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Berlinale’s Marxist Vampire Comedy ‘Bloodsuckers’ Boarded By ARRI Media, Trailer Debuts (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlinale's Marxist Vampire Comedy 'Bloodsuckers' Boarded
Courtesy of Faktura Film/The Post Republic/Maier Bros./Ludwig Kameraverleih/Markus Koob

ARRI Media Intl. has signed a deal with Faktura Film to handle the international sales for the Marxist vampire comedy “Bloodsuckers.” The film has been selected to world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Encounters section, which aims to “foster aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent, innovative filmmakers.” Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer.

ARRI Media Intl. will present the film, which was written and directed by Julian Radlmaier, to buyers at the European Film Market, which runs March 1-5.

“Bloodsuckers,” which is set in 1928, centers on a penniless Soviet refugee, who falls in love with an eccentric young vampiress, played by Lilith Stangenberg (“Wild”), spending the summer at the seaside with her awkward servant. The script won the Golden Lola for Best Unfilmed Screenplay during the 2019 Berlinale, and was praised by the jury for being “extravagant, bizarre, and hilarious.”

In the film, the Soviet factory worker Lyovoshka is cast to play Trotsky in a film by Sergei Eisenstein. But his dreams of a new life as an actor are shattered when the real Trotsky falls out of favor with Stalin and Lyovoshka is cut out of the film. He decides to flee his communist homeland and try his luck in Hollywood. For now, however, he’s stuck in a swank German Baltic resort. Disguised as a persecuted aristocrat, he tries to get money for the passage to New York by pickpocketing.

During one of his forays, he meets the young factory owner Octavia Flambow-Jansen, who spends the summer at the seaside with her servant Jakob. The eccentric millionairess is intrigued by the mysterious refugee and offers him shelter in her luxurious mansion. He quickly falls in love with his dazzling hostess, much to the chagrin of the awkward Jakob, who also has a crush on the boss. A light summer romance is on the horizon—too bad that thirsty vampires are terrorizing the area, and Octavia herself is a bloodsucker.

Radlmaier is a German-French-Swiss filmmaker based in Berlin. He studied at the German Film and Television Academy (DFFB), worked as a personal assistant to filmmaker Werner Schroeter, and has translated and edited several film-theoretical writings by French philosopher Jacques Rancière.

In 2013, his short “A Specter Is Haunting Europe,” which premiered in Oberhausen, received the German Film Critics’ Award. His next film, “A Proletarian Winter’s Tale” (2014), screened at several international festivals including Rotterdam and Venice.

His 2017 feature debut, comedy “Self-Criticism of a Bourgeois Dog,” was screened at numerous film festivals, including Rotterdam and Berlin, and received the German Film Critics’ Award in the Best Debut category.

“Bloodsuckers” is produced by Kirill Krasovski’s Faktura Film in co-production with WDR/Arte, The Post Republic, Maier Bros., and Ludwig Kameraverleih. The production was funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film-und Medienstiftung NRW and Nordmedia – Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen mbH.

ARRI Media Intl. specializes in the international distribution of festival films such as Andrei Konchalovsky’s “Paradise” and “Sin,” Stephan Komandarev’s “Directions” and Johannes Naber’s “Curveball,” as well as family films such as “Help I Shrunk My Teacher,” “Little Miss Dolitte” and “Ploey,” and genre movies such as “Cortex” and “The Sonata.”