Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressThree Filmstiftung-backed productions at the 71st Locarno Festival

Three Filmstiftung-backed productions at the 71st Locarno Festival

  • On the Piazza: „What Doesn’t Kill Us“ („Was uns nicht umbringt“) by Sandra Nettelbeck, Sommerhaus Filmproduktion
  • In Competition: „Wintermärchen“ by Jan Bonny , Heimatfilm
  • Cineasti del Presente: „Familia Sumergida“ („Die untergegangene Familie“) by María Alché, Pandora Filmproduktion
  • 71st Locarno Festival from 1 – 11 August, 2018

Three Filmstiftung-backed productions have been invited to the 71st Locarno Festival. „What Doesn’t Kill Us“ by Sandra Nettelbeck will celebrate its world premiere on the Piazza Grande in Locarno. The drama „Wintermärchen“ by Jan Bonny is in the festival’s Competition in the running for the Golden Leopard. „Familia Sumergida“ by María Alché can be seen in the Cineasti del Presente sidebar. The Argentine-Brazilian-German-Norwegian co-production – with Pandora Filmproduktion onboard as a partner – is the Argentine director’s debut feature film.

„NRW in Locarno! Congratulations to Sandra Nettelbeck and producer Jochen Laube for the invitation to the Piazza, to Jan Bonny and his producer Bettina Brokemper for the invitation to screen in the Competition, and, last but not least, to María Alché for the selection of her debut feature film. We are pleased that Carlo Chatrian, the future Berlinale artistic director, is once more presenting Filmstiftung-backed films in his festival“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

What Doesn’t Kill Us“ („Was uns nicht umbringt“)
The feature film by Sandra Nettelbeck, who directed and wrote the screenplay, was produced by Sommerhaus Filmproduktion and made in co-production with ZDF, Cineplus and the Ruhr Sound Studios. The film was shot in Cologne and Wuppertal, among other places. The cast features August Zirner, Johanna Ter Steege, Barbara Auer, Oliver Broumis, Jenny Schily, Christian Berkel, Mark Waschke, Deborah Kaufmann, Peter Lohmeyer, Bjarne Mädel and others. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 400,000 Euros, additional support came from FFHSH, MFG, BKM, and DFFF. Alamode will release „What Doesn’t Kill Us“ in the German cinemas, with world sales being handled by Beta Film. Collaboration between Sandra Nettelbeck and the Filmstiftung goes back a long way: for example, funding was granted to „Bella Martha“ with Martina Gedeck and „Mr. Morgan’s Last Love“, which were both shown on the Piazza in Locarno.
About the film: As if the psychotherapist Maximilian didn’t have enough on his plate what with having to cope with the demands of his teenage daughters, his impetuous ex-wife Loretta, the melancholic family dog, and his patients even though he is increasingly at a loss about how he can help them. But then the therapist loses his heart to a patient called Sophie and his professionalism is thrown out of kilter. A melancholic, yet cheerful take on mid-life identity crises and affairs of the heart, on the ups and downs when the second half of life has already begun ticking away.

Director Jan Bonny also wrote the screenplay together with the author Jan Eichberg. The drama was shot in its entirety in NRW – in Essen and surroundings – and produced by Cologne’s Heimatfilm. The Filmstiftung backed the production with 300,000 Euros. The cast includes Thomas Schubert, Ricarda Seifried and Jean-Luc Bubert.
About the film: „Wintermärchen“ is the story of Becky, Tommi and Maik, a right-wing terrorist cell of three people who are living underground and dreaming of attracting nationwide attention. Caught up in a complex relationship of love, hatred and friendhip, their path of destruction leads to a series of violent crimes. Their alleged values of honour, pride and loyalty fall victim to their increasing disorientation.

„Familia Sumergida“
Director and author María Alché is coming to the festival with her debut feature „Familia Sumergida“ and has been in Locarno with several shorts in the past. The leads are taken by Mercedes Morán and Esteban Bigliardi. The Filmstiftung backed the Argentine-Brazilian-German-Norwegian co-production between Pasto Cine (ARG), Cologne’s Pandora Filmproduktion and Bubbles Project (BRA), with 60,000 Euros.
Marcela’s harmonious family life threatens to disintegrate when Rina, her sister and close confidante, dies unexpectedly.  Clearing out Rina’s flat brings many memories of her parents' generation to light; suddenly, her uncles and aunts are sitting there in the flesh around the coffee table, and Marcela has to defend her mother against nasty accusations. When she then meets Nacho, a friend of her daughter’s, she decides to go on a little journey with him.

The Locarno Festival is one of the most important international film festivals and is being held this year from 1 – 11 August. In recent years, Filmstiftung-backed films have won several prizes, including the Audience Award for „The Miracle of Bern“ by Sönke Wortmann (production: Little Shark Entertainment). Last year saw „3/4“ by Ilian Metev (production: Sutor Kolonko) receiving the Golden Leopard in the Filmmakers of the Present sidebar. Several Filmstiftung-backed films have celebrated their world premieres on the world-famous 8,000-seater Piazza , including, for example, „The People Vs. Fritz Bauer“ by Lars Kraume (production: zero one film) or „Paula“ by Christian Schwochow (production: Pandora Filmproduktion).