Lukas Stepanik and Robert Schindel's co-directed drama Gebirtig - Austria's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar - will be the opening film at the 24th Max Ophuels Prize Festival (January 13-19, 2003) in Saarbruecken.

The Austrian-German-Polish co-production between Cult-Film, Daniel Zuta's Cologne-based DaZu Film and Akson Studio in Warsaw, which stars Peter Simonischek, August Zirner, and Daniel Olbrychski, screened in competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival this summer.

The Max Ophuels festival, which is dedicated to newcomer filmmaking talents from the German-speaking language area, will also host a pitching session for young filmmakers organised by the commissioning editors of the ARD series 'Debut im Ersten'.