Australian director’s WWII drama latest international co-production to benefit from DFFF incentive this year.

Australian director Cate Shortland’s new feature film Lore has joined the list of co-productions supported by more than €11m from Germany’s DFFF (German Federal Film Fund) incentive scheme this year.

Based on the novella Lore from Rachel Seiffert’s Booker prize-nominated novel The Dark Room, the German language co-production between Berlin-based Rohfilm, Australia’s Porchlight Films and the UK’s Edge City Film began shooting in the east German town of Görlitz earlier this week.

The 38-day shoot will also travel to locations in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein.

The story follows a teenager who leads her four siblings — all children of an SS commander — hundreds of kilometres across the war-ravaged countryside to their grandparents in Hamburg shortly after the end of the Second World War.

The title role is taken by Saskia Rosendahl (see photo), with Nele Trebs (Die Tür), Kai Malina (The White Ribbon) and Ursina Lardi (Songs Of Love And Hate) in the other leads, supported by Hans-Jochen Wagner (Everyone Else), Sven Pippig (Four Minutes) and Katrin Pollitt (Anonymous).

Apart from DFFF, the € 4.3m co-production has received funding from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), HessenInvestFilm, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), FilmFörderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, MFG Baden-Württemberg, Screen Australia, Screen New South Wales, and Creative Scotland.

International sales are being handled by Memento Films who had already made a presale last year to Haut et Court for France. Lore will be released theatrically by Transmission in Australia and New Zealand, and by Piffl Medien in Germany.

Meanwhile, Germany’s State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann has spoken this week about the continuing success of Germany’s DFFF incentive scheme.

In the period up to July 1, a total of 33 feature films and documentaries had been supported by the fund with €17.7m.

The largest single amount - €6.7m – went to Tommy Wirkola’s 3D action adventure Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for Paramount Pictures

Other international co-productions benefitting from the German spend initiative this year included Ari Folman’s The Congress, Barnaby Southcombe’s I, Anna, Timo Vuorensola’s Iron Sky, and the animation feature Niko – Family Affairs.

“Almost half of the costs of international productions were incurred in Germany”, Neumann’s ministry announced. “That is around sixfold the amount of the allocated grants - a positive effect which was also noted with the German productions. The whole film industry profits from this – from the screenwriters through the studios to the facilities companies.“