Nine NRW-funded films in Toronto
- Gala Presentations: Ron Howard’s „Rush“ and Erik Skjoldbjærg’s „Pioneer“
- Special Presentations: Jim Jarmusch’s „Only Lovers Left Alive“ and Caroline Link’s „Exit Marrakech“
- Contemporary World Cinema: Judy Kibinge’s „Something Necessary“ and Anup Singh’s „Qissa“
- Wavelengths: „The Police Officer’s Wife“ by Philip Gröning
- Discovery: „Giraffada“ by Rani Massalha and Yuval Adler’s „Bethlehem“
- 38th Toronto International Film Festival from 5-15 September, 2013
The Toronto International Film Festival is regarded as be one of the largest film festivals in North America. Nine NRW-funded films received an invitation to its 38th edition: Ron Howard’s „Rush“ and Erik Skjoldbjærg’s „Pioneer“ can be seen as Gala Presentations in Canada. Jim Jarmusch’s „Only Lovers Left Alive“ and Caroline Link’s „Exit Marrakech“ are screening as Special Presentations. Anup Singh’s „Qissa“ and Judy Kibinge’s „Something Necessary“ have been invited to show in the Contemporary World Cinema section. After their premieres in Venice, Toronto will also be showing Philip Gröning’s „The Police Officer’s Wife“ in the Wavelengths sidebar and Yuval Adler’s „Bethlehem“ in Discovery, which will also be presenting „Giraffada“ by Rani Massalha.
„Berlin, Cannes, Munich, Locarno, Venice, Toronto: none of the important national and international film festivals this year without major productions from NRW“, says Petra Müller, CEO of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „We share the film-makers' delight about the recognition of their work and, not least of all, about the international attention the film region of NRW thus attracts globally.“
Ron Howard’s action drama „Rush“, which was largely shot in North Rhine-Westphalia, will be presented to an international audience for the first time in a gala screening at Toronto shortly following its world premiere in London. The film is about the legendary rivalry between the two Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1970s. Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara are in the leads. The producers include Hürth-based action concept Film- und Stuntproduktion, Egoli Tossell Film, Revolution Films (GB) and Cross Creek Pictures (US). The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW provided funding of 1.35 million Euros, backing also came from MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). „Rush“ will be released in German cinemas by Universum Film on 3 October, 2013.
Erik Skjoldbjærg’s „Pioneer“ will also celebrate its international premiere in Toronto. The Norwegian-German-Swedish-French co-production about the risky experiments and shady dealings of the Norwegian oil drilling industry at the beginning of the 1980s will be showing in the programme of Special Presentations. The co-production by Friland Produksjon (NO), Garagefilm International (SE), Les Films d’Antoine (F) and MRP (FIN) was made in collaboration with Cologne’s Pandora Film and ZDF/Arte. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the project with 300,000 Euros. Other backers are the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and Eurimages.
Jim Jarmusch’s „Only Lovers Left Alive“ and Caroline Link’s „Exit Marrakech“ will also be presented to Canadian cinema-goers in the Special Presentations . „Only Lovers Left Alive“, a centuries-old love story between an underground musician and his muse, had already had its premiere in Cannes and will be released in German cinemas by Pandora Filmverleih at the end of the year. Mainly shot in NRW, the film stars Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, among others, and was produced by Cologne-based Pandora Film and Recorded Pictures Company (GB) in co-production with Le Pacte (F), Sanderfin (CY), Lago Film and Degeto Film. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW provided backing of 1.2 million Euros, and further support came from the FFA, the DFFF and the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.
„Exit Marrakech“ is the new film of Oscar award-winner Caroline Link („Nowhere in Africa“) and is about a father and son coming closer together during a journey through Morocco. The leads are played by Ulrich Tukur, Samuel Schneider, Josef Bierbichler and Marie-Lou Sellem. Desert Flower Filmproductions produced in cooperation with Erfttal Film- & Fernsehproduktion, B.A. Produktion, MTM west television & film, ARD Degeto, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Arte and Studiocanal. The film was partly made in NRW and backed with 428,000 Euros by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW; further support came from the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the FFA, the DFFF and the MEDIA Development programme. The drama will open in German cinemas on 24 October via distributor Studiocanal.
„Qissa“ and „Something Necessary“ – two films backed by NRW – can be seen in the Contemporary
World Cinema section: „Qissa“ by the Indian director Anup Singh is about a Sikh who is forced to leave his home after the partition of India in 1947. Obsessed by the idea of having a son as an heir, he begins the struggle against fate after the birth of his fourth daughter. Irrfan Khan („Life of Pi“) plays the lead opposite Tisca Chopra and Tillotama Shome. Cologne’s Heimatfilm produced „Qissa“ in co-production with the National Film Development Corporation (IN), Augustus Films (NL) and Ciné-Sud Promotion (F). The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the film’s production with 328,000 Euros, further support came from Eurimages, the DFFF, the FFA and the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg. The editorial team of ZDF – Das Kleine Fernsehspiel is onboard as broadcaster in collaboration with Arte.
Judy Kibinge’s „Something Necessary“ focuses on two different people against the background of the public unrest after the Kenyan presidential elections in 2007/2008. The drama by the Kenyan director is the third project from „FilmInAfrica!“, a joint initiative by One Fine Day Films, the Deutsche Welle Akademie and the Kenyan production company Ginger Ink with the goal of supporting the development of modern African cinema. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the Goethe-Institut in Kenya both supported the project.
Shortly after its premiere in Venice, Toronto has invited Philip Gröning’s „The Police Officer’s Wife“ to screen in the Wavelengths sidebar. Gröning’s new film centres on a young couple who move to a small town with their small daughter, While the mother and daughter grow closer together in the face of the unfamiliar environment, the father begins to feel increasingly excluded. The film shows how the mother cracks under the violence from her husband, but does everything to keep her child’s soul intact and teach it the value of love. Philip Gröning’s parable is about the virtue of love, the virtue of joy. And the darkness within us. With a cast including Alexandra Finder, David Zimmerschied, Horst Rehberg and Lars Rudolph, Gröning’s family drama was shot completely in the town of Stadtlohn in Münsterländ. Düsseldorf-based Philip Gröning Filmproduktion produced the film in co-production with Bavaria Film, Bavaria Pictures and 3L Filmproduktion. BR and ZDF/Arte are involved as broadcasters. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (391,000 Euros) is joined as a funder by the DFFF, the FFA and the BKM, with The Match Factory serving as the world sales agent.
Rani Massalha’s „Giraffada“ will screen in the Discovery sidebar. Ziad’s naive faith and impotent grief makes his father surpass himself to the point where he manages to kidnap a giraffe from Israel and smuggle it to Palestine. Sometimes, crazy things are the only sensible thing. Heimatfilm made the international co-production together with France’s MACT and Italy’s Lumiere. The Film- und Medienstiftung supported the project with 250,000 Euros, further backing came from Eurimages and FFA/Minitraité, with WDR as the broadcasting partner.
Yuval Adler’s „Bethlehem“ has been invited to screen in the Discovery sidebar. Located amidst the violence and chaos in West Jordan, the political thriller focuses on an Israeli secret service agent and his young Palestinian informant. The leads of the Israeli-Belgian-German co-production are played by Tsar Halevi, Sahdi Marei and Haitham Omari. The film was produced by Pie Films Ltd. (IL) and Entre Chien et Loup (BE) in co-production with Cologne’s Gringo films (world sales: WestEnd Films). The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the film’s production with around 100,000 Euros. „Bethlehem“ will also have its world premiere in Venice shortly before the Toronto festival.
Founded in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival is considered one of the world’s most popular film festivals and a barometer for the forthcoming Oscar awards ceremony. The festival doesn’t have any jury competition, the audience being the only one awarding a sought-after prize.