Sony Classics Says Hallo to German Lola Winner “Good bye, Lenin”
by Eugene Hernandez
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American rights to Wolfgang Becker’s hit German film, “Good bye, Lenin!” The film, which debuted this year at the Berlinale, was a box-office hit in Germany where it also won nine Lolas, Germany’s Oscar equivalent. The deal marks the reunion of Sony Classics and X Filme, producers of Sony’s popular release, “Run Lola Run.” A U.S. release date hasn’t been set yet.
At the German Film Awards on Friday night in Berlin, “Good bye, Lenin!” nabbed prizes for best film, best director, best actor, best supporting actor, best editing, best music, production design, and audience awards for German feature of the year and actor of the year. It has earned nearly 35 million Euros at the box office in Germany since its debut following the 2003 Berlinale.
Daniel Brühl stars in the story of a son whose mother falls into a coma shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. To protect her heart from the shock of the news, once she is revived, he must avoid telling her what is really going on outside their East German apartment. The film is described as “the story of how a loving son tries to move mountains and create miracles to restore his mother to health — and keep her in the belief that Lenin really did win after all.”
“We are looking forward to working with our friends at Sony Pictures Classics again to try to exceed our mutual U.S. success of ‘Run Lola Run,'” said Stefan Arndt, co-founder and co-owner of X Filme Creative Pool, in a prepared statement. “They have proven time and again that no other studio can match their experience launching a foreign film in the States.”
The film was written by Wolfgang Becker and Bernd Lichtenberg and produced by Stefan Arndt. Sony Classics’ co-presidents Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom and Dylan Leiner, SVP of acquisition and productions, negotiated the deal with Michael Weber, managing director, and Georg Hoess, attorney, on behalf of Bavaria Film International, and Stefan Arndt, co-founder and co-owner, and Andro Steinborn, head of business and legal affairs from X Filme Creative Pool.