24-09-2020

FNE at Golden Rose 2020: Pelican Blood

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Nina Hoss, Katerina Lipovska and Adelia Ocleppo in Pelican Blood by Katrin Gebbe Nina Hoss, Katerina Lipovska and Adelia Ocleppo in Pelican Blood by Katrin Gebbe

VARNA: Katrin Gebbe’s German/Bulgarian coproduction Pelican Blood will screen in the main competition of the 38th Golden Rose National Film Festival (24 September - 1 October 2020). The coproduction between Germany’s Junafilm and Bulgaria’s Miramar, starring Nina Foss, opened the 2019 Venice IFF's parallel programme Orizzonti.

The script was written by Katrin Gebbe, who in her second feature film explores the limits of motherhood. The story takes place at an idyllic horse farm, where middle aged Wiebke lives together with her nine year old daughter Nicolina, adopted from Bulgaria. After years of waiting, Wiebke grabs the opportunity to adopt a second girl from Bulgaria, five year old Raya. Unexpectedly, the newcomer shows extreme aggressiveness and provokes her mother’s confrontation with severe moral dilemmas.

According to Gebbe, “The title of the film refers to the Christian image of the mother pelican that feeds her dead offspring with her own blood and as a result brings them back to life. It is a metaphor for self-sacrificing love and faith”.

The adoptive daughters are performed by two Bulgarian girls: Katerina Lipovska and Adelia Ocleppo. They were chosen from among 500 children. For several months they studied German, horseback riding and acting. According to the professionals involved in the production, both roles were “extremely complex”. Bulgarian actors Dimitar Banenkin, Yana Marinova, Gergana Zmiycharova, Albena Koleva, Diyan Manev and Eliza Tokeva also took part in the film.

The film was shot almost entirely in Bulgaria during the summer of 2018. The main location was the Sparta horse base 25 km from Sofia. It was decorated as a German horse farm.

German producer Junafilm was supported by the Hamburg Film Fund, and Miramar received support from the Bulgarian National Film Center. Eurimages also supported the film.

The Bulgarian premiere took place on 26 June 2020 at the postponed edition of the 24th Sofia Film Fest.

Films Boutique handles International sales.

Production Information:

Producer:

Junafilm (Germany)
Verena Gräfe-Höft
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Miramar (Bulgaria)
Mila Voinikova
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Credits:
Director: Katrin Gebbe
Scriptwriter: Katrin Gebbe
DoP: Moritz Schultheiss
Composer: Johannes Lehniger
Cast: Nina Foss, Katerina Lipovska, Adelia Ocleppo, Murathan Muslu