AFM: German Distributors Bring Diverse Slate to Market

Germany has cooked up an eclectic array of movies for AFM this year.

The genre-spanning pics include sober historical dramas and biopics, topical thrillers, new works by celebrated filmmakers, science fiction, and family entertainment.

Beta Cinema’s “Cold Hell” by Stefan Ruzowitzky, centers on a young Turkish woman who is a mixed-martial arts fighter. When she witnesses a brutal murder by a suspect apparently inspired by Islam, she becomes the killer’s next target.

Beta also presents Rupert Everett’s directorial debut, “The Happy Prince,” about the last days of Oscar Wilde. Everett plays the famed Irish playwright during his final days in the pic, which also stars Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Tom Wilkinson, and Miranda Richardson.

The Munich-based sales company is also handling Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s latest feature, a historical drama tentatively titled “Work Without Author,” starring Tom Schilling as a young artist who flees to West Germany while remaining haunted by his experiences during the Nazi years and his subsequent youth in communist East Germany.

Also in the works is Claus Raefle’s Nazi-era drama “The Invisibles,” which follows four Jews living underground in Berlin in 1943, either passing as non-Jews, working for the resistance, or assuming other identities altogether. The film is intercut with interviews from the actual people whose lives inspired the story.

Berlin’s Picture Tree Intl. presents an equally wide-ranging lineup that includes Johannes Naber’s “Heart of Stone,” the latest adaptation of Wilhelm Hauff’s fairy tale centering on a poor charcoal burner who sells his heart for great wealth, and Matthias Starte’s “Nowhere,” about a young man who reluctantly returns to his childhood home after his father’s sudden death and rediscovers unexpected joys in his hometown.

PTI’s slate includes Franz Novotny’s Cold War drama “Codename Holec,” about a young director in Prague who captures explosive material on camera during the 1968 Russian invasion of the Czech Republic, and Sven Taddicken’s “Original Bliss,” an adaptation of Scottish author A.L. Kennedy’s 1997 work about a woman in a failing marriage who embarks on an unlikely romance; Martina Gedeck and Ulrich Tukur star.

In Florian Gaag’s relationship drama “LenaLove,” suburban teens struggle with love, desire and betrayal in the age of social media, while a wealthy family is haunted by ghosts of the past in Austrian helmer Virgil Widrich’s supernatural black comedy “Night of a 1000 Hours.”

Global Screen is at AFM with Christian Pasquariello’s sci-fi thriller “S.U.M.1,” starring Iwan Rheon (“Game of Thrones”) as a young soldier in an apocalyptic future who struggles with isolation and paranoia while protecting a defense installation from marauding creatures. The company is also presenting Christian Alvart’s actioner “Nick — Off Duty,” starring Til Schweiger as a cop on the trail of his abducted daughter.

Arri Media Intl., meanwhile, is bringing Andrei Konchalovsky’s Holocaust drama “Paradise,” a Russian-German co-production that focuses on the relationship between an aristocratic concentration camp inmate and an SS officer, and Cordula Kablitz-Post’s “In Love With Lou — A Philosopher’s Life,” a historical biopic about Russian-born writer and psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé and her close relationships with Paul Rée and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Arri also offers Aron Lehmann’s timely comedy “Highway to Hellas,” about a German bank official who visits a Greek island to enquire about an outstanding loan. Family fare includes “Robby & Toby’s Fantastic Voyager.”

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