Local Release

(Variety) ‘Love Thing,’ Starring Elyas M’Barek, Picked Up By Picture Tree Intl., ‘Soul of a Beast’ Debuts Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlin-based sales agency Picture Tree Intl. has added to its European Film Market slate “Love Thing,” starring top German actor Elyas M’Barek, whose credits include “The Collini Case.” Also on the slate is “Soul of a Beast,” which debuts its trailer below.

Despite the virtual nature of the EFM, the company has taken additional office space at the Marriott Hotel in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz.

“Love Thing,” which also stars Lucie Heinze, Peri Baumeister and Alexandra Maria Lara, is directed and written by Anika Decker, whose last feature “High Society” sold widely. Decker scripted box office successes like “Rabbit Without Ears,” which grossed $85 million.

“Love Thing” is produced by German production-distribution powerhouse Constantin Film, which has set its release for July 7. The producers are Rüdiger Böss and Philipp Reuter; the co-producers are Anika Decker and Jan Decker; and the executive producer is Martin Moszkowicz. Picture Tree will present a first teaser trailer to select buyers.

In the movie, it’s red carpet time in Berlin, and everyone at the film premiere – screaming fans, prowling paparazzi and eager camera crews – is waiting to catch a glimpse of Germany’s biggest movie star, Marvin Bosch (M’Barek). But they’re all waiting in vain, because there’s no way Marvin is going to show up after his interview with the snippy and ruthless tabloid journalist Bettina Bamberger (Lara) goes horribly wrong.

The star finds himself on the run from the media and ends up taking shelter at a small, independent feminist LGBT+ theater called 3000, which is run by Frieda (Heinze) and just happens to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Will Marvin, Frieda and their friends manage to save the theater, restore Marvin’s reputation and give true love a real chance – all under the watchful eye of the astonished public?

Lorenz Merz’s debut feature “Soul of a Beast” earned eight Swiss Film Award nominations, and three awards at the Max Ophüls Festival, including best director. The film stars Ella Rumpf (“Sympathy for the Devil,” “Raw”), Luna Wedler (“Je Suis Karl,” “Biohackers”), and Pablo Caprez. It is now set for its North American premiere at the Miami Intl. Film Festival before its local theatrical release in Switzerland by Ascot Elite in April.

Also kicking off with a first teaser trailer is “Alma & Oskar,” about the notorious amour fou between society grande dame Alma Mahler and expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka in the early 20th century.

Directed by Dieter Berner (“Egon Schiele – Death and the Maiden”), the film stars Emily Cox (“The Last Kingdom,” “Fatherless”) as Alma Mahler, and introduces Valentin Postlmayr as Kokoschka. Now in early post-production, the film is expected to be delivered in mid-2022. It is lead produced by Austria’s Film AG in co-production with Germany (Wüste Film), Switzerland (Turnus Film) and the Czech Republic (Dawson Film).

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Courtesy of Hesse Film/8 Horses
Just announced Iranian genre-crossover film, “Without Her,” by Arian Vazirdaftari, is centered around middle-aged woman Roya, who is losing her identity to a young stranger just weeks before she emigrates. It balances an adherence to genre traditions with Iranian social realism. The film will premiere to local audiences at the Fajir Film Festival.

Revenge tale “Schächten,” by Austrian director Thomas Roth, depicts the true story of a young Jewish man in 1960s Vienna, whose failed trial against the killer of his family shows the entanglements of Austrian society and state with their Nazi history. A first promo of the film, which is in post-production, will be shown at the EFM. A local release is planned for fall 2022.

Leander Haussmann’s final chapter of his East German fairytale trilogy “A Stasi Comedy” has a private onsite screening during EFM. It is released by Constantin Film on May 19, 2022. The film has a stellar German cast with David Kross (“Balloon,” “The Keeper,” “The Reader”), Henry Hübchen (“Kangaroo Chronicles,” “Go for Zucker”) and Tom Schilling (“Fabian,” “Never Look Away,” “Generation War”). It is produced by UFA Fiction’s Sebastian Werninger and Herman Weigel, and Constantin Film’s Christoph Müller.

Screening virtually at EFM are Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “The Painter” (Germany), “Farha” (Jordan) by Darin J. Sallam, “70 Is Just a Number” (Finland) by Johanna Vuoksenmaa, “Till Sun Rises” (Sweden), starring Mikael Persbrandt (“Sex Education,” “The Salvation”), “Chasing the Line” (Austria) by Andreas Schmied, and “Contra” (Germany) by Sönke Wortmann.

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