Beta Cinema finds home for Lost in Siberia and Süskin
by Annika Pham
19/05/2012 - “Cannes has kicked off really well for us,” says Dirch Schürhoff, managing director of Beta Cinema, who can already cite several deals closed on Lost in Siberia (photo), one of the company’s market premieres in Cannes. The ‘culture clash comedy’ that just opened at number one in the arthouse charts in Germany was picked up by Israel (Lev Cinemas) and Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision). >BR>
Other fresh deals closed in Cannes include Rudolf van den Berg’s Dutch WW2 drama Süskind [trailer] from the producer of Black Book [trailer] Fu Works and Cadenza Films, picked up by Italy (Madeleine), Japan (Only Hearts), China (Champ Lis) and Venezuela (Cines Unidos), and the Berlinale Special entry Bliss by Doris Dörrie, sold to Norway (Fidalgo), South Korea (Peterpan Pictures) and Taiwan (Swallow Wings).
The pre-school animated film Come On, Let’s Find a Treasure, based on Janosh’s best-selling book, has attracted attention from France and Spain after its market premiere on Thursday. MFA will release it in a few weeks in Germany.
In the pre-sales market, the Hungarian film The Notebook by János Szász (Woyzeck) is creating a buzz with Spanish/French distributors who are anxious to see the first footage from the film, delivered early 2013. The €5m film photographed by Christian Berger (The White Ribbon [trailer, film focus]) has Ulrich Thomsen and Ulrich Matthes in the cast. Another established European director –Spain’s Imanol Uribe, has trusted Beta to handle his Orange Girl [trailer], winner of Best Director and Best Script in Málaga. The political thriller set under Franco’s regime in the 1950s will be released domestically in June by Alta Classics.
Other pre-sale offerings in Cannes such as the German/Norwegian Two Lives starring Juliane Köhler (Nowhere in Africa [trailer]) and Liv Ullmann or The Girl with the Nine Wigs by Marc Rothemund (Sophie Scholl: the Final Days [trailer]) are typical of the kind of high quality German films with which Beta has built its trademark. “We’ve had many cross over German films in the past like The Lives of Others [trailer, film focus], The Counterfeiters [trailer], and Downfall [trailer, film focus],” stresses Schürhoff. “In the future, we will balance those titles with new English-language films that will be acquired by Thorsten Ritter [recruited recently from Bavaria Film International]. We will announce two new English language films before the end of Cannes,” confirms the managing director.