Fest will screen late filmmaker's 'Rosemarie'

BERLIN — In memory of filmmaker Bernd Eichinger, who died Monday of a heart attack, the Berlin Film Festival will hold a special screening of his 1996 directorial debut, “A Girl Called Rosemarie.”

“As one of the most important and influential personalities in the industry, producer, author and director Bernd Eichinger was for decades a prominent force in German cinema,” the fest said Wednesday.

“With guts, instinct and confidence in the international market, he raised the prestige of German films worldwide.”

Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick added, “With Bernd Eichinger we have lost a visionary producer and passionate cineaste. With his high level of creativity and energy he continually pushed the limits of the doable — and so repeatedly taught the film industry pragmatism and brought success. We feel great sorrow at his sudden death.”

Eichinger was a frequent guest of the Berlinale. In 1997 his co-production “Smilla’s Sense of Snow,” helmed by Bille August, opened the fest.

He returned in 2006 with Oskar Roehler’s Golden Bear contender “The Elementary Particles” and took part in discussions with young filmmakers at the 2008 Berlinale Talent Campus.

A producer and writer since the early 1970s, Eichinger didn’t direct a full-length film until “Rosemarie.” Nina Hoss, who is serving on Berlin’s international jury, stars in the drama, which chronicles the rise of an ambitious young prostitute into the upper echelons of 1950s West Germany.

The film will screen at the Kino Intl. on Feb. 12. Fest runs Feb. 10-20.

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