Roads starts rolling in Morocco
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Sebastian Schipper is shooting his first English-language film, a German-French co-production
In the Moroccan city of Tangier, award-winning German writer-director Sebastian Schipper (Victoria [+see also:
interview: Sebastian Schipper
film profile], Gigantic) has started shooting Roads, his first English-language film. In this daring road movie, the filmmaker sends two 18-year-olds on a stirring trip across Europe. A young man from the Congo in search of his brother attempts to cross Europe’s borders. In Morocco, he teams up with a sharp-witted British runaway who pinched his stepfather’s recreational vehicle in order to escape from a family holiday. On their journey, the disparate duo has to make decisions that will also influence the lives of others.
Set against the backdrop of the refugee crisis, the script was penned by Schipper and German writer-director Oliver Ziegenbalg (Friendship! [+see also:
film profile], Russendisko [+see also:
film profile]). Their trip across the continent is a thrill ride fuelled by the unstoppable momentum, chaos and humour that only a pair of teenagers living on the edge can ignite. In cementing a brotherly bond, they learn that to truly depend on each other is the most important gift of all. The lead roles are played by Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk [+see also:
film profile]) and French actor Stéphane Bak (Elle [+see also:
film profile]). Further cast members include German star Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run, The Cut [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Tahar Rahim
film profile]) and British thesp Ben Chaplin (from the series Apple Tree Yard).
Roads will be shot over a period of 11 weeks in Morocco, Spain and France. At the end of October, the picture is scheduled to wrap in Calais, amongst Europe’s lost refugees. The film is being staged as a German-French co-production by Schipper’s Berlin-based company Missing Link Films and France’s Kazak Productions. Further production partners include Berlin-based production outfit Komplizen Film, StudioCanal, WDR, Arte, ARD Degeto and Radical Media. The production has received financial support from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the FFA, Eurimages, the French-German mini co-production treaty, BKM and the DFFF. Roads will be released by StudioCanal in Germany and Rezo Films in France, while HanWay Films is handling the worldwide sales.
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