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Danny Huston in Playoff for Riklis

Eran Riklis to direct the real life inspired German-Israeli drama about a basketball coach for Germany’s Egoli Tossell.

Danny Huston has signed up to take the lead in Playoff, a real life inspired German-Israeli drama to be directed by Israeli director Eran Riklis.

Huston will play an Israeli basketball coach and Holocaust survivor who accepts an offer to coach the West German national team, sparking public outrage in Israel. The screenplay, which is written by Gidon Maron and David Akerman, is inspired by the life of legendary Israeli coach Ralph Klein.

A 5m euros co-production between Germany’ Egoli Tossell, Israel’s Topia Communications and France’s Fidelite Films, shooting is due to start in Frankfurt on June 29th. The film, which is in English, Hebrew and German will be his first feature to shoot in Europe.

Amira Kasar, Max Riemelt and Hanns Zischler will also star in the film.

Elle Driver is handling international sales on the project, with Wild Bunch distributing in France. The film has received German funding from Hesseninvest, MFG Baden-Wurttemberg, FFA, DFFF, Eurimages and Mini-Traite, Israeli funding from Cinema Project-The Rabinovich Foundation, HOT and Channel 10, and French financing from French funds Orange and FR3.

Speaking at a reception in Cannes, producer Jens Meurer, of Egoli Tossell Film told Screen he was “very pleased to be working on Eran Riklis’ first real international film, which is shooting in Germany. Eran’s films are very human, but often funny and feel good and it will have widespread appeal.”

Lemon Tree and Syrian Bride director Riklis added: “From the start we said we wouldn’t limit ourselves to an Israeli Jewish actor, I felt that this character needed a small touch of international. With Danny I found something interesting. He had that extra ingredient that made him right for this role.”

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