'My Brother's Keeper' Open Berlin Fest's

Axel Stein's 'Tape_13' to screen as Midnight Movie

LONDON — Maximilian Leo’s debut feature “Hueter meines Bruders” (My Brother’s Keeper) will open the Berlin Film Festival’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section, which showcases pics from up-and-coming filmmakers working in Germany.

Pic centers on a doctor, Gregor, and younger brother Pietschi, who are seemingly like chalk and cheese. On a sailing trip, Pietschi disappears without trace. As Gregor tries to find out more about his brother’s life, he starts to neglect his work, his wife and friends, and starts to take on Pietschi’s persona, even sleeping with his brother’s former girlfriend.

The film was produced with the support of Sixpack, a project that promotes the work of talented new filmmakers. Sixpack is jointly supported by broadcaster WDR and Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

Leo graduated from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM) in 2009, and participated in the Berlin fest’s Talent Campus in 2011 and 2012.

The Perspektive section, which is headed by Linda Soeffker, has selected a second Midnight Movie, alongside the previously announced “Der Samurai.” Horror film “Tape_13” is the directorial debut of Axel Stein, who is best known to date for his work as an actor. Stein’s pic is a striking homage to “The Blair Witch Project.” It is produced by Rat Pack, one of Germany’s leading shingles.

Fourteen films have been added to the lineup, which is now complete. New arrivals include nine full-length features, and five medium-length films. These pics join those named on Dec. 18.

Many of the directors of this year’s selected films found their stories abroad.

Two docu pics were shot in Kyrgyzstan. Levin Huebner’s short film “Bosteri unterm Rad” (Bosteri Beneath the Wheel) focuses on a village and its inhabitants in the Kyrgyz steppe, situated on the northern shore of Issyk Kul, the second largest mountain lake in the world.

On the other side of the lake lies the Kyrgyz village of Barskoon. For years environmentalists have been fighting for compensation for the many victims of a cyanide spill caused by Kumtor, a Canadian-operated gold mine. In her self-produced cinema debut, “Flowers of Freedom,” director Mirjam Lenze accompanies these women activists in their battle against the mine.

Two other Perspektive pics also went out into the world. In her 20-minute fiction film “El Carro azul” (The Blue Car), director Valerie Heine goes to Cuba to tell the moving story of a reunion between two brothers. In fiction feature “Anderswo” (Anywhere Else), director Ester Amrami travels with her protagonist Noa (Neta Riskin) from Berlin to Israel, her homeland. Here she experiences how a person can at times feel just as misunderstood in their old home as in their new one.

Nicole Voegele’s documentary “Nebel” is shrouded in fog and solitude, while relying on the wind, animals and the sky to create its atmosphere.

Another selected film, “Szenario,” is difficult to categorize as it is neither a conventional fiction film nor a documentary. Philip Widmann and co-director Karsten Krause chronicle a love affair from 1970 in a city that may well be an allegory for post-war West Germany.

PERSPEKTIVE DEUTSCHES KINO:
“Amma & Appa” by Franziska Schoenenberger (documentary)
“Anderswo” (Anywhere Else) by Ester Amrami
“Bosteri unterm Rad” (Bosteri Beneath the Wheel) by Levin Huebner (documentary)
“El Carro azul” (The Blue Car) by Valerie Heine
“Flowers of Freedom” by Mirjam Leuze (documentary)
“Hueter meines Bruders” (My Brother’s Keeper) by Maximilian Leo
“Lamento” by Jons Jonsson
“Nebel” (fog) by Nicole Vogele (documentary)
“Raumfahrer” (Spacemen) by Georg Nonnenmacher (documentary)
“Der Samurai” by Till Kleinert
“Szenario” (Scenario) by Philip Widmann and Karsten Krause
“Tape_13” by Axel Stein
“Die Unschuldigen” (The Innocents) by Oskar Sulowski
“Zeit der Kannibalen” (Age of Cannibals) by Johannes Naber

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