Berlin-based Salzgeber has picked up international rights to Gitta Gsell’s award-winning Swiss drama “Beyto,” about a young man who is forced into an arranged marriage after coming out to his Turkish family.
Produced by Bern’s Lomotion in co-production with Peter Zwierko’s Sulaco Film in Basel, “Beyto” premiered last year at the Zurich Film Festival and went on to win the audience award at Switzerland’s Solothurn Film Festival in January.
Burak Ates plays Beyto, a talented young swimmer with a bright future ahead of him who falls in love with his coach Mike (Dimitri Stapfer). Shocked and ashamed when they find out, his conservative family lures him to their home village in Turkey, where they have planned his wedding to his childhood friend Seher. Back in Switzerland, Beyto finds himself in a wrenching love triangle.
Salzgeber just added the film to its international slate after having previously acquired the film for German release. The company is screening “Beyto” at the EFM and is planning a theatrical release in early summer.
“‘Beyto’ is a multicultural story about love and emancipation from Switzerland,” said Salzgeber CEO Björn Koll. “It is an ideal Salzgeber film, because it has something to say and at the same time pleases its audience. It is perfect for festivals and will appeal to our colleagues who are committed to Queer Cinema.”
The distrib’s EFM lineup also includes Monika Treut’s Panorama title “Genderation.” A follow-up to her 1999 Panorama screener “Gendernauts,” the new documentary revisits the protagonists of the first film, early pioneers of the transgender movement in San Francisco, most of whom have since been forced to leave the heavily gentrified and unaffordable city by the bay.
Salzgeber is likewise handling Christian Schäfer’s critically acclaimed teen thriller “Cloudy Clouds,” which premiered at the Max Ophüls Film Festival in January and won the best young actor award for Jonas Holdenrieder. The film follows Paul, an enigmatic 17-year-old high school student who catches the eye of his classmate Dala and his art-loving teacher Mr. Bulwer. Things get even more complicated when a boy’s dead body is discovered in the forest.
The company is also releasing Henrika Kull’s Panorama title “Bliss” in Germany. The film, sold internationally by Reel Suspects, tells the love story between two women, the 42-year-old Sascha and 25-year-old Maria, both sex workers in a Berlin brothel who find unexpected bliss in one another. The film is premiering at the EFM.
Cologne-based distrib W-Film, meanwhile, released the Zwierko-produced documentary “The Naked King” online in Germany and Austria in February, and also plans a theatrical release when theaters reopen. The film, directed by Andreas Hoessli, chronicles the 1979 revolution in Iran that toppled the Shah as well as the Solidarity movement in Poland, which, in 1980, resulted in the creation of the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact country.