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FESTIVALS Norway

After double life in Germany and Norway, Two Lives will open Bergen

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- Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann returns to the screen after four years in German director Georg Maas's drama-thriller

After double life in Germany and Norway, Two Lives will open Bergen

"It was a difficult film to finance - in Germany it is considered a Norwegian film, because it is centered in Norway, and most of the dialogue is in Norwegian. However, in Norway it is considered German," said Norwegian producer Axel Helgeland.

It took Norwegian producer Helgeland, of Helgeland Films AS, and his German partners Rudi Teichmann and Dieter Zeppenfeld eight years to stage the €3.4 million production, which is one of the first Norwegian-German co-productions in 34 years.

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Now German director Georg Maas's drama-thriller Two Lives, which was screened in New Nordic Films at the 40th Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, has been selected to open the 13th Bergen International Film Festival between October 17-24.

Shot last winter mainly on locations in Bergen, Maas's second feature stars German actress Juliane Köhler with Sven Nordin, Julia Bache-Wiig, Ken Duken and Liv Ullmann (photo), who returns to the big screen after four years.

Scripted by Maas, with Ståle Stein Berg and Christoph Tölle, Two Lives is set shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and follows 45-year-old successful woman photographer, born by a Norwegian mother and German soldier father during the Nazi occupation of Norway.

After the war, she and many other Norwegian-German children were sent to Germany, where they grew up in East German orphanages. She managed to escape – but carries a dark secret from her past, which is about to catch up with her.

Helgeland produced the film with Teichmann's Zinnober and Zeppenfeld's B&T-Filmproduktion; Germany's Farbfilm Verleih GmbH will handle the German release early 2013, while Germany's Beta Cinema is in charge of international sales. The international premiere date is yet to be decided.

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