Friday, March 9, 2007

First Filmies Meeting

Meeting, Monday, March 12, 2007
Fort Worth Sister Cities International

It's Show Time!
Please join us for the first meeting of the Fort Worth Sister Cities International Film Special Interest Group, where we will discuss our future plans and enjoy a wonderful and informative program by Fort Worth's local independent film producer, J. Mitchell Johnson.
Learn about our upcoming international film series that will be held simultaneously and in partnership with the Lone Star Film International Film Festival in November. Click here to view the agenda for the meeting and then click below to RSVP to Lisa Gail Barnes, or request more information.

The meeting will be held Monday, March 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the Four Star Coffee Bar, which is located at 3324 West 7th street, Fort Worth, Texas.
RSVP to Lisa Gail by clicking here.

Click here to contact me and Let's get rolling!
Lisa Gail Barnes
Communication's DirectorFort Worth Sister Cities International

Unknown German’s 'Grave'

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the Academy Award-winning Lives of Others, isn’t the only up-and-coming, young German director you’ve never heard of.
Marcus H. Rosenmueller (photo below) has two hit movies, a third to debut soon and a stable of others in production or funded and on the books.
The Bavarian director burst onto German screens with the low-budge Grave Decisions, a dark comedy about death and damnation – that tried and true comedy combo.
Marketers apparently had trouble promoting the film and distributors feared the Bavarian dialect, which other Germans have often have trouble understanding, would turn away ticketbuyers.
With word of mouth the film ended on the top 10 list, sold 1.5 million tickets and had a boxoffice take of $12 million.
Now that’s inspiration for indie filmmakers everywhere.
Finding comedy in Bavarian roots
By Scott Roxborough
March 6, 2007 COLOGNE, Germany -- Forty miles south of Munich, pushed up against the Alps, lies Hausham, a sleepy provincial town of 8,000 residents. It's an unlikely spot to find the next big thing, but Hausham is home and inspiration to one of Germany's hottest young directors, Marcus H. Rosenmueller. While Rosenmueller's Munich Film School alumnus Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck traveled back to East Berlin in the 1980s for the inspiration for his Oscar-winning drama The Lives of Others, Rosemueller stuck closer to home with his debut, the low-budget dark comedy Grave Decisions. Grave Decisions didn't appear to have much going for it. It's a family comedy about death and damnation featuring a cast of mostly unknowns and shot in the local Bavarian dialect -- a thick, guttural vernacular even other Germans find almost incomprehensible. But with almost no publicity behind it, Grave became the sleeper hit of 2006, selling 1.5 million tickets for a boxoffice take of more than $12 million. "It was almost all word-of-mouth. The distributor found it almost impossible to advertise the film, a comedy about death in rural Bavaria," Rosenmueller says. "People heard about the movie and didn't want to go see it, but as soon as people did see it, they told their friends to go." Grave spent 16 weeks in the top 10, as Hollywood tentpoles like Scary Movie 4 and Mission: Impossible III came and went, grossing less in the territory than this local upstart. The success was all the more surprising because many theaters outside of Bavaria initially boycotted the film, convinced that northern German audiences wouldn't get the dialect, or the humor. "It was a really tough decision to shoot in the Bavarian dialect," Rosenmueller recalls. "We knew it would hurt us at the boxoffice. But it just seemed right, authentic. That's where I'm from and that's the source of my inspiration." Rosenmueller stayed close to the source for his second feature, the bobsledding comedy Heavyweights, the true story of a group of Bavarian amateurs who won Olympic gold in 1952. Released early this year, the film has so far grossed $4 million in Germany. These twin successes have turned Rosenmueller into Germany's hardest working director. He is in postproduction on Best Time, the first in a Bavarian coming-of-age comedy trilogy he is directing for Monaco Film. He'll shoot the second installment, Best Place, in May before switching to social drama with Der Raueber Kneissel, about a legendary 19th century Bavarian bandit. Then comes Die Perlmutterfarbe, an adaptation of the 1948 children's novel by German-Jewish author Anna Maria Jokl, which Rosenmueller is writing with his Grave co-author Christian Lerch. Next year Rosenmuller will direct another black comedy for Grave producers Roxy Film, Von Erden und Sterben, which Rosenmueller and Lerch will write. The film will once again be set in Bavaria. "Eventually, I'll have to write something in proper German so people outside Bavaria can understand it," the director quips.