Sony Pictures Classics Buys Berlinale Panorama Film ‘The Teachers’ Lounge’

Sony Pictures Classics has bought “The Teachers’ Lounge,” Ilker Çatak’s drama which world premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, for North America, Latin America and Eastern Europe (excluding Hungary).

“The Teachers’ Lounge” marks the fourth feature from Çatak, who co-wrote the screenplay with Johannes Duncker. The movie played in the Panorama section and won the Europa Cinemas Label award for Best European film, as well as the CICAE Arthouse Cinema Award.

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Produced by Ingo Fliess and shot by award-winning cinematographer Judith Kaufmann (“Corsage”), “The Teachers’ Lounge” stars Leonine Benesch (“The Crown”), Michael Klammer, Rafael Stachowiak, and Eva Löbau.

Benesch stars in the film as Carla Nowak, a dedicated sports and math teacher who starts her first job at a school. She stands out among the new staff because of her idealism. When a series of thefts occur at the school and one of her students is suspected, she decides to get to the bottom of the matter on her own. Carla tries to mediate between outraged parents, opinionated colleagues, and aggressive students, but is relentlessly confronted with the structures of the school system. The more desperately she tries to do everything right, the more the young teacher threatens to break.

“Becoming part of the Sony Pictures Classics family is an accolade for any filmmaker,” said Çatak. “The artists in their ranks have influenced me along the way and it is a great honor to now be able to count myself among them,” the director continued.

Sony Pictures Classics said “In Ilker Çatak’s ‘The Teachers’ Lounge,’ everyday life in a school is a metaphor for the complexity and conflicts of the larger world.”

“We identify with the protagonist who makes one mistake after another thinking she is doing the right thing. She is us. The movie is brilliant, precise, dramatic, beautiful,” continued SPC.

The deal was negotiated with Pamela Leu of Be For Films, a part of Playtime Group, on behalf of the filmmakers.

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