A Heroe's Death

2001
A documentary about the biggest tunnel-escape in the history of the Berlin wall, the soldier Egon Schultz, and a Cold War lie.

Alzheimer

2001
A documentary about "Alzheimer" by Claudia Bissinger and Michael Jürgs

Beate Uhse - A Portrait of German Moral

2001
Her company is older than the German Republic – she herself is better known than the German Chancellor: 98 per cent of the population knows Beate Uhse. Her name stands for a legend of German moral history and is a synonym for sexual freedom.

Complete Woman Needs Half-Time- Man

2001
Anna can safely say there is only one man in her life: her seven-year-old son Tobi.

Heart or Cash

2001
So many men in the world and it has to be him! Adele Weiß is horrified when she learns that her daughter Linda is planning to get married to Dieter Morus, of all people.

In Search of an Impotant Man

2001
Gaby Hauptmann’s bestseller has been adapted to the movie screen.

Just Say Yes!

2001
The Tyrolean radio station Radio Kaisertal has a regular feature: Dream Couple of the Week. This involves the presenter turning up unexpectedly at a couple’s front door, and on this occasion he catches Hans and Vera.

Laughing is Good for You - Comedy for UNICEF III

2001
Dirk Bach presents a wonderful combination of the best that the German comedy scene has to offer (Anke Engelke, Mirco Nontschew, Helge Schneider, Rüdiger Hofmann, Karl Dall, Jörg Knör, Hans-Hermann Thielke, Bodo Bach, Alf Poier and many others),

Love in the Ascendant

2001
Professor Robert von Reichenbach (Peter Sattmann) is an astronomer and the director of the Berlin Observatory.

Nancy and Frank

2001
NANCY AND FRANK is an international production for cinema release, this is the New York love story from which arises a bitterly fought conflict...

The Admirer

2001
Leona, lector in a publishing house, has just called her husband Wolfgang on her mobile to announce happily that she has found their dream house, when a young woman falls onto the pavement in front of her and dies in her arms.

The House of the Sisters

2001
The adaptation of the novel by Charlotte Link tells the sinister involvement of a German couple with the fate of their English holiday cottage owners.

The Publisher

2001
THE PUBLISHER is a telefeature biography of a German titan who builds a media empire of European format out of nothing.

The Romantic Novelist

2001
A HEART IN FLAMES is the first TV movies in a new series called STAR SIGNS produced by ZIEGLER FILM GmbH & Co. KG for ARD/DEGETO. The TV movies are romantic or sophisticated comedies, inspired by the different star signs. Winfried Noe, the famous astrologist works as a consultant on the entire collection.

Two Sides of Love

2001
Carola Martin (Thekla Carola Wied) has enjoyed a trouble-free marriage for the last 25 years with Dieter (Miguel Herz-Kestranek), the owner of a profitable furniture company; they have a daughter, Simone (Valerie Koch), and Carola has a successful

Vestpocket Venus

2001
Sophie Dukakis has a very particular passion in life: books!

A depraved couple

2000
BRIGITTE MIRA and HARALD JUHNKE are the „depraved couple“ in a romantic comedy by WOLF GREMM starring GÜNTER PFITZMANN, JULIA BIEDERMANN, HELEN VITA, EVELYN KÜNNECKE, KONSTANTIN WECKER and HELMUT BERGER. As guests: AXEL SCHULZ CHRISTINE NEUBAUER. Käthe (Brigitte Mira) has been a widow for ten years now. Helplessly she has to watch how Stefan (Helmut Berger) not only cheats on her beloved granddaughter Christine (Julia Biedermann), but also has turned her good old café into a dubious nightclub. Her only comfort in this situation are her conversations with her dead husband Hubert (Harald Juhnke). Every day she confides her thoughts and sorrows to his photography and still he is even closer to her heart than her best friends Arabella (Helen Vita) and Brigitte (Evelyn Künnecke). One day a miracle happens: destiny gives a second chance to Käthe and Hubert. Hubert returns from the hereafter to stand by Käthe and to save Christine out of the clutches of unfaithful Stefan. But only Käthe can see her Hubert, and so people think that she is more and more talking to herself. The couple thinks about getting Stefan out of the way. Hubert has been an inspector, and now they need all his cleverness to cook up a perfect plan. They want Wilhelm (Günter Pfitzmann) to help them. Wilhelm is a retired policeman who used to be Hubert´s subordinate. He was head over heels for Käthe and still adores her – and Hubert´s jealousy arouses again. Another part of their plan is Frank Morawek (Konstantin Wecker), a former Foreign Legionnaire who now runs the nightclub without scruple. He has his eye on Christine and Käthe wants to distract him from her, because he isn´t exactly her idea of a good catch for her granddaughter. But just as Käthe and Hubert want to make their diabolic plan come true, everything goes another way. Because just like in the good old days of their marriage the couple starts to quarrel like cats and dogs. So they almost forget their plan – when suddenly there is a dead body in the bathtub... The film is based on the novel „After a depraved life“ by Andreas Arnold.

Angela

2000

Forever Young - Brigitte Mira

2000
FOREVER YOUNG is homage to the Grande Dame of German stage and cinema – the wonderful Brigitte Mira. To honor this unique and beloved artist on her 90th birthday, a gala with many famous guests was held at the Berliner Wintergarten  Varieté.

Kimono

2000
Background Gilles Jacob takes justified pride in the Cannes mandate to discover talent and to promote the careers of proven auteur filmmakers. Tops on his list is Denmark’s Lars von Trier, whose Dancer in the Dark was awarded the Golden Palm last May. Another was the late Krzysztof Kieslowski of Poland, a welcomed guest at Cannes for over a decade. Not to mention those heralded pacesetters among the American Independents: Jim Jarmusch … the Coen Brothers … Hal Hartley. Hal Hartley was a natural to approach for a personal, signatured Erotic Tale. A true “independent” filmmaker, he is credited (sometimes under pseudonyms) as writer, director, producer, composer, editor, occasional actor, and you-name-it in the making of his films from conception to release. Moreover, as he once confessed, he liked what he saw in the first ET series - films by directors from different lands and cultures and traditions free to explore dreams and fantasies and libidos to say something vital and virile and vivacious about the human experience. So when Ziegler-Film approached him to join the series, the director of Simple Men (Cannes, 1992), Amateur (1994), Flirt (1995), and Henry Fool (Cannes 1998) responded with a script for an Erotic Tale that blurs the borders of genres and toys with the imagination. Indeed, Kimono stands alone among all the Erotic Tales as a cross-cultural viewing experience. On the surface are narrative ploys reminiscent of the French Avant-Garde and image fraction advanced by New American Cinema. Below the surface are references to the Japanese ghost story, to Freudian metaphors, to dream interpretations. The icing on the cake is a string of poetic Haikus. In short, Kimono has something for every cineaste - as invitations to prestige festivals in Venice, Toronto and Rotterdam amply confirm. Synopsis A hot summer day on a country road. A young woman in her bridal dress gets kicked out of a car. Lost and frustrated, she wanders off across a sea of grass into a dark wood – and discovers an abandoned house. Tired and worn out, she lies down on a bed. When she is awakened from her nap by a clap of thunder, she sees a cup of steaming hot tea and a package on the floor. She opens it – and finds a kimono. The bride knows she no longer is alone ... but should she put on the kimono?

LAUGHING IS GOOD FOR YOU – COMEDY FOR UNICEF II

2000
On November 30 2002,  in the fourth episode of “Laughter is Good for You - Comedy for UNICEF” presenter Dirk Bach, along with stars of the German comedy scenes such as Ingo Appelt, Maren Kroyman, Rüdiger Hoffmann, Anke Engelke, Ingolf

Love, Death and Many Calories

2000
On November 30 2002,  in the fourth episode of “Laughter is Good for You - Comedy for UNICEF” presenter Dirk Bach, along with stars of the German comedy scenes such as Ingo Appelt, Maren Kroyman, Rüdiger Hoffmann, Anke Engelke, Ingolf

Men Are Dispensable

2000
After the death of her mother the divorced dance therapist Marlene Hagedorn moves into her mother’s empty semi-detached house together with her three daughters Nadja, Miriam and Cilli.

Mutiny of the Heiresses

2000
Retired building contractor Arno Adelmann is approaching his 77th birthday. The gnarled, grumpy old eccentric is a great deal more warm-hearted, amusing and quick-witted than might be apparent at first.

On the Way in the USA - Roots and Music

2000
Who hasn’t dreamed of driving along endless inter-state highways, floating above New York in a helicopter or crossing Grand Canyon in a boat?

On Top Down Under

2000
Background Only one of the first twelve Erotic Tales was made without a word of dialogue: Jos Stelling’s The Waiting Room. In contrast to three in the second dozen: Stelling’s The Gas Station, Hal Hartley’s Kimono, and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s On Top Down Under. Fridriksson’s Erotic Tale is all the more singular because it’s set on different continents - indeed, on opposite corners of the world - yet linked by real time and parallel occurrences that almost impinge on each other. Thus, words would only disturb. Quite simply, the story has to be told by challenging the viewer to accept the logic of coincidence and suspending for a moment the natural laws of the universe. This is not the first time the Icelandic writer-director-producer has imbued his theme with the spiritual, the metaphysical, the clairvoyant, the mystical. In Children of Nature (1991), nominated for both an Oscar and a Felix, two senior citizens escape from an Old Peoples Home to set off on a journey to commune with the natural forces of nature. In Cold Fever (1994) a Japanese businessman travels through an Icelandic winter landscape to perform a symbolic burial ritual for his parents. And in Angels of the Universe (1999) a young schizophrenic is committed to an asylum, where hearing voices and mental telepathy are the rule rather than the exception. “On Top” is, of course, Iceland - in contrast to “Down Under” Australia. As the evening shadows fall over an isolated lighthouse, a young girl recalls the joys of a past summer with her lover at a geyser. As the day wears on in the blazing desert, the young man of her dreams transports blocks of ice to a lonely shack out in the bush. Somehow, their fates are shared - much as in the last sonnet penned by the young John Keats. Synopsis ON TOP - Iceland, a lighthouse, a cold winter evening. Her thoughts drift back to that summer ... to bathing in the hot springs ... to when they first met ... and embraced. DOWN UNDER - Australia, the desert, a blistering heat wave. His pickup stops at an icehouse ... he lays the blocks neatly on the buckboard ... and drives off haunted by a aching memory. Without dialogue or comment, save for verses from a sonnet by John Keats, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson links the thoughts, the emotions, the sensual longing of young lovers at opposite ends of the world. A tone poem, a collage of sight and sound.

Powers

2000
Background New Czech Cinema is flourishing. Following the Velvet Revolution of late 1989 in Prague - the equivalent of the Fall of the Wall in Berlin - a group of talented young filmmakers spurred a Czech film revival that has yet to peak. By general consensus, the films that confirm the diversity of this Czech New Wave are Jan Sverak's Kolya (1997 Oscar winner), Petr Zelenka's Buttoners (1999 Rotterdam Tiger Award), Sasha Gedeon's Return of the Idiot (1999 Venice entry), and Jan Hrebejk’s Cozy Dens (1999 box office hit). Generally speaking, these directors are successful because their films deal thematically with problems facing the younger generation or with past events placed in proper historical perspective. The index of national recognition and commercial success is the “Golden Kingfisher,” awarded each April at the Pilsen festival. Petr Zelenka, a graduate of the scriptwriting department at the Prague Film School (FAMU), won it in 1997 for Mnaga - Happy End and in 1998 for Buttoners - in both instances it was Zelenka’s flair as a sharp, witty, sophisticated writer-director that won him accolades of praise. Mnaga - Happy End amuses by catching the uninformed audience unawares: is this an authentic fiction documentary about a popular rock band with a new sound, or has everything been faked with a run of subtly improvised interviews? Likewise, Buttoners blends the absurd with the tragic in a set of six intertwined short stories locked in a time warp. When approached to direct an Erotic Tale, Petr’s response was typical Zelenka: “Okay with me - but since you’ve got enough erotic ones, let’s do something philosophic erotic …” The result was Powers - a neatly constructed, highly polished Erotic Tale about a magician at a nightclub who is suddenly endowed with “powers” he can’t control at the dawn of the new millennium. Synopsis Peter has a dream job. He’s a popular magician in a posh Prague nightclub, whose act draws more applause than the strippers. He’s got an eye-catching assistant who is ready and willing to cuddle his frayed nerves whenever necessary. But he’s also got Sylvia on his neck: a pert, scatterbrained sister who forgets that a toss in the hay may just be worth a wedding ring. Things take a turn for the better – or worse? – when he discovers he possesses extra - let’s say, supernatural – powers that enable him to see into the future, hear music by rubbing his finger over a CD, and God knows what. The problem? Peter can’t control anything any more like he used to – neither his magic act, nor his love life, nor his sister’s latest erotic fantasy.

Prosecco drinking women

2000
35-year-old Flora works for the glossy society magazine “Marylin”. Her job takes her to such exciting places as beauty farms and sperm banks and it involves meeting a lot of interesting and eccentric people.

Redlight II

2000
Police officer Simon Gehring wants to convict Berlin’s head of redlight district named Fengler.

Relentless Women

2000
“Relentless Women” is the NDR Television film with Stefanie Stappenbeck and Barbara Philipp in the leading roles, which was broadcast by ARD on Wednesday 12th March 2003 at 20.15. The script was written by Eckhard Theophil and Manfred Stelzer, who also directed the film. “Relentless Women” was produced by Ziegler Film, Berlin and shot in Berlin, on Romo (Denmark) and the island of Sylt. Fine Holthusen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her boyfriend Holger. She has spent the last three years behind bars struggling to remember what happened the night he was killed. She was found guilty on the basis of circumstantial evidence, but now Fine is determined to establish the truth and breaks out of jail with the assistance of her friend, a convicted robber called Luzzi. The two women, who would seem to have so little in common, first stop off at Luzzi’s old apartment. Her friend Flash, a gambler down on his luck, is living there at the moment. Luzzi guesses that he will soon reveal their presence to the police, since he has always been a rather dubious character. In fact Fine and Luzzi just manage to get away in time. Fine resolves to return to the scene of the crime in order to establish what really happened. So they both take the train to the north, renting a bungalow in the holiday complex where the murder took place three years ago. Fine, disguised with a black wig and a pair of sunglasses, wanders around and soon finds some memory is returning. She and Holger had argued. Fine went down to the beach and was drinking with three men, locals. Then the men started making advances, and Fine was forced to defend herself... But at precisely this point her memories cease. Luzzi suggests that Fine was probably drugged and raped. During the trial the three men, Henning Jepsen, Wilhelm Lopsien and Bruno Leip, were witnesses for the prosecution. They still live in this seaside resort, and Henning in particular seems to be doing very well; in the meantime he has been able to expand the holiday apartments considerably. On the first evening here Fine and Luzzi invite Bruno to their bungalow and ply him with drinks. Then Fine reveals to him her true appearance. When he recognizes her he gets a terrible shock, and Luzzi is smart enough to make use of this: she accuses him of having raped Fine. He replies: “Not me!” And in this way he clearly incriminates the other two men. Armed with this knowledge, Fine and Luzzi come up with a sophisticated plan which will ensure that the real culprits get the punishment they deserve...

The Gas Station

2000
Background Attending some international film festivals can be a painless chore for Dutch director Jos Stelling. When he goes to the Riga Arsenals festival (he’s been there twice), he is greeted on the street by fans and admirers - after all, he had been honored with a retrospective tribute there as far back as 1988. The same goes for St. Petersburg: back in 1997, when his Waiting Room (1995) was awarded both the Golden Gryphon Award and the Public’s Prize, that double-decker recognition had come close on the heels of the Golden Calf at Utrecht and the Prix de Presse at Montreux. Indeed, the world-wide honors showered on The Waiting Room prompted Regina Ziegler to offer Jos Stelling carte blanche for a second Erotic Tale - with an option to go for broke and round the series out to a feature-length trilogy. Two factors are worth considering when debating the pros and cons of a Jos Stelling Erotic Tale. Primary and foremost, he doesn’t lean on a word of specious dialogue to tell his story. That waiting room at a railway station, for instance, attracts per se a plethora of oddballs, eccentrics, bumpkins, and other bizarre types familiar to the human species, to say nothing of the games of one-upman-ship that enliven and animate this groundling arena. Add to this the presence of Belgian mime actor Eugène Bervoets, and you have the archetype of the bravura peacock macho who will scale a wall or walk off a cliff if necessary to demonstrate his manly wiles with the opposite sex. Watch ten Damme and Bervoets in action in The Gas Station - and you get the point. What better place to continue a flirt than that friendly oasis offering relief - and promise - after a fatiguing traffic-jam on the expressway? Synopsis An acknowledged master of the short sans dialogue, Jos Stelling won a bundle of awards for THE WAITING ROOM at festivals in Holland, Russia, and Switzerland. And if you thought that richly inventive spoof of the leering macho in God’s Little Acre, the crowded waiting room of your local railway station, was one of the luniest Erotic Tales ever made, then buckle your seat belt for a ride down Life‘s Great Battlefield: the expressway during rush hour! Take the boredom of the slow lane, add the spice of one-upmanship, top it off with a delightful girl-boy butting match, and what’s missing? A layover at the next gas station.

The New Face of Modesty

2000
Synopsis After LITTLE ADDENDUM now follows a new 2 minute polit-satire by Gunther Scholz. The new Berlin Chancellor Schröder thanks Kohl for the financial inheritance. Meanwhile the construction for the new chancery continues - a cardboard sign points towards the new building.

The Night Nurse

2000
Background When the Erotic Tales were launched seven years ago on a Sunday afternoon at the Cannes festival, Susan Seidelman’s The Dutch Master and Bob Rafelson’s Wet were given top billing at the Grand Théâtre Lumière - and veteran name directors were immediately associated with the series. Over the years, however, the “club” has expanded to include filmmakers from various cultures, women directors with feminist viewpoints, exponents of the gay and lesbian movement, and auteurs who frankly wanted to propagate their own personal points of view on just what is, or may be, the erotic and the amorous, the carnal and the concupiscent, given today’s needs or in a certain context. It was only a matter of time before Tanja Ziegler raised the question: why don’t we ask young directors, graduates of the film academies, what they feel may be still missing in the series, what the young audience has to say about related issues of contemporary morality, what kind of tales might test the ethical and aesthetical boundaries even further. She suggested talking to Bernd Heiber at the HFF Potsdam-Babelsberg - and the result was The Night Nurse. Despite just four student films in his portfolio, Bernd Heiber had already made a name for himself as an author and stage director. Further, he could boast of a promising record at key international festivals. His short feature Scheissleben (Shit-Life) (1996), a black comedy set in Berlin’s demimonde, was seen at Saarbrücken. And his diploma film, Klopfen (Knocking) (1998), a psycho-thriller with touches of Edgar Allan Poe delirium, was invited to Cottbus. Paul Fassnach, who played the ex-con driven batty by a strange knocking in his apartment, is back in Heiber’s Erotic Tale as the flustered policeman with a toothache - until he meets the night nurse. Synopsis Brandenburg, near the Polish border; it all started with a toothache. Then the boss called to say he was needed. Extra Duty - to guard a gangster for the night in an emergency ward. Konzak was sorry he ever became a cop. Besides, the prisoner was a moody boxer-type, and the room at the hospital was like in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Sweat was already dripping down his back when the night nurse stopped by on her rounds. A sway of the hips.. the look in her eye...she was a real knockout. Konzak forgot the toothache and the prisoner...

The Summer Of My Deflowering

2000
Background Does the female have a different feeling for the erotic than the male? Question the wise men on university faculties, and you’ll get a myriad of answers. But turn the query around and ask if women directors make more erotic films than their male counterparts, then the Erotic Tales are a sure measurement. Two films in the first dozen were made by women: Susan Seidelman’s The Dutch Master (USA) and Cinzia Th. Torrini’s Sweeties (Italy) - although the initial goal at Ziegler-Film was to look for parity. All the same, this duo fared well on the international circuit: The Dutch Master was invited to participate at Cannes and received an Academy Award Nomination, while Sweeties was honored with the Golden Rockies Award at the Banff TV festival. Look closely at those films - both focusing on the sexual needs of women - and arguments can be made for the aesthetics of feminist cinema. Now comes Susan Streitfeld’s The Summer of My Deflowering in the second cycle of Erotic Tales. The director of Female Perversions (1996), one of the most controversial feminist films ever made, Streitfeld is familiar with all the issues at hand. “It was difficult to find an actress to play the lead role of the calculating- woman careerist,” she admits in an interview. “Until Tilda Swinton came along - and resolved the issue with a magnificent performance.” In The Summer of My Deflowering the focus is on a young woman who believes that her video-diary, begun as a child, should close on note of absolute finality - the loss of her virginity. Once she has cruised the Internet for the likely beau, it’s off to the Garden of Eden motel in the Hollywood Hills to consummate the affair before a running camera … Synopsis Los Angeles, 2000. Megan David likes to keep track of her life with a camrecorder. It’s her video-diary, her art project for the Biennale. It depicts who she is, where she’s going, how she’s going “to pop her cherry“ – as she informs her girlfriend. And hip video artist that she is, Megan has even picked out the right partner through the Internet - a theology major named Luke - for the summer of her deflowering at the Garden of Eden. But when the love-birds arrive on the motel, the concierge hands them the key to their room on a condition - they are not to eat the apple ...

Vamp in Negligee

2000
Life seems to be good for Ellen Schweizer. The attractive and successful author of historical love stories has been happily married for almost 20 years to businessmen Donald.

Who Cares About Pretty Men

2000
Linda is seriously frustrated. Her job in an advertising agency is almost giving her a nervous breakdown, and while the new man in her life, Mike Badon, is an absolute sweetheart, he lives a long way away.

Why don't we do it in the road?

2000
Zarah, a postmodern creative artist, likes doing it with Anton in the most quaint and daring of public places - right where and when the traffic is the heaviest. This time to heighten the fun,  Zarah hits upon a special object of desire.

Wives' Nest

2000
Franziska Zis has made it. Her debut novel is a huge success. Alexander Karl, programme director at Sender TV, even he wants her as a talk show host.

At Fifty Men Kiss Differently

1999
Marie really should enjoy life: the children have left home and she has all the time she needs to paint.

At Your Own Risk III

1999
Thekla Carola Wied is Anna Marx again...

Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please?

1999
Background Rosa did one of those photogenic double-takes when he was told by Ziegler-Film that his Bratwurst had been booked by no less 80 international festivals and other film events over the past 18 months - an average of nearly once a week. “Don’t be surprised if we reach 100 by the end of the year,” mused Regina Ziegler. “Maybe we should register the film in the Guinness Book of Records!” That cordial, lasting, mutually esteemed relationship between producer Regina Ziegler and writer-director Rosa von Praunheim goes back three decades - to when Regina assisted Rosa (alias Holger Mischwitzki) on one of the comic cult classics of the New German Cinema movement: Die Bettwurst (1970). Starring Rosa’s fabulous “Aunt Luci” Kryn and the inimitable Dietmar Kracht, the film proved so popular that it prompted an immediate sequel, Berliner Bettwurst (1973), and might have hatched a series had not Dietmar tried to swim Lake Havel one luminous evening. No matter - Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please? bears all the earmarks of a consummated trilogy: a kinky, ribald, diverting, hilarious Erotic Tale. And not a moment too soon, for it was the last screen appearance of the nonagenarian Luci Kryn. Shot at the fabled Highland Gardens in Hollywood, and starring gay porn star Jeff Stryker in his first full-fledged acting role, Bratwurst confirms Praunheim as a gifted storyteller with a light hand for comic twists, a flair for amusing character portrayals, and a pronounced talent for situational theatrics that walk the fine line between the absolutely absurd and the positively preposterous. As one observant critic remarked, “there’s never been a Christmas dinner quite like this one before!” Synopsis This sweet little cannibal comedy stars the legendary porno star Jeff Stryker in his first legitimate role. Jeff plays a stranger from the Midwest who arrives in Hollywood, rents a motel room, and becomes the major fantasy of the owner, his mother and all the other guests. Young and old, male and female, black and white: everybody finds him delectable. In the end, they invite him for a Christmas dinner.....

Comedy for UNICEF I

1999
It happened in November of 1999: High-level representatives of the German stand-up comedians assembled in Berlin for a good

Death Angel

1999
Sylvie was attacked in a park, on her way to a carnival. Her assailant almost raped her and very nearly killed her before escaping.

Georgian Grapes

1999
Background An acclaimed actor-director in a prominent Georgian film dynasty, Georgi Shengelaya is the second son of renown filmmaker Nikolai Shengelaya, whose Eliso (1928) and Twenty-Six Commissars (1933) rank with the best silent films made in the former Soviet Union, and legendary stage-and-screen actress Nato Vachnadze. His older brother, director Eldar Shengelaya, heads the Association of Georgian Filmmakers and is presently serving in parliament. While a student at the Moscow Film School (VGIK) under Alexander Dovzhenko, Georgi Shengelaya made Alaverdoba (1962/67), a short feature about a pilgrimage to attend a traditional Georgian “Thanksgiving Day” at an ancient church. Folkloric and religious in tone, Alaverdoba embodied the national spirit - and was promptly banned for five years. Returning to Tbilisi to work at the Grusiafilm Studios, Georgi Shengelaya again challenged the Soviet censors with what amounted to a small-scale national epic: Pirosmani (1969/72). A fictional, humanistic portrait of Niko Pirosmanishvili, it tells the story of a legendary primitive painter who died of starvation in 1918 and left behind few details of his life - like Vincent van Gogh, he was to achieve fame and recognition only after his death. Due to its religious implications (besides being is a thinly disguised Passion Play), Pirosmani was shelved by the authorities for three years. As for Georgian Grapes, it follows in the director’s line of popular folkloric tales - Melodies from an Old Quarter (1973), Come to the Valley of the Grapes (1976), A Young Composer’s Odyssey (1984) - that reflect the daily life, the give-and-take humor, the easy-going bucolic existence of his people. Contrast the urban with the rural, add tongue-in-cheek dialogue, spice it with a rhythmic musical motif and an autumnal pastoral setting - and you have an enchanting Georgian fairy tale. Synopsis The days pass slowly for Lia amid the vineyards of a rural Georgian village. Still in the prime of life, her beauty is overlooked even by her husband Sandro, who runs the local car repair shop. Things change when Megi, the comely star of a film being shot nearby, happens upon the scene to get her car repaired. Lia knows a rival when she sees one - although she's also aware she doesn't stand a chance against a mini-skirt. Megi, however, has a few tricks up her sleeve too - she knows what a Cinderella needs to rid herself of the pumpkin.

I Love my Family, I Really Do!

1999
Julia loves her family: her four children, aunt Isolde and the dog Victor. The only person she does not love as much is her still-to-be- husband Wolf. He was unfaithful and so she threw him out.

Men and Other Catastrophes

1999
Judith cannot help it, she just is a little clumsy. Any kind of problem just sticks to her like flies to a wall. And of course she is unhappy with her boy-friend Holger as well as with her economics studies at university.

Men Are Like Chocolate

1999
Linda, a 32 year-old-single, works as an art director for the advertising agency König & König. Together with her gay colleague Donald she enjoys watching happy couples on TV.

No Trains no Planes

1999
NO TRAINS NO PLANES is a film about looking for contact and communication, love and intimacy. And about the way people wriggle mainly to escape after all from what they were looking for.

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