The Light, Tom Tykwer’s first film for the cinema since his 2016 German-US comedy A Hologram For The King is one of 10 feature film projects allocated almost €6m in production support by the Düsseldorf-based regional fund Film-und Medienstiftung NRW.
Tykwer’s original screenplay for The Light (Das Licht) centres on a troubled family who take on a Syrian immigrant as a housekeeper. When she successfully shakes up the lives of the family she then confronts them with the dark fate of her own.
German-born Tala Al Deen will star with Lars Eidinger and Nicolette Krebitz) Al Deen is also a singer and musician in the feminist pop band Frau Sammer and a member of the queer feminist theatre collective Deine Mudda.
The Light is being produced by X Filme Creative Pool, the company Tykwer runs with Wolfgang Becker, Dani Levy and Stefan Arndt. It has received €900,000 funding and will shoot parts of the film at locations in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Since 2017, Tykwer has been busy directing four series of Babylon Berlin with fellow directors Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegteierect.
Four Germany-UK co-productions have also received funding from Film-und Medienstiftung NRW.
The single biggest award of €1m was granted to Fleur Fortuné’s debut feature The Assessment, set to star Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Olsen. The co-production between Stephen Woolley of the UK’s Number 9 Films and Cologne-based augenschein Filmproduktion with much of the filming taking place in Cologne’s MMC Studios.
A grant of €850,000 has been awarded to Sophie Heldmann’s second feature Miss Pirie And Miss Woods. It is an adaptation by Heldmann and lead actress Flora Nicholson of Lillian Faderman’s novel Scotch Verdict. It tells the 1810 story of a scandal when a Scottish student accused two of her female teachers of having an affair. It is being produced by Cologne-based Heimatfilm with Switzerland’s Dschoint Ventschr and the UK’s City Edge Films. Charlie Murphy co-stars.
UK-based Tina Gharavi’s unromantic comedy Virginia Woolf’s Night And Day, based on Woolf’s eponymous novel, has been allocated €600,000. It is a co-production between Cologne’s Glisk – A Federation Studio Company, UK’s Asterisk Films and Piccadilly Pictures, and Ireland’s Blinde rFilms. Haley Bennett, Elyas M’Barek, Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders are attached to star.
Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Harvest, adapted with Joslyn Barnes from the novel by Jim Crace, has received €350,000. The neo-Western set in a Scottish village at the beginning of the 19th century will be produced by Match Factory Productions with the UK’s Sixteen Films, France’s Why Not Productions and the US’ Louverture Films.
Other features to receive funding include David Dietl’s adaptation of the Danish film Long Story Short as Freunde (working title), RP Kahl’s adaptation of the Peter Weiss play The Investigation (Die Ermittlung), and Ali Samadi Ahadi’s latest animation feature Go With The Floh.