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KARLOVY VARY IFF Germany

23 co-productions lined up

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German cinema will have pride of place at the upcoming Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 30-July 8), with no less than 23 international productions and co-productions to be presented in the festival’s nine sections.

In the official selection, two titles will compete for the Crystal Globe. Hans Steinbichler will present his Winter Journey (Winterreise), a film scripted by Martin Rauhaus that tells the story of a manic depressive entrepreneur who loses his last shekels when he transfers money to a false bank account in Africa. The film, starring Sepp Bierbicher and Sibel Kekilli, was produced by the Munich-based outfit d.i.e. Film.Gmbh.

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The second title in official competition is the Bulgarian/German co-production Christmas Tree Upside Down (Obarnata elha). Co-directed by Ivan Cherkelov and Vassil Zhivkov this ensemble piece is made up of six stories each linked by the image of a Christmas tree transported from the mountains of Sofia. The characters’ existential dilemmas, as well as their moments of euphoria and depression on Christmas Eve are a reflection of post-Communist Bulgaria.

Meanwhile, The Ecstatic (Mast Qalander) by Till Passow will compete for Best Documentary, while the Russian/German co-production Gagarin's Pioneers by Vitaly Mansky will be screened out of competition.

German films are also well represented in the parallel sections at Karlovy Vary, several of which were screened at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, such as Longing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Sehnsucht) by Valeska Grisebach, which will feature in the Independent Forum section.

It is the Horizon sidebar, however that will host the most award-winning films from Berlin, including Tough Enough [+see also:
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by Detlev Buck (Label Europa Cinemas, FIPRESCI Award), Requiem [+see also:
film review
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interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Sandra Hueller
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by Hans-Christian Schmid (Best Actress – Sandra Hüller), The Free Will by Matthias Glasner (Silver Bear for Artistic Contribution - Jürgen Vogel) and Golden Bear winner Grbavica [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Barbara Albert
interview: Jasmila Zbanic
film profile
]
by Jasmila Zbanic.

This section’s programme also includes The White Blue Yonder by Werner Herzog, The White Masai [+see also:
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by Hermine Huntgeburth and Shooting Dogs [+see also:
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by UK director Michael Caton-Jones.

Titles Happy As One by Vanessa Jopp, Running On Empty by Buelent Akinci, Sportsman of the Century by Mischa Alexander (Netherlands/Germany/Sweden) and The Great Match [+see also:
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by Gerardo Olivares (Spain/Germany) will be presented in the Un autre Regard section, while the international productions El Custodio [+see also:
trailer
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by Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina/Germany/France), Magic Eye by Kujtim Cashku (Albania/Germany), Monkeys in Winter by Milena Andonova (Bulgaria/Germany), Polumgla by Artem Antonov (Russia/Germany) and The Wedding Chest by Nurbek Egen (UK/Germany) will compete in the East of the West section.

Lastly, the co-production Gangster No. 1 by Paul McGuigan will feature in a sidebar focusing on British films (2000-2005), while Kusskuss by Sören Senn is the German title chosen to compete in the Variety Critics' Choice: Europe Now! sidebar, organised by Variety magazine and European Film Promotion.

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