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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Austria / Germany

Franz Rogowski to star as a man convicted of homosexuality in Great Freedom

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- Georg Friedrich is also among the cast of Austrian filmmaker Sebastian Meise’s sophomore feature

Franz Rogowski to star as a man convicted of homosexuality in Great Freedom
Actors Franz Rogowski and Georg Friedrich on the set of Great Freedom (© Thomas Reider)

Austrian filmmaker Sebastian Meise, whose debut film, Still Life, won the Award for Best Feature Film at the 2012 edition of the Diagonale, is now readying Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
. Interweaving time periods, the director’s sophomore feature will tell the life story of Hans Hoffman, a man who spends most of his adult life in jail. While almost all prisoners are released from the concentration camps at the end of World War II, Hans gets transferred directly to prison, found guilty of homosexuality in accordance with the infamous Paragraph 175, a provision of the German Criminal Code in force since 1872 and tightened in 1935, which continued to apply after the end of the war. Yet Hans continues his search for love, even in jail.

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With a script penned by Meise himself together with Thomas Reider, Great Freedom will star former European Shooting Star Franz Rogowski (the male lead in Christian Petzold’s Transit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
interview: Franz Rogowski
film profile
]
and Undine [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
, as well as in Thomas Stuber’s In the Aisles [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Franz Rogowski
interview: Thomas Stuber
film profile
]
) in the leading role. Alongside him, Austrian actor Georg Friedrich (winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival for his performance in Bright Nights [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Thomas Arslan
film profile
]
) will portray a fellow convict, imprisoned for murder.

The joint Austrian-German production staged by Austria’s FreibeuterFilm (Sabine Moser and Oliver Neumann) and Germany’s Rohfilm Productions (Benny Drechsel) was backed by the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI), the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), ORF Film/Fernseh-Abkommen, Filmstandort Austria (FISA), Vienna Film Fund (FFW), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and ZDF. It was mainly shot in a disused prison in Magdeburg, Germany. Further filming took place in Vienna, Lower Austria and Berlin. The shoot was interrupted by the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed in summer 2020.

World sales for the movie are being handled by Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory.

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