The Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany’s leading all-indie fest, unveiled highlights for its 30th-anniversary edition, including several world premieres featuring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Mission : Impossible star Ving Rhames.
Uppercut, a boxing film featuring Mission: Impossible star Ving Rhames, will close the festival on September 17. Director Torsten Ruether remade his own, German-language, debut Leberhaken, which premiered in Oldenburg in 2021. The Million Dollar Baby-style story sees Rhames as a disillusioned former boxer who gets a shot at redemption when a young woman shows up at his gym, begging him to train her.
Spanish genre director F. Javier Gutierrez will bring his latest horror tale, The Wait, to Oldenburg this year. Gutiérrez’s 2008 debut After the Fall, an end-of-the-world sci-fi thriller, was a cross-over hit, and his follow-up was the big-budget Rings (2017) for Paramount, the third entry in the Japanese-inspired horror saga. But the film, despite grossing $83 million worldwide, was judged a disappointment and Gutierrez returned to Spain for his third feature, about a hardscrabble family whose lives tip into a nightmare. The film, starring Pedro Casablanc, Luis Callejo, Víctor Clavijo, and Ruth Díaz, will have its world premiere in Oldenburg next month.
Whenever I’m Alone With You, a Nouvelle Vague-inspired French romantic comedy from directors Guillaume Campanacci and Vedrana Egon, will also have its world premiere at the German indie fest. The directors play the lead roles, as, respectively, a suicidal Frenchman and a Bosnian ballerina caught in a loveless relationship who meet cute in southern France.
Other Oldenburg premieres include 80s-set paranoid comedy The Belgian Wave from Spit’n’Split director Jerome Vandewattyne; and German features Das Wunderkind from director Thomas Stiller and Allmen Und Das Geheimnis Des Koi from Sinje Köhler.
Robot Dreams, Pablo Berger’s dog-and-robot buddy comedy animated feature, which premiered in Cannes, will get its first German outing in Oldenburg, as will The King of Algiers, a Cannes Midnight Screener from first-time director Elias Belkeddar starring Reda Kateb and Benoît Magimel, and Marion Cotillard-starrer Little Girl Blue, a French psychological docudrama from director Mona Achache, in which the Inception star plays Achache’s mother, the writer and set photographer Carole Achache. Achache plays herself in the film, which premiered in Cannes, interrogating Cotillard as her mother about her life and her decision to commit suicide.
Other previously-announced 2023 Oldenburg titles include The Nothingness Club, Edgar Pêra’s drama inspired by the world of iconic Portugese writer Fernando Pessoa, and Passenger C, the directorial debut of veteran producer Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club, Mudbound, The Butler), inspired by a red-eye flight that changed his life.
Oldenburg fans can also check out, below, the festival’s latest film spoof trailer, which shows director Torsten Neumann giving his best Apocalypse Now Marlon Brando as he pontificates on the true meaning of film festivals.
The 30th Oldenburg Film Festival runs September 13-17, 2023.