Jan-Ole Gerster opens the Oldenburg International Film Festival for the second time, with Corinna Harfouch starring as »Lara«

Jan-Ole Gerster‘s breakout debut »A Coffee in Berlin« was the Opening Night film of the Oldenburg International Film Festival in 2012 – garnering him his first Best Film Award as it swept all awards. Now he returns with his follow-up »Lara«.

It’s been seven years since the atmospheric, black-and-white indie film »A Coffee in Berlin« created quite a stir at the Oldenburg International Film Festival. When the festival was over, Jan-Ole Gerster’ debut had won the German Independence Award for the best German film, the German Independence Audience Award and the Seymour Cassel Award for its star Tom Schilling, who is also playing the male lead in Gerster’s new film »Lara«.

From Oldenburg, Gerster and Schilling took an international victory lap – the former for his screenplay and direction, the latter as best actor. Six German Film Awards and the European Film Award for the best European discovery.

His second film is based on a screenplay by Slovenian author Blaž Kutin. It shows striking parallels between »Lara« and »Oh Boy«, with the audience following one person for one day through Berlin. Their subjective fears and doubts are the center of both films.

While »Oh Boy« deals with a failed law student’s fear of an uncertain future while getting caught in a web of possible opportunities, the main motif of »Lara« is a mother dealing with her past and her connection to her son. Lara Jenkin is confronted with an emptiness in her life that does not even vanish on her birthday. Not even her son Victor bothers to congratulate her.

Lara, herself an ambitious pianist, has invested all of her energy into her son’s musical development. Today, on her birthday, he is supposed to give an important concert – but so far has not invited his mother.

While reading the screenplay, Gerster immediately thought of casting Corinna Harfouch as Lara. The actress on stage and screen has impressed audiences for decades with roles in films like »The Devil and Ms. D« (1999, Bernd Eichinger), »The Trials of Vera B.« (2001, Hark Bohm), »Downfall« (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel) und »Home for the Weekend« (2012, Hans-Christian Schmid).

»Lara« was produced by Marcos Kantis for Schiwago Film, as a co-production with Studiocanal Film. World-sales are handled by Beta Cinema. The film’s official German release date is November 7, 2019.