Leading arthouse sales agency The Match Factory has debuted the international trailer (see below) for the gripping, tender-hearted prison drama “Great Freedom,” which won the Jury Prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, and has revealed the latest list of international distributors. Sebastian Meise’s film was selected recently as Austria’s candidate in the Best International Feature Film Oscars race.
“Great Freedom” has sold to the following territories: Ex-Yugo (MCF Megacom), Australia/New Zealand (Madman), Benelux (Imagine Film), Denmark (Ost for Paradis), Baltics (A-One), France (Paname), Greece (Ama Films), Israel (Lev Cinemas), U.S./U.K./Eire/Latam/Turkey/India (MUBI), Mexico (Cine Canibal), Sweden (Lucky Dogs), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Taiwan (Swallow Wings), Spain (Vertigo Films), and Poland (Tongariro).
The film is set in post-war Germany, where Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. Due to paragraph 175 of the penal code his desire for freedom is systematically destroyed. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long-time cell mate, Viktor, a convicted murderer. What starts as revulsion grows into affection.
“Great Freedom” stars Franz Rogowski (“A Hidden Life”) and Berlinale Silver bear awardee Georg Friedrich (“Helle Nächte”) in the leading roles. The screenplay is by Thomas Reider and Meise. The producers are Sabine Moser, Oliver Neumann and Benny Drechsel.
Variety‘s review of “Great Freedom” said: “Meise’s film is an exquisite marriage of personal, political and sensual storytelling, its narrative and temporal drift tightened by another performance of quietly piercing vulnerability from Franz Rogowski.”
“Great Freedom” won the award for best feature film at the Sarajevo Film Festival, while Friedrich won best actor. It opened Filmfest Hamburg in late September and had its U.K. premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in early October. It will continue to screen at festivals globally this fall and winter, including Chicago International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival and Denver Film Festival.
The Match Factory attended last week’s MIA Market in Rome, screening Nana Neul’s comedy “Daughters,” and Andreas Kleinert’s “Dear Thomas,” a portrait of author Thomas Brasch, and presenting Francesco Lagi’s upcoming project “Il Pataffio” in the What’s Next Italy section. Michael Weber, the company’s managing director, sits on MIA’s board of advisors for film.
Other films on the slate of The Match Factory, which had a busy summer with 20 premieres between Cannes and Toronto, include Tatiana Huezo’s “Prayers for the Stolen,” Michel Franco’s “Sundown,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car,” Bent Hamer’s “The Middle Man,” Nanni Moretti’s “Three Floors” and Lorenzo Vigas’ “The Box.”