International sales company The Match Factory has revealed its Berlin Film Festival lineup, including two titles in Competition: “A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love” by Nicolette Krebitz and “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush” by Andreas Dresen.
The Match Factory, which was acquired by MUBI last week, has three films in the shortlist for the International Feature Film Oscar: “Great Freedom,” “Drive My Car” and “Prayers for the Stolen.”
After the irreverent “Wild,” which premiered at Sundance in 2016, Krebitz is back with a new take on love in “A E I O U – A Quick Alphabet of Love.”
The film follows an actress who is mugged in front of a trendy bar in West Berlin. Barging into her, a young man takes her handbag and runs off into the night. A short while later, they meet again. She is Anna (Sophie Rois) and he is Adrian (Milan Herms). This time she is his teacher and supposed to improve his speaking skills. Adrian is an orphan and considered a “difficult case.” Anna is an actress but hasn’t been working for a while. Both have strayed from their path and don’t quite fit in.
The speech classes take place at Anna’s apartment. It belongs to Michel (Udo Kier), who owns the whole house. He is her biggest fan and dearest friend. Soon, the lessons turn into dinners, strolls and shared cigarettes. And eventually Anna and Adrian decide to take on the world. Cheered on by each other’s affection, without a penny to their name, they leave town. They want to go to France, to the seaside.
The film is produced by Germany’s Komplizen Film in co-production with France’s Kazak Productions, Germany’s kineo Filmproduktion, Südwestrundfunk and Arte. Port au Prince will release the film in German cinemas. The project was funded by Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Filmförderungsanstalt, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.
Renowned German director Andreas Dresen returns to Competition at the Berlinale after 2015’s “As We Were Dreaming.” This time Dresen presents a hopeful drama with a sense of humor based on the true story of a tenacious mother who fights against all the odds for her son Murat’s freedom. He is incarcerated in the U.S.’ Guantanamo detention camp.
Desperate to help her son, Rabiye Kurnaz, a housewife and loving mother from Bremen, goes to the police, notifies authorities and almost despairs at their impotence, until she discovers Bernhard Docke. The reserved, level-headed human rights lawyer and the temperamental Turkish mother now fighting side-by-side for Murat’s release. Docke is patient, Rabiye is not. She’d actually prefer to be back home with her family but finds herself totally enmeshed in world politics. She goes with Bernhard to Washington, and right up to the Supreme Court to bring legal action against George W. Bush. Bernhard watches out for her, and Rabiye makes him laugh. And in the end, against all the odds, something truly remarkable happens.
Starring Meltem Kaptan and Alexander Scheer, the film is produced by Germany’s Pandora Film Produktion together with Germany’s Iskremas Filmproduktion and France’s Cinéma Defacto. The German release of the film will be in the hands of Pandora Film Verleih.
In addition to the two titles in the program, The Match Factory will also screen their Sundance premiere “The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future” by Francisca Alegría at the online European Film Market.
The film is set when thousands of fish die in a polluted river in southern Chile. Magdalena, a woman long-deceased, emerges amongst their lifeless bodies. Magdalena encounters her widowed husband, sending him into a state of shock and prompting the return of their daughter, Cecilia. Magdalena’s presence and her effect on the environment stirs curiosity and fear among her family. As the past comes into focus, mother and daughter have the opportunity to change the future.
The film was produced by Cinéma Defacto and Wood Producciones, in co-production with Match Factory Productions, Jirafa Films and ZDF – das Kleine Fernsehspiel, in association with Dialectic, Persona Entertainment, Whitewater Films, Bord Cadre films and Sovereign Films.