Feo Aladag’s feature debut When We Leave (Die Fremde) has been selected by Germany as its national entry for the Academy Awards’ Foreign Language Film category.
In a statement, the independent expert jury of representatives from the German film industry described Aladag’s film as “an extraordinarily well written, atmospherically precise and moving film with outstanding acting performances”.
Aladag, who had produced the film with her husband Züli at their Berlin-based company Independent Artists Filmproduktion, said that the selection of her film to represent Germany was “an incredibly great honour… My goal had always been to make a universal film which can reach people and touch them across ethnic, cultural and linguistic barriers.”
When We Leave had beaten off competition from eight other German films which had been submitted for consideration by the jury, including BERLIN, Boxhagener Platz, Henry Of Navarre, Jud Süss- Rise And Fall, andDays To Come.
When We Leave had its world premiere in the Panorama section of last February’s Berlinale and has been invited to 35 international film festivals so far this year. It has won prizes for Best Film at various festivals and also picked up German Film Awards in April for Best Feature and Best Actress (for lead actress Sibel Kekilli).
Apart from inclusion in the preselection list for this year’s European Film Awards, When We Leave is also one of the three finalists for the European Parliament’s LUX Film Prize 2010 which will be presented in Strasbourg on November 24.
Last week, the film’s sales agent Telepool announced that Chicago-based distributor Olive Films had picked up US rights for the film, while Toronto’s Mongrel Media secured rights for Canada. Both distributors are planning a release in the first quarter of 2011.