Oscars: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s ‘Never Look Away’ Set As Germany’s Foreign-Language Entry

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s psychological thriller Never Look Away has been chosen as Germany’s official entry for the Foreign Language Film Oscar race.

The film, which has its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, was recently picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for the U.S.

Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of art student Kurt Barnert, played by Tom Schilling, who falls in love with his fellow student Ellie Seeband, played by Paula Beer. However, Ellie’s father, celebrated medical professor Carl Seeband, played by Sebastian Koch, hates his potential future son-in-law, despite the fact that their fates are intertwined through a horrible crime committed many years ago.

Never Look Away is produced by Pergamon Film and Wiedemann & Berg Film with Jan Mojto, Quirin Berg, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Max Wiedemann and Christiane Henckel von Donnersmarck as producers. Sold by Beta Cinema, the film will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck said, “My actors, producers and I, we asked ourselves in the making of Never Look Away: What movie would we ourselves like to see on the screen? The result is a love story, a family drama, a biography of Germany in the 20th century, and a stroll through modern art. The fact that the independent jury has now selected Never Look Away to represent our country in the “Olympic Games” in Hollywood of course makes our whole team, our distributors, commissioning editors, funders, and myself very happy.”

Mojto said, “Never Look Away is a unprecedented, great film about Germany, one which, realistically and with great attention to detail, recounts 30 years of German contemporary history for a young audience and the world. The decision to submit this film into the Oscar race is, in my opinion, only logical.”

Berg added, “Every film takes its own, and often unpredictable, course. The Lives of Others was a unique success story for us. And now we are elated that Never Look Away will celebrate its world premiere in Venice and also has the honor of representing Germany for the Oscars. Never Look Away is a film about the power of art, about the power of love, and a film about Germany itself. We hope the audiences’ enthusiasm will carry the film far and we would like to thank everyone involved in making this film possible.”

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