Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressSan Sebastián Film Festival with three Filmstiftung-backed productions in competition

San Sebastián Film Festival with three Filmstiftung-backed productions in competition

  • „High Life" by Pandora Filmproduktion with Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson, Lars Eidinger a.o.
  • „The Innocent" by augenschein Filmproduktion
  • „Rojo" co-produced by Sutor Kolonko

Three Filmstiftung-backed productions have been invited to screen in the Competition of the 66th  Festival Internacional de Cine de San Sebastián: High Life" by Claire Denis, „The Innocent" by Simon Jaquemet and „Rojo" by Benjamin Naishtat, with them all being contenders for the Golden Shell, the main prize of the Competition. The Festival Internacional de Cine de San Sebastián is being held this year from 21 to 29 September.

The Filmstiftung-backed productions in the Competition:

High Life

The shoot for the new film by Claire Denis (screenplay and direction) was completed almost entirely in Cologne’s Medienparks NRW Studios statt. The lead roles are taken by Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Lars Eidinger and Jessie Ross in her first feature film role. „High Life" is a production of Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion and Alcatraz Films (FR), The Apocalypse Company (UK), Madants (PL) with  Andrew Lauren Productions (USA), in co-production with Arte France Cinema, ZDF/Arte in association with Canal+ and Ciné+. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the project development and production with 1.25 mn Euros, with additional support coming from DFFF, MBB, FFA as well as CNC, British Film Institute and Polish Film Institute. Pandora Film Verleih will release the film in the cinemas, with Wild Bunch handling world sales.

About the film: Deep space. Beyond our solar system. Monte and his daughter  Willow live together onboard a spaceship. They are the only survivors of a crew made up of convicted felons who had bought themselves out of their sentences by going on this mission without any chance of return. Together and alone, father and daughter approach their destination – a black hole  in which time and space have ceased to exist.

This now marks the third collaboration for Pandora Filmproduktion with Claire Denis, who was awarded the Cologne Film Prize during the Cologne Film Festival in 2016. The highly decorated filmmaker began her career as an assistant director for Jacques Rivette, Costa Gavras, Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. In 1988, she made her feature film debut with „Chocolat", which screened in the Competition of the Cannes International Film Festival and was nominated for a César as Best Debut. Denis has directed over 20 films and also wrote the screenplays for the majority. Her works include „Beau Travail", „White Material", „Shots of Rum"  or „Les Salauds".

The Innocent

Simon Jaquemet (screenplay and direction) tells the story of Ruth. Ruth’s life is torn between her desire to maintain her well-ordered Christian family life and the destructive attraction to her former fiance who has now been released after more than 20 years in prison. He never confessed to the murder for which he was convicted. The lead roles are taken by Judith Hofmann, Christian Kaiser and Thomas Schüpbach. „The Innocent" is a production of 8horses (CH) in co-production with Cologne’s augenschein Filmproduktion in association with ZDF and Arte. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the production with 250,000 Euros. FilmKinoText is distributing.

Last year, augenschein’s production of „Los Perros" by Marcela Said won the Horizontes Award in San Sebastián.


Benjamin Naishtat wrote the screenplay and was the director on „Rojo", a production of Pucará Cine (ARG) in co-production with Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko, Desvia (BR), Ecce Films (FR), Bord Cadre (CH) and Viking Film (NL). Alejandro Awada and Dira Pires star. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 35,000 Euros, with additional support coming from the World Cinema Fund, INCAA, IBERMEDIA, CNC, NL Film Fund and Hubert Bals Fund. World sales are being handled by Luxbox.

About the film: the 1970s in Argentina. Political violence dominates the country. A good time for bad deeds.

The one-week Festival International de Cine de San Sebastián has been held in the Basque city of Donostia – San Sebastián since 1953. The complete programme and other information can be found at