Time to Rise and Shine

Time to Rise and Shine

Berlin-based sales outfit Rise and Shine pops up the road to EFM with two films in official selection and two market premieres.


In Susanne Regina Meures’ Saudi Runaway, described by Rise and Shine Festivals Manager Anja Dziersk as “a powerful contender for next year´s Academy Awards,” a young woman, using her smartphone camera, invites us into ‘a life lived behind closed doors, a veil and the façade of a respectable family’. Muna’s life is determined by her father and a much-mentioned future husband. Realising that her passport is about to expire and that neither of these men will agree to an extension, she plots her escape from Saudi Arabia…


“The Hollywood Reporter called it ‘a profile in courage, more suspenseful than many Hollywood thrillers,’ and I think they are right,” adds Dziersk.


The company is also handling Garage People by Natalija Nefimkina which world premieres in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino. In the film, Russia’s far north is an inhospitable region where winter never seems to end and the fresh snow is covered by the black soot of industry. Here, on the edge of a city where a mining company is the sole employer, garages stretch out into infinity. Behind their rusty doors you can find just about everything – except a car. These boltholes are the refuge of the Russian man…


“It is a humourous and at the same time deep journey into the soul of Russia,” Dziersk comments, adding, “At Rise and Shine, we like films that are strongly political, emotional and personal.”


The company’s market premieres include Once Upon A Time in Venezuela, selected for 2020 Sundance World Cinema Doc Competition, and Markus Vetter´s The Forum, which opened DOKLeipzig in November 2019.  


Anabel Rodríguez Ríos Once Upon A Time in Venezuela ‘asks how the small fishing village of Congo Mirador can survive corruption, pollution and political decay? A reflection of all the flaws of contemporary Venezuela’. 


In The Forum, for the first time in the 50-year history of the World Economic Forum, an independent film team was able to shoot behind closed doors. As the world stands at a crossroads, they document the most powerful people on the planet making decisions that will affect us all. 


Other films on the Rise and Shine slate include Dutch filmmaker John Appel’s Once the Dust Settles, a study of how tourism is used to combat adversity within three cities struck by disaster, and Agnieszka Zwiefka’s Scars, which tells the never before told story of forcibly recruited female Tamil fighters, shedding a new and controversial light on the unresolved conflict in Sri Lanka.