“Stella. A Life.,” which stars Berlinale best actress award-winner Paula Beer, has been sold to France, Scandinavia and Australia. The film will have a market screening at Toronto Film Festival, and will have its world premiere with a Gala Screening at the Zurich Film Festival.
Kinovista has taken distribution rights in France, with a theatrical release set for Jan. 17, in a deal negotiated by sales agency Global Screen. Further deals were closed with Mis. Label for Scandinavia and Moving Story for Australia.
The film had previously been sold to Spain (Twelve Oaks Pictures), Portugal (Films 4 You), Latin America (CDI), Japan (The Klockworx), South Korea (Mediasoft) and Taiwan (Eagle Intl.), as well as for worldwide inflight rights.
Set in Berlin during World War II and inspired by a true story, the film focuses on Stella Goldschlag, who dreams of a career as a jazz singer. When the Gestapo arrests her, her life turns from the tragedy of a victim to one of a perpetrator.
Beer, who stars as Stella, won the best actress awards at the Berlin Film Festival and the European Film Awards for “Undine” in 2020. In 2016, she won the best young actress award at the Venice Film Festival for “Frantz.”
The film is directed by Kilian Riedhof, whose movie “You Will Not Have My Hate” premiered last year at the Locarno Film Festival. His 2013 feature film debut “Back on Track” was a German box office hit. Riedhof is one of Germany’s most in demand television directors with successes such as “Homevideo,” “54 Hours” and “Fatal News.”
“The special relevance of Stella Goldschlag’s story for today’s audience lies in the complexity of the protagonist and the hopelessness of her situation,” Global Screen said. “Paula Beer gives a compelling performance, conveying the impotence of living within an all-powerful, totalitarian regime.”
Benedict Neuenfels (“I’m Your Man”) was the cinematographer. The screenplay was written by Marc Blöbaum, Jan Braren and Riedhof. The film was produced by Michael Lehmann and Katrin Goetter for Letterbox Filmproduktion.
“Stella. A Life.” will be shown in a market screening at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 8, at 6.15 p.m., in Tiff Bell Lightbox 6.