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Aug 27 2015

The feature film LABYRINTH OF LIES (IM LABYRINTH DES SCHWEIGENS) by Giulio Ricciarelli (Claussen + Wöbke + Putz Filmproduktion, naked eye filmproduction) will represent Germany as the official submission for the 88th Oscar® for the Best Foreign Language Film. This has been decided by an independent jury appointed by German Films. Jury representative Dagmar Hirtz announced the decision at a press presentation in Munich today.

The nine-person jury substantiated its decision as follows: "Director Giulio Ricciarelli and his team create in his precisely researched debut feature a drama which is both gripping and touching. LABYRINTH OF LIES  thrills with a little-known chapter of German post-war history: the Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt. Alexander Fehling convinces with his intensive performance as a public prosecutor searching for truth and justice in the film, which has already been successful internationally, both at festivals and box offices."

Producers Uli Putz, Jakob Claussen (Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion) and Sabine Lamby (naked eye filmproduction) commented on the jury's decision: "We are delighted by this huge honor and challenge. And we are very happy to be partnered by such an experienced distribution and sales company as Sony Pictures Classics as we embrace this special opportunity in the USA."

And director Giulio Ricciarelli: "I have had so many excellent experiences with this film abroad already; as in Germany, viewers are touched and moved, and often begin to think about their own history. Such an international response to this theme was very important to us. The jury's decision represents a great opportunity and pleasure for us. Thank you."

Michael Barker, Co-President Sony Pictures Classics: "People are amazed that they are discovering a true story they had no knowledge of beforehand. This is an important movie about justice and memory and it is one of those rare movies that is so well made, has a vital message and is entertaining at the same time."

LABYRINTH OF LIES tells the story of the young public prosecutor Johann Radmann, who embarked on a determined search for the truth behind the events of Auschwitz at the end of the 1950s, and so smoothed the way against all political and social opposition for the first Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt. Alexander Fehling can be seen in the leading role; in 2015 he received the Bavarian Film Award as Best Actor for this achievement. 

LABYRINTH OF LIES is a production by Claussen+Wöbke+Putz Filmproduktion in co-production with naked eye filmproduction. The production was funded by HessenInvestFilm, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), the German Federal Film Board (FFA), and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

The film experienced its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2014, where it met with very positive responses from both press and audiences. It was subsequently shown at film festivals including Zurich, Hong Kong and Shanghai. At Les Arcs European Film Festival 2014 it won the Audience Award and a Special Mention from the jury. 

The international distributor Beta Cinema has sold LABYRINTH OF LIES in 118 countries to date. It has already been launched successfully at cinemas in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Israel. In France in particular, it has been one of the most successful German feature films of recent years, seen by audiences totalling just under 350,000. The distributor Sony Pictures Classics is planning a start in US cinemas on 30 September 2015.  In Germany LABYRINTH OF LIES was launched on 6 November 2014 by Universal Pictures International Germany and has been seen by 250,000 cinema viewers so far.

The announcement of the five films nominated for the Oscar® will be made on 14 January 2016. The Oscar® presentation ceremony will take place in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on 28 February 2016.

The German entry for the Oscar® in the category Best Foreign Language Film is determined by an annually appointed selection committee, which comprises nine representatives of different associations and institutions.

German Films is responsible for the preparation, organization and implementation of the selection procedure for the German candidate film for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. In this function, German Films’ responsibilities are strictly of organizational nature. German Films itself is not represented in the selection committee.

Members of this year's independent selection committee were:

Association of German Film Producers: Karsten Stöter
German Producers Alliance/ Cinema Section: Christoph Müller
Association of German Film Exporters: Julia Weber
Association of German Film Distributors: Oliver Koppert
German Cinema Owners Association: Doris Lerchl-Goldermann
German Film Critics Association: Dunja Bialas
Bundesverband Regie e.V.: Dagmar Hirtz
German Film Academy: Sven Burgemeister, Mathilde Bonnefoy