Beta Cinema Picks Up Berlinale Film ‘When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before’ From ‘Toni Erdmann,’ ‘Spencer’ Producer Komplizen Film

When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before
Courtesy of Komplizen Film/Warner Bros. Entertainment/Frederic Batier

Beta Cinema will sell international rights to “When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before,” the latest production from German powerhouse Komplizen Film, best known for Oscar nominees “Toni Erdmann” and “Spencer,” and directed by Sonja Heiss (“Hedi Schneider Is Stuck,” “Hotel Very Welcome”). As announced today, the moving dramedy will celebrate its world premiere at the Berlinale, opening the Generation 14plus section. Warner Bros. will release the film in Germany on Feb. 23.

The film is based on the bestselling autobiographical novel by Joachim Meyerhoff, which sold more than two million copies in Germany alone, and has been published in more than 10 further territories, including France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Finland and the Netherlands. It tells a tale of tender romance and longing for departure and arrival.

Courtesy of Komplizen Film/Warner Bros. Entertainment/Frederic Batier

Growing up in the grounds of one of Germany’s largest psychiatric hospitals is somehow … different. For Joachim, the hospital director’s youngest son, the patients are like family. They are also much nicer to him than his two older brothers, who drive him into fits of rage. His mother, painting watercolors, longs for Italian summer nights instead of constant German rain, while his father secretly, but not discreetly enough, goes his own way. But while Joachim slowly grows up, his world, not only through the loss of his first love, gets more and more cracks…

Heiss had been invited to the Berlinale twice before: her first feature film, “Hotel Very Welcome,” premiered in the Perspective German Cinema section in 2007, and “Hedi Schneider Is Stuck” in the Forum section in 2015. Both films took numerous international awards, including the Dialogue en Perspective Award at the Berlinale, the First Steps Award, a German Film Award and a German Film Critics Award. Heiss also writes short stories and published a critically acclaimed novel in 2017, “Rimini.”

“When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before” is produced by Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach and Maren Ade of Komplizen Film in co-production with Jean-Yves Roubin and Cassandre Warnauts of Frakas Productions. Ben von Dobeneck serves as executive producer and DFFF, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, FFA, MBB, Moin Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral Belge and Belga Film Funds supported the production.

“When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before” Courtesy of Komplizen Film/Warner Bros. Entertainment/Frederic Batier

Main character Joachim is played by three different actors, Camille Loup Moltzen (“Spencer”), Arsseni Bultmann (“Robby & Toby’s Fantastic Voyager”) and Merlin Rose (“Frantz,” “Wetlands,” “Dark,” “Das Boot”). Devid Striesow (“All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Yella,” “The Counterfeiters,” “Downfall”) plays his psychiatrist father, while Laura Tonke (“The Baader Meinhof Complex,” “The People vs. Fritz Bauer,” “Hedi Schneider Is Stuck”) plays his mother. The supporting cast consists of professional actors and lay actors with and without psychiatric conditions.

“Sonja Heiss is a fantastic director and we can’t wait to present ‘When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before’ to the international audiences in Berlin. Life is a nuthouse, everywhere, but of course especially when you grow up in one! Charming, funny and deeply moving at the same time, the hilarious, wonderful scenes will please audiences around the world,” said Dirk Schürhoff, CEO of Beta Cinema. Beta Cinema will host market screenings at EFM in addition to the official screenings at the Berlinale.