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Ilker Çatak preparing Räuberhände


- The film is based on Finn-Ole Heinrich’s novel of the same name, and stars teenage actors Emil von Schönfels and Mekyas Mulugeta in the lead roles

Ilker Çatak preparing Räuberhände
Carl Bergengruen (MFG Baden-Württemberg), Judith Kaufmann, Ilker Çatak, Gabriele Simon (Flare Film), Gabi Mast (SWR), Martin Heisler (Flare Film), Jan Berning (SWR), Nicole Marischka, Barbara Häbe (Arte), Mekyas Mulugeta, Emil von Schönfels and Godehard Giese on set (© Dominik Hatt)

Director Ilker Çatak, who in 2015 won the Student Oscar for his short film Fidelity, is currently working on a new feature, Räuberhände. This adaptation of the young-adult fiction novel of the same name by Finn-Ole Heinrich (the script was penned by Heinrich himself and Gabriele Simon) was honoured with the Thomas Strittmatter Prize for Screenwriting in 2018. Endowed with €20,000, in 2017, the award handed out annually by the MFG Baden-Württemberg went to Nora Fingscheidt’s script for System Crasher [+see also:
film review
interview: Nora Fingscheidt
film profile
, which went on to become the film that won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2019 Berlinale.

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Räuberhände will tell the story of Janik and Samuel, two teenage friends from different family backgrounds. Coming from a “perfect” family, Janick longs for some chaos, while Samuel wishes to get away from his alcoholic mother. In order to save their friendship after Samuel does something reckless, the two embark on a trip to Istanbul, eager to start a new life and to enjoy their freedom to the fullest.

Up-and-coming teenage actors Emil von Schönfels and Mekyas Mulugeta play the lead parts in the upcoming movie, while Katharina Behrens, Nicole Marischka and Godehard Giese are also among the cast. Filming took place in June and July in Karlsruhe and Istanbul, and Judith Kaufmann was on board as director of photography.

Räuberhände is being produced by Flare Film (Gabriele Simon and Martin Heisler) in collaboration with SWR (Jan Berning), ARTE (Barbara Häbe) and HR (Jörg Himstedt). The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, BKM, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film and DFFF supported the project. Salzgeber & Co Medien will handle the theatrical release in Germany.

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