. „Apprentice" by Boo Junfeng, another international co-production, will be shown in „Un Certain Regard". The short films „Die Nacht im Hotel" by Konstantinos Sampanis and „The Bleak Farm“ („Der einsame Hof“) by Christian Zipfel can be seen in the „Short Film Corner".

„The 25th anniversary of the Filmstiftung will see the film region of NRW being represented with 'Toni Erdmann' in the competition section of Cannes, the world’s most important film festival – congratulations to the director Maren Ade, the production company Komplizen Film and the whole team!", says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „I would also like to wish interesting meetings and, above all, lots of success to the film team of the funded production ‚Apprentice‘ as well as to the shorts 'Die Nacht im Hotel‘ and 'The Bleak Farm“ which were also invited to Cannes!"

The films in detail:

„Toni Erdmann" will be screened as a world premiere in the Competition. The drama was made by Komplizen Film in co-production with coop99 Filmproduktion and Missing Link Films with participation from broadcasters SWR, WDR and ARTE. The director was Maren Ade, who also wrote the screenplay. Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek and Michael Wittenborn can be seen in the leads. Maren Ade had won the Silver Bear at the 2009 Berlinale for her film „Everyone Else“ („Alle anderen") with Lars Eidinger, Sandra Hüller appeared in such Filmstiftungs-backed productions as „Lose My Self" and „Above Us Only Sky". Peter Simonischek („Oktober November", „Der kleine Diktator", „Hierankl") is Toni Erdmann and he is Winfried, 65, a music teacher with a strong tendency for joking around, who lives together with his old dog. His daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) is a career woman who travels around the world to optimise companies. The father and daughter couldn’t be any more different from one another: he the sensitive, social romantic ex-hippy, she the rational management consultant, who tries to get promoted in a major outsourcing project in Romania and establish herself in a male domain. As Winfried doesn’t see much of his daughter at home, he decides following the death of his dog to visit her on a spontaneous whim. Instead of announcing that he is coming, he just surprises her with fake teeth and sunglasses in the lobby of her company. Ines tries to put on a brave face and drags her father along in his old jeans to business receptions and massage appointments, But the visit doesn’t result in a rapprochement. Winfried gets on his daughter’s nerves with weak jokes and underlying criticism about her success-oriented life between meetings, hotel bars and countless emails. Father and daughter are stuck in an impasse, and it all ends with a big falling out. But, instead of leaving Bucharest as planned, he surprises Ines with a radical transformation into Toni Erdmann, his dazzling alter ego. With crooked teeth, an ill-fitting suit and wig, Toni is wilder and bolder than Winfried and doesn’t mince his words. Toni keeps interfering in Ines' professional life by claiming that he is her boss’s coach and beguns running amok with jokes coming fast and furious. Surprisingly, Ines takes up the gauntlet, and father and daughter make an amazing discovery: the harder they push, the closer they get to one another. Part of the film was shot in Aachen and neighbouring Langerwehe, with Bucharest serving as another location. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the film with 700,000 Euros, further support came from MBB, FFHSH, FFF, DFFF, FFA, BKM, ÖFI, Filmstandort Austria, Media and Eurimages. NFP will be releasing the film theatrically on July 14th, Cologne’s The Match Factory is handling world sales.

„Apprentice" is the second feature film by Boo Junfeng from Singapore and will screen in „Un Certain Regard". About the film: Aiman, a 28-year-old prison officer, has been transferred to the most important prison in Singapore. He strikes up a friendship with Rahim. He turns out to be the prison’s executioner, one of the busiest worldwide. Can Aiman forget his past and overcome his conscience in order to become the executioner’s apprentice? The German co-producer is Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion. The film was produced by Akanga Films Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films (SG) in co-production with Cinéma Defacto (F) and Making Film Productions (HKG). ZDF and ARTE G.E.I.E. are onboard as broadcasters. The leads are taken by Fir Rahman, Wan Hanafi Su, Mastura Ahmad, Koh Boon Pin, Nickson Cheng and Crispian Chan. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the film with 45,000 Euros, other backers were MDA Development Fund, MDA Production Fund, MDA reference money, Asian Cinema Fund, CNC Cinéma du monde, IDF Aide après réalisation and the Doha Film Institute. International sales are being handled by Luxbox. Junfeng’s debut „Sandcastle" also screened in Cannes in 2010, in the „Semaine de la Critique" sidebar.

„Die Nacht im Hotel" is the title of the short film by Konstantinos Sampanis and will screen in Cannes in the „Short Film Corner". The leads are taken by Dirk Böhling, Maurizio Magno, Heinz Hoenig and Wilfried Pucher. The film by Konstantinos Sampanis Filmproduktion was shot in Altena, among other places. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the project with 23,000 Euros. Sampanis had received an Emmy of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Pacific Southwest in 2013 for his short „Six Feet Deep".

„The Bleak Farm “ is the diploma film of the ifs graduate Christian Zipfel and will also be shown in the „Short Film Corner“ in Cannes. The short was produced by the ifs international film school cologne, with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backing with 20,000 Euros. The cast includes Michael Witte, Stephanie Lexer, Jan-David Bürger, Uwe Schmieder and Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey.

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals worldwide. The 69th edition is being held from 11 – 22 May, 2016. This year will again see the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW showcasing its services at the German Pavilion, the joint stand of Focus Germany, the amalgamation of the seven German regional film funds, and German Films in the International Village of Cannes Festival. Over the years, the German Pavilion has been a meeting place and contact point for the accredited delegates of the German and international film industry at the film festival in Cannes. Focus Germany can be reached there on tel. +33-4-92590004 or via E-Mail to .

For further information: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Tanja Güß, Tel.: +49 211-93050-24,