Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressSix Filmstiftung-backed productions at the 74th Locarno Film Festival

Six Filmstiftung-backed productions at the 74th Locarno Film Festival

  • Piazza Grande: „Monte Verità“ by Stefan Jäger
  • Cineasti del Presente: „No One’s With The Calves“ by Sabrina Sarabi
  • Pardi di domani: short „Night” by Ahmad Saleh
  • Locarno Kids: „Too Far Away“ by Sarah Winkenstette
  • Panorama Suisse: documentaries „Taming the Garden“, „The New Gospel“
  • Locarno Film Festival from 4 – 14 August, 2021

The Locarno Film Festival has just announced that the Filmstiftung-backed productions „Monte Verità“ by Stefan Jäger, co-produced by Cologne’s Coin Film, and „No One’s With The Calves“, a production of Weydemann Bros., Köln, by Sabrina Sarabi have been invited to the festival’s 74th edition. In addition, the multi-award-winning film „Too Far Away“ by Sarah Winkenstette is being shown in the new Locarno Kids sidebar, and the stop-motion animated short „Night“ by Ahmad Saleh has been selected to compete in the Leopards of Tomorrow International Competition. Panorama Suisse is showing the documentaries „The New Gospel“ by Milo Rau and „Taming the Garden“ by Salomé Jashi.

Monte Verità“ is being shown as a world premiere in an open-air screening on the world famous Piazza Grande which will be open again this year for an audience of several thousand cinema-lovers  – a very special cinema experience in the open air against a historical backdrop.

About the films:

Monte Verità“
Swiss director Stefan Jäger shot the feature film "Monte Verità" with a star-studded cast in Cologne’s MMC Studios as well as at locations in Switzerland, Austria and Italy. The historical drama with Maresi Riesner, Hannah Herzsprung, Julia Jentsch, Max Hubacher, Philipp Hauß and Joel Basman, among others, centres on a young mother who longs for emancipation and artistic self-realisation and breaks out of her bourgeois constraints. Many dropouts were looking for paradise at the beginning of the 20th century and found it in the south of Switzerland on the slopes of the famous Monte Verità mountain. Kornelija Naraks wrote the screenplay. The Cologne-based production company COIN FILM co-produced the film with tellfilm Zurich, KGP Filmproduktion Vienna and MMC with participation from the broadcaster ORF; DCM Film Distribution is handling theatrical distribution. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the production with 475,000 Euros, with additional support coming from the DFFF, Filmstiftung Zürich and Filmfonds Wien, among others. The film is due to be released in the cinemas at the end of 2021.

"No One’s With The Calves"
"No One’s With The Calves" looks beyond any idealised rural romanticism to life in the sticks. The film tells the story of Christin (Saskia Rosendahl), whose dreams of yearning threaten to burst in the calves' stable – from the constricting wide spaces, the oppressive idyll and growing up in loneliness. The dreams and lies of town and country. Director and KHM graduate Sabrina Sarabi adapted Alina Herbing successful eponymous novel "No One’s With The Calves" with Saskia Rosendahl, Rick Okon and Godehard Giese in the lead roles. The production by Weydemann Bros. was backed by the Filmstiftung with 200,000 Euros, with additional support coming from MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Filmförderung des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and DFFF, and was co-producted with WDR/Arte. Filmwelt will release the film in 2022.

The short film "Night" tells of how the night has to trick the mother of a missing child into sleeping in order to save her soul. As in his previous project for which he won a Student Oscar, the writer-director Ahmad Saleh has also worked here with stop-motion animation. Hiam Abbass, Rafia Aridi and Salma Saleh give the voices to the characters. The Filmstiftung backed the production by Jessica Neubauer and Ahmad Saleh with 20,000 Euros. The film is a co-production with Fabian&Fred and ses-studio.

"Too Far Away"
Director Sarah Winkenstette tells the story of Ben (12), who has to move to the city with his family because his village is to make way for an open-cast lignite mine. This is where he then meets Tariq (11), a refugee from Syria. At first, Ben sees him as a competitor, but soon realises that they have more in common than he thought. The multi-award-winning film is a Weydemann Bros. production in co-production with Orange Roughy Filmproduktion and Rotor Film, in cooperation with NDR, backed by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Kuratorium junger Deutscher Film, Creative Europe and DFFF. "Too Far Away" was released in cinemas throughout Germany in 2020.

"Taming the Garden"
Salomé Jashi's documentary "Taming The Garden", the poetic ode from Georgia on the rivalry between man and nature: the story of a powerful man who has centuries-old trees along the Georgian coast uprooted and then transported by sea to his private garden. Cologne-based Corso Film co-produced the documentary with Mira Film (Switzerland) and Sakdoc (Georgia) with broadcaster Radio Bremen/Arte. The Filmstiftung supported the film with 50,000 Euros.

"The New Gospel"
What would Jesus preach in the 21st century? Who would be his disciples? "The New Gospel" sees Milo Rau and his team returning to the origins of the Gospel and staging it as a passion play of a whole population for the 21st century: a manifesto of solidarity for the poorest, a cinematic revolt for a more just and humane world. Numerous refugees, activists and citizens of the European Capital of Culture 2019 in Matera participated in the film, including the actors Yvan Sagnet, Marcello Fonte, Enrique Irazoqui, Maia Morgenstern and Vinicio Capossela. "The New Gospel" was produced by Cologne’s Fruitmarket, the Swiss production house Langfilm and the IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder in co-production with Matera 2019 and ZDF and in cooperation with Arte, Swiss Television SRF / SRG, Consorzio Teatri Uniti di Basilicata and the Teatro di Roma. Milo Rau also wrote the screenplay. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the documentary with 230,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from the Federal Cultural Foundation, the European Cultural Foundation, the Zurich Film Foundation, the Federal Office of Culture (BAK) the Volkart Foundation, the Canton of St. Gallen Cultural Promotion, and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

The Locarno Film Festival is one of the leading international film festivals and is being held from 4 to 14 August this year. Many Filmstiftung-backed films won prizes here in recent years and/or celebrated their world premiere on the famous Piazza such as „The People vs. Fritz Bauer“ by Lars Kraume (prod co: zero one film), „Paula“ by Christian Schwochow (Pandora Filmproduktion), „What Doesn’t Kill Us“ by Sandra Nettelbeck (Sommerhaus Filmproduktion) or „7500“ by Patrick Vollrath (augenschein Filmproduktion). The festival had to be