18 Jan2023


Beta Cinema announces it will sell internationally When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before, the latest production of German powerhouse Komplizen Film (Spencer, Toni Erdman), directed by multi-award winner Sonja Heiss (Hedi Schneider is Stuck, Hotel Very Welcome). As announced earlier today, the moving dramedy will celebrate its world premiere at the Berlinale, opening the Generation 14plus section.   
It is based on the bestselling autobiographical novel by Joachim Meyerhoff – that sold more than 2 million copies in Germany alone and that has been published in more than ten further territories, including France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Finland and the Netherlands – and tells a tale of tender romance and longing for departure and arrival: Growing up on the grounds of one of Germany's largest psychiatric hospitals is somehow - different. For Joachim, the director's youngest son, the patients are like family. They are also much nicer to him than his two older brothers, who drive him into fits of rage. His mother, painting watercolors, longs for Italian summer nights instead of constant German rain, while his father secretly, but not discreetly enough, goes his own way. But while Joachim slowly grows up, his world, not only through the loss of his first love, gets more and more cracks... 

Director Sonja Heiss had been invited to the Berlinale twice before: her first feature film, Hotel Very Welcome, had premiered in the Perspective German Cinema section in 2007 and Hedi Schneider is Stuck in the Forum section in 2015. Both films took numerous international awards, including the Dialogue en Perspective Award at the Berlinale, the First Steps Award, a German Film Award and a German Film Critics Award. Sonja Heiss also writes short stories and published a critically acclaimed novel in 2017, “Rimini”. 

When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before is produced by Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach and Maren Ade of Komplizen Film in co-production with Jean-Yves Roubin and Cassandre Warnauts of Frakas Productions. Ben von Dobeneck serves as executive producer and DFFF, Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, FFA, MBB, Moin Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral Belge and Belga Film Funds supported the production. Warner Bros will release the film in Germany on February 23. 

Main character Joachim is played by three different actors, Camille Loup Moltzen (Spencer), Arsseni Bultmann (Robby & Toby’s Fantastic Voyager) and Merlin Rose (Frantz, Wetlands, Dark, Das Boot). Devid Striesow (All Quiet On The Western Front, Yella, The Counterfeiters, Downfall) plays his psychiatrist father, while Laura Tonke (The Baader Meinhof Complex, The People vs Fritz Bauer, Hedi Schneider is Stuck) plays his mother. The supporting cast consists of professional actors and lay actors with and without psychiatric conditions.  

“Sonja Heiss is a fantastic director and we can’t wait to present When Will It Be Again Like It Never Was Before to the international audiences in Berlin. Life is a nuthouse, everywhere, but of course especially when you grow up in one! Charming, funny and deeply moving at the same time, the hilarious, wonderful scenes will please audiences around the world,” says Dirk Schürhoff, CEO of Beta Cinema. Beta Cinema will host market screenings at EFM in addition to the official screenings at the Berlinale.