The international sales company Beta Cinema is presenting 15 films from a variety of genres at this year's Marché du Film in Cannes (16 to 26 May).
Celebrating their market premieres are Nothing But Ghosts, an episodic film based on the best-seller by Judith Hermann, talented young director Simon Gross's desert thriller Fata Morgana and The Three Investigators and The Secret of Skeleton Island, based on the internationally successful book and audio-book series.
Also being featured are Eight Miles High, a road movie about 60s icon Uschi Obermaier, director Stefan Ruzowitzky's Nazi drama The Counterfeiters (sold in 60 territories) and Dani Levy's Hitler comedy My Fuehrer: The Truly Truest Truth About Adolf Hitler (sold in over 35 territories).
Director Chris Kraus's film Four Minutes (sold in more than 40 territories), which won two German Film Awards (best film and best lead actress for Monica Bleibtreu) last Friday, will be shown again in Cannes.
In addition to the films screened at the Marché, Beta Cinema has already begun with the pre-sales for its forthcoming titles.
Mongol, the long-awaited production about the life of the great Mongol leader Genghis Khan, is nearly completed and scheduled for a fall premiere. Already sold in more than 50 territories, the film is directed by Sergei Bodrov (Oscar nominee for "Prisoner of the Caucasus") and stars Tadanobu Asano ("Zatoichi – The Blind Samurai") in the lead role. It is coproduced by Russia's CTB Film Company with the Andreevskiy Film Company and X Filme Creative Pool. Bob Berney's Picturehouse has joined the team as the North-American distributor.
Also in post-production is Veit Helmer's ("Gate to Heaven") romantic comedyAbsurdistan, the Irish-German teen comedy 32 A with Aidan Quinn ("Legends of the Fall"), Run for Your Life! – From Junkie to Ironman (Producer: enigma Film; German distributor: Kinowelt) about the career of the former heroin addict and later ironman winner Andreas Niedrig (Max Riemelt, "Napola") and the Swiss comedy Tell(distributor in Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Universal) with Mike Mueller, Axel Stein and Udo Kier.
Beta Cinema is planning to begin negotiations on a script basis for the projects TheNorth Face (director: Phillip Stoelzl), John Rabe – The Good Man of Nanking(director: Florian Gallenberger) and Heart of Fire (director: Luigi Falorni), which are either in production or in development.
On 18 May Nothing But Ghosts (production: box! Film Hamburg, Senator Film Produktion and Marco Polo High Definition) will be screened in its entirety for the first time to international buyers. The sensitive film (director: Martin Gypkens) in five episodes accompanies a dozen "Generation Xers" on their travels to Venice, Jamaica, Berlin, Nevada and Iceland. The drama about the longing for love and companionship was shot on original locations with an outstanding young team of actors (including August Diehl, Stipe Erceg, Fritzi Haberlandt, Wotan Wilke Möhring, Jessica Schwarz, Maria Simon). Senator Filmverleih is releasing Nothing But Ghosts in German theaters this fall.
In Fata Morgana an excursion into the Moroccan desert becomes a horror trip for the young couple Daniel (Matthias Schweighöfer, "Off Beat") and Laura (Marie Zielcke, "Agnes and His Brothers"). After their jeep gets stuck in the sand, the two begin wandering aimlessly in the unspoiled desert. When they encounter an inscrutable man (Jean-Hugues Anglade, "Betty Blue"), who suddenly appears out of nowhere and offers them help, they become trapped in a net of mistrust, jealousy and violence. Produced by enigma Film in coproduction with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Odeon Film, Fata Morgana celebrates its market premiere on 19 May and comes to German theaters through Stardust Filmverleih.
On 20 May Beta Cinema will present at the Marché the first film adaptation of the children's book classic The Three Investigators and The Secret of Skeleton Island. Produced by Studio Hamburg International, the film directed by Florian Baxmeyer (winner of the Student Oscar for "The Red Jacket") brings to the big screen a modern version of the crime novel, which has been internationally successful for many years now. Young detectives Justus, Peter and Bob find themselves on a mysterious island and go on an adventure that surpasses everything they ever experienced before. The film was shot in South Africa. The theatrical launch in Germany (distributor: Buena Vista International) is planned for late fall.
New young talent Natalia Avelon plays the lead role in director Achim Bornhak's filmEight Miles High, an autobiographical portrait of the freedom-loving German beauty Uschi Obermaier, who became a top model and eye-catching figurehead of the leftist movement during the student revolts. Eight Miles High is produced by the Neue Bioskop Film.
Beta Cinema is also hoping to score further sales in Cannes with the film The Counterfeiters, which has already been sold in 60 territories so far. Based on true events, The Counterfeiters tells the moving story of the biggest counterfeit money operation of all time, which was carried out by the Nazis in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In the lead roles are Karl Markovics ("All the Queen’s Men?), Devid Striesow (LOLA as best supporting actor in The Counterfeiters) and August Diehl ("Distant Lights").
A further highlight of Beta Cinema's line-up is Dani Levy's My Fuehrer, which has been sold in over 35 countries so far. Helge Schneider portrays the depressive Adolf Hitler, who is to be pepped up rhetorically and morally by none other than the Jewish professor Adolf Grünbaum (Ulrich Mühe, "The Lives of Others") just before the end of the war in order to mobilize the masses with a rousing speech one last time.
Director Chris Kraus's Four Minutes depicts the unusual relationship between the impulsive Jenny (Hannah Herzsprung), a convicted murderer, and the piano teacher Traude (Monica Bleibtreu), who recognizes and encourages Jenny's prodigious musical talent. Following its international festival premiere in Shanghai, where it won the Best Film Award, Four Minutes began its international career and has been sold in over 40 territories so far. It has since become a theatrical hit in Germany as well.