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Visionary Dreams – worldwide at Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg

The 57th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
Nov. 6 – 16, 2008

The 57th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg will present 34 visionary dreams by newcomer directors from 22 countries captured on film in the festival's main sections. There are 18 films by young authors in „International Competition“ for the Main Award of Mannheim-Heidelberg, the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize and the Special Award of the Jury. There are 14 new discoveries from 11 countries out of competition in the second main section „International Discoveries“. The programme is complemented by two Special Screenings.
There are three sidebars flanking the main programmes. One of them picks the 60s and 70s as a central theme: „Intense Times“, with its protest movements and the German Autumn, which the festival will revive 40 years after the magical year of 1968. For very young visitors, five international children's films are to be shown, and for those who couldn't make it to this year's Festival of German Cinema, the little sister of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, there is a chance to redream, for a selection of the finest films of this summer is being presented also.
Geographically, there is a widespread array of participating countries, although Spanish-speaking countries, as well as Russia and the former CIS member Lithuania form a regional but coincidental major focus.

Having a baby is way to amazing to leave it to others – Opening night with the International Premiere of „The Baby Formula“

The International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg will celebrate its opening night with the International Premiere of the Canadian film „The Baby Formula“ (in Competition) and filmmaker Alison Reid on Thursday, Nov. 6. A fake documentary, the film accompanies Athena and Lilith, a couple in love. Like most couples, they want to have their own baby. Having a baby the natural way is of course impossible for two women. Only experimental science can help them. The miracle happens. A whimsical family story about the longing to have a child.

Edgar Reitz is President of the International Jury Mannheim-Heidelberg 2008

Film director Edgar Reitz („Heimat“) is the President of this year's International Jury. He is joined by Alexander Bohr, editor of German channel ZDF, Canadian film producer Paul Martin Hus, Raissa Fomina, film distributor from Russia, and Jaana Puskala, Head of Promotion for the Finnish Film Commission. The International Jury will present the awards of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg on Nov. 16, 2008.

New concept: Stadthaus is main venue again

The Mannheim Stadthaus will be the centre of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg again. To match the increased interest in the festival, three floors of the Stadthaus are used as the festival’s main venue. The building is housing two big cinemas with 709/500 seats. Additionally, the Mannheim cinemas Kino Atlantis (298 seats) and Cinema Quardat (99 seats) are participating in the International Filmfestival, thus stressing their cultural importance as well. In Heidelberg, the cinemas Schloss-Kino (277 seats) and Studio Europa (397 seats) are gladly hosting this year's festival as they did in the years before. Additionally, after many years, a cinema tent is built again at the Univeritätsplatz (666 seats).
The Stadthaus is housing the MANNHEIM MEETINGS and the INTERNATIONAL BUYERS SERVICE as well, both of them business pillars of the festival for industry professionals.

MANNHEIM MEETINGS

This year's 12th MANNHEIM MEETINGS (Nov. 12 to 16, 2008) are introducing 12 new, independent arthouse film projects. Being an international market for project co-financing attended by around 300 participants annually, this year's meetings are presenting new projects by renowned directors such as Karim Traida and Ivan Fila, but also debuts by international newcomers.
The projects include 22 countries.
Last year, Juonifilm from Finland, for example, found German production company Niko Film, Berlin,as a partner for their project „Last Cowboy Standing“. There are five projects from Canada and seven projects from Latin America at this year's MANNHEIM MEETINGS.
The total budget of all films negotiated is 91 Million Euros.

Project Highlights
Golden Globe Winner Karim Traida, „The Polish Bride“ will present the project „Identité Zéro“. The idea is based on the true stroy of an illegal immigrant from North Africa, who has lived in France for 15 years with name and identity of a Frenchman.
Lars Kraume, who has gained reputation in Germany with productions like „Guten Morgen, Herr Grothe“ and „Keine Lieder über Liebe“ is participating with his latest project, a science-fiction film. It is produced by Jürgen Vogel and Mathias Glasner's Badlands Film.
Argentinian newcomer director Santiago Giralt, whose film „UPA“ was shown at the 56th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg in 2007. is presenting „Perla“, the story of a young transsexual artist who has to stand against biases in his provincial environment.

Hunting for arthouse jewels – INTERNATIONAL BUYERS SERVICE

Anybody who is looking for new films by young and promising directrs from all over the world, and who does not want to pay overpriced fees who are usually charged for at such markets is spot-on in Mannheim-Heidelberg.
There are 120 buyers from 20 countries, ranging from Canada to Japan, who are using the festival's International Buyers Service. In only two to three days, they can go through films of their interest in special DVD terminals, in professional or public screenings. They can rely on the sole quality-oriented selection in Mannheim-Heidelberg, and the screening of premieres exclusively, i.e. films which have never been shown on any other big filmfestivals before.

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