Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNewsNRW with six films in Toronto

NRW with six films in Toronto

  • Masters: „1001 Grams" by Bent Hamer as world premiere and A Pigeon Sat on A Branch, Reflecting on Existence" by Roy Andersson
  • Special Presentation: „3 Hearts" by Benoît Jacquot
  • Contemporary World Cinema: „Dos Disparos" by Martín Rejtman and „Modris" by Juris Kursietis
  • TIFF Docs: „Iraqi Odyssey" by Samir
  • 39th Toronto International Film Festival from 4 – 14 September, 2014

The Toronto International Film Festival (4 – 14 September, 2014) is one of the largest festivals in the world. Six NRW-funded films received an invitation to the 39th edition: Bent Hamer's „1001 Grams" will celebrate its world premiere in the Masters section. The same section will feature Roy Andersson's „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Reflecting on Existence", which will already have its world premiere in Venice. The melodrama „3 Hearts" by Benoît Jacquot will be shown as a Special Presentation in Toronto.  „Dos Disparos" by Martín Rejtman and the Latvian-Greek-German co-production „Modris" by Juris Kursietis are screening in the Contemporary World Cinema sidebar, „Iraqi Odyssey" by Samir in TIFF Docs.

Attending a seminar in Paris about the actual weight of the Norwegian kilogram leads the scientist Marie to assess anew her own perceptions of disappointment, grief and, not least of all, love. „1001 Grams" is a tragicomedy by the Norwegian director Bent Hamer („Kitchen Stories", „O’Horten"), with Ane Dahl Torp, Laurent Stocker and Stein Winge in the leads. The dramedy is produced by Cologne’s Pandora Film in co-production with BulBul Film (Norway) and Slot Machine (France) in association with ZDF/Arte. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the project with 370,000 Euros, and the film also received support from the Norwegian Film Institute. 12 of a total 39 shooting days took place in Cologne and surroundings, with the rest of the shoot done in Oslo and Paris. Pandora will also be distributing theatrically.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Catherine Deneuve, Léa Seydoux and Benoît Poelvoorde: the new melodrama „3 Hearts“ by Benoît Jacquot has a top-notch cast and tells the story of Marc, who misses the last train back to Paris from the French provinces late one evening and then meets Sylvie. They arrange to see each other again in Paris, but Marc doesn’t keep the date. Back in the provincial town, he meets Sophie and gets to know her better. What he doesn’t realise is that Sophie is Sylvie’s sister. „3 Hearts“ is a production by Pandora in co-production with Rectangle Productions (F) and Scope Pictures (B), with WDR and Arte involved as broadcasters. The production received backing from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (230,000 Euros) and the FFA (Mini-Traité). The German distributor is Wild Bunch, Munich.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Reflecting on Existence“  is the story of two world-weary men who travel around selling party novelties, and also provides insight into a chaotic world of past, present and future, and between reality and fantasy; a world of dreams and fantasies. The leads are taken by Holger Andersson, Nils Westblom, Sture Olsson und Ingvar Olsson . The film was made as a co-production by Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB (Sweden) with Essential Filmproduktion (Berlin), Société Parisienne de Production (France) and 4 1/2 Fiksjon AS (Norway), with backing from the broadcasters ZDF/ARTE, Arte France Cinéma and Sveriges Television. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supported the production with 100,000 Euros, additional funds came from Eurimages, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fund, Norwegian Film Fund and the Centre National du cinéma et de l’image animée.

Dos Disparos“ is an international co-production by Argentina’s Ruda Cine with Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion. Director Martín Rejtman focuses here on the 16-year-old  Mariano, who, following a spontaneous impulse, fires two shots at himself with a gun he’d found. While his dog Lago is scared away by the shots and doesn’t come back, Mariano survives and has to endure a mysterious double intonation when playing his flute as the only consequence of his deed. Rejtman depicts a family break-up and the creation of totally new groupings around Mariano laconically and with his own particular sense of humour. The production was backed by the Filmstiftung NRW with 50,000 Euros and already screened in competition at the Locarno Film Festival at the beginning of August.

Modris" by Juris Kursietis is a production of Sutor Kolonko Filmproduktion, in collaboration with Red Dot Media (LV) and Boo Productions (GR), and will have its world premiere in Toronto. The leads are taken by Kristers Pikša, Rēzija Kalniņa and Inese Pudža. Unable to cope with her teenager son Modris, his mother reports him for a petty crime to the police. But a teenager’s routine can’t be easily subordinated to the conditions of probation. Director Juris Kursietis made the drama based on a true story with support from the Filmstiftung NRW (80,000 Euros) and Eurimages (100,000s), as well as further funding from Latvia and Greece.

The documentary „Iraqi Odyssey" by the Iraqi-born director Samir shows the serious changes that have occurred in Iraq over the past decades. These days, there are images of war, angry bearded men, veiled women, ruined cities. The fifties and sixties, on the other hand, were a time of new beginnings. Images and films from those times show self-assured women, elegantly dressed men, Baghdad on the way to democracy, Occupation, dictatorship and the numerous wars meant the end of the Iraqi middle class. Samir’s family now lives scattered between Auckland, Moscow, New York, Zurich and London. How could it come to this?  The German-Swiss co-production by Dschoint Ventschr and COIN FILM was made with participation from WDR and SRF. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the project with 100,000 Euros, further support came from the Zürcher Filmstiftung and BAK, among others.

Founded in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival is regarded as one of the world’s largest audience film festivals and as a barometer for the forthcoming Oscars ceremony. It is exclusively the audience who awards a much sought-after prize, since there isn’t any competition with a jury.