TrustNordisk will handle international sales for German filmmaker Hans-Christian Schmid's first major international project Storm (Sturm) which sees him reunited with Requiem screenwriter Bernd Lange, this time as co-writers.
'The film is about a prosecutor at the war tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia in The Hague who is trying to persuade a witness to come to the court to give evidence,' Schmid told ScreenDaily.com. 'The woman has to risk a lot and confront her past trauma, but it eventually turns out that there is resistance from within the tribunal and also outside to this evidence being made public. The tribunal does not operate in a vacuum, but is embedded in a political context and dependent on financial backers.'
As to be expected with such subject matter, this project has demanded that the two screenwriters undertake considerable background research, making trips to The Hague and field research in Sarajevo and Banja Luka and speaking with prosecutors and defence counsel as well as people from the Victims and Witnesses Unit and the International Criminal Tribunal for Ex-Yugoslavia (ICTY).
'Thematically, it is about law, justice and integrity and the question as to what importance is given to this precious entity of international law,' Schmid explained.
The $10.1m (Euros 6.4m) project by Schmid and Britta Knoeller's Berlin-based company 23/5 Filmproduktion will be co-produced with Zentropa International Koeln, Zentropa Entertainments Berlin, Zentropa Entertainment5 in Denmark, Zentropa International Netherlands and the Dutch production house IdtV Film.
Funding has already been awarded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Filmstiftung NRW as well as backing from the public broadcasters SWR, BR, WDR and Arte.
The film will be shot with an international cast this summer at locations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Netherlands and in interiors in North Rhine-Westphalia. Piffl Medien is already confirmed as the political thriller's German theatrical distributor.