Fabian Groys, a renowned journalist for a political news magazine, enjoys great freedom since the stories he uncovers make for good sales. When he is saddled with an intern, he reacts sulkily, but after losing his hot story about questionable army policy towards injured veterans, he switches to a gory zoo story that he’d actually meant to leave to the intern. But there seems to be more behind the suicide of a man who had himself torn to shreds by a lion. Signs proliferate indicating that the two stories are interlinked. Is it pure coincidence, or is Groys the victim of nebulous figures who are skillfully feeding him information? Is he still an independent investigative journalist or has he long since been made into a puppet captured in the sticky threads of a web, spun by forces unknown? And if this is the case, how can Groys regain his independence if he is battling an opponent who never steps out of the shadows?
Christoph Hochhäusler’s political thriller shines a light to the topical issue of power, lobbyism and the manipulation of the media. THE LIES OF THE VICTORS untangles a cunning web involving indiscretion, the spreading of half-truths, the hunt for a big scandal, and the, at times, dubious methods of lobbyists. Hochhäusler takes a look behind the scenes revealing how offstage players influence and control political and journalistic processes.
THE LIES OF THE VICTORS is CHRISTOPH HOCHHÄUSLER’s fourth feature film. His previous works premiered in Berlin (Forum, Competition) and in Cannes (Un Certain Regard). Aside from filmmaking, he has published essays in several film journals, and he lectures in the film departments of various universities in the USA and Germany, such as Harvard (VES), Hamburg (Media School), Munich (HFF) and Berlin (DFFB). He is also founder and co-publisher of the film magazine Revolver. Born in 1972 in Munich, he studied architecture in Berlin and Film Directing at the University of Film & Television Munich (HFF). His other feature films include: DREILEBEN – ONE MINUTE OF DARKNESS (TV, 2011), THE CITY BELOW (2010), the episode SÉANCE in DEUTSCHLAND 09 (2009), LOW PROFILE (2005), and THIS VERY MOMENT (2003).
It is impossible to forget the images from the 24th August 1992 when, in the eastern German city of Rostock, a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building containing, among others, more than 120 Vietnamese men, women and children on what has since become known as “The Night of the Fire.” The riots became a symbol for xenophobia in the just recently reunited Germany.
WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. recounts the incident from the perspectives of three very different characters. Lien is a Vietnamese woman who settled in Germany, but at the end of the day she will be fighting for her life, wondering if the place she called home could ever be one for her. Stefan and his friends are part of the night’s violent turmoil. Young and angry, bored during the day, they look forward to the nightly riots and clashes with the police and foreigners. Unable to cope with his grief at the loss of a friend, Stefan gets lost in a circle of violence. Stefan’s father Martin is an ambitious local politician, trapped in a dilemma: does he advance his career or stand up for his ideals and take responsibility, which includes that for his son?
BURHAN QURBANI’s family fled Afghanistan in 1979, seeking political asylum in Germany. After finishing school in Stuttgart, he worked in the theater as a dramatist’s assistant and later as a director’s assistant. In 2002, he enrolled at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg to study Directing. His short films have been screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes including the German Camera Award and the German Film Critics’ Award in 2008 for ILLUSION (2007). The same year he was honored with the Black Pearl for Best Newcomer of the Year from the Middle East International Film Festival. SHAHADA (2010), his graduation project and feature debut, premiered in the competition of the Berlinale (2010) and won, among other awards, the Golden Hugo in Chicago.
Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn’t possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies. One awkward turn at 18, one missed opportunity … and life sends them hurling in different directions. But somehow, across time, space and different continents, the tie that binds them cannot be undone – despite unwanted pregnancies, disastrous love affairs, marriage, infidelity and divorce. Will they find their way back to one another, or will it be too late?
Based on Cecelia Ahern’s bestselling novel Where Rainbows End, LOVE, ROSIE is a sassy, heart-warming, and utterly modern comedy-of-errors tale posing the ultimate question: Do we really only get one shot at true love??
CHRISTIAN DITTER was born in 1977 in Gießen and studied Directing at the University of Television & Film in Munich. His short films VERZAUBERT (2000) and GROUNDED (2003) won numerous prizes at international festivals as did his feature-length graduation and debut film FRENCH FOR BEGINNERS (2006). He then directed several episodes of the award-winning series TÜRKISCH FÜR ANFÄNGER (2007) and DOCTOR’S DIARY (2008). His adaptation of the classic children’s book THE CROCODILES (2009) has won the most international children and youth film awards of all time. He also directed the equally merited sequel THE CROCODILES STRIKE BACK (2010) and was involved as an author and co-producer on THE CROCODILES – ALL FOR ONE (2011). He than directed and wrote the screenplay of the first German-language 3D film WICKIE AND THE TREASURE OF THE GODS (2011). LOVE, ROSIE is his first English-language film.
June, 1945. Badly injured, her face destroyed, Auschwitz survivor Nelly returns to her hometown, Berlin. She’s accompanied by Lene, a Jewish Agency employee and Nelly’s friend from pre-war days.
Having barely recovered from facial surgery, Nelly ignores Lene’s warnings and sets out to find her husband, Johnny – the love of her life who, by refusing to abandon their marriage, protected her from Nazi persecution for so long.
Nelly’s family has been murdered in the Holocaust. Johnny is convinced that his wife, too, is dead. When Nelly finally tracks him down, he recognizes nothing but an unnerving resemblance and doesn’t believe it could really be her. Hoping to secure her family’s inheritance, Johnny suggests to Nelly that she take on the identity of his late wife.
Nelly agrees: She becomes her own imposter. She wants to know whether Johnny loved her – and whether he betrayed her. Nelly wants her old life back.
CHRISTIAN PETZOLD was born in Hilden in 1960 and has lived in Berlin since 1981. He studied German Language and Literature before studying at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB) from 1988 to 1994. His highly-acclaimed films include: PILOTINNEN (1995), CUBA LIBRE (1996), DIE BLEISCHLAFDIEBIN (1998), THE STATE I AM IN (2000), SOMETHING TO REMIND ME (2001), WOLFSBURG (2002), GHOSTS (2004), YELLA (2006), JERICHOW (2008), DREILEBEN – BEATS BEING DEAD (2011), BARBARA (2012), and PHOENIX (2014).
Charleen, nearly 16, is one of those teens who seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Maybe it’s her traineeship at an undertaker’s, or her passion for Kurt Cobain – Charleen seems drawn to the darker regions, even though she won’t pass up such Hollywood-worthy, communion-with-nature moments like getting soaked in the rain. Her mom thinks something’s wrong with her, but Charleen only wants to be left in peace. One day, feeling especially melodramatic and rebellious, she decides to call it quits with life. Luckily, her botched suicide attempt doesn’t take her to the hereafter, but to the here-in-the-hospital. Now comes real stress – with her crazy family, a creepy therapist, a by-the-book social worker, a perplexed best friend and a classroom full of idiots. But wait a minute, there’s also Linus, the school nerd whom she meets at the therapist’s. Weird for sure, but somehow caring, interested and fun to be with. In fact, life is really starting to be fun. After her first kiss with Linus and their first tentative embraces, it dawns on Charleen that the opposite of death is love – and that life deserves a second chance.
MARK MONHEIM was born in 1977 in Bonn, where he spent his childhood. Early in his youth he discovered his passion for photography, story writing and rock music. In 1995 his mother died an early death. He believes this is where his interest in “serious” topics with humor and a hopeful tone comes from. After graduation in 1997, followed by community service at a children’s hospital in Munich, he began studying Documentary Film Direction at the University of Television & Film in Munich, where he graduated in 2008. During his studies, he worked as a stills photographer, assistant director, set manager, lighting technician, and driver for numerous major film productions. His films include: MICHELLE (short doc, 1999), ALBAN FAUST (short doc, 2001), HASS MICH (short, 2002), DER SCHWARZE MANN (short, 2005), MIT SECHZEHN BIN ICH WEG (short, 2007), and ABOUT A GIRL (2014).