Beta Cinema market has announced its Berlinale line-up including one of the festival’s big premieres, the Nazi resistance drama 13 Minutes (Competition – Out of Competition) from director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Oscar-nominated Downfall). In addition, among Beta Cinema’s pre-sale titles is the $15M Emma Watson-Daniel Bruhl title Colonia. Watson plays a young German woman on a mission to rescue her kidnapped husband portrayed by Bruhl, opposite a very sinister Mikael Nykvist. The pic wrapped two weeks ago and is being presold at the European Film Market.
13 Minutes follows failed Hitler assassin Georg Elser, who built a bomb that detonated 13 minutes too late. Downfall was one of the most successful Beta Cinema titles ever with 145 sold territories. 13 Minutes is produced by Lucky Bird’s Oliver Schündler and Boris Ausserer, who just recently won the Bavarian Film Award for the film, and written by Fred Breinersdorfer (Sophie Scholl). The film stars Christian Friedel (The White Ribbon), Katharina Schüttler (Generation War) and Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon).
Beta Cinema also has Berlinale competition entry Aferim! and Forum entry Zurich as well as Sundance Audience Award winner Umrika. The new Sky Italia series 1992 will kick off the Berlinale Special Series section.
From the producer of 2013 Golden Bear winner Child’s Pose, Aferim! is a western in a very wild East of 19thcentury Romania directed by Radu Jude. In search of a fugitive Gypsy slave, policeman Costandin, a charismatic mixture of a funny Stalin and a somewhat more pragmatic Don Quixote, and his shy and introverted son ride through the rural countryside meeting hundreds of characters, delivering a surprise in every scene. Produced by HiFilm’s Ada Solomon, Klas, Endorfilm and Mulberry Development, Aferim! stars Teodor Corban, Mihai Comãnoiu and Cuzin Toma.
Zurich marks the second feature film from Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak, who received the prestigious FIPRESCI-award at the 2012 Berlinale for Hemel. Zurich, which stars Dutch singer Wende Snijders centers around Nina, who is wandering along Europe’s highways in a desperate attempt to leave the past behind. Polak adapted the script from author Helena van der Meulen during last year’s Berlinale Residency program.
Prashant Nair’s Indian drama Umrika stars Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dope) and revolves around a small village in India that is invigorated when one of their own travels to America, sharing his adventures and inspiring hope through letters home. But when the letters mysteriously stop coming, his brother sets out on a journey to find him.
Kicking off the Berlinale Special Series is the political thriller 10-hour series 1992 from Sky Italia, La 7 and Wildside. Over 20 years ago, on February 17th 1992, the first arrest within the so-called Mani Pulite (Clean Hands) maxi-investigation was made in Italy. 1992 revolves around six ordinary people whose lives are intertwined with the country’s political, civil and social earthquake.
Other titles bowing at the festival for Beta Cinema include such teenage fare as The Famous Five and Bibi & Tina 2.
The Exchange has snapped up worldwide rights for Kelsey Grammer’s Breaking the Bank directed by Vadim Jean and will be screening the film for foreign buyers at EFM in Berlin, Feb 5-12. The news was announced today by Brian O’Shea, The Exchange CEO. Breaking the Bank follows Charles Banbury (Grammer), the affable, bumbling chairman of London-based bank Tuftons, who spends more time on the golf course than in the office. However, when a rogue trader makes a play for Tuftons, Charles goes belly up, losing his family as well as his grip on the bank. Charles’ only solace is a a homeless, self-taught financial wizard and his estranged, anti-capitalist daughter. The film, written by Roger Devlin and produced by Jake Seal also stars Tamsin Greig, and John Michael Higgins.
Dogwoof has closed a deal with A&E IndieFilms, The Documentary Group and Our Time Projects for foreign on Matthew Heineman’s documentary Cartel Land, which won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary and Cinematography Special Jury Award for U.S. Documentary at Sundance. Anna Godas, CEO of Dogwoof brokered the deal with Molly Thompson of A&E IndieFilms and Producer Tom Yellin of The Documentary Group. Dogwoof will handle all overseas sales, as well as UK distribution later in 2015. Cartel Land follows two vigilante groups that are fighting against the Mexican drug cartels. The film is produced by The Documentary Group and Our Time Projects for A&E IndieFilms. It is produced by Tom Yellin and executive produced by Thompson, Bob DeBitetto and David McKillop for A&E IndieFilms.