Jan-Ole Gerster opens 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, including Tom Schilling for Best Actor. He returns with his follow-up »Lara«, which will open this year’s festival.

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 Best German Film, the Audience Award for Best Film and the Seymour Cassel Award for its star Tom Schilling, who again stars as 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. With 25 wins and 23 nominations internationally, including six German Film Awards and the European Film Award for European Discovery, Gerster’s auspicious debut established him as one of the most successful German filmmakers of his generation.
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, Victor is supposed to give an important concert – but so far has not invited his mother.

While reading the screenplay, Gerster immediately envisioned German acting legend Corinna Harfouch as Lara. The actress on stage and screen has impressed audiences for decades with roles in films as »The Devil and Ms. D« (1999, Bernd Eichinger), »The Trials of Vera B.« (2001, Hark Bohm), »Downfall« (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel) and »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.

Wednesday,September 11, at 7 pm, »Lara« opens the 26th Oldenburg International Film Festival with a gala premiere with Jan-Ole Gerster and talent in attendance.