ARRI Worldwide secures North American deal ahead of the EFM, where it will showcase two market premieres.

ARRI Worldsales has sealed a North American deal ahead of this week’s European Film Market (EFM) with Vertical Entertainment for Alain Gsponer’s family film The Little Ghost.

Santa Monica-based Vertical acquired all US and Canadian rights for the adaptation of Otfried Preussler’s internationally bestselling children’s classic, which has been sold to 24 countries worldwide to date.

Vertical Entertainment, which was launched last year by industry veterans Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin, has previously released such family films as the animated feature Freedom Force and the Russian 3D animated film The Snow Queen. produced by Timur Bekmambetov.

Market premieres

Frederik Steiner’s award-winning Zurich (Und Morgen Mittag Bin Ich Tot) is one of two market premieres being presented by ARRI Worldsales at the EFM in Berlin this week.

The film about a young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis who travels to Switzerland to end her life received the prize in the Newcomer category at this year’s Bavaria Film Awards for lead actress Liv Lisa Fries. She was also named Best Actress at the Max Ophüls Film Prize Festival in Saarbrücken at the end of January.

Zurich will be released by Universum Film in Germany on Feb 27, while Adopt Films plans to release the film in the US this summer.

ARRI’s second market premiere is the documentary Making of Heimat by Anja Pohl and Jörg Adolph, which follows the shooting of veteran director Edgar Reitz’s latest film Home From Home: Chronicle Of A Vision.

Three of ARRI’s titles – Reitz’s film, Caroline Link’s Exit Marrakech and Alain Gsponer’s family entertainment The Little Ghost – have been selected for the Lola longlist and will screen in the LOLA@Berlinale sidebar at the Zoo-Palast cinema.

In addition, the Munich-based company will have screeners available of the new franchise from The Wild Soccer Bunch’s creator Joachim Masannek, V8: Start Your Engines! which was released last September by the German outpost of Universal Pictures International.

A sequel, V8: Revenge of the Nitros, is currently in post-production and will be delivered at the end of 2014.

Meanwhile, there are also screeners for another family entertainment franchise, Vampire Sisters, which posted over 900,000 admissions for Sony Pictures in Germany last year. Filming of a sequel has already wrapped, with Sony planning to release in 2015. 

Haupt’s Der Kreis pick-ups

An autumn 2014 release is planned by Berlin-based Edition Salzgeber and Switzerland’s Ascot Elite Entertainment for Stefan Haupt’s The Circle (Der Kreis) about the ‘mother’ of all European gay organisations in 1950s Zurich.

Based on the true-life experiences of Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, the film will have its world premiere in the Panorama Dokumente section. Wide House is responsible for the film’s international sales.

Edition Salzgeber will also be handling the German theatrical release for another three films set to receive world premieres at this year’s Berlinale.

They are:

  • Till Kleinert’s The Samurai which will be showing in the Midnight Movies strand of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar;

  • Annekatrin Hendel’s documentary Anderson, the second part of a trilogy on treachery, about the East German author and Stasi informer Sascha Anderson, showing in Panorama Dokumente;

  • Ádám Czászi’s debut feature Land Of Storms which will premiere in Panorama Special. The gay drama, starring Andras Sütő, Ádám Varga, and Sebastian Urzendowsky, is being handled internationally by m-appeal.

Spotlight on Perspektive’s Unknown Territory

Anne Thommen’s documentary Unknown Territory (Neuland), which will have a special screening as part of the Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino, has added another award to its growing list of distinctions.

At last week’s annual showcase of Swiss cinema, the Solothurn Film Days, the festival audience voted for the Fama Film production to receive the CHF 20,000 ($22,000) Prix du Public, according to sales agent Rise & Shine.

Unknown Territory is one of the titles nominated for this year’s Swiss Film Awards which will be presented in a gala ceremony in Zurich on March 21.

Thommen’s film will compete in the Best Documentary category with such films as Kaveh Bakhtiari’s L’Escale, which won Solothurn’s CHF 60,000 ($66,000) Prix de Soleure, Mano Khalil’s Der Imker about life for a Kurdish beekeeper in Switzerland, and Peter Liechti’s Vaters Garten – Die Liebe meiner Eltern.

Seven nominations were bagged by Sabine Boss’ I Am The Keeper (Der Goalie bin ig) – ranging from Best Fiction Film through Best Actor and Best Actress to Best Film Editing. The adaptation of Pedro Lenz’s novel will be released by Ascot Elite in German-speaking Switzerland on Feb 6..

Four nominations went to Petra Volpe’s Zurich-set drama Dreamland (Traumland), produced by Zodiac Pictures.

A full list of the nominations can found at