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‘Afire’ Trailer: Baltic Coast-Set, Berlinale Golden Bear Contender Reunites Christian Petzold With ‘Undine’ Star Paula Beer


EXCLUSIVE: German director Christian Petzold returns to the Berlinale’s Competition this year with ensemble drama Afire about a group of four loosely connected, young people who come together in a small holiday home on Germany’s Baltic coast.

Amid a sweltering hot, rainless summer, an emotional tinderbox develops as happiness, lust and love mingle with jealousies, resentments and tensions, while the surrounding forest ignites.

Austrian actor Thomas Schubert (Breathing, Axiom, Germany, A Winter’s Tale) leads the cast as a blocked writer who thought he was going to have the property to himself with a friend and is frustrated to find they have company.

Schubert is joined by Paula Beer, who won the Silver Bear for her performance in Petzold’s Undine and also starred in his 2018 film Transit; the UK’s Langston Uibel (How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast), Unorthodox) and German actor Enno Trebs (The White Ribbon, We Are Next Of Kin).

Veteran actor Matthias Brandt also puts in an appearance.

Sales agent The Match Factory has unveiled the international trailer which gives a taster of the smouldering emotions running throughout the drama.

The world premiere will mark the sixth time Petzold has played in competition at the Berlinale, after Undine (2020), Transit (2018), Barbara (2012), Yella (2007) and Gespenter (2005).

The director has yet to win the coveted Golden Bear but previously clinched the Silver Bear for Best Director for Barbara and the Fipresci prize for Undine.

The German-language film is produced by Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber and Anton Kaiser under the banner of Schramm Film Koerner Weber Kaiser.

Piffl Medien has German rights and will release the film at home on April 20. 

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