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Desert Flower to open the 16th Oldenburg Filmfestival

The impressive tale of the nomad girl Waris Dirie, who would conquer the catwalks of the world, preludes the festival at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.

The opening film of the 16th International Oldenburg Filmfestival is based on the same titled bestseller by the international top-model Waris Dirie, who is leading the fight against female genital mutilation. Director Sherry Hormann ("Father's Day") put the deeply moving story into film, which is released nationally in Germany by Majestic Film on September 24th.

The book reached Sherry Hormann in a white plastic bag: "It is an incredible life journey, a story full of contradictions and paradoxes and Waris Dirie's incredible ability and audacity to allow them all to be part of herself. If the story wasn't true I would have believed to be reading a modern day fairytale." claims Hormann who was instantly convinced to be making the film. Only a few days after its world premiere in Venice Sherry Hormann takes the movie to Oldenburg where it will feature in the Opening Night Gala at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater on Wednesday September 16th. 



The shy immigrant Waris Dirie is discovered by a star photographer one day while working in a London fast food joint. Behind her timid smile is a secret, a spell that enchants everyone. Her fragile beauty makes her one of the most sought-after models in a short span of time. This might sound like a dream come true, but the reality is much harsher and on top of her fame she has the strength to reveal the true story about her suffering, breaking taboos and creating an overwhelming wave of support, protest and compassion. 


Sherry Hormann tells this tale in breathtakingly beautiful images and with a gentle touch. The performance by top-model Liya Kebede is emotional and authentic as she portrays the proud but tender woman, who was mutilated as a nomad girl and crossed the desert on foot at the age of 13 to escape a forced marriage. The counterweight is Berlinale-winner and Golden Globe awardee Sally Hawkins ("Happy Go Lucky") who plays her freaky sidekick giving support in even the hardest times.  


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