Elisabeth Scharang’s Jack, Simon Jaquemet’s War (Chrieg) earmarked for local distribution.


German sales company Picture Tree International (PTI) is to expand into local theatrical distribution with two titles from its sales line-up: Swiss director Simon Jaquemet’s drama War (Chrieg) and Elisabeth Scharang’s Locarno debut Jack.

Picture Tree has set an April 28 release for War (Chrieg), which debuted at San Sebastian 2014 and screened at Berlin 2015, while Jack is set for release later in the year.

Speaking to ScreenDaily from Sundance at the weekend, PTI managing director Andreas Rothbauer discussed the push into local distribution.

“We initially want to gather some experience with a few of our sales titles provided they weren’t already licensed to a German distributor,” Rothbauer explained.

“World sales is our core business and, depending on this, we will decide which film might make sense for in-house distribution. However, as the German market is very competitive, I think that we can be realistic in the medium-term and aim for one release per quarter.”

Booking and billing for PTI’s theatrical releases will be handled by Peter Stockhaus’ Hamburg-based distribution outfit Déjà-Vu Film.

‘Mammal’ in Sundance

Rothbauer is at Sundance this week with Irish filmmaker Rebecca Daly’s second feature, Mammal, starring Rachel Griffiths and Screen Star of Tomorrow Barry Keoghan, which had its world premiere yesterday [Jan 24].

The film, which was developed by Daly during the first Berlinale Residency in 2012, will have its European premiere in Rotterdam and then screen at Göteborg International Film Festival.

Talks are underway for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Belgium’s Cinéart will release in Benelux.

EFM market premieres

Rothbauer revealed that Mammal will be joined by another four market premieres to be presented by PTI at next month’s EFM:

  • Stephan Rick’s thriller The Dark Side Of The Moon, adapted from Martin Suter’s eponymous novel, starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Nora von Waldstätten and Jürgen Prochnow, and selected for the German Film Award’s longlist.

  • actor-director Florian David Fitz’s tragi-comic road movie The Most Beautiful Day with him appearing opposite Matthias Schweighöfer. Warner Bros. will release the film in German cinemas after the Berlinale on February 25.

  • Florian Gaag’s psychological thriller Lenalove, which had its German premiere at last week’s Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken and is also on the German Film Award’s nomination longlist.

  • Thomas Stuber’s drama A Heavy Heart which had its US premiere in Palm Springs earlier this month and will be released in German cinemas by Wild Bunch Germany on March 17.

In addition, Rothbauer and his team will be at the EFM with Dieter Berner’s biopic Egon Schiele – Death And The Maiden, which is in post-production and will be released in Austria by Thim Film this October.

“We made pre-sales at the AFM for Japan (New Select), Korea (T-Cast), Canada (A-Z Films), and the Czech Republic (Cinemart) and are in final negotiations for German theatrical distribution as well as in other talks for continental Europe and the US,” Rothbauer said.

Picture Tree International was launched at the end of 2012 by Rothbauer, who previously served as head of sales and acquisitions at BetaFilm/BetaCinema from 2000-2012.