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Presse > Pressemitteilungen > PR 2: OLDENBURG launches MATCHBOX as emerging filmmakers dominate the 23rd Edition with bold feature debuts

PR 2: OLDENBURG launches MATCHBOX as emerging filmmakers dominate the 23rd Edition with bold feature debuts


The Matchbox Coproduction Lounge is a launch pad for developing projects by experienced filmmakers and emerging talents, organized by the Oldenburg International Film Festival team and taking place within the 5-day Festival. The one-day event aims at providing industry professionals a relaxed and personal environment in which to connect and create opportunities for future collaborations.

The inaugural line-up of international film projects selected includes “Potsdamer Platz” by Buddy Giovinazzo – the last project that Tony Scott optioned and was attached to direct. From Slovenia, award-winning writer/director Jan Cvitkovi? and producer Miha ?ernec will present “Mercedes Fire Horse”. And Leandro Taub – lead actor in Jodorowsky’s “Endless Poetry” – will step behind the camera to helm “The Dream of the Guest” with German producer Georg Georgi and Peter Rommel attached. 5 additional projects from exciting new filmmakers from the USA and Europe will also be presented in a line-up of unique creative discoveries. 

With a record-breaking slate of first-time filmmakers dominating the 23rd Edition, Oldenburg embraces new international voices alongside established filmmakers such as Chan-wook Park, Arto Halonen and Phedon Papamichael:

Stray Bullets, USA 2016, by Jack Fessenden
Inspired by his love of 70s crime-thrillers and a 1974 Dodge Dart Custom, 13 year-old Jack Fessenden began to pen his first feature. 3 years later, the 16 year-old filmmaker debuts with “Stray Bullets” – a gritty portrait of a day in the life of 2 adolescents whose chance encounter with the dangerous pasts of others will forever change their lives. Alongside veteran actors James Le Gros and Kevin Corrigan, Jack’s father, iconic New York underground filmmaker, Larry Fessenden, co-stars, produces, and is the cinematographer in this first offering from a powerful young voice. WORLD PREMIERE

Hey Bunny, GER 2016, by Barnaby Metschurat and Lavinia Wilson
Barnaby Metschurat and Lavinia Wilson are acclaimed actors in Germany, and have won numerous awards for their work on screen. „Hey Bunny“ marks their first feature film behind the camera as writer-directors, in a labor of love produced independently without any public funding in Berlin. The film follows Adam, a misanthropist ex-hacker, who is suspected of sabotaging a famous happiness research facility. A refreshing and guileless slacker comedy about idealistic activists, supernatural rabbits, and the belief in happiness. WORLD PREMIERE

Are We Not Cats, USA 2016, Xander Robin
After losing his job, his girlfriend, and his apartment in a single day, a young man attempts to restart his life, but is diverted when he meets a woman who shares his strangest habit - an inclination to pull and eat hair. Following his World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Oldenburg presents, with Xander Robin, a major talent to watch – whose feature debut brilliantly balances the bizarre story of a suppressed obsession with a profound sense of humanity and love for his characters. GERMAN PREMIERE

We Are the Flesh / Tenemos la Carne, MEX 2016, by Emiliano Rocha Minter
From Mexico hails one of the most exciting debut features to enter into the cinematic universe in years. Ardently endorsed by greats such as Iñárritu and Cuarón, Emiliano Rocha Minter’s apocalyptic vision is a polarizing and daring story of an old man obsessed with the idea of transforming his subterranean lair into a womb-like cave. When the siblings Lucio and Fauna discover his hideout and ask him for shelter, the film enters a bizarre and taboo-busting world of revisioned rituals, disturbing sexual relationships, and a dynamic in which dark and destructive instincts are unearthed and redefined.

The Noonday Witch / Polednice, CZE 2016, by Ji?í Sádek
Oldenburg’s 2014 German Independence Award Winners for “Hany”, Mat?j Chlupá?ek and Michal Samir, team up with first time feature director Ji?í Sádek to re-tell the classic Slavic fable of a mythical creature in this stunningly realized scorching supernatural thriller. With Czech superstar Ana Geislerová in the lead, a mother moves to a remote village with her 8 year-old daughter to start a new life while the father is ‘away on business’, or so she claims. But when her lies are discovered, her worst fears are summoned – and a terrifying reality emerges from denial. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

Chosen, UK 2016, by Jasmin Dizdar
Inspired by true events, director Jasmin Dizdar’s Second World War drama is the epic journey of Sonson, a Hungarian Jew, trying to keep the promise he’s made to his wife on her deathbed. Set in the winter of 1943, Sonson embarks on a life-changing mission into the Warsaw Ghetto to save his sister-in-law from being deported to Auschwitz. Dizdar skillfully creates a historic frame for his intimate tale supported by a nuanced performance of Harvey Keitel. EUROPEAN PREMIERE

White Rage / Valkoinen raivo, FIN 2015, by Arto Halone
Recipient of the European Union’s Humanitarian Award and hailed one of the best European Documentary filmmakers of his time, director Arto Halonen follows Lauri, and through him other victims of school bullying and a separate childhood trauma: victims full of white rage, which may lead to school shootings and other extreme acts of violence. The film is also about our society: a society without sufficient understanding or desire to address the emergence of school violence. In this deeply moving and keenly observed portrait, Halonen captures the core of a problem that affects so many and pushes oppressed souls into committing unspeakable acts of violence. GERMAN PREMIERE

The Handmaiden / Ah-ga-ssi, KOR 2016, by Chan-wook Park
Following his Grand Jury Prize in 2012 for “Old Boy”, director Chan-wook Park returned to Cannes with this masterful adaptation of Sarah Waters best-selling novel “Fingersmith”, taking us once again into his disorienting universe of ruthlessness. Set in 1930s Korea, this tale told in three parts follows Sook-hee, an infamous pickpocket, hired to gain trust and infiltrate the world of a wealthy desolate heiress with a plan to defraud her. This hypnotic and erotic portrait of the sharp tooth of sexual hypocrisy is consummate filmmaking at its best. GERMAN PREMIERE  

Death in Westfjord / Der Tote im Westfjord, GER 2016, by Till Endemann
Internationally renowned German actress Franka Potente returns to Germany with this crime drama directed by Till Endemann. Set in Iceland, Potente plays a tough yet vulnerable crime novelist Solveig Karlsdottir, who re-enters her former life on the rough Icelandic countryside and stumbles upon a crime that no one but her seems interested in solving. In the wild surrounding of untouched and forceful nature, she encounters a deeply suppressed environment of people who bury their compassion – and secrets. WORLD PREMIERE

A Beautiful Day, USA 2016, by Phedon Papamichael
Recipient of 2012s German Independence Honorary Retrospective Award, Oscar nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael returns to Oldenburg with his latest directorial offering. Starring Golden Globe winner James Brolin as an 80 year-old widower stuck in a monotonous everyday existence, Papamichael’s short film captures the life of a man’s suppressed emotions, regrets and final reckoning, in a poignant and thought-provoking portrait of the mundane. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE


Photos and more information about these films are available at

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Best regards

Internationales Filmfest Oldenburg


Tony – Die Agentur GbR

Lavinia Reinke –   Lavinia.Reinke(at)  -  0174/3408 691

Kathrin Ast – Kathrin.Ast(at)  -  0173/983 19 02


Pressebüro Filmfest Oldenburg:

Lena Küpper – presse(at) -  0441/2178143