From the tipped star of Cate Shortland’s Lore to new directors attracting a cult following, Screen profiles Germany’s talents to watch.
A graduate of Berlin’s German Film & Television Academy (DFFB), Doose was the centre of attention at this year’s Filmfest München when her graduation film - and feature debut - Dust On Our Hearts (Staub Auf Unseren Herzen) won prizes for best new director and best new producer at the German Cinema New Talent Awards, as well as the Tele 5 Audience Award.
The Talent Awards jury praised Doose for the way she managed, “with sparing, but highly effective ways, of directing the actors, editing and musical direction to fascinate the audience and draw it into the action”.
Dust On Our Hearts is about the relationship between a mother and daughter - played by Stephanie Stremler and the late Susanne Lothar - which takes a new turn when the father re-appears after a 15-year absence.
Doose is now working on a script for a family comedy-drama seen through the eyes of a teenager.
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Born in Ukraine and based in Berlin, Levshin established herself on the talent radar with a mesmerising performance as the neo-Nazi Marisa in David Wnendt’s graduation film Combat Girls (Kriegerin), which earned her this year’s best lead actress prize at the German Film Awards as well as being named best female newcomer by the German Actors Association. A versatile performer, Levshin has since been cast in actor-director Matthias Schweighöfer’s comedy Schlussmacher and Achim von Borries’ Alaska Johansson. Along with Friedrich Mücke and Benjamin Kramme, the 27-year-old Levshin has also been cast as a member of a young team of investigators in the hit Tatort TV crime series.
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Rosendahl will be hoping her performance in Cate Shortland’s Lore will have the same effect the Australian director’s debut Somersault had in launching the careers of Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington. Rosendahl plays the titular character in Lore, about a group of children travelling across Germany after the Second World War.
“Cate saw many, many girls for the central role, and the element of age and the nature of an arduous shoot made it vital the central character was cast right,” producer Liz Watts told Screen last year.
“Saskia Rosendahl, I do believe, will be a star - she is quite amazing in the role of Lore.” Rosendahl, who joined Shortland on the stage of Locarno’s Piazza Grande for Lore’s international premiere on August 2, will also be seen in Wolfgang Dinslage’s drama Für Elise, which is released by Farbfilm Verleih in October.
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Schmidt’s feature debut Forgotten (Du Hast Es Versprochen) is a world premiere out of competition at Venice this year. The film is a mystery thriller about two childhood friends confronted by the ghosts of their past while on holiday on a small island. A Hamburg Media School graduate, Schmidt won acclaim for her short films Childhood Scars (Rabenmutter) and The Little Poison Mixer (Die Kleine Giftmischerin), which combined realistic and fairy-tale elements.
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Born in Berlin, Stienz did not go to film school, instead following a strategy of learning on the job. To date, he has won 66 national and international prizes - including many audience awards - for his comic shorts reflecting on daily lives and dreams. His debut feature Doll, The Fatso & Me premiered at this year’s Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken where it picked up the audience award. The comic road movie also opened the Achtung Berlin Festival and screened in official competition at the Sofia International Film Festival. Stienz directed, wrote and edited Doll, as well as producing it through his company Strangenough Pictures, along with Sol Bondy’s One Two Films. Drei-Freunde releases the film in German cinemas in November.
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