30. August 2007

Sergei Bodrov’s Genghis Khan epic Mongol will launch at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 6 to 15) as a special presentation in association with the North American distributors Picturehouse / Odeon and international sales agent Beta Cinema. Beta Cinema has pre-sold the title to more than 30 territories and arrives in Toronto with freshly inked deals for France (Metropolitan Filmexport) and Italy (BIM Distribution). 

Beta Cinema also presents The Counterfeiters (Austrian entry for the 80th Academy Awards) in the section Contemporary World Cinema in association with the North American Distributor Sony Pictures Classics. The Counterfeiters premiered in the Berlinale competition and has been sold to more than 60 territories with the first foreign releases coming up in Scandinavia (Nordisk Film), Benelux (ABC Distribution), and the UK (Metrodome), where the film recently premiered as Gala Screening in Edinburgh and is set for a 60-print release on October 12. 

Aside from its finished films, Beta Cinema will bring three high-profile titles to the presales market: Anonyma – A Woman in BerlinEffi Briest and John Rabe – The Good Man of Nanking

Anonyma – A Woman in Berlin is about a nameless young woman at the mercy of the occupiers in Berlin at the time of Germany's capitulation in spring 1945. It is directed by Max Faerberboeck (Golden Globe nomination "Best foreign-language film" for “Aimée and Jaguar? in 2000), who also wrote the script. The lead role is played by Nina Hoss (“The White Masai?). The film is currently being shot and will be released in Germany in autumn 2008. Anonyma – A Woman in Berlin is a production of Constantin Film in coproduction with Tempus Film in association with ZDF.

Constantin Film is also producing the new screen adaptation of Theodor Fontane’s famous novel Effi Briest which depicts the fate of a young, life-loving girl oppressed by the rigid conventions of the upper-class society in the late 19th century. Effi Briest is directed by Hermine Huntgeburth (“The White Masai?). Julia Jentsch (“Sophie Scholl – The Final Days?) plays the title role alongside Sebastian Koch (“The Lives of Others?), who plays her conservative husband. Shooting will start on September 18th at original locations in Berlin and Brandenburg. The theatrical release is scheduled for 2008. 

Another highlight of Beta Cinema’s presales line-up in Toronto is John Rabe – The Good Man of Nanking about a German businessman and Nazi party member, who in the year 1937 succeeded in setting up a neutral zone in the city of Nanking and saved the lives of countless Chinese during the Nanking massacre. Shooting starts in autumn at original locations in Nanking, Beijing and Shanghai, Oscar winner Florian Gallenberger (“Quiero Ser?) will direct. John Rabe – The Good Man of Nanking is produced by EOS Entertainment GmbH, Hofmann & Voges Entertainment and Huayi Brothers’ Pictures. Ulrich Tukur (“The Lives of Others?) stars in the title role.

Mongol tells the epic story of young Temudzhin and how events in his early life lead him to become the legendary conqueror and father of Mongolia: Genghis Khan. The 15-million-euro movie has been produced by the Russian production company CTB Film Company and Andreevskiy Film Company. Producer ist Sergej Selyanov (“Brother?), coproducers are Stefan Arndt and Manuela Stehr from X-Filme Creative Pool GmbH and Kinofabrika GmbH. Director Sergei Bodrov (Oscar nomination for “Prisoner of the Mountains?, “Bear's Kiss?, “Nomad?) staged the gripping historical drama on original locations in China and Kazakhstan. The leading role is played by award-winning Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (“Zatoichi?). Chinese film star Honglei Sun (“Seven Swords? “Zhou Yu’s Train?) stars in the role of Temudzhin’s friend Dzhamukha.

Based on the memoirs of the former Jewish concentration camp prisoner and printer Adolf Burger, The Counterfeiters recounts the fact-based story of the biggest counterfeit money operation of all times devised by the Nazis in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Starring in the lead roles are Karl Markovics (nominated for the German Film Prize 2007 as Best Actor), Devid Striesow (awarded the German Film Prize 2007 as Best Supporting Actor) and August Diehl (“Distant Lights?). The Counterfeiters (director: Stefan Ruzowitzky) is a production of magnolia Filmproduktion and Aichholzer Filmproduktion in coproduction with Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures, Babelsberg Film and ZDF.