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Germany's Oscar entry is Christian Petzold's Barbara

Nine-person jury chose the Berlinale film over other titles such as Shores Of Hope and Guardians.

Christian Petzold’s Barbara has been chosen as the official German entry to be considered for nomination in the Academy Awards’ best foreign language film category.

A nine-person independent jury under the chairmanship of Hamburg-based producer Stefan Schubert substantiated its choice of Barbara, declaring that the film is “convincing in its great formal clarity and strong female figure, who, torn between the contradiction of individual freedom and social responsibility, has to make a personal decision.”

Barbara received its world premiere at this year’s Berlinale where director Petzold was awarded the Silver Bear for best direction. The film also earned its producer Schramm Film Koerner & Weber a Silver Lola at the German Film Awards in April in the best film category.

The German theatrical release by Piffl Medien attracted over 350,000 admissions since Mar 8, and Barbara’s sales agent The Match Factory sold the film to over 40 territories, including France where it has been particularly successful with some 300,000 tickets sold. Releases are being lined up in the UK, Spain, Italy as well as the Netherlands, Brazil and Russia. Adopt Films will release the film on Dec 21 in US cinemas.

Barbara has been presented at numerous international festivals since its Berlinale world premiere and has now been programmed by Toronto and Telluride as well as the 50th New York Film Festival in coming weeks.

Barbara beat off competition from eight other films submitted by their producers for consideration to become Germany’s official entry for the 85th Academy Awards, ranging from Toke Constantin Hebbeln’s Shores Of Hope, which will have its international premiere in Toronto on Sept 8, through Til Schweiger’s action thriller Guardians, which opens in German cinemas through Warner Bros on Sept 27, to Marten Persiel’s skateboarding documentary This Ain’t California.

The film’s lead actress Nina Hoss and producer Florian Koerner von Gustorf are currently on the other side of the globe working on a new Schramm Film project, Thomas Arslan’s drama Gold, set during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century, shooting at historical sites throughout British Columbia. As with Barbara, this €2.2m production is also being handled internationally by The Match Factory.

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