29. Oktober 2008

Munich, 29 October 2008. Beta Cinema brings three world premieres to the American Film Market, which begins in Santa Monica, California, on 5 November. Oscar nominee Robert Dornhelm directs a feature-film production of the legendary Puccini opera La Bohème with stellar singers Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón, who are already being hailed by the media as "heart-rending" and "stupendously compelling" (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt). The drama 10 Seconds relates the story of an airplane catastrophe and its consequences. And the animated film Moonbeam Bear targets the youngest viewers.

In La Bohème, the two extraordinary singers Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón star together for the first time in a feature film production. As the ailing Mimi and her poor artist lover Rodolfo, they guarantee big emotions on the big screen. Dornhelm ("Children of Theatre Street," "War and Peace") evokes the bustle of Café Momus and the life of the Bohemians on the streets of 19th-century Paris in this lavish, five-million-euro production. The film, which has already been released in Austria (Constantin Film) and Germany (NFP/Warner), was produced by Jan Mojto's Unitel, one of the leading producers of classical music films in the world, and MR Film.

In 10 Seconds, a tragic airplane crash devastates the lives of four people. Inspired by the events following the collision of two airplanes above Lake Constance in 2002, the film by Nicolai Rhode relates the story of an air-traffic controller and his wife, of a father who lost his family, and of a policeman who cannot forget the images of horror that he witnessed. As the first anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, another tragedy is about to happen... Marie Baeumer ("The Counterfeiters"), Hannah Herzsprung ("Four Minutes") and Sebastian Blomberg ("The Baader Meinhof Complex") play the lead roles in this feature film produced by Moneypenny, ZDF and Arte.

The animated film Moonbeam Bear, which lured almost 300.000 big and little viewers into Germany's theaters on its first two weekends, is based on the successful children's book series that has been published to date in the U.S., France, Spain, the Benelux, Greece, Denmark, Korea and Israel, in addition to Germany. Chaos reigns in the forest after the moon disappears and the animals are left to stomp about helplessly in the darkness. They know that they must get the moon back into the sky – but how? Moonbeam Bear is produced by ndf and Caligari Film in coproduction with Beta and Universum.

Beta Cinema is presenting for the first time at a film market the Constantin Film production A Woman in Berlin by Golden Globe nominee Max Faerberboeck ("Aimée & Jaguar"). The film, with Nina Hoss ("The White Masai") in the lead role, is based on the harrowing reports about the rapes of German women by Russian soldiers in 1945 penned by an author who remained anonymous until her death. Also being screened at AFM are the two films that were frenetically applauded at Locarno's Piazza Grande, Philipp Stoelzl's North Face, about the dramatic attempt to make the first ascent of the Eiger North Face in 1936, and Hannes Stoehr's Berlin Calling, about a Berlin techno DJ. Beta Cinema's line-up also includes Umberto Pasolini's Machan (winner of the Europa Cinema Award in Venice), Marco Pontecorvo's Pa-Ra-Da, Hans Steinbichler's My Mother, My Bride and I, and Cannes Jury Award winner Il Divo by Paolo Sorrentino.

For further information and photos:
Beta Cinema Press, Dorothee Stoewahse
Tel: +49 89 67 34 69 15,