Beta Cinema brings 16 titles to the Berlinale

ALMANYA and MY BEST ENEMY in competition

Munich, 2 February 2011. Beta Cinema is heading for this year’s Berlinale Film Market with a full docket: 16 titles, including two competition films, one Panorama and one Forum film each as well as five LOLA@BERLINALE entries will be presented at the EFM to German and foreign buyers.

The melodrama about German-Turkish immigrant workers ALMANYA, the tragic-comedy MY BEST ENEMY (both in competition) and the Russian science fiction TARGET (Panorama) are also world premieres. Also being screened for the first time is the feature film version of HINDENBURG, which portrays the spectacular zeppelin catastrophe of 1937. The Congolese smuggler film VIVA RIVA! (Forum), which has already been sold to all English speaking territories (Music Box/US - Metrodome/UK - Rialto/Australia/New Zealand - Mongrel Media/Canada) is celebrating its European premiere.

ALMANYA (Official selection [out of competition], world premiere on 12 February 2011, 7:30 pm, Berlinale Palast) is the feature-film debut of Yasemin Samdereli (“Turkish for Beginners”), who was born in Germany into a Turkish family. Together with her sister Nesrin, she has woven her own personal experiences into the script. With warmth and humor, the film tells the story of a Turkish family that has been living in Germany for three generations setting off on a turbulent journey to their homeland. ALMANYA is a production of Roxy Film and will be released in German theaters by Concorde on 10 March.

In MY BEST ENEMY (Official selection [out of competition], world premiere on 16 February 2011, 7:30 pm, Berlinale Palast), Wolfgang Murnberger (“The Bone Man,” “Silentium”) tells a story of friendship, love and betrayal, in which tragedy and humor are always close by. Only through his quick-minded exchange of his concentration camp garb for an SS uniform does the Jewish gallery owner Victor (Moritz Bleibtreu, “Goethe!,” “The Baader Meinhof-Complex”) succeed in outliving Adolf Hitler. Co-starring are Georg Friedrich (“Northface”) and Marthe Keller, who is currently appearing in Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” MY BEST ENEMY is produced by Josef Aichholzer, whose film “The Counterfeiters” won the Academy Award in 2008 as Best Foreign Film. MY BEST ENEMY is distributed in Austria by Filmladen and is coming to cinemas on 11 March. The movie has already been presold to the UK (Metrodome), Japan (The Klockworx), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Hollywood C.E.) and China (ERG Film).

TARGET (Panorama, world premiere on 14 February 2011, 6:30 pm, Friedrichstadtpalast) is produced by Dimitry Lesnevsky/Ren Film and directed by Alexander Zeldovich (“Moscow”). The portrait of Russian society in the year 2020 describes the fears and hopes of the rich and powerful. In a secret space center from the Soviet era, contact with a mysterious TARGET allows people to keep their youthful looks. But the price of youth is high... Co-author of the script is the successful Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, whose books have been translated into more than 20 languages and who has won the renowned People’s Booker Prize.

The surprise hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, VIVA RIVA! (FORUM, Premiere on 11 February 2011, 9:45 pm, Delphi), about the rise and fall of a gasoline smuggler plays in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the small-time criminal Riva, Kinshasa is the ideal place to make lucrative deals. But his dream of fast money becomes a nightmare that ends on a grimy corner of the city. Directed by Djo Tunda Wa Munga, VIVA RIVA! was produced by Formosa (France), MG Production (Belgium) and Suka! (Democratic Republic of Congo) with the support of the French Pay TV broadcaster Canal +.

The dramatic and still unsolved mystery of the explosion of the zeppelin HINDENBURG shortly before landing in New Jersey in 1937, ranks among the major catastrophes of civilian aviation. The action-packed film shot in English by teamWorx and EOS recounts the story of a German-American conspiracy through which an US industrialist (Stacy Keach, “Prison Break”) hopes to make a lucrative helium-gas deal. In further roles are Lauren Lee Smith (“CSI”), Maximilian Simonischek and Greta Scacchi (“Trojan Horse”); director is Philipp Kadelbach. EFM premiere is on 11 February 2011 at 11 am in the dffb-Kino/Filmhaus.

In the new section German Cinema - LOLA@BERLINALE, which comprises the films nominated for the German Film Award, Beta Cinema is presenting no fewer than five entries. Florian Cossen’s THE DAY I WAS NOT BORN with Jessica Schwarz (“Parfume – The Story of a Murderer”) was honored with the Audience Award and the Fipresci Award at the Montreal Film Festival and the award for the best German film at the Zurich Filmfest. The children’s soccer film THE DEVIL’S KICKERS with Benno Fürmann (“Northface,” “Merry Christmas”) was seen in Germany alone by about 600,000 viewers. Bruno Ganz (“Downfall”) plays the lead role in Jo Baier’s THE END IS MY BEGINNING, which is based on the best-selling book by SPIEGEL correspondent Tiziano Terzani. Also nominated for the German Film Award is GOETHE! by director Philipp Stölzl (“Northface”), starring Alexander Fehling (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Burkhard Klaussner (“The White Ribbon”). VINCENT WANTS TO SEA, about a young man with Tourette syndrome (Florian David Fitz, “Men in the City”), drew an attendance of over a million viewers, making it one of the most successful German films of the past year.

Also in the Beta Cinema line-up are BLACK BREAD by Augusti Villaronga, which has been nominated 14 times for the Spanish film award Goya, as well as COLOURS IN THE DARK by Sophie Heldmann, both in competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Ascanio Celestini’s THE BLACK SHEEP was screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival, and the Icelandic film KING’S ROAD was acclaimed at the Piazza Grande in Locarno. John Turturro’s PASSIONE, a musical homage to Naples, also ran in Venice as well as in the competition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Finally, A QUIET LIFE with Toni Servillo (“Il Divo”) and Juliane Köhler (“Downfall”) was a competition entry at the Rome Film Festival.

For further information:

Beta Cinema Press, Dorothee Stoewahse, Tel: + 49 89 67 34 69 15

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Pictures can be downloaded at:

ftp.betafilm.com, username: ftppress01, password: 8uV7xG3tB


Beta Cinema is the theatrical division of Beta Film. Launched in 2001, Beta Cinema has established itself as a "boutique operation" for independent feature films with strong potential for theatrical distribution. Beta Cinema's philosophy is to limit its selective acquisition policy of 10 to 15 titles per year in order to fully develop the theatrical potential of each title according to its individual character. Beta Cinema’s portfolio includes outstanding productions like JOHN RABE, which won four German Film Awards 2009, Cannes 2008 Jury Prize-winning IL DIVO, Academy Award 2008-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS, Academy Award 2008 nominated MONGOL, Academy Award 2007-winning THE LIVES OF OTHERS and the Academy Award 2005-nominated DOWNFALL.

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