From the producer of 2013 Golden Bear winner “Child’s Pose” comes “Aferim!” playing in Berlinale Competition. Policeman Costandin, a charismatic mixture of a funny Stalin and a somewhat more pragmatic Don Quixote, and his shy and introverted son ride through the rural countryside In search of a fugitive Gypsy slave. Meeting hundreds of characters, delivering a surprise in every scene, this is an ingenious Western in a very wild East of 19th century Romania directed by Radu Jude (“Everybody in our Family”) and produced by HiFilm’s Ada Solomon, Klas, Endorfilm and Mulberry Development, and stars Teodor Corban (“Child’s Pose”, “Beyond the Hills”), Mihai Comãnoiu and Cuzin Toma.
Forum entry “Zurich," Oliver Hirschbiegel’s "13 Minutes" (Competition - Out of Competition) plus this year’s Sundance Audience Award winner “Umrika” and the new Sky Italia series “1992" kicking off the Berlinale Special Series section make this a banner Berlin for Beta Cinema.
In official selection/out of competition bows Nazi resistance drama "13 Minutes" about failed Hitler assassin Georg Elser. Oliver Hirschbiegel, whose Academy Award nominated “Downfall” is one of the most successful Beta Cinema titles ever with 145 sold territories, presents a stunning, emotional portrait of the resistance fighter and his attack on the Munich Bürgerbräukeller on November 8th 1939. Georg Elser was a man who could have changed world history and saved millions of human lives, but his bomb, built to tear Adolf Hitler apart, exploded 13 minutes late. Produced by Lucky Bird’s Oliver Schündler and Boris Ausserer, who just recently won the Bavarian Film Award for "13 Minutes", and written by Fred Breinersdorfer (“Sophie Scholl”), the feature stars Christian Friedel (“The White Ribbon”), Katharina Schüttler (“Generation of War” ) and Burghart Klaussner (“The White Ribbon”).
Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak, who received the prestigious Fipresci-award at the 2012 Berlinale for Hemel, presents with "Zurich" her second feature film, a road movie starring famous Dutch singer and performance artist Wende Snijders. "Zurich" (Viking Film/Rohfilm/Private View/Nrt/Zdf/arte) revolves around Nina, who is wandering along Europe’s motorways in a desperate attempt to leave the past behind. Slowly it becomes clear that Nina’s drive to hang around in the truckers’ scene is a result of the pain caused by the ultimate betrayal that has befallen her. Sacha Polak developed the script by author Helena van der Meulen during last year’s Berlinale Residency program.
Kicking off the Berlinale Special Series, designated to promote outstanding international TV-series, is the political thriller "1992" from Sky Italia ("Gomorrah"), La 7 and Wildside. Over 20 years ago, on February 17th 1992, the first arrest within the so-called Mani Pulite (Clean Hands) maxi-investigation was made in Italy. It was the symbolic start of a revolution. "1992" revolves around six ordinary people whose lives are intertwined with the country's political, civil and social earthquake. The 10xone hour series stars Stefano Accorsi (idea), Guido Caprino and Miriam Leone; director is Giuseppe Gagliardi.
Celebrating its Berlin Market Premiere is Prashant Nair’s Indian drama "Umrika," which just recently received the Audience Award at Sundance, starring world-renowned, up-and-coming young actors Suraj Sharma ("Life of Pi") and Tony Revolori ("The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Dope"). "Umrika" (Hindi for America) is about a small village in India that is invigorated when one of their own travels to America, sharing his adventures and inspiring hope through letters home. But when the letters mysteriously stop coming, his brother sets out on a journey to find him.
Also premiering at the market is the fourth adventure of "The Famous Five" (Sam Film/Constantin), in which Enid Blyton’s teenager gang venture thousands of miles and thousands of years back in time to solve yet another nail-biting mystery. Prolific maverick filmmaker Detlev Buck ("Hands off Mississippi") presents as international market premiere "Bibi & Tina 2," an inventive live-action adaptation of the teen-adventure and romance in the beloved “Bibi & Tina” universe.
Amongst the upcoming titles, "Colonia" is heading the slate, starring Emma Watson in her first lead role since "Harry Potter" alongside Daniel Brühl ("Rush") as her abducted boyfriend and opposite a very sinister Mikael Nykvist ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"). The $15 million production wrapped shooting mid-January and is being presold at the European Film Market.
"Ghosthunters: On Icy Trails" marks another English-language presales highlight for the Efm. This witty and charming Family Entertainment movie sees Milo Parker ("Robot Overlords") team up with the animated Asg, the “Averagely Spooky Ghost” Hugo, to save the world from the “Ancient Ice Ghost”. A promo will be made available for buyers.