German Sales Company Picture Tree Intl. Bearing Fruit

Eclectic lineup comes to AFM

Picture tree Intl., one of Germany’s youngest film sales companies, has quickly managed to gain a foothold in Europe’s most dynamic market with an eclectic lineup that ranges from Bora Dagtekin’s high school comedy “Fack ju Goehte 2” — the most successful German film of the year — to Dieter Berner’s upcoming biopic “Egon Schiele,” about the famed Austrian expressionist artist.

Established in 2013 by Andreas Rothbauer, former head of sales and acquisitions at Beta Cinema, Picture Tree handles up to 12 features a year, including mainstream and arthouse crossover productions from Germany and abroad.

The company boasts a number of recent box office and critical successes, including Finnish director Antti J. Jokinen’s “The Midwife,” which broke box office records in Finland following its release in September. Based on Katja Kettu’s 2011 novel, the film is a love story between a Finnish midwife and a German Nazi officer in 1944.

“The Midwife” and “Fack ju Goehte 2” (pictured) are among six features Picture Tree is screening at AFM. The company is also presenting Matthias Schweighoefer’s hit comedy “The Manny”; Elisabeth Scharang’s “Jack,” the true story of a serial killer who became a respected media personality in 1990s Austria; Thomas Stuber’s “A Heavy Heart,” about an aging boxer; and Mark Noonan’s Irish drama “You’re Ugly Too,” with “Games of Thrones” star Aidan Gillen as an ex-con forced by tragedy to assume care of his niece.

The latter is one of two English-language titles in the company’s current lineup. Picture Tree is also handling Rebecca Daly’s upcoming “Mammal,” about a grief-stricken woman in Dublin who takes in a homeless young man; Rachel Griffiths and Barry Keoghan star.

“We are moving little by little into the English-language segment, where we want to establish a foothold,” says Rothbauer, who wants to see English-language films form “a third pillar alongside quality arthouse, festival-driven cinema and more mainstream titles.”

In addition to other upcoming titles like “Egon Schiele,” Picture Tree is also handling Swiss filmmaker Simon Jaquemet’s award-winning debut feature “Chrieg,” a film that will also mark the company’s expansion into theatrical distribution in Germany.

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