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Locarno: The Match Factory to Sell Jan Bonny’s ‘Wintermärchen’

Michael Weber’s The Match Factory is on board as sales agent of Locarno Film Festival International Competition title “Wintermärchen” (Germany. A Winter’s Tale), the company announced Tuesday. The film is German writer-director Jan Bonny’s follow-up to black comedy “Counterparts,” which played in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

“Wintermärchen” centers on a right-wing terror cell, whose members dream of nationwide attention. “Tommy and Becky are tired and disillusioned until Maik joins them. Overwhelmed by a complex relationship of love, hate and friendship their path of destruction leads to a series of violent crimes,” according to a statement.

Bonny was prompted to make the film, which he describes as “a dark fairytale,” after attending the trial in Munich of a member of a three-person Neo-Nazi cell, who had murdered 10 people. In a statement, Bonny said he wanted to explore “the simplicity of these three people from the German underground, their boundless narcissism, their self-assuredness, and the self-aggrandizement in the fantasy of omnipotence that justifies their use of force.”

Bonny added: “In our film we consciously narrate three characters that need to be discovered as characters in their own right, who live in a cheap and tough frenzy, in which doing and killing are the only ways of assuring one’s own value.”

The film, he said, “should be a frenzy and a view into the abyss, from which we always try to spare ourselves.” It should “convey an experience with force and physicality, being sensual and at eye level with the characters, precisely where we would prefer some superior distance.”

The German-language film, which world premieres Aug. 10, stars Thomas Schubert, Ricarda Seifried and Jean-Luc Bubert. It was written by Jan Eichberg and Bonny, and produced by Bettina Brokemper at Heimatfilm, whose other titles include Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built.” The film is supported by BKM and Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

The Match Factory’s slate includes three films playing in Competition at Venice: Rick Alverson’s “The Mountain,” Carlos Reygadas’ “Our Time” and Roberto Minervini’s “What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?”; as well as one film playing Out of Competition: Ron Mann’s “Carmine Street Guitars.”

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