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PTI Picks Up Oscar Winner Caroline Link’s ‘The Boy Needs Some Fresh Air’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Picture Tree Intl. has picked up sales rights to “The Boy Needs Some Fresh Air” (Der Junge muss an die frische Luft), directed by Oscar-winner Caroline Link. The film, which was released by Warner Bros. on Dec. 25 at more than 700 locations across Germany, has garnered a box office of €10.6 million ($12.1 million) to date. PTI will launch it as a market premiere at Berlin’s European Film Market in February.

Based on an autobiographic novel by German comedian Hape Kerkeling, the film is set in Ruhrpott, a West German coal and iron ore mining area, in 1972. It centers on chubby nine-year-old Hans-Peter who is blessed with a talent to make others laugh and grows up in a loving and cheerful family. “Unfortunately, dark shadows attach to the boy’s everyday life as his mother becomes more and more depressed after a failed surgery,” according to a statement from PTI. “For Hans-Peter it is an incentive to perfect his comedic talent.”

The film, produced by Sebastian Werninger, Nico Hofmann and Hermann Florin, is a UFA Fiction production, coproduced by Feine Filme and Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany. It was supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the FFA – Filmförderungsanstalt and the DFFF – German Federal Film Fund.

Link achieved early success with her feature film debut “Jenseits Der Stille” (Beyond Silence), which was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film in 1997. After her second feature film, “Pünktchen Und Anton,” a children’s movie based on the same-titled novel by Erich Kästner, Link directed “Nirgendwo In Afrika” (Nowhere in Africa), which won the Academy Award for foreign language film in 2003.

Other titles on PTI’s Berlin slate include Berlinale competition contender “The Ground Beneath My Feet” (Der Boden Unter Den Füssen) by Marie Kreuzter, and Dutch family movie “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” (Mijn Bijzonder Rare Week Met Tess), which will be running in the Berlinale’s Generation section.

Further market premieres include “100 Things,” which was released on Dec. 6 in Germany by Warner Bros. with 1.05 million admissions, and a box office of €8.9 million ($10.1 million), as well as female action comedy “Sweethearts,” directed and starring Karoline Herfurth, alongside Hannah Herzsprung and Frederik Lau, with the German release set for Valentine’s Day by Warner Bros. Also premiering at EFM will be Henry James’ novel adaptation “The Beast in the Jungle,” shortly after its Gala Premiere at the Rotterdam Intl. Film Festival.

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