At the end of August, an independent jury appointed by German Films selected NEVER LOOK AWAY by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck to represent Germany as the official submission for the 91st Oscar® in the category Best Foreign Language Film. A total of 11 films were submitted for the selection process.

The nine-person jury, headed by jury representative Moritz Hemminger (Association of German Film Exporters), substantiated its decision as follows: “With great epic breadth, NEVER LOOK AWAY tells a moving story of an artist’s fate in post-war Germany, in a time where it was difficult to find one’s own artistic language. Supported by a terrific ensemble of actors, the film has great poetic moments and poses an essential question which is still relevant today: Finding one’s own stance.”

For director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, this is second time in the running for the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film: in 2006, his film THE LIVES OF OTHERS was selected as the German submission and won the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007.

Inspired by true events, NEVER LOOK AWAY tells the story of the art student Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) who falls in love with his fellow student Ellie Seeband (Paula Beer). But Ellie’s father, the celebrated medical professor Carl Seeband (Sebastian Koch), sees everything he hates and despises in this potential future son-in-law. He does everything he possibly can to destroy the relationship. But what no one knows is that their fates are already intertwined through a horrible crime Seeband committed many years ago. NEVER LOOK AWAY is an emotional rollercoaster ride through three decades of German history, told through the eyes of a young artist in whose family the paths of both victims and perpetrators tragically cross.

Sales agent and co-producer Beta Cinema has already sold Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s film in over 60 territories, including Spain, Italy, France, UK, Latin America, and the USA. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in US cinemas.

NEVER LOOK AWAY team at TIFF 2018 (© German Films/Hubert Boesl)