Northern Germany is particularly well represented at the upcoming 70th Cannes Film Festival, with four FFHSH-funded films included in the Festival programme. Of these, one is in the Competition section.
This coming Wednesday will see the start of the world's most important film festival. And both Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are in with a chance of winning a coveted Palme d'Or. Fatih Akin's film Aus dem Nichts (In the Fade) will be among the Competition entries, and a further three films created with Northern German involvement will be competing or screened in other sections.
Commenting on these achievements, Maria Köpf, Managing Director of Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH), said, »Four films at Cannes, one of them in the Competition: What a sensational year for the Northern German film industry! We have our fingers firmly crossed for all four projects, and are secretly hoping for a Palme d'Or for Fatih Akin and his team. I also am especially pleased that Mohammad Rasoulof's new drama is among the Festival's films. Rasoulof really pushes boundaries for his films, regularly succeeding in changing our perceptions of Iran. We are very proud that he has made the city of Hamburg his new home.«
Fatih Akins Thriller Aus dem Nichts (In the Fade) will be celebrating its world premiere in Competition at Cannes this year. In it, internationally acclaimed actor Diane Kruger plays Katja, a young mother who loses both her husband and son in a bombing. The police arrest a young Neo-Nazi couple as suspects. All Katja wants is justice. The film was shot mainly in Hamburg. It was produced by Akin's production company bombero international in collaboration with Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany, Macassar Productions, Pathé and corazón international.
En Attendant Les Hirondelles (Until the Birds Return) is an international production directed by Karim Moussaoui (Niko Film) and set in today's Algeria. Its three stories reveal the contrasting nature of this country torn between the burden of tradition and a yearning for modernity. Moussaoui is one of Algeria's few filmmakers and, as such, among the country's most important voices. The film's post-production work took place in Hamburg. It is to be screened in the Festival's »Un Certain Regard« section.
The drama A Man of Integrity is the sixth feature film created by Mohammad Rasoulof, a film director based both in Hamburg and in Tehran. It tells the story of Reza, a goldfish breeder who lives in a remote Iranian village with his wife and child. When a private company with close links to the government and local authorities begins to take control of the region, forcing out farmers and small land-owners, Reza has to fight for his livelihood. The film was created independently and without funding; its screening in Cannes (»Un Certain Regard«) is being supported by FFHSH.
Tehran Taboo is the first feature film created by Iran-born, Germany-based Ali Soozandeh. It is among the films being screened in the Festival's »Semaine de la Critique« section. In his film, Soozandeh uses stylistic devices from the animation and graphic novel genres to tackle socially critical themes. The story centres around three self-confident women and one young musician whose paths cross as they go about their lives in the schizophrenic world of Tehran. In Iran's hectic capital city, sex, corruption, drugs and prostitution exist alongside strict religious laws. For many, circumventing prohibitions has become an everyday pursuit and the breaking of taboos, a form of self-realisation. The film was produced by Little Dream Entertainment, a company based in Hamburg and Cologne.
Each year, the European Film Promotion (EFP) invites up-and-coming producers from all over Europe to the Cannes International Film Festival to participate in the »Producer on the Move« programme. Among those selected this year is Hamburg-based film producer Verena Gräfe-Höft. The highly acclaimed programme seeks to promote international productions and generate new film projects. Gräfe-Höft became known internationally through her FFHSH-funded films Tore tanzt (Nothing Bad Can Happen) and Antboy.
For more than 15 years, the German Pavilion in the Village International des Marché du Film has served as a meeting point for accredited media representatives in Cannes. It is located directly in front of the Festival Palais, between the sea and the Boulevard de la Croisette, and offers a relaxed atmosphere for networking and exchange. Here, representatives from German Films and Focus Germany will be at your disposal during the entire Festival.
Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein will this year be represented by its Managing Director Maria Köpf and Funding Officer Malika Rabahallah, as well as by Christiane Dopp and Alexandra Luetkens (Film Commission) and by Claudia Hartmann (Communication & Press).