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PRODUCTION Luxembourg

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Yilmaz Arslan’s The Tales of a Thousand and One Lives currently filming in Luxembourg

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- The Turkish-German director is shooting his new movie in the southern part of Luxembourg for local company Tarantula, in co-production with MaxMa and Tarantula Belgium

Yilmaz Arslan’s The Tales of a Thousand and One Lives currently filming in Luxembourg
A photo from the set of The Tales of a Thousand and One Lives by Yilmaz Arslan (© Elise André/Tarantula)

Turkish-German director Yilmaz Arslan, whose 2005 feature Fratricide won a Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, is currently shooting his new film, The Tales of a Thousand and One Lives, in the southern (industrial) part of Luxembourg for local company Tarantula, in co-production with Arslan’s own German production firm MaxMa and Tarantula Belgium. The film is supported by the Film Fund Luxembourg, and production will wrap on 2 June, with additional shooting to be done in Germany between 6 and 15 June.

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Arslan was born in Turkey in 1968, and he came to Germany at the age of seven. “I actually come from the Arab part of Turkey; my mother tongue was Arabic and I only learned to speak Turkish when I went to Germany. In some way, I belong to the second generation of Turkish immigrants.” The story has quite a few autobiographical elements and is told on two different temporal levels (the 1980s and today). It tells the tale of Oktay, who, after having spent his first 12 years with his grandmother in Turkey, joins his parents, who have been settled in Germany for quite some time. A tale of hope and displacement for a young boy who, from his rural origins, is thrust into the bustling Germany of the 1980s, where his social and cultural surroundings are dramatically different from everything he has known thus far. After his family breaks up, he ends up in a boarding school. Diagnosed with a serious illness that leaves him with an HIV infection, he must face a dramatic uphill battle. Yet he is a stubborn fighter who loves life, and that is the reason why he’s still around today to share his life’s adventures with us…

Arslan explains: “It’s a film about the various aspects of love – love for one’s parents, love for a girlfriend or a friend, the love of life… It is a variation on a classic life and love story, embedded in an oriental fairy tale of a Bedouin traveller who follows a star at night and whose daydreams are interspersed with Oktay’s story.”

The cast comprises Roland Kagan Sommer (seen in Almanya - Welcome to Germany [+see also:
trailer
interview: Yasemin Samderely
film profile
]
), Katharina Thalbach (Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum), Taies Farzan (Ben Affleck’s Argo), Hilmi Sözer and Erdal Sözer, among others. Donato Rotunno is producing for Tarantula Luxembourg, Jako Raybaut is the director of photography, while the production design is being handled by Paul Rouschop and the costume design by Carmen di Pinto. The release of the movie, which features dialogue in German, Turkish and Italian, is slated for early 2018.

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