Cologne-based The Match Factory will handle international sales on two Venice competition titles - Christian Petzold's Jerichow and Haile Gerima's Teza - screening as world premieres at the festival.
Jerichow marks The Match Factory's second collaboration with Petzold after his Berlinale 2007 competition film Yella which won lead actress and Petzold regular Nina Hoss a Silver Bear.
Based on an original screenplay by Petzold, the new film sees a young man (played by Benno Fuermann in his third film with Petzold after Wolfsburg and Ghosts) returning to his small hometown in Eastern Germany and beginning a passionate love affair with a married woman (Hoss). When her husband (Hilmi Soezer) learns of her unfaithfulness, a perfidious plan triggers off a catastrophe.
While Petzold sees a connection between the previous films Something To Remind Me and Wolfsburg with Jerichow - 'in all three, it is about crime, passion and deep emotions, and deadly sins like revenge and greed' - he warns against interpreting these three as forming a trilogy in the same way as was done for The State I Am In, Ghosts, and Yella.
Jerichow will be released theatrically in Germany by Piffl Medien next January.
The Match Factory's second title is Teza by veteran US-based Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima whose previous films include the portrait of slavery in Sankofa (1993) and the documentary Adwa (1999).
The new feature is described as 'a story about hope and disillusionment, foreignness and homeland' following the life a young Ethiopian from his student days in West Germany in the 1970s to his final return to his native village at the age of 60.
Produced by Gerima's Mypheduh/Negod Gwad with Strasbourg-based Unlimited, Germany's Pandora Film Produktion and broadcasters WDR/Arte, the film was shot in the Amharic language in Ethiopia and Cologne.
In addition, Pandora Film is a production partner on another Venice world premiere, Claire Denis's 35 Rhums, in an 'out of competition' slot. The co-production with Soudaine Compagnie was shot in Paris and Luebeck last autumn and tells the story of the separation of a widowed father (Alex Decas) from the daughter (Mati Diop) he brought up on his own. Elle Driver is handling international sales on 35 Rhums, not Wild Bunch as previously reported.