Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Stasi thriller TheLives Of Others (Das Leben DerAnderen) has selected by Germany as itssubmission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar next year.
Commenting on its decision, the independent expert jurywho made the selection said that von Donnersmarck's film "intenselydescribes not only a chapter of the history of divided Germany, but also a manwho finds his own life while observing the lives of others."
After winning four prizes at the Bavarian Film Awards inJanuary, feature debutant von Donnersmarck cleaned up at the German Film Awardsin Berlin in May, picking up seven Golden Lolas for Best Film, Best Direction,Best Lead Actor (Ulrich Muehe), Best Supporting Actor (Ulrich Tukur), BestProduction Design (Silke Buhr), Best Cinematography (Hagen Bogdanski), and BestScreenplay (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck).
Produced by Munich/Berlin-based Wiedemann & BergFilmproduktion, the film has been a box office success for Buena VistaInternational in Germany with over Euros 9.8m takings so far and internationalsales by Beta Cinema to over 40 territories. Sony Picture Classics is in placeas distributor for North America (with a release in spring 2007), while UKrights were picked up by Lionsgate, Ocean Films for France, Alta Films forSpain, Hopscotch for Australia, among others.
The Lives Of Othershad its international premiere in Locarno's nightly open-air programme on thePiazza Grande in August and was voted by the audience there as the winner ofthe UBS Audience Award.
The North American premiere was celebrated last week witha screening in Toronto's Special Presentations sidebar.