Local Release

(Variety) Movie Adaptation of Bestselling Novel ‘A Whole Life’ Picked Up by Picture Tree Intl. (EXCLUSIVE)

Picture Tree Intl. has acquired international sales on “A Whole Life,” which is based on the bestselling novel by Robert Seethaler, and was adapted for the screen by Ulrich Limmer, whose credits include Oscar nominee “Schtonk.”

The film is directed by Hans Steinbichler, whose films include Berlin Film Festival entry “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and the third season of pay TV operator Sky’s TV series “Das Boot.” Austrian actor Stefan Gorski takes the lead role.

“A Whole Life,” produced by Austria’s Epo-Film and Germany’s Tobis Film, is shooting now and is scheduled for release in the summer or fall next year.

The film tells the story of Andreas Egger over eight decades of the last century, a life marked by poverty, war and violence, but also moments of bliss and love. His experiences make him a humble man, happy with the little things life has to offer.

The book, first published in 2014, has been translated into 40 languages and was described as a “novel of the century” in several reviews. In German-speaking countries, it has sold more than 1.6 million copies.

John Williams of the New York Times said the book is “one of those stripped-down everyman stories that is transparently, self-consciously about Much More: The encroachment of modernity, the universal nature of love and heartbreak, the quickness of our passage through life.”

After its winter shoot in February, “A Whole Life” is now in the middle of its 40-day summer shoot in the Austrian and Bavarian Alps.

PTI will start identifying potential partners at the Cannes Market and is expected to present the English screenplay and a first teaser promo in time for Toronto and AFM, respectively.

Steinbichler said: “The story is a metaphor about what matters in life and is a mirror for ourselves in a restless and competitive world.” Limmer added: “It is a life story that questions and makes us think about how we would want to look back on our lives when the time has come.”

Producer Tim Oberwelland from Tobis said: “We are confident international audiences will embrace an emotionally appealing, universal story of one man’s life set in the spectacular scenery of the Alps throughout the 20th century. [The film is also propelled by] Robert Seethaler’s popularity around the globe. Hans Steinbichler’s own background, visionary craftsmanship and ultimate identification with the story will make ‘A Whole Life’ a spectacular and humbling cinema experience.”

Steinbichler said of Gorski: “With Stefan we have found the perfect lead and heart for the film. It was clear to us that we have to find a fresh face that can embody the physicality and sensitivity of Andreas’ character.”

Producers Jakob and Dieter Pochlatko of Epo-Film said: “The story of Andreas has captured us with its humbleness, power and universality throughout the challenging development phase and it fills us with pride to see this beautiful piece of world literature now emerging for the big screen.”

“A Whole Life” is produced by Tobis Film in coproduction with Epo-Film with the support of FFF Bayern, DFFF and FFA as well as ÖFI, ORF, FISA, CineTirol and IDM Südtirol.

PTI’s Cannes lineup includes Constantin Film’s crowd-pleaser “Love Thing,” starring Elyas M’Barek, the eight-episode feature series “Bavarian Rhapsody” as well as “A Stasi Comedy,” produced by UFA Production and Constantin Film. Also in final post-production is historical biopic “Alma & Oskar,” produced by FILM AG, and Iranian debut feature “Without Her” by Arian Vazirdaftari.

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