Berlinale Competition entries from two actors turned directors, Maria Schrader and Daniel Brühl, were among titles on the Beta Cinema slate at the European Film Market to prove popular among international distributors.
Schrader, an Emmy Award winner as the director of “Unorthodox,” premiered comic-tragic tale “I’m Your Man,” starring Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), Maren Eggert (“I Was At Home, But…”) and Sandra Hueller (“Toni Erdmann”), at the virtual market, and Eggert won the festival’s Silver Bear for leading performance. Brühl made his directorial debut with dark comedy “Next Door,” a chamber piece in which he starred alongside “Babylon Berlin’s” Peter Kurth.
“I’m Your Man” is leading the way with a flurry of sales to France (Haut et Court), Italy (Koch Media), Spain, Portugal and Latin America (Sun Distribution), Scandinavia (Edge Entertainment), Benelux (September Film), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), CIS and Baltics (Volgafilm), Poland (Monolith), Hungary (Cirko Film), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Film Europe), former Yugoslavia (Discovery Film), Turkey (Filmarti Film), Israel (Nachshon), Greece (Strada Films), Taiwan (Swallow Wings), Korea (Contents Gate) and Hong Kong (EDKO Films).
Beta Cinema is in final negotiations with further distributors from the U.S., Japan, China, and the U.K.
“Next Door” scored first deals in France (Eurozoom), CIS (Russian Report), Poland (Aurora), Hungary (Cirko Film), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Film Europe), former Yugoslavia (Discovery Film) and the Baltics (Kino Pavasaris). U.K., Spain and Scandinavia are in final negotiations.
Also from the EFM slate, Matt Chambers’ debut “The Bike Thief,” starring Alec Secareanu (“God’s Own Country”) and Anamaria Marinca (“4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days”), was sold to Beijing Hugoeast Media for China, Beta Film for Bulgaria, Discovery for former Yugoslavia and AV-Jet for Taiwan. A deal with Signature in the U.K. was closed at the beginning of the year. Further deals are in negotiations.
Finally, Beta Cinema sold Maggie Peren’s “Groundhog Day” meets “My Best Friend’s Wedding” topsy-turvy romantic comedy “Hello Again – A Wedding A Day,” starring Alicia von Rittberg (“Ballon”) and Edin Hasanovic (“You Are Wanted”), to France (ARP Selection), Spain (Alfa Pictures), Latin Amercia (Great Movies), China (Red Apollo) and CIS/Ukraine (Capella).
Beta Cinema’s Thorsten Ritter said: “We are quite overwhelmed by the response to our films and the numbers of sales that proved possible, even in these challenging times, when distributors fall in love. We would like to thank [Berlinale chiefs] Mariette Rissenbeeck and Carlo Chatrian for including ‘I’m Your Man,’ and ‘Next Door’ in this year’s Competition, two distinctly accessible films that can cross over to a wide audience. Also a big thank you to the EFM for making this digital event so efficient – and for providing cinema screenings where possible. They were much appreciated, too.”