Source: Schuldenberg Films


Salzgeber & Co. Medien has acquired the German rights to visual artist Ann Oren’s Locarno title Piaffe from Rediance and is planning a theatrical release in summer 2023.

Oren’s feature film debut is about a woman who develops an obsession with foley-ing the perfect sound for a commercial featuring a horse.

Oscilloscope has North American rights to the film that debuted at Locarno earlier this year before going on to play in the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera competition at San Sebastian last month.

Piaffe is now screening at Filmfest Hamburg where the film’s producers, Berlin-based Schuldenberg Films, has revealed a development slate of European co-productions.

Schuldenberg was founded in 2016 by Kristof Gerega, Fabian Altenried and Sophie Ahrens and is working on projects with Austria’s Kerstin Neuwirth, Iranian writer-director Amina Maher and Catalonia’s Jaume Claret Muxart.

Neuwirth’s debut feature Abitanti is being structured as a German-Italian co-production that will shoot in 2024. The mother-daughter drama set in the Italian Alps has received funding from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and has public broadcaster WDR onboard as a co-producer.

Producer Ahrens and Neuwirth have also been selected as one of the creative teams to take part in this year’s edition of Torino Film Lab’s FeatureLab for projects at an advanced stage of development.

Additionally, Ahrens recently participated in Riga’s Baltic Sea Docs co-financing online forum to present Amina Maher’s hybrid documentary I Look Like My Mother which retraces the trauma buried within her relationship with her mother as the director reveals her unspoken desires and tracks her transition in a process of honest self-exploration. The project has already attracted co-production partners from the UK (Primitive Film), Switzerland (maximage) and Portugal (Terratreme) and is looking to bring a French co-producer onboard. 

Minority partner

Schuldenberg Films is set to make its first foray into minority co-production by serving as the German partner for Santiago de Compostela-based Miramemira on the debut feature Strange River by Jaume Claret Muxart. The director is one of the first generation of filmmakers to come out of the Elias Querejeta Cinema School.

The coming -of- age drama about two brothers who cycle along the banks of the Danube River was one of the six projects selected to be developed at the Iskumira Berriak residency in San Sebastian this year.

Schuldenberg Films co-founder Gerega recently completed post-production on his long-term observational documentary Generation Euromaidan which saw him following three Ukrainian activists over the past six years as they struggled to bring about reform in their homeland. The film is premiering at the Human Rights Film Festival in Berlin on October 17.

In addition, the company is in the final stages of postproduction on Julia Fuhr Mann’s hybrid documentary Life Is Not A Competition, But I’m Winning which had been presented to an audience of sales agents, distributors and festival programmers as part of Locarno Film Festival’s First Look work in progress section in August.