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Adopt Films Completes Berlinale Acquisition Hat Trick With 'Barbara'

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 19, 2012 at 10:40AM

Adopt Films continued its aggressive buying spree at the Berlin International Film Festival, picking up all U.S. rights to Christian Petzold's acclaimed "Barbara," which just won the Silver Bear for best director at the festival.
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"Barbara"
"Barbara"

Adopt Films continued its aggressive buying spree at the Berlin International Film Festival, picking up all U.S. rights to Christian Petzold's acclaimed "Barbara," which just won the Silver Bear for best director at the festival.

The deal was negotiated by Match Factory’s Brigitte Suárez and Jenny Walendy and Adopt Films co-managing executives Jeff Lipsky and Tim Grady.

It follows Adopt Film's pick ups of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Golden Bear winner "Caesar Must Die" as well as Ursula Meier’s “Sister” (which won a special jury prize). Combined, its a very impressive feat for the new company, which has yet to release a film. The maiden release by Adopt Films -- “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye" -- an award-winner at last year’s Berlin Film Festival -- opens on March 8th.

Full press release below.

Adopt Films acquired all U.S. rights to Christian Petzold’s “Barbara,” only hours before it was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director at the just-concluded 2012 Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival).    The deal was negotiated by Match Factory’s Brigitte Suárez and Jenny Walendy and Adopt Films co-managing executives Jeff Lipsky and Tim Grady.

Set in East Berlin in 1980 “Barbara” is the riveting and compassionate story of the eponymous pediatric surgeon whose desire to emigrate to the west has banished her to a small country hospital far from freedom, and Andre, a fellow doctor who also finds himself a prisoner of sorts, having recently overseen a procedure which resulted in tragedy for two of his patients.  It is a story of two doctors who, by dint of circumstance, discover feelings of trust they thought were no longer possible on their side of the fence.  It’s about the attraction that ignites between Barbara and Andre, and the improbable bonds that Barbara forms with her patients, often putting herself in jeopardy in the process.

Nina Hoss plays the lead role in “Barbara,” marking her fifth collaboration with writer-director Petzold.  Ronald Zehrfeld, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Mark Waschke, and Rainer Bock co-star in the film. “Barbara” was produced by Florian Koerner von Gustorf and Michael Weber at Schramm Film.

Lipsky said of the acquisition, “Simply stated “Barbara” is a monumental achievement.  It humanizes with penetrating intensity a time and place that were most forbidding.  It is the work of a master filmmaker, supported by a cast that could give a master class on their craft in any country in the world.  It is the sort of story that unites cultures, while being an intimate drama at once both uncompromising and emotionally satisfying.”

Adopt Films plans to release the film theatrically in December and will mount an Academy Award campaign for Petzold and his lead actors.

The maiden release by Adopt Films, “The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye,” an award-winner at last year’s Berlin Film Festival, opens on March 8th.  Adopt’s upcoming slate includes Debbie Goodstein’s “Mighty Fine,” Anne Emond’s Toronto Festival hit “Nuit #1,” and 2012 Berlin Film Festival competition entries Ursula Meier’s “Sister” and Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” which was awarded the Golden Bear as Best Picture.
 

This article is related to: Berlin International Film Festival, Barbara







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