25. Januar 2012

Munich, 25 January 2012. At this year’s Berlinale, Beta Cinema will be presenting the world premieres of MERCY (official competition), BLISS (Berlinale Special) and SÜSKIND (EFM) as well as IN DARKNESS by Polish director Agnieszka Holland, which is nominated  for the Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film.
Also in the Beta Cinema line-up are the three films pre-selected for the German Film Award HELL, WESTWIND and TOM SAWYER as well as MEN IN THE CITY II, SUMMER IN ORANGE and the animated feature film PRINCESS LILLIFEE AND THE LITTLE UNICORN.
In MERCY by Matthias Glasner (THE FREE WILL, THIS IS LOVE), the two Silver Berlin Bear winners Juergen Vogel (THE WAVE) and Birgit Minichmayr (EVERYONE ELSE), play a couple that leaves their homeland to settle on Norway’s Polar Sea in order to reinvigorate their marriage. But when the woman commits a hit-and-run car accident a few months later, the question of guilt, morals and how to deal with this terrible secret calls everything into question. Distributed in Germany by Alamode (A SEPARATION), the film is being shown in competition at the Berlinale.
MERCY is a production of Schwarzweiss Film, Knudsen&Streuber, ophir and Neonfilm in collaboration with ZDF and ARTE. Director Matthias Glasner was already in competition in 2006 with THE FREE WILL.
BLISS, for which Doris Doerrie just won the Bavarian Film Award as Best Director, celebrates its premiere in the Berlinale Special section. The film is based on a short story from Ferdinand von Schirach’s bestseller “Crime,” which was translated into more than 30 languages. In this Constantin Film production, defense attorney Noah Leyden (Matthias Brandt, COUNTERPARTS) relates the story of Irina, a war refugee turned prostitute (Alba Rohrwacher, I AM LOVE) and the homeless punk Kalle (Vinzenz Kiefer, THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX), who fall in love against all odds and will stop at nothing to defend the bliss they have just found.
BLISS is a production of Constantin Film in coproduction with RCF Rainer Curdt Filmproduktion in collaboration with ZDF.
The Dutch film SÜSKIND by Rudolf van den Berg (TIRZA, SNAPSHOTS) is also scheduled for its international market premiere. Based on a true story that recalls SCHINDLER’S LIST, the film deals with the Jewish resistance fighter Walter Süskind (Jeroen Spitzenberger, TIRZA, TWIN SISTERS), who works for the Jewish Council in Amsterdam and pretends to collaborate with the Nazis. In an attempt to keep a group of nearly a thousand children from being sent to the death camps, he befriends an SS commander (Karl Markovics, THE COUNTERFEITERS). When the latter finds out that Walter has been deceiving him, the Nazi takes revenge on the Jew. SÜSKIND was produced by Fu Works (“BLACK BOOK”) and Cadenza Films.
The World War II drama IN DARKNESS (The Film Works, Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv and Zebra Films), based on a true story, is among the top five films in competition for the Academy Awards as Best Foreign Language Film. The film by Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA, EUROPA), which is to be released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics on 10 February, was shown with great success at the film festivals in Telluride, Toronto, Mar del Plata, Valladolid, Stockholm and Palm Springs, and is already sold to more than 20 countries. Starring Robert Wieckiewicz and Benno Fuermann (NORTH FACE, MERRY CHRISTMAS), it tells the story of a sewer worker and petty thief in Nazi-occupied Lvov, Poland, who agrees to hide a group of Jews in the sewers. What starts out as a straightforward business arrangement becomes something unexpected, as they all try to outwit certain death.
In the Lola@Berlinale section, Beta Cinema is presenting the apocalyptic thriller HELL by Tim Fehlbaum starring Hannah Herzsprung (FOUR MINUTES), which has been nominated five times for the German Film Critics Award (including for best film, best actress and best photography) and won the Best Photography Award in Sitges.
Further in the Lola@Berlinale section is the East-West drama and true story WESTWIND by Robert Thalheim (AND ALONG COME TOURISTS)  and Hermine Huntgeburth’s TOM SAWYER, based on Mark Twain’s beloved, immortal character, starring Heike Makatsch (“AIMEE & JAGUAR”) and Benno Fuermann (“NORTH FACE”, “IN DARKNESS”).
Also being shown at the EFM are Bavarian Film Prize 2012 Audience Award winner and German box-office hit MEN IN THE CITY II directed by Simon Verhoeven, the culture clash comedy SUMMER IN ORANGE from Marcus H. Rosenmüller and the producers of the multiple award-winning “Almanya - Welcome to Germany,” as well as the latest animated adventure of the little pink-loving fairy-tale princess in PRINCESS LILLIFEE AND THE LITTLE UNICORN.