Georg Maas’ Two Lives (Zwei Leben) has been selected as Germany’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 86th Academy Awards.

The independent nine-person jury under the direction of film-maker Dagmar Hirtz selected the German-Norwegian co-production over eight other titles such as Jan Ole Gerster’s multi-award-winning debut Oh Boy, Jeanine Meerapfel’s My German Friend and the animation film Knight Rusty.

Based on the true story of the German Kathrine Evensen (played by Juliane Köhler who learnt Norwegian for the part), Two Lives addresses a chapter of recent German history which is unfamiliar to many: the fate of the Norwegian “Lebensborn Children,” a legacy of the Third Reich.

Evensen leads a happy life with her family and mother (played by Liv Ullmann) in Norway. However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, she is suddenly confronted with her secret Stasi past. Her false identity threatens her entire existence, but, to prevent the truth from being revealed, she has to return to her previous role. However, it becomes increasingly unclear what her real identity is.

Farbfilm will open the film in German cinemas on 19 September 2013 and the French theatrical release is planned by Sophie Dulac Distribution for the beginning of 2014.

The film’s world sales agent Beta Cinema has also sold the film to Israeli distributor Nachshon Film.

The Munich-based company is also handling international distribution for Hungary’s Oscar submission The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier) by János Szász.

Other films selected so far for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 86th Academy Awards include:

  • Greece: Boy Eating The Bird’s Food, Ektoras Lygizos
  • Nepal: Soongava: Dance of the Orchids, Subarna Thapa
  • Romania: Child’s Pose, Calin Peter Netzer