31. Oktober 2011

Munich, 31 October 2011. Beta Cinema is premiering six films – from an East-West melodrama to a culture-clash comedy and a children’s adventure film – at this year’s American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. While Markus Rosenmueller’s SUMMER IN ORANGE pays an irreverent visit to enlightened Baghwan disciples in the Bavarian provinces, director Hermine Huntgeburth (“The White Masai”) gives Mark Twain’s classic TOM SAWYER a new face. MEN IN THE CITY II, hailed as the “comedy of the year” by Germany’s top tabloid Bild, follows a handful of men navigating the ups and downs of life, love and friendship in the city. The animated film PRINCESS LILLIFEE AND THE LITTLE UNICORN targets the youngest viewers and continues the great national and international theatrical success of the first Lillifee film. The Constantin documentary FRANCESCO AND THE POPE takes the viewer behind the walls of the Vatican, framed by the story of a 9-year old boys’ choir singer. Finally, Robert Thalheim’s WESTWIND relates the true story of a dramatic romance set during the Cold War.
Beta Cinema is also presenting the Academy Award candidate IN DARKNESS at the market. Polish director Agnieszka Holland (“Europa, Europa”) scored a major success with her film at the Toronto International Film Festival and in Telluride. Also from Beta Cinema are Tim Fehlbaum’s suspenseful debut thriller HELL, which was just honored with the award for best cinematography in Sitges, Sebastian Grobler’s LESSONS OF A DREAM with Daniel Bruehl (Montreal Film Festival) and Hans Steinbichler’s PROMISING THE MOON with Juliane Koehler (“Downfall,” “Nowhere in Africa”) and Hannelore Elsner (“Cherry Blossoms - Hanami”).
SUMMER IN ORANGE, by the producers of the multiple award-winning “Almanya,” is a culture clash comedy about a time when self-discovery was not yet mainstream: The world of peace, harmony and free love of the Baghwan disciples collides with that of the small-minded Bavarian provinces of the 1980s. Petra Schmidt-Schaller (“Almanya”) and Georg Friedrich (“North Face”, „My Best Enemy“) play the lead roles in this Roxy Film and Odeon Film production.
Mark Twain’s beloved, immortal character TOM SAWYER returns with his friend Huck to square off with the wicked Injun Joe on the banks of the Mississippi. Shot in lovingly crafted sets in Romania the family film, produced by Neue Schoenhauser / Majestic Film, is starring such top talents as Heike Makatsch (“Hilde,” “Aimee & Jaguar“) and Benno Fuermann (“North Face,” “Merry Christmas“).
In Germany, 1.25 million moviegoers have already seen the second part of Simon Verhoeven’s MEN IN THE CITY with Till Schweiger (“Kokowääh”) and Florian David Fitz (“Vincent Wants to Sea”). While sorting out their chaotic relationships, the “men in the city” run into new, amusing and sometimes absurd obstacles on their rocky road to happiness. MEN IN THE CITY II was produced by Wiedemann & Berg (“The Lives of Others”). 
PRINCESS LILLIFEE AND THE LITTLE UNICORN (WunderWerk/Caligari Film/Millimage) is the latest adventure of the little pink-loving fairy-tale princess and her animal friends who must free the land of Bluetopia from the icy grip of the wicked winter prince in order to save the little unicorn. The film has drawn raves from nearly 600,000 young viewers in the first six weeks since its release.
The documentary FRANCESCO AND THE POPE (Fanes Film in coproduction with Constantin Film and Beta) follows Pope Benedict XVI in his activities as spiritual leader of more than a billion Christians worldwide and as head of a Church maneuvering delicately between tradition and renewal. We see the Pontifex through the eyes of a child of humble origins, nine-year-old Francesco, who finds a new home in the Cappella Musicale Pontificia, where his greatest dream comes true: to sing a solo for the Pope.
WESTWIND relates the true story of twin sisters from the GDR who, one year before the fall of the Wall, attend a rowing training camp on a lake in Hungary. When the East-German Doreen falls in love with a boy from Hamburg, the sisters realize that for the first time in their lives, they cannot share everything anymore and have to take a fateful decision. WESTWIND was produced by credo and Lakoon Film.