Four German co-productions in competition at Cannes
by Birgit Heidsiek
- German producers will be grasping for the Palme d’Or
With Clouds of Sils Maria [+see also:
interview: Charles Gillibert
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile] by Olivier Assayas, Maps to the Stars [+see also:
film profile] by David Cronenberg, Winter Sleep [+see also:
interview: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
film profile] by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Alice Rohrwacher’s second feature film, Le Meraviglie [+see also:
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
interview: Tiziana Soudani
film profile], in the line-up, the 67th Cannes International Film Festival will be presenting four German co-productions in competition. In the Franco-German-Swiss co-production Clouds of Sils Maria, Assayas tells the story of a young actress whose role in a theatre play changed her life. The ambitious nature of her character once forced an older woman to commit suicide, and now, more than 20 years later, the role that the dead woman had played is offered to her. The cast includes Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Daniel Brühl. The German co-producer is Halle-based Pallas Film, in which the late German producer Karl Baumgartner was a partner. The German release will be handled by NFP.
German firm Pandora Film is involved in the Berlin-based production outfit Pola Pandora, which co-produced Rohrwacher’s drama Le Meraviglie, starring Monica Bellucci and the director’s sister, Alba Rohrwacher. Fourteen-year-old Gelsomina lives in the Umbrian countryside with her endearingly dysfunctional family. However, her secluded microcosm is shattered by the arrival of Martin, a young German criminal on a rehab programme.
Another German producer who is back in competition is Alfred Hürmer, who, together with Berlin-based Integral Film, co-produced Cronenberg’s biting Hollywood satire Map to the Stars, which stars Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore and John Cusack. The dark thriller deals with the crazy world of Hollywood stars: a psychotherapist is making a fortune, but his own daughter needs professional help, too, while his wife tries to manage their 13-year-old son, who is being touted as a rising star. The satirical drama will be released in Germany by MFA Distribution.
Turkish drama Winter Sleep by Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been produced in partnership with Berlin-based Bredok Film Production. All four German co-productions received production support from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. The Berlin-based funding institution also gave a cash injection to Jessica Hausner’s historical drama Amour Fou [+see also:
film profile], which is a co-production involving Austria, Luxembourg and Germany. The German partner is Berlin-based Essential Filmproduktion.
The only German director in the official Cannes programme is Wim Wenders, with his documentary The Salt of the Earth [+see also:
film profile], in which he portrays Brazilian photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Salgado. His son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, co-directed this title, which will premiere in Un Certain Regard. Meanwhile, Keren Yedaya recounts a local story with a global subject in Away from His Absence, which is about the complex and painful relationship between a 60-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman who live together as father and daughter. The young woman is depressed and can do nothing without her father, with whom she lives as if confined in a prison. The Franco-German-Israeli co-production is produced by Hamburg-based Riva Film.
The official Cannes programme also includes the European omnibus film The Bridges of Sarajevo, about the outbreak of Word War I 100 years ago. Among the filmmakers involved are Jean-Luc Godard, Aida Begic, Cristi Puiu, Pedro Costa, Vincenzo Marra, Ursula Meier, Marc Recha and German director Angela Schanelec. The German co-producer is Titus Kreyenberg from Cologne-based unafilm.