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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Germany / Austria / Luxembourg

15 Jahre, the sequel to Four Minutes, will soon see the light of day

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- German filmmaker Chris Kraus has started shooting the sequel to his 2006 prison drama which caused quite a stir upon its release

15 Jahre, the sequel to Four Minutes, will soon see the light of day
Director Chris Kraus

In 2006, four years after his first feature film Shattered Glass [+see also:
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film profile
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, German director Chris Kraus signed his name to Four Minutes [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a prison drama which wowed critics and scooped multiple prizes at numerous international festivals. Buoyed by a solid story about perseverance, the movie imposed itself as a prime example of the revival of contemporary German cinema, in the same vein as Wolfgang Becker, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Oliver Hirschbiegel. Four Minutes was set in a women’s prison and followed in the wake of prisoner Jenny (played by acting revelation Hannah Herzsprung). Piano teacher to the inmates Mrs Krüger (Monica Bleibtreu) discovered the exceptional talent of this young woman and decided to prepare her for the Music Conservatory entrance exam. In the face of insults and violence, an ambiguous relationship developed between the two heroines…

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For the director, it was clear from the outset that this story of emancipation was a part of something bigger. As he explained today: "Once the character of the young delinquent Jenny had been created, she became a permanent part of me. I immediately felt that a guiding thread could be developed around her dark soul. Something which begins before the story of Four Minutes, but which also extends far beyond".

This particular instance of continuity now has a name: 15 Jahre, which is set 15 years later, when Jenny finally gets out of prison but is faced with new inner demons...

Bolstered by a budget of €6.4m, this project uniting the expertise of three countries reacquaints us with actress Hannah Herzsprung, who previously turned heads in The Reader [+see also:
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film profile
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and was also seen recently in Sweethearts [+see also:
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film profile
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. German firms Dor Film West, Senator and Four Minutes Filmproduktion (Danny Krausz and Chris Kraus) are putting forth 64.87% of the film’s finance all by themselves, in other words €4,201,457. In terms of minority producers, Austria’s Dor Film Produktion (20%) and Luxembourg’s Samsa Film (15%) are supplying the remainder of the movie’s budget.

Speaking from the Grand Duchy, Jani Thiltges, who has known Danny Krausz for thirty or so years, can hardly contain her enthusiasm: "Four Minutes is a masterpiece, and the simple notion of Chris making a sequel was of huge interest to me". Samsa, who are also overseeing two other fiction feature films associating Germany and Austria – Corsage by Marie Kreutzer (read our news) and More Than Ever by Emily Atef (news) – are notably calling upon three Luxembourg actors who are set to round off the cast: Désirée Nosbusch, André Jung and Marc Limpach.

On the subject of the film’s inspiration, director Chris Kraus readily mentions François Truffaut, especially with regard to The 400 Blows (1959) and the character of the young delinquent Antoine Doinel: it’s "a fragile yet powerful drama, a classic in cinema history and my favourite film, too ", whose influences will be felt in 15 Jahre.

The film is scheduled for completion in September 2022. Broadcasters Arte (DE) and ORF (AT) have already positioned themselves favourably, with Wild Bunch at the helm of international sales.

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(Translated from French)

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