Flare Film Continues Global Production Focus With Drama ‘Avalanche’

Berlin-based Flare Film is continuing its focus on international productions with German filmmaker Bastian Günther’s “Avalanche,” which just wrapped principal photography in Louisiana.

The timely social drama, which stars Carrie Preston (“Claws”) and British thesp Joe Cole (“A Prayer Before Dawn”), is set in America’s troubled social and cultural environment and explores the caustic repercussions of extreme capitalism that exploits underprivileged people for profit and entertainment.

The story follows the marketing manager of a small-town car dealership, played by Preston, who organizes an endurance contest in which 20 down-on-their-luck contenders compete to win a new pickup truck, and a young contestant (Cole) hoping for a better life.

The drama marks producer and Flare Film managing director Martin Heisler’s third collaboration with Günther after his debut feature, “Autopilots,” and his 2013 Sundance screener “Houston,” which was likewise set in the U.S.

“Avalanche” is produced by Heisler and Los Angeles-based co-producer Peter Veverka, with Jeanine Rohn executive producing.

Originally established in 2008 as Lichtblick Media, the company changed its name last year to Flare Film, reflecting not only its split from former sister company Lichtblick Film in Cologne but also the firm’s increasing focus on international productions, says Heisler, who also produced U.S. filmmaker Chad Hartigan’s 2017 coming-of-age comedy-drama “Morris from America,” which likewise premiered in Sundance.

The new name also followed the company’s growth in personnel and an overall increase in projects, from German and English-language productions to documentaries and TV series. The move was a kind of relaunch, Heisler notes.

The company’s focus on international films is due in part to the close relationships with filmmakers such as Günther, whose works have had international angles and which in turn have led to other projects, like “Morris from America.”

As a German producer coming from an industry that enjoys generous film subsidies, Heisler says the opportunity of making a film in the U.S. and combining these two extremely different worlds was hugely attractive.

Flare Film holds North American rights for “Avalanche,” which Match Factory is handling in the rest of the world. “That’s the overall plan behind the financial structure,” Heisler notes.” Leipzig-based Weltkino is releasing the film in Germany.

Flare Film has produced a number of films this year, including Barbara Ott’s debut feature “Kids Run,” starring Jannis Niewöhner (“Beat”), about a young boxer struggling to retain custody of his kids; and Florian Aigner’s “Im Niemandsland” (“Love Between the Walls”), a love story set in 1990 Berlin, between the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification.

This summer the company also shot veteran producer Florian Koerner von Gustorf’s directorial debut, “Was gewesen wäre” (“What Might Have Been”), an adaptation of Gregor Sander’s novel about a middle-aged couple, played by Christiane Paul and Ronald Zehrfeld, who spend a fateful weekend in Budapest.

Set to shoot next year is the international production “The Way We Were,” a hybrid science fiction documentary from “This Ain’t California” director Marten Persiel in which a young man in 2051 investigates the mass extinction of species around the globe.

Also set for 2019 is Christoph Röhl’s documentary “Defenders of the Faith,” which examines the long and impactful career of Joseph Ratzinger, who eventually became Pope Benedict XVI.

On the TV front, the company is developing “Astroland,” a series based on Thomas Pletzinger’s much-lauded novel “Funeral for a Dog” that focuses on various characters and their relationships in a globe hopping story that will take viewers from Berlin to New York, Brazil and Finland.



More Film


    China Box Office: ‘Bumblebee’ Flies on to $138 Million Total

    “Bumblebee” flew to its third weekend of dominance in China. But the Chinese box office remains in lackluster mode at the start of 2019. The spinoff from Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise earned $16.1 million in Chinese theaters between Friday and Sunday, according to date from exhibition and distribution consultancy Artisan Gateway. That was a 38% drop [...]

  • Mara Watkins Nabhaan Rizwan Steven Wouterlood

    Diverse Talents Pepper Variety's Fifth 10 Europeans to Watch List

    Variety has unveiled its fifth edition of 10 Europeans to Watch, spotlighting 10 rising talents from across the continent who are poised for breakthroughs in 2019. The selection includes emerging actors, directors, showrunners and cinematographers from six countries whose dynamic talents are being showcased on screens big and small, and on both sides of the camera. [...]

  • Glass Movie

    Box Office: 'Glass' Shines Overseas With $48.5 Million Weekend

    After autobots and aquatic kings have dominated foreign markets over the past few weeks, a different kind of hero has risen to the top of box office charts. M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is the new champ overseas, pulling in $48.5 million from international territories. The supernatural thriller, a sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” debuted [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    'Roma' and 'The Favourite' Lead London Critics' Circle Winners

    After ruling the U.S. critics’ award circuit, “Roma” continued its dominance on the other side of the pond, as the London Film Critics’ Circle announced its winners tonight. A week after landing seven BAFTA nominations, Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexico City memory piece landed film of the year and director of the year honors from the group [...]

  • M. Night Shyamalan Should Stop Writing

    The Big Twist M. Night Shyamalan Needs: He Should Stop Writing His Own Scripts (Column)

    Quick, name the greatest film by each of the following directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, David Lean, Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Kathryn Bigelow, Jonathan Demme. Answers will vary (mine would be: “Psycho,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Nashville,” “Chinatown,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Silence of the Lambs”), but whatever your taste, odds are that [...]

  • Andy Vajna Dead: 'Rambo' Producer and

    Andy Vajna, 'Rambo' Producer, Dies at 74

    Andy Vajna, executive producer of several “Rambo” films as well as “Total Recall” and several “Terminator” movies, died Sunday in Budapest after a long illness. He was 74. The Hungarian National Film Fund confirmed his death, calling him a “dominant figure in the Hungarian and international film industry” who was responsible for the development of [...]

  • Glass trailer

    Box Office: 'Glass' Dominates MLK Weekend With $47 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” topped box office charts during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, collecting $40 million over the weekend for a four-day sum of $47 million. If estimates hold, “Glass” will come in behind “American Sniper” ($107 million) and “Ride Along” ($48 million) as the third-best showing for both January and MLK holiday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content