Nine Filmstiftung-backed films at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival
- Special Presentations: „Toni Erdmann“ by Maren Ade
- Masters of Cinema: „The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez“ by Wim Wenders
- Wavelengths: „The Dreamlike Path“ („Der traumhafte Weg“) by Angela Schanelec
- Contemporary World Cinema: „Apprentice“ and „Clair Obscur“
- Platform: „Nocturama“ by Bertrand Bonello
- Discovery: „Jesús“ by Fernando Guzzoni and „Marija“ by Michael Koch
- Tiff Docs: „Mali Blues“ by Lutz Gregor
- 41. Toronto International Film Festival from 8 – 18 September
Strong appearance by NRW cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival. The biggest film festival in North America has invited no less than nine Filmstiftung-backed films this year. The sidebar of Special Presentations will show the cinemas' summer hit „Toni Erdmann“ by Maren Ade. „The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez“ by Wim Wenders, which has just celebrated its world premiere in competition at Venice, can be seen in Masters of Cinema. „The Dreamlike Path“ by Angela Schanelec will screen in Wavelengths, Contemporary World Cinema is showing „Apprentice“ by Boo Junfeng and „Clair Obscur“ by Yeşim Ustaoğlu. „Nocturama“ by Bertrand Bonello was invited to screen in the Platform competition section, and the Discovery sidebar will show „Jesús“ by Fernando Guzzoni and Michael Koch's „Marija“.
„Mali Blues“ by Lutz Gregor will be presented in Tiff Docs.
„NRW has rarely had such a strong presence at North America’s most important film festival“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „The nine films, a good mixture of feature films and documentaries, show the whole range of the region’s filmmaking, kicking off with the screening of the German Oscar candidate ,Toni Erdmann‘. We congratulate all of the film delegations who have been invited to Toronto, wish them a successful festival, and really looking forward to the response from the audience and industry!“
Founded in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s most popular film festivals and regarded as a barometer for the forthcoming annual Oscar awards ceremony. Last year saw the festival celebrating its 40th anniversary.
More information about the festival: www.tiff.net
More about the films:
Special Presentation: „Toni Erdmann“
„Toni Erdmann“ was the first German film for eight years to have its world premiere in the Competition of the Cannes Film Festival in May and met with acclaim by the audience, critics and industry alike. The film won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Film Critics Prize. Since the world premiere in Cannes, the Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory has sold the comedy to almost 100 countries, including all of North and South America, Russia, China or the European key territories like France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and the UK. In Germany, „Toni Erdmann“ had now been seen by more than 530,000 cinema-goers since its opening on 14 July, 2016. The lead roles were taken by Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek. „Toni Erdmann“ is a production of Komplizen Film in co-production with coop99Filmproduktion and Missing Link Films. SWR, WDR and ARTE participated as broadcasters in the production. Part of the film was shot in Aachen, and Bucharest was another location. The Film- und Medienstiftung is the main funder with 785,000 Euros, with additional support coming from MBB, FFHSH, FFF, DFFF, FFA, BKM, ÖFI, Filmstandort Austria, MEDIA and Eurimages.
Masters of Cinema: „The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez“
„The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez“ is based on Peter Handke’s eponymous stage play. The cast under Wim Wenders' direction includes Sophie Semin, Reda Kateb and Jens Harzer, with Nick Cave playing himself. The film, which celebrated its world premiere on 1 September, 2016 in the Competition of the 73rd Venice Film Festival, is a co-production of Neue Road Movies and Alfama Films Production (F). The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the FFA backed the film together with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. NFP marketing & distribution will be releasing the film in German cinemas on 24 November, 2016, and international sales are being handled by Alfama Films Production. The film is the fifth collaboration between Handke and Wenders following „3 American LPs“ (1969), „The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick“ (1971), „Wrong Move“ (1975) and „Wings of Desire“ (1987).
Wavelengths: „The Dreamlike Path“
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 receives 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 also living in Berlin.
The leads in „The Dreamlike Path“ by Angela Schanelec, which was produced by Filmgalerie 451 in association with the broadcasters WDR and Arte and celebrated its world premiere in the Competition of this year’s Locarno Film Festival, 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.
Contemporary World Cinema: „Apprentice“
„Apprentice“, Boo Junfeng’s second feature film, centres on the 28-year-old prison officer Aiman, who has been transferred to the most important prison in Singapore. He strikes up a friendship with Rahim there. He turns out to be the prison’s executioner, one of the busiest worldwide. Can Aiman forget his past and square it with his conscience in order to become the executioner’s apprentice? The film was produced by Akanga Films Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films (SG) in co-production with Cinéma Defacto (F), Making Film Productions (HKG) and Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the film with 45,000 Euros, with additional funding come from 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 handled by Luxbox. „Apprentice“ celebrated its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard sidebar of this year’s Festival de Cannes. Junfeng’s debut film „Sandcastle“ also screened in Cannes in 2010 – in „Semaine de la Critique“ on that Occasion.
Contemporary World Cinema: „Clair Obscur“
„Clair Obscur” is the name of the new work by the Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu. The film describes the psychological dance of two women who are deprived of and distanced from their natural right to mature and discover themselves, to love and be loved, let alone able to sustain a real relationship of their choosing. The repercussions of these psychological wounds reverberate from micro to macro levels throughout Turkish society – a society that is rotting from within. Ustaoğlu Film (TR), Slot Machine (F) and Cologne’s unafilm were involved in the production, with Aeroplan Film (PL) as co-producer and in association with ZDF/Arte. The leads in the drama are played by Funda Eryigit, Mehmet Kurtulus, Ecem Uzun Okan Yalabik and Sema Poyraz. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 200,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from the Turkish Ministry of Culture, CNC/Institut Francais, the Polish Film Institute and Eurimages. International sales are being handled by Beta Cinema, with Cologne-based Real Fiction Verleih releasing the film theatrically.
One morning in Paris, a handful of adolescents from different social backgrounds individually begin a strange dance through the labyrinth of the metro and the streets of the capital. They all seem to be following a plan. Their gestures are almost dangerous in their precision. They come together in the same place, a department store, shortly before closing time. The attack runs its course.. The leads in the German-French co-production between Cologne-based Pandora Film Produktion with Rectangle Production, My New Picture (both F) and Scope Pictures (BE) are played by Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers, Hamza Meziani, Manal Issa, Martin Guyot, Jamil McCraven, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laure Valentinelli, with Adèle Haenel in a guest role. Arte G.E.I.E. and WDR were involved as broadcasters in the production. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the film with 200,000 Euros, with additional support coming from the German-French Funding Committee and Eurimages. International sales and theatrical distribution are being handled by Wild Bunch.
Director Fernando Guzzoni shot his drama „Jesús“ with Nicolás Duran and Alejandro Goic in the leads. The story: Jesús (18) lives in Santiago with his father who is mostly away on the road. He hasn’t been going to school for some time – instead, he dances in a K-pop band and hangs out with his friends in the park. One night, Jesús becomes involved with three other boys in the murder of a gay. Overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, he confides in his father. By now, there are reports about the murder running on every channel. His father takes him to the south of Chile where he is to stay until the situation has calmed down. On his return, his father doesn’t take him home, but instead hands him over to the police. „Jesús“ is an international co-production by Cologne-based unafilm with Rampante Films and JBA Production (both F). The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the film with 60,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from the World Cinema Fund Europe, CNC, Ibermedia, Torino Film Lab, Corfo and the Greek Film Centre. World sales are being handled by Premium Paris.
Marija has come from Ukraine to the northern 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 by Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion could be seen in the Competition of this year’s Locarno Film Festival and was made in co-production with WDR and Arte as well as Hugofilm (CH) and Cologne’s Little Shark Entertainment. The production was supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW with 400,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from DFFF, BKM and FFA along with Switzerland’s BAK and the Zürcher Filmstiftung. Cologne-based Real Fiction Verleih will be releasing the film theatrically in February 2017, with France’s Luxbox Films taking on international sales.
Tiff Docs: „Mali Blues“
„Mali Blues“sees Lutz Gregor tracing the music of Mali which is regarded as being part of the musical world heritage and the roots of blues and jazz. In the film, we embark on a musical journey into Mali’s disturbed heart with stars of Global Pop like Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté, Master Soumy und Ahmed Ag Kaedi. Can their music contribute to reconciliation? The film is a production of Cologne’s gebrueder beetz filmproduktion in co-production with ZDF and in collaboration with Arte. The Filmstiftung had already supported the ambitious documentary during its preparation and also later for the production with a total of 153,000 Euros. Cologne-based distributor Real Fiction will release the film in German cinemas on 29 September, 2016.