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‘Ingeborg Bachmann’ Producer Tellfilm Lines Up Paranoid Thriller ‘Motherhood,’ Musical Drama ‘Gloria,’ Launches First Series Project (EXCLUSIVE)

Zurich-based Tellfilm, the Swiss outfit behind this year’s Golden Bear contender “Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert,” has lined up a robust co-production slate, teaming with European partners on the psychological thriller “Motherhood” and the period drama “Gloria!,” while developing their first scripted series “How to Be Sad – The Right Way” with an eye towards global streamers.

Co-produced by Austria’s Freibeuter Film (“The Great Freedom”) and with Germany’s The Match Factory handling international sales, the Johanna Moder directed “Motherhood” will tackle maternal anxieties through the lens of a tense psychological thriller. Production is slated for later this year, with actors Marie Leuenberger and Hans Löw signed as leads. “The Square” star Claes Bang is attached as well.

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Lensing this May, the musical drama “Gloria!” will tell a story of artistic liberation in Baroque-era Venice. Headed by Tempesta’s Carlo Cresto-Dina – whose Alice Rohrwacher short “Le Pupille” is up for an Academy Award – and directed by singer and actress Margherita Vicario in her feature debut, the period tale reimagines the world of classical music on more equal standing.

“The film asks, how would things have been had young women been allowed to make music at that time,” Tellfilm managing director Katrin Renz told Variety. “Because in reality, only men were allowed to learn instruments and to have a voice. It’s quite a beautiful film about young women trying to find music in their lives.”

Tellfilm will also launch its first scripted drama with the development project “How to Be Sad – The Right Way.” Laced with humor, marked by mourning, and developed alongside public broadcaster SRF, the tragicomic series will follow a weekly support group for people dealing with various forms of grief, with each episode following a different group member home. Rising filmmaker Marina Klauser will serve as head writer, while Tellfilm pitches the title to international streamers.

This move towards greater international partnerships comes on the heels of Tellfilm’s most ambitious project to date. Premiering in competition in Berlin, the Margarethe von Trotta directed “Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey into the Desert,” saw Tellfilm partner with outfits in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, forging new paths into the European industry, and offering the Helvetic shingle growing continental influence.

“Switzerland is a small country, and it’s difficult to produce films in Swiss German, especially if you want to sell them abroad,” said Renz. “No one speaks Swiss German — not even the Germans understand it! So we’ve realized over the years that we really need co-productions in order to play a part in the larger film world.”

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