2023 Berlin Prize Winner ‘The Teachers’ Lounge’ Acquired By Sony Pictures Classics

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all rights in North America, Latin America and European Europe (excluding Hungary) to the Ilker Çatak drama The Teachers’ Lounge, which won both the Europa Cinemas Label award and the CICAE Arthouse Cinema award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The news comes just a day after the SPC acquisition announcement for The Miracle Club, a Dublin-shot feature starring Laura Linney, Maggie Smith and Kathy Bates.

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Çatak’s fourth feature The Teachers’ Lounge watches as dedicated sports and math teacher Carla Nowak (The White Ribbon‘s Leonie Benesch) starts her first job at a school. She stands out among the new staff because of her idealism. And when a series of thefts occur at the school and one of her students is suspected, she decides to get to the bottom of the matter on her own. Carla tries to mediate between outraged parents, opinionated colleagues and aggressive students, but is relentlessly confronted with the structures of the school system. The more desperately she tries to do everything right, the more the young teacher threatens to break.

Çatak and Johannes Duncker wrote the script, with Michael Klammer, Rafael Stachowiak and Eva Löbau rounding out the cast, and Ingo Fliess producing for if… Productions Film GmbH.

“In Ilker Çatak’s THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE, everyday life in a school is a metaphor for the complexity and conflicts of the larger world. We identify with the protagonist who makes one mistake after another thinking she is doing the right thing. She is us,” said Sony Pictures Classics in a statement. “The movie is brilliant, precise, dramatic, beautiful. It will be a privilege to bring this engaging masterpiece to the wide public it deserves.”

“Becoming part of the Sony Pictures Classics family is an accolade for any filmmaker,” added Çatak. “The artists in their ranks have influenced me along the way and it is a great honor to now be able to count myself among them.”

SPC’s deal for The Teachers’ Lounge was negotiated with Pamela Leu of Be For Films, a part of Playtime Group, on behalf of the filmmakers.

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