Films

24 Wochen 24 Wochen Feature film // 102 min. // Germany, 2016

Director: Anne Zohra Berrached // Actors: Julia Jentsch, Bjarne Mädel, Emilia Pieske, Johanna Gastdorf, Maria Dragus, Mila Bruk, Sabine Wolf, Karina Plachetka

Astrid is a comedian who makes people laugh for a living; her husband Markus is her manager and the two of them work well together. They have a nine-year-old daughter and are expecting their second child. When they learn that their child will not be born healthy, they are optimistic at first that they will be able to rise to the challenge – despite having no idea what awaits them. But the closer it gets to the due date, the more Astrid begins to worry about the future of her unborn child and that of her family and career. After many discussions and arguments, Astrid realizes that she alone must take the decision that will affect all of their lives. What complicates matters further is her very public media status as a successful entertainer.

Director Anne Zohra Berrached’s second feature delivers a powerful portrait of a woman who finds herself caught up in a major moral dilemma to which there are no easy solutions. By no means a tear-jerker, this is a film that gets right under the skin and goes straight to the heart.

www.24wochen.de
Born in 1982, Anna Zohra Berrached studied social pedagogy in Frankfurt. After graduating, she worked in London as a drama teacher and later as an assistant director at the Hansa Theater and at Ballhaus Ost in Berlin. In 2009 she began a degree in film directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. 24 Wochen is her second feature film after Zwei Mütter (2013) and was the only German film to compete at the Berlinale 2016.

Agonie Agonie Feature film // 93 min. // Germany / Austria, 2016

Director: David Clay Diaz // Actors: Samuel Schneider, Alexander Srtschin, Alexandra Schmidt, Simon Hatzl, Mercedes Echerer, Alexander Jagsch, Martina Poel

Christian (24) and Alex (17) are two young men leading entirely separate lives. By the end, one of the two will have committed murder. When a person encounters such an act, perhaps even on the peripheries of their own life, it is impossible for them not to search for the reasons for the crime and to try and make sense of the drama, however gruesome. But what happens when that which is commonly known as life contains a story yet does not add up to a coherent narrative?

Agony works masterfully against the usual dramatic structure. David Clay Diaz explores a murder case but prefers to depict the events rather than explain them, leaving the audience to work out how they fit together. An amazingly powerful production!

www.davidclaydiaz.com
Born in Paraguay in 1989, David Clay Diaz spent his early life in Lima, Peru, and later followed his mother to Vienna, where he studied philosophy. He has studied film directing at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF München) since 2010. He made Agonie during the third year of his degree course.

Ein Atem Ein Atem Feature film // 101 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Christian Zübert // Actors: Jördis Triebel, Chara Mata Giannatou, Benjamin Sadler, Apostolis Totsikas, Nike Maria Vassil, Pinilopi Sergounioti, Mary Nanou, Akilas Karazisis

Two women, both on a journey to find themselves. One is a troubled and loving mother in search of her child. The other is an expectant mother running away from her responsibilities. Tessa, 37, appears to have the perfect life. She and her husband Jan and their 18-month-old daughter Lotte live in a penthouse apartment in Frankfurt. Elena, 27, is from Greece. In response to the crisis in her country, she takes the brave and self-confident step of moving to Germany to earn a living, and finds a job as Lotte's babysitter. At first everything seems easy, but life turns out to be more complicated when Elena discovers she is pregnant and is suddenly responsible for more than just herself.

Child or career - that is the question which two women in very different situations ask themselves in Christian Zübert's film Ein Atem. The film gives space to the viewpoints of both women, and is particularly striking thanks to the outstanding performances given by both female leads.

www.wildbunch-germany.de
Born in 1973, Christian Zübert began his career in 2001 as a screenwriter for the crime series Der Clown. His first cinema production was Lammbock (2001), a comedy he wrote and directed himself. He has been a successful screenwriter and director ever since, with films like Neue Vahr Süd (2010) and Three Quarter Moon (2011), and has won multiple awards.

Coconut Hero Coconut Hero Feature film // 101 min. // Germany / Canada, 2015

Director: Florian Cossen // Actors: Alex Ozerov, Bea Santos, Krista Bridges, Sebastian Schipper, Jim Anann, R.D. Reid, David Thompa, Jeff Klarke, Udo Kier

Abandoned by his father at an early age and teased at school, Mike Tyson (his name is the least of his problems) has long wished he were dead. He is 16 years old and lives alone with his mother in a small town in the middle of nowhere in northern Canada. Following a failed suicide attempt, Mike is forced to take a course of life-affirming therapy. When a fatal brain tumour is detected during a routine examination at hospital, Mike sees it as the answer to his prayers. However, when Mike meets Miranda, the first person to truly understand him, he develops an entirely new wish…

Likeable characters, surprising twists and turns, atmospheric images of the Canadian provinces and a cool soundtrack make Florian von Cossen's new film about life and death a real must-see. A German film that has all the hallmarks of an American independent!

www.coconuthero.de
Born in Tel Aviv in 1979, Florian Cossen began a degree in film directing at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg in 2002. A scholarship programme allowed him to spend 2005 and 2006 at the University of California in Los Angeles and at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, where he was inspired to make his graduation film Das Lied in mir. His feature film debut, it was nominated for the German Film Award.

Freistatt Freistatt Feature film // 104 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Marc Brummund // Actors: Louis Hofmann, Alexander Held, Stephan Grossmann, Katharina Lorenz, Max Riemelt, Uwe Bohm

It is the summer of 1968: all that can be felt of the wind of change in the small towns of north Germany is the meerest breeze. 14-year-old Wolfgang responds with typical teenage obstreperousness to everyday life, his mother and above all his stepfather. When he is sent by his family to the remote Christian welfare institution Freistatt, he finds himself in a world to which he can only respond with an even greater urge for freedom: locked doors, barred windows, and military drills during the daily sessions of forced labour at the nearby marshes. But for Wolfgang one thing is clear: he will not be burying his yearning for freedom in the marshes anytime soon.

A gripping and moving film based on true events. Marc Brummund tells the dramatic story of Wolfgang and his fellow sufferers in extremely powerful images. A real cinematic experience!

www.freistatt-film.de
Born in 1970, Marc Brummund took a degree in psychology and journalism at the University of Hamburg, and then studied documentary film at the ZELIG School for Documentary, Television and New Media in Bolzano, Italy. He attended a masterclass in film directing at Hamburg Media School in 2004. He has received numerous national and international awards, including nominations for the German Short Film Award and the Student Oscar.

Grüße aus Fukushima Grüße aus Fukushima Feature film // 104 min. // Germany, 2016

Director: Doris Dörrie // Actors: Rosalie Thomass, Kaori Momoi, Moshe Cohen. Nami Kamata Aya Irizuki

Marie, a young woman from Germany, travels to Japan to escape her broken dreams. She joins the organization Clowns4Help who seek to spread a little cheer amongst the victims of the triple catastrophe in Fukushima in 2011 who are still living in makeshift accommodation. Most of the inhabitants are elderly people who were either not able or simply did not want to move away. But Marie soon realizes that she is not cut out for this task. She is about to take flight once again when she meets the headstrong Satomi, Fukushima’s last geisha, who has decided to move back into her ruined house in the prohibited area. Maria helps Satomi to clear up. The young girl and the older woman not only get to know each other, but both find themselves confronted by the ghosts of their respective pasts.

After the sensational success of her film Kirschblüten – Hanami (Cherry Blossoms), Doris Dörrie, who also wrote the screenplay, returns to Japan for this black-and-white drama which tells a poetic and universal tale about letting go and getting on with one’s life.

www.gruesseausfukushima.de
Born in 1955, Doris Dörrie began studying film at the University of Television and Film Munich in 1975. Today she is one of Germany’s most successful and prominent directors. An addition to her work as a director, she has also worked as a screenwriter and producer, and has received numerous awards for her films and screenplays. Her most successful films include the comedy Men (1985) and the melancholy story Cherry Blossoms (2008), which was an international sensation.

Hedi Schneider steckt fest Hedi Schneider steckt fest Feature film // 92 min. // Germany / Norway, 2015

Director: Sonja Heiss // Actors: Laura Tonke, Hans Löw, Leander Nitsche, Melanie Straub, Simon Schwarz, Margarita Broich

Hedi, Uli and their son Finn have set up a good life for themselves. They take each day as it comes, all the while dreaming of the future. Then, suddenly, Hedi gets stuck. The lift she’s travelling in breaks down – and then her head does, too. All of a sudden, nothing is the same. Although Hedi and Uli try to hold onto each other, their world spins out of control. In a last-ditch attempt to rescue their love, they take a trip to Norway with the aim of being happy again – at least for 24 hours.

Making a comedy about panic attacks and anxiety disorders is an ambitious project. Director Sonja Heiss rises to the challenge with a great deal of charm and a convincing female lead.

www.hedi-schneider.com
Born in 1976, Sonja Heiss studied documentary film at the University of Television and Film Munich. Her final project and feature film debut Hotel Very Welcome (2007) was highly critically acclaimed and won international awards. Sonja Heiss celebrated her literary debut in 2011 when she released a collection of short stories entitled Das Glück geht aus (Luck is Running Out).

Herbert Herbert Feature film // 109 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Thomas Stuber // Actors: Peter Kurth, Lina Wendel, Lena Lauzemis, Edin Hasanovic, Peter Schneider, Manfred Möck

Herbert is a mountain of a man. Although he's getting a bit long in the tooth, his muscles and fists are still all he's got. He used to be known as "the pride of Leipzig", but nowadays he earns a living as a debt collector or bouncer, spending his evenings preparing the up-and-coming young boxer Eddy for his first title bout. But soon Herbert will be forced to accept that his life is a shambles: he hasn't seen his adult daughter since she was six years old and keeps his girlfriend Marlene at arm's length. And then he is diagnosed with an incurable disease, which turns his entire life upside down. Herbert realizes that the time has now come for his last big fight, and that he now has to put right all that he has done wrong. Before it is too late.

In his directorial debut Herbert, Thomas Stuber presents a warts-and-all study of an ageing boxer. A tough drama that is harsh, merciless and powerfully performed.

www.wildbunch-germany.de
Born in 1981, Thomas Stuber studied film directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg from 2004 to 2011. Previously he had already acquired experience in the film industry by working as an intern. His student film Teenage Angst (2008) premiered at the Berlinale and was nominated for a large number of awards, also winning some of them.

Junges Licht Junges Licht Feature film // 122 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Adolf Winkelmann // Actors: Oscar Brose, Charly Hübner, Lina Beckmann, Peter Lohmeyer, Ludger Pistor

12-year-old Julian Collien lives in a mining village characterized by constrictions, poverty and brutality. Julian doesn't see the point of school: he wants to be a miner, just like his father. When his mother, who is plagued by colic, has a nervous breakdown and takes his little sister to the seaside, Julian and his father are left by themselves during the summer holidays. Now Julian feels responsible for the household, making sandwiches for his father and meeting him at the pit at the end of his shift. Julian doesn't much like spending time with the other boys in the village, whose games tend to spiral into violence. Then their landlord, Gorny, lends him a camera and tells the boy to take photographs of his friends when they go swimming. But Julian would much rather watch Marusha, Gorny's precocious 15-year-old stepdaughter, who has captivated him – and has also cast a spell over his father.

Adolf Winkelmann's homage to the original Ruhr region brings this industrial area back to life in poetic images. A harmonious adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ralf Rothmann.

www.jungeslicht.weltkino.de
A director, producer and professor of film at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Adolf Winkelmann has worked in the film industry since 1967. His breakthrough came in 1978 with his cinema debut Die Abfahrer, in which he portrayed the Ruhr region, a topic he would return to time and time again. Winkelmann has received multiple awards for his films.

Lenalove Lenalove Feature film // 93 min. // Germany, 2016

Director: Florian Gaag // Actors: Emilia Schüle, Jannik Schümann, Sina Tkotsch, Kyra Sophia Kahre, Anna Bederke, Sandra Borgmann

Creative and highly sensitive, 16-year-old Lena feels increasingly marginalized and misunderstood in her suburban housing development. She finds a soul-mate in the grafitti artist Tim. A first attempt at flirting ends badly when Lena's former best friend Nicole makes a pass at Tim. Deeply disappointed, Lena pours her heart out to Noah, a new online friend she has been chatting with, not having the faintest idea who is really behind the alias. A malicious game takes its course, gradually bringing the flawless facade of the suburban idyll crashing down. The "game" spirals out of control when Lena embarks on a nighttime date with Noah - and afterwards nothing will ever be the same again for Lena or any of the others.

Grimme prize-winner Florian Gaag has made a gripping and highly topical youth drama that is impressive for its powerful images, striking characters and fast pace.

www.alpenrepublik.eu/lenalove
Born in 1971, Florian Gaag spent four years studying film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before working on various film productions as a location manager and assistant sound engineer. From 1995 to 2001 he worked on numerous short and documentary films as assistant director or director. Wholetrain was his feature film debut in 2006, which won multiple awards.

Die Lügen der Sieger Die Lügen der Sieger Feature film // 112 min. // Germany / France, 2015

Director: Christoph Hochhäusler // Actors: Florian David Fitz, Lilith Stangenberg, Horst Kotterba, Ursina Lardi, Avred Birnbaum, Gottfried Breitfuß

Fabian Groys is a renowned journalist for a political magazine. Together with Nadja, an intern assigned to work with him, he is researching a controversial story about the German army's dubious treatment of former soldiers. When he suddenly loses his most important source, Groys switches his attention to a toxic waste scandal. Then there is increasing evidence that the two stories are interlinked, and the story picks up pace. But something makes Groys suspicious: can he really trust the information he has gathered?

Christoph Hochhäusler's Die Lügen der Sieger is a stylish and atmospheric tale of the abuse of power and investigative journalism.

www.dieluegendersieger-derfilm.de
Born in 1972, Christoph Hochhäusler is a director and screenwriter. He studied film directing at the University of Television and Film Munich. Together with university friends, he founded the film magazine Revolver which he continues to write for and co-edit to this day. His first film This Very Moment (2003) was well-regarded internationally and was also shown in French cinemas. His third feature-length film The City Below (2010) celebrated its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Der Nachtmahr Der Nachtmahr Feature film // 88 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: AKIZ // Actors: Carolyn Genzkow, Sina Tkotsch, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht, Arnd Klawitter, Julika Jenkins

Tina is 17 years old and seems to have everything a teenage girl could wish for. But after a party she is haunted by a mysterious ugly creature which appears in her nightmares every night. The only person she can talk to about her fears is her psychologist. He advises her to reach out to the creature. At first Tina refuses, but when she realizes that her parents are seriously considering putting her in a mental hospital she overcomes her fear and starts talking to the creature. Unexpectedly, Tina discovers that the creature is actually an incarnation of her own fears and and that it has exactly the same feelings as she does. Fearful of being called a freak, she hides the creature in her room and gradually finds it less disgusting. They grow closer, but then her family and friends notice the creature...

AKIZ first began working on the Nachtmahr creature in Los Angeles back in 2001. The result is a unique genre film: cool, fast-paced, loud and crazy. Thanks to the director's vision and his uncompromising approach in making this vision a reality, Der Nachtmahr is a jewel in the crown of German cinema.

www.der-nachtmahr.com
Born in 1969, AKIZ is a film director and visual artist. He studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg and at the University of Southern California from 1991 to 1996. Based in Los Angeles, he has worked as a filmmaker and screenwriter since 1999. Eight Miles High, his first cinema production, was released in 2007 under his real name Achim Bornhak. He founded his film production company OOO-FILMS in 2012.

Sybille Sybille Feature film // 87 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Michael Krummenacher // Actors: Anne Ratte Polle, Thomas Loibl, Dennis Kamitz, Levi Lang, Heiko Pinkowski, Andreas Lust, Thomas Fränzel, Elisabeth Rath, Thomas Bestvater, Franziska Rieck

After an extremely intense work phase in her firm of architects, Sibylle finds it difficult to relax while on holiday by the lake with her husband Jan and her sons David and Luca. While her family still sleeps, Sibylle embarks on lengthy walks along the lakeside cliffs. She hardly even notices the woman of the same age whom she encounters each day - until she witnesses her suicide one morning. Back in Munich, Sibylle tries in vain to forget the incident. But over and over again, strange parallels seem to suggest a link between the fate of the woman and of Sibylle herself. She becomes increasingly alienated from her family and is haunted by nightmarish visions which suddenly disrupt her everyday life. Suspected of suffering a burn-out, Sibylle is strictly ordered to take time off work. As isolated as possible, she attempts to regain control over her life and to find her way back to her family, but soon realizes that they have become almost hostile in their attitude towards her.

With his thriller Sibylle, Michael Krummenacher has successfully moved into genre cinema - rarely to be found in the German film scene previously. A gripping and disturbing film.

www.sibylle-film.de
Born in Switzerland in 1985, Michael Krummenacher began a degree in film directing at the University of Television and Film Munich in 2006. Together with a partner, he founded the production company Passanten Filmproduktion in 2009. He produced and directed his first feature film Hinter diesen Bergen (Beyond These Mountains) in 2010. Krummenacher has received multiple awards for his work.

Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer Feature film // 105 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Lars Kraume // Actors: Burghart Klaußner, Ronald Zehrfeld, Sebastian Blomberg, Jörg Schüttauf, Lilith Stangenberg, Laura Tonke

Germany, 1957. While the still young Federal Republic of Germany wants to put the Nazi era behind it, one man fights tirelessly to bring the perpetrators in his own land to justice: twelve years after the end of the war, the uncompromising Chief Public Prosecutor Fritz Bauer receives a crucial clue as to where the former SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann is supposed to be hiding. Together with the young public prosecutor Karl Angermann, Bauer begins to research the background information, but finds himself thwarted by resistance all the way up to the top. What appears to be a hopeless battle against invisible opponents begins, yet Bauer and Angermann refuse to give up, knowing well that their hunt for Eichmann will cost them everything - both professionally and personally.

Half a century after his death, the director Lars Kraume commemorates a man who unfortunately has all but been forgotten - someone who made very few friends for himself in the old West Germany with his courage. An incredibly powerful film, and one well worth seeing!

www.derstaatgegenfritzbauer.de
Born in 1973, Lars Kraume worked as a freelance photographer before studying at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB) in Berlin from 1994 to 1998. Since then he has worked on numerous film and television productions as a director, screenwriter and producer. Lars Kraume’s real breakthrough came in 2005 with three very different projects in rapid succession: the documentary film Kismet – Würfel Dein Leben, the feature film No Songs of Love and the TV crime drama Wo ist Max Gravert?..

Verfehlung Verfehlung Feature film // 95 min. // Germany, 2014

Director: Gerd Schneider // Actors: Sebastian Blomberg, Kai Schumann, Jan Messutat, Sandra Borgmann, Valerie Koch, Hartmut Becker

"When mud starts to be thrown, only the quantity will determine whether any will stick…" This is something that the Catholic prison pastor Jakob Völz would like to believe when his best friend and colleague Dominik Bertram is remanded in custody on sex abuse charges. But as Jakob senses but refuses to accept, this will prove a test a strength for his faith and for his view of himself.

Director Gerd Schneider's debut film is a drama that is as complex as it is authentic. Verfehlung tells of friendship, responsibility, faith and betrayal, exploring both the internal workings of the system that is the church and looking at human relationships. An intense cinema experience!

www.verfehlung-film.de
Born in 1974, Gerd Schneider studied Catholic theology in Bonn and Vienna before switching to filmmaking and beginning a degree at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. His graduation film Am Rand der Hoffnung (2006) is a medium-length documentary which was shown at festivals internationally and won several awards.

Victoria Victoria Feature film // 136 min. // Germany, 2015

Director: Sebastian Schipper // Actors: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff, André M. Hennicke, Anna Lena Klenke

There is just one hour left before this night in Berlin draws to a close. Victoria, a young woman from Spain, meets four guys in front of a Berlin club - Sonne, Boxer, Blinker and Fuss. There is immediate chemistry between her and Sonne, but they have no time for one another. Sonne and his mates have something to sort out: to settle a debt, they have got involved in a dodgy deal. Because one of them is too drunk, Victoria is urged to take his place as a driver. What starts off as a great adventure for them first turns into a crazy and euphoric dance - and then into a nightmare. As the new day gradually dawns, it is suddenly a question of all or nothing for Victoria and Sonne.

Even the idea is pretty original: to shoot a film in one complete take, without any technical tricks or safety nets, is quite a risk. But this is precisely what Sebastian Schipper and his film team dared to attempt with Victoria, and the outcome is a resounding success. One of the most exciting German films for years!

www.wildbuch-germany.de/movie/victoria
Born in 1968, Sebastian Schipper studied acting at the Otto Falckenberg Schule in Munich from 1992 to 1995. After graduating he appeared for the most part in supporting roles in such successful films as Little Sharks (1992), The English Patient (1996) and Run Lola Run (1998). Absolute Giganten (1999) was his directorial and screenwriting debut, since which time he has been both a successful actor and director.

Wild Wild Feature film // 97 min. // Germany, 2016

Director: Nicolette Krebitz // Actors: Lilith Stangenberg, Georg Friedrich, Sike Bodenbender, Saskia Rosendahl, Kotti Yun, Laurie Young

Things could hardly get off to a less spectacular start: in a faceless city in the east of Germany, Ania, a spineless wallflower, works in a nameless company. Day in, day out, she takes the tram from her drab housing estate to work, sits at her computer, fetches coffee for her bos Boris, and is not really there at all. But then something happens that turns her entire life upside down: she catches sight of a wolf, albeit only briefly, passing by. Ania cannot stop thinking about the wolf, so she tries to catch the creature. Gradually, a relationship develops that will change Ania's ordered but boring life forever.

Nicolette Krebitz's wild and anarchic love story is a timeless fairy tale completely devoid of kitsch. With its poetical visual imagery and sexual potency, Wild is a masterpiece that is made for the big screen.

www.wild-film.de
Born in 1972, Nicolette Krebitz is a director, actress and singer. She already appeared in numerous films during her youth, and later studied acting at the Fritz-Kirchhoff-Schule. Her directorial debut came in 2001 with Jeans. She also wrote the screenplay for Das Herz ist ein dunkler Wald (The Heart Is a Dark Forest), the second, award-winning film she directed in 2007. As well as working as a director, Nicolette Krebitz still appears as an actress in selected productions.