×

Oscars: Germany Selects ‘Never Look Away’ as Foreign Language Entry

Germany has selected Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Venice-premiere title “Never Look Away” as its entry for best foreign language film at this year’s 91st Academy Awards. German Films, the local body for the promotion of German cinema worldwide, announced the choice Thursday.

It is the second time the director has had a film chosen as German’s Oscar submission following his Oscar-winning 2006 film “The Lives of Others.” “Never Look Away” has its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 4 and will see its North American premiere in the special presentations section of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival on Sept. 8.

“My actors, producers and I asked ourselves in the making of ‘Never Look Away’: What movie would we like to see on the screen? The result is a love story, a family drama, a biography of Germany in the 20th century, and a stroll through modern art,” said von Donnersmarck. “The fact that the independent jury has now selected ‘Never Look Away’ to represent our country in the ‘Olympic Games’ in Hollywood of course makes our whole team, our distributors, commissioning editors, funders, and myself very happy.”

The film was chosen from 11 short-listed candidates by the nine members of the German selection committee. German Films organizes the selection procedure for the German candidate for the Oscars’ best foreign-language film category each year but the umbrella organization is not itself represented in the selection committee.

It beat out competition from Emily Atef’s “3 Days in Quiberon”; Michael ‘Bully’ Herbig’s “Balloon”; Robert Schwentke’s “The Captain”; Thomas Stuber’s “In the Aisles”; Claus Rafle’s “The Invisibles”; Joachim A. Lang’s “Mack the Knife – Brecht’s Threepenny Film”; Markus Goller’s “My Brother Simple”; Lars Kraume’s “The Silent Revolution”; Ali Soozandeh’s animated “Tehran Taboo”; and Christian Petzold’s “Transit.”

Based on real-life events, “Never Look Away” tells the story of an art student (Tom Schilling) who falls in love with a fellow student (Paula Beer), but her father (Sebastian Koch), a celebrated medical professor, sees everything he hates and despises in this potential future son-in-law and does everything he can to destroy the relationship. But none of them know their fates are already intertwined through a horrible crime committed by the father many years earlier.

The film is produced by Pergamon Film and Wiedemann & Berg Film in cooperation with Sky Germany and ARTE. Jan Mojto, Quirin Berg, Florian von Donnersmarck, Max Wiedemann and Christiane Henckel von Donnersmarck serve as producers on the film, with Dirk Schürhoff and Christine Strobl co-producing for Beta Cinema and ARD Degeto/BR, respectively. Funding came from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, the German Federal Film Board, the German Federal Film Fund, and the Czech Film Fund.

The film has already sold in over 60 territories through sales agent Beta Cinema, which is also a co-producer. Sony Pictures Classics has U.S. rights.

Germany has been nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar 10 times since its reunification in 1990, winning the award twice: for Caroline Link’s “Nowhere in Africa” in 2002 and von Donnersmarck’s “The Lives of Others” in 2006. The country scored its most recent nomination with Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” in 2016 which lost out to Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” from Iran.

Prior to 1990 submissions were made by West Germany, which received 13 nominations winning in 1979 with Volker Schlondorff’s “The Tin Drum,” and East Germany, which received one nomination.

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 22, 2019. The ceremony will take place Feb. 24, 2019.

More Film

  • Box Office: 'Yesterday' Movie Takes on

    Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' and 'Yesterday' Take on 'Toy Story 4'

    The weekend box office has gone to the dolls. “Annabelle Comes Home,” a supernatural horror film about a possessed toy, is facing off against another band of plastic figurines: “Toy Story 4.” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” is expected to dominate box office charts again over newcomers “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Yesterday,” a fantasy musical set [...]

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

  • Svensk Filmindustri SF Studios logo

    Warner Bros, SF Studios Expand Distribution Deal Across Scandinavia

    Warner Bros. Pictures has expanded its distribution deal with SF Studios to include Sweden and have their movies released by the Nordic major through all of Scandinavia. Warner Bros. Pictures already has a distribution pact with SF Studios in Denmark, Norway and Finland. Under the partnership, SF Studios has been handling the sales, marketing and [...]

  • Nicole Kidman Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content