»UNFORGIVEN« by Sarik Andreasyan opens 25th Oldenburg International Film Festival.

With the European premiere of the Russian film »UNFORGIVEN«, a non-German film opens the festival - a first in its 25-year history. But an aspect of recent German history provides the film’s setting.

Russian star-director Sarik Andreasyan tells the deeply traumatic, true story of Ossetian citizen Vitaliy Kaloev, who loses his entire family in the airplane collision over Überlingen in 2002. His pain, but also the lack of empathy and regret of the parties responsible, lead to a second, human catastrophe. After Andreasyan wowed audiences with »Guardians«, Russia’s answer to Marvel’s superhero-films, he now emerges as a virtuoso of actor’s cinema, not shying away from larger-than-life emotions.

Historical facts are the basis of his film, which tells a story that was very thoroughly and comprehensively covered by the media in the 2000s. After the in-air collision over Überlingen in 2002, which occurred because of a chain of errors, oversights and technical problems over the Bodensee and cost the lives of 71 people, amongst them 49 Russian children, another human catastrophe develops that Andreasyan’s film turns into an intense, haunting and visually moving piece of cinema. The Ossetian architect Vitaliy Kaloev believes to have found the guilty party in Swiss air traffic controller Peter Nielsen. Desperate because of the callousness of the companies involved in this tragedy, who have lost track of the human component while trying to assign blame, he calls on Nielsen in 2004 and fatally stabs him. Dmitriy Nagiev, one of Russia’s biggest stars, gives an unforgettable performance as Vitaliy Kaloev.

Director Sarik Andreasyan is a cinematic phenomenon – and not only in Russia. At the age of only 29, he is among the three most successful Russian directors of all time. In 2012 he made his US-debut with »American Heist«, while his drama »Earthquake« was selected as Armenia’s candidate for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards 2016. In 2017, his film »Guardians« wowed audiences as Russia’s answer to Marvel’s superhero-films.

The film’s story has twice before been turned into a German film, for the cinema in Nicolai Rohde’s »10 Sekunden« for television as »Flug in die Nacht – Das Unglück von Überlingen«, where Ken Duken played the role of the air traffic controller – but they approached the human tragedy from a different perspective.

»Unforgiven« will be shown in Oldenburg with German subtitles, provided by Alias Film und Sprachtransfer, a partner of the festival. The film was produced by Big Cinema House and will have its European premiere in Oldenburg, after previously having been shown at the Shanghai International Film Festival and the Moscow International Film Festival.

On Wednesday, September 12, 7.00pm, »UNFORGIVEN« will open the 25th Oldenburg International Film Festival during the course of a festive gala-premiere, with director Sarik Andreasyan, producer Lenny Levi and other members of cast and crew in attendance. For the first time, this year’s opening gala will take place in the congress center of the Weser Ems Hallen.

Ticket sale for the Opening Gala at the EWE Arena starts on the 24th August and can be purchased on our website at
For all other events and screenings ticket sale starts from September 3th online and at the official box office venues at bau_werk Halle and at all ADticket - box office venues.
Season tickets and tickets for the JVA screenings are available at the bau_werk Halle only.

From now on until the 06th August it is possible to apply for an accreditation for the 25th Oldenburg International Filmfestival. You can find our formula on Please do not forget to send us an actual portrait photo of yours to the following e-mail address: . The documents for the accreditation can be received from 10th September at the festivalcenter at bau_werk Halle.

The complete program will be announced on Thursday, August 30.

Photos and more information about this film are available at
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