'White Ribbon' star joins high-profile cast

BERLIN — Christian Friedel, who starred in Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon,” is set to topline Berlin-based Films In Motion production “The Face.”

The up-and-coming young thesp joins a high-caliber cast that includes Ulrich Thomsen, star of the Oscar-winning “In a Better World,” Thomas Thieme, (“The Lives of Others”) and “White Ribbon” co-star Ursina Lardi.

Penned by J. Frank James and directed by Markus Imboden, “The Face” is set in Germany in the weeks following the end of World War II. Friedel plays an amnesiac whose only clue to his true identity is the concentration camp uniform he’s wearing, while Thomsen plays a priest with a mysterious past.

Rene Asch is producing the pic.

Budgeted at some €3.5 million ($4.95 million), the English-language film will be shot in Germany and tap federal and regional subsidy funding.

Asch is in talks with a number of German distribs and sales companies for the project.

Friedel next stars in Oliver Schmitz’s “Russian Disco,” an adaptation of Wladimir Kaminer’s bestseller about three pals from Moscow who move to Berlin in the early 1990s. Matthias Schweighoefer and Friedrich Muecke co-star in the pic, which Paramount Pictures Germany is releasing domestically.

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