Munich, 31 January 2008. Beta Cinema is bringing no fewer than six highlights to this year's European Film Market (EFM). The Berlinale competition film Heart of Fireby Luigi Falorni (Oscar nominee for "The Story of the Weeping Camel") describes the fate of a young girl who becomes a child soldier during the Eritrean war of independence. Marian Quinn's directing debut 32 A (Berlinale series "Generation 14 plus") follows the lives of four girls on their way to adulthood. Two X-Filme productions will also be presented to international buyers for the first time: Melodies of Spring (director and scriptwriter: Martin Walz) and Vanessa Jopp's Messy Christmas. Also in Beta Cinema's line-up are Veit Helmer's new film Absurdistan, which drew great acclaim at Sundance, and Sergey Bodrov's Genghis Khan epicMongol, which has just been nominated for the Oscar as best foreign-language film.
Heart of Fire is freely based on the international bestseller of the same name by Senait G. Mehari. Director and scriptwriter Luigi Falorni portrays the life of Awet, who becomes a member of a rebel organization in Eritrea at the age of ten. There the girl experiences friendship and develops passion for the ideals of freedom, but she also witnesses the overwhelming madness of war as she is confronted with death and fanaticism. Her courage and conscience finally show her a way out. Heart of Fire is a BurkertBareiss production of TV60 Film in coproduction with Senator Film Produktion, Aichholzer Film, Beta Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk and arte. Its theatrical launch in Germany is scheduled for the summer of this year.
In 32 A director Marian Quinn tells the story of Maeve, who puts on her brand-new snow-white bra – size 32 A – and enters the world as a young woman. She puts her friendships with her closest girlfriends on the line for her first kiss, and realizes too late who is really on her side. 32 A (“Generation 14 plus?), which is set in Dublin of the late 1970s, is a coproduction of Ireland's Janey!Pictures and the German film producer Flying Moon.
Veit Helmer's whimsical comedy Absurdistan already delighted U.S. viewers at this year's Sundance International Film Festival in January. Director-scriptwriter Helmer ("Tuvalu") shot the film in northwestern Azerbaijan. He sketches a modern fairy tale about the women of a small town who, out of despair, resort to very unusual means to get what they want: they refuse to have sex with their husbands until the men repair the water pipes. Produced by Veit Helmer Filmproduktion, it stars Maximilian Mauff, Kristýna Malérová and actors from 18 countries.
In the "melodious" romantic comedy Melodies of Spring, Alexandra Neldel ("That´s life") and Jan Henrik Stahlberg ("FC Venus – Made in Germany") are a couple in love who must make a number of difficult, fundamental decisions and ultimately realize that music is the key to their happiness. The coproduction with Seven Pictures is being screened at the Berlinale series German Cinema and is being brought to German theaters by X-Verleih on 7 February.
Vanessa Jopp's ("Forget America") turbulent and wicked relationship comedy Messy Christmas (German box office: 1.5 million Euros) stars Martina Gedeck ("The Lives of Others") and Heino Ferch ("Downfall") in the lead roles. It is the story of a Christmas party that escalates when just about every member of a truly extraordinary patchwork family shows up to celebrate. Messy Christmas is produced by X Filme Creative Pool in coproduction with arte, arte France Cinema and Label Télé.