A ‘TRULY-GERMAN’ FILM IS IN COMPETITION IN CANNES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVEN YEARS
THE GERMAN cinema community is particularly upbeat this Festival after the success of official selection Toni Erdman in Cannes on Saturday. The comedy, written and directed by Maren Ade and starring Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller had the Cannes audience break into spontaneous applause before the credits had gone up on the162 minutes film. The comedy drama is now a favourite for the Palme d’or. Toni Erdman is regarded as the first truly German production for some years. The last German director in the competition was Wim Wenders in 2008, followed in 2009 by the film Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon – although Haneke is in fact an Austrian citizen despite being in Munich. Since The White Ribbon, German cinema has only been represented in competition as a co-producer, until this year. Three German co-productions are competing with Toni Erdman and others for the Palme d’or: French directors Bruno Dumont’s Ma Loute and Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria, and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. And the German co-production Wrong Elements by Jonathan Littell is being shown as a Special Screening Meanwhile, some twenty-three new films from Germany are represented at the Marché du Film, and nine in the Short Film Corner. Germany is also represented in the Producers On The Move section of the Festival, a networking platform to which 20 up-andcoming producers from around Europe are given the opportunity to meet key industry figures from around the world. From Germany this year is Undine Filter, a graduate of Berlin’s Humboldt University whose recent work includes Thomas Stuber’s feature debut A Heavy Heart. Also at Cannes, the German Pavilion is once again co-organised by German Films and Focus Germany, who between them promote the country’s movies and its funding and locations, respectively. Focus Germany is the umbrella organisation of Germany’s seven major regional film-funding institutions. The organisation supplies filmmakers with information and advice on funding and production. This is the 16th year that the two organisations have come together to organise the German Pavilion in Cannes.
Angela Hawkins and Martin Scheuring.