The hottest German-language projects in the works from celebrated veterans and talented newcomers.

Die Andere Heimat [pictured]

Dir Edgar Reitz

Veteran German director Reitz — who turns 80 on November 1 — revisits the fictional village of Schabbach, the setting for his internationally acclaimed Heimat TV series, in this feature prequel.

While the Heimat series were set in the 20th century, Die Andere Heimat takes place between 1840-43 when thousands from Germany’s Hunsrück region emigrated to Brazil to escape famine and poverty. Principal photography on the $9.8m (€7.9m) co-production between Munich-based Edgar Reitz Film-produktion and France’s Les Films du Losange wrapped on August 21.

The three-hour epic will be released in German cinemas in summer 2013 by Concorde Film and might premiere beforehand in Cannes.

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The German Friend

Dir Jeanine Meerapfel

Meerapfel’s first feature since Anna’s Summer in 2001, The German Friend weaves autobiographical elements into a love story about Sulamit, the daughter of German-Jewish immigrants growing up in Buenos Aires in the 1950s, and Friedrich, a German boy whose parents escaped to Argentina after the war. When Friedrich learns his father was an SS lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany, he breaks off all contact and returns to Germany. Celeste Cid and Max Riemelt star as the thwarted lovers. The film had its market premiere in July at the German Films Previews in Hamburg and is a co-production between Meerapfel’s Malena Filmproduktion, Geissendörfer Film & Fernsehproduktion and Argentina’s Jempsa.

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Hannah Arendt

Dir Margarethe von Trotta

Premiering in Toronto as a Special Presentation, the latest from veteran film-maker von Trotta follows German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt’s life of exile in New York and the controversy surrounding her coining of the phrase “banality of evil” to describe Adolf Eichmann’s actions as a member of the Nazi regime. German actress Barbara Sukowa plays Arendt, collaborating with von Trotta for the seventh time after such films as Rosa Luxemburg, which screened in Competition at Cannes in 1986, where Sukowa was named best actress. Also starring Janet McTeer, Axel Milberg, Julia Jentsch and Ulrich Noethen, Hannah Arendt was written by von Trotta and Pamela Katz and is a co-production by Germany’s Heimatfilm with France, Luxembourg and Israel.

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Layla Fourie

Dir Pia Marais

Berlin-based director Marais drew acclaim for her first two features, The Unpolished and At Ellen’s Age, with the former winning a Tiger at Rotterdam in 2007. Her third feature, Layla Fourie, is a thriller that sees the director return to South Africa, where she was born.

“Set in the present, in the more rural parts of South Africa and of course in a casino complex, Layla Fourie depicts a side of this land which is probably less familiar,” Marais says.

Shooting on location in South Africa and Cologne wrapped at the end of May for the co-production between Pandora Filmproduktion, South Africa’s DV8 Films, Zinebar and Spier Films, Paris-based Cinema Defacto, Amsterdam’s Topkapi Film and broadcasters WDR and ARTE.

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Measuring The World

Dir Detlev Buck

This 3D adaptation of Daniel Kehlmann’s bestseller Measuring The World re-imagines the lives of the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss and German geographer Alexander von Humboldt and explores their groundbreaking methods of measuring the world.

Shot in Germany, Austria and Ecuador, the $13.7m (€11m) co-production between Boje Buck Produktion and Austria’s Lotus Film stars Florian David Fitz, Albrecht Abraham Schuch, Karl Markovics and David Kross.

Warner Bros’ German outpost will handle booking and billing for the October 25 release of Buck’s most ambitious project to date, after such comedies as Woman In Love and Mannerpension. Measuring The World’s DoP was Slawomir Idziak, whose credits include the 3D film Battle Of Warsaw 1920 and Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.

“The film will be very innovative,” promises producer Claus Boje.

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The Taste Of Apple Seeds

Dir Vivian Naefe

Katharina Hagena’s literary sensation The Taste Of Apple Seeds (Der Geschmack Von Apfelkernen), which sold 1.1 million copies in Germany and has been widely translated, is brought to the screen by director Naefe and producer Uschi Reich of Bavaria Filmverleih und Produktions. The story of three generations of women stars a young cast including Hannah Herzsprung, Florian Stetter, Marie Baumer, Meret Becker and Paula Beer. The film wrapped in July. “It is a wonderful family story, [with] Macbeth-like characters,” Naefe says, “and this young woman [Herzsprung] who has to get rid of her trauma in order to either accept or reject the inheritance.”

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