German Titles Set For Strong Showing at Cannes 2016

Sales companies offering wide range of genres in market; drama "Toni Erdmann" is in competition

German films look set to make muscular showing at this year’s Cannes Film Market, with local sales companies offering the gamut from family dramas, cop movies and World War II thrillers to sci-fi and folklore.

Meanwhile, Maren Ade’s competition title “Toni Erdmann,” about a father trying to reconnect with his daughter, marks the first German title to vie for the Palme d’Or in eight years and the first film from a female German director to screen in competition at Cannes. The Match Factory is handling world sales for Komplizen Film and Coop 99 Film’s German-Austrian co-production.

Spanish sales company Moonrise Pictures is handling world sales for “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes,” about an aging former Nazi death camp guard haunted by his past; Swiss helmer Markus Imboden (“The Foster Boy”) is set to direct from a script by U.S. scribe J. Frank James, with Berlin’s Films in Motion (FIM) and Norway’s Merkur Film producing. Imboden is also attached to FIM and Leipzig-based Departures Film’s post-war thriller “The Face.” Departures Film’s Undine Filter, meanwhile, is in Cannes as one of European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move.

From its deal with Christian Alvart’s Surreal Entertainment, Global Screen also presents Christian Pasquariello’s apocalyptic sci-fi thriller “Sum1,” starring Iwan Rheon (“Game of Thrones”) and “Nick: Off Duty” with Til Schweiger (reprising his role from the hit “Tatort” TV series) as a Hamburg cop trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

Johannes Naber’s “Heart of Stone” from Picture Tree Intl. is making its market debut in Cannes. Frederick Lau and Moritz Bleibtreu star in the adaptation of Wilhelm Hauff’s classic 1827 fairy tale about a young man who sells his heart to the devil in exchange for great wealth. Bleibtreu likewise stars in Picture Tree’s “The Dark Side of the Moon,” Stephan Rick’s thriller about a lawyer whose life goes off the rails after consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Examining neurosis in the big city, Laura Lackman’s “Too Hard to Handle” follows an egocentric woman who seeks therapeutic help after losing her job. The pic is among Beta Cinema’s strong family-driven slate that also includes children’s hits “Rico, Oskar and the Broken Hearted” and “Bibi & Tina — Girls vs Boys.”

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