14. Mai 2014

Munich, 14 May 2014. Munich based Beta Cinema is launching three brand-new films from promising up-and-coming directors at this year's Film Market in Cannes. Among the pickups is WE ARE YOUNG, WE ARE STRONG, the follow-up to Berlinale Competition debut SHAHADA by Burhan Qurbani, grippingly exploring the driving forces of xenophobia during the violent riots in freshly reunited Germany. With LABYRINTH OF LIES, director Giulio Ricciarelli delivers a cinematic account of the investigation that led to the first Auschwitz trials in post-war Germany. Beta Cinema is also introducing the thrilling, partly animated English language family movie GHOST HUNTERS ON ICY TRAILS, the adaptation of Cornelia Funke's bestselling novel translated into 20 languages.

Poised to make its bow as a market premiere is the romantic action screwball comedy BUDDY from entertainment pro Bully Herbig, which already proved its mettle with a 5.5 million Euro box-office in Germany alone. Equally popular among German audiences is the imaginative live-action adaptation of the teen adventure BIBI & TINA (market premiere) from the prolific, maverick filmmaker Detlev Buck.

WE ARE YOUNG, WE ARE STRONG, based on the historical facts and currently in post-production, recounts the violent xenophobic riots in Rostock in 1992 from the perspectives of three different characters: a Vietnamese woman settled in Germany, a young hooligan involved in the night's riots and his father, a local politician, trapped in the dilemma of advancing his career or standing up for his ideals. Devid Striesow (THE COUNTERFEITERS), Jonas Nay (HOMEVIDEO) and European Shooting Star Saskia Rosendahl (LORE) are starring in the UFA Fiction production in co-production with cine plus, ZDF and Arte.

In LABYRINTH OF LIES (WT), the economic miracle is changing the life of Germans in postwar Germany. Most of them are sick of the war and prefer to push their guilt to the back of their mind. When a journalist (André Szymanski) identifies a teacher in the playground as a former guard from Auschwitz, no one wants to take notice. But a young prosecutor (Alexander Fehling – INGLORIOUS BASTERDS / YOUNG GOETHE) takes on the case and can't even be stopped by his boss. During his research he realizes that some Germans claim that they never heard the expression "Auschwitz," while others try to forget about it. As the resolute prosecutor doesn't give up, the Attorney General Fritz Bauer (Gert Voss) retains him to take charge of the investigations. Struggling with an overload of information, the young attorney blunders into a labyrinth of guilt and lies where he almost gets lost. LABYRINTH OF LIES is produced by Claussen + Wöbke + Putz Filmproduktion and naked eye Filmproduction. Universal Pictures International Germany will release the film in Germany in autumn 2014.

Still in post-production is the English language GHOST HUNTERS ON ICY TRAILS, in which the often fearful eleven-year-old Tom (Milo Parker - Our Robot Overlords) discovers a green ghost in his cellar! Slimy Hugo is an ASG, an Averagely Spooky Ghost, whom Tom soon realizes is not only completely harmless but also desperately in need of his help. Hugo cannot go back to his haunted house, because a dangerous AIG, an Ancient Ice Ghost, has moved in and is spreading an arctic cold over the entire town in the middle of summer. Tom and Hugo enlist the services of professional Ghosthunter Hetty Cuminseed (Anke Engelke) who has just lost her job at the CGI, the Central Ghosthunting Institute. Hetty doesn't like children or ghosts very much but Tom and Hugo convince her to teach them the basics of ghosthunting. The three become an unlikely team - only with friendship, courage and self-confidence can they overcome their adversary and save the town from the AIG.

Tobi Baumann, who also wrote the screenplay, directs the charming kids' adventure produced by Lucky Bird Pictures (Germany), in co-production with Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany, Lotus-Film (Austria), Ripple World Pictures (Ireland), Immer Wieder Gerne Film (Germany) and Satel Film (Austria).

Bully Herbig, whose hits such as MANITOU'S SHOE and DREAMSHIP SURPRISE are synonyms for successful German comedy, is author, actor, producer and director of BUDDY, the story of Eddie (Alexander Fehling, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS), everybody's darling with tons of money, fast cars and even faster women – until the day the angel "Buddy" (Michael Bully Herbig) appears. Since Eddie is the only one who can see and speak with him, everybody else thinks Eddie's turning into a real nut case – and that's just the beginning. Eddie's love interest is played by Mina Tander (FORGOTTEN), DoP of the herbX film-production is Thorsten Breuer (THE WAVE).

Out of the beloved BIBI&TINA-universe with its most popular audiobooks, comics and TV-animation series comes the first feature film about the cheeky young horse loving witch Bibi Blocksberg and her best friend Tina. On their horses the two are simply unbeatable. This time, however, they not only face serious competition from pretty but bitchy Sophia, but also need every trick in the book, including forbidden spells to get rid of nasty businessman Heinz Kakmann. DCM Pictures/Boje Buck produced the family entertainment feature by Detlev Buck (HANDS OFF MISSISSIPPI, TOUGH ENOUGH) that scored over 1mio. admissions and the nomination to the German Academy Awards as Best Children's Film.

In addition, Beta Cinema presents Dietrich Brueggemann's statement about religion, devotion and radical faith, STATIONS OF THE CROSS, honoured with the Silver Bear for Best Script at this year's Berlinale.Berlinale competition entry JACK by Edward Berger is astirring tale about a boy who learned early on to assume responsibility. Maximilian Erlenwein's feverish thriller STEREO hovers between delusion and reality and unites the German stars Juergen Vogel (THE WAVE) and Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN) for the first time. With receipts of 50 million euros solely from Germany and Spain, the extraordinary adventure epic THE PHYSICIAN, starring Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgard and Tom Payne, will deliver fascinating moments at the Cannes Film Market.

After the big box-office success of THE FAMOUS FIVE I&II Beta Cinema presents the latest adventure of Enid Blyton's kids gang, this time on an exotic island. FAMOUS FIVE III (SamFilm/Constantin Film, directed by Mike Marzuk), based on the beloved book series with 100 million copies sold worldwide, took in 7 million euros in Germany alone as most successful sequel. THE FAMOUS FIVE IV is already in pre-production.

In the tradition of BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, BACK ON TRACK (Neue Schönhauser Filmproduktion) relates the story of the former marathon gold-medal winner Paul (Dieter Hallervorden), who refuses to resign himself to a stultifying life in a home for the elderly. GLOBAL PLAYER (Sabotage/Stoehrfilm) by Hannes Stoehr (BERLIN CALLING, ONE DAY IN EUROPE) tells a humorous family story and deals with the generational conflict, the clash of two cultures in a dramatically changing world and the crucial question about Europe's strongest economy: can Germany cope with China?