Watershed was one of only two cinemas in the UK to host this year’s edition of European Cinema Night with a special free preview of the German arthouse hit System Crasher followed by a Q&A with the film’s producer Frauke Kolbmüller.
The special screening of the MEDIA-supported title ‘System
Crasher’ was presented in partnership with its UK distributor, South West-based
606 Distribution and Bristol UNESCO City of Film.
Now in its second year, European Cinema Night is a unique event which celebrates the richness of European film culture by screening MEDIA-supported films in 54 cities, reaching more than 14,500 people. Guests on the evening included System Crasher producer Frauke Kolbmüller and leading figures from Bristol’s film production industry including Kate Byers and Linn Waite, producers of the South West hit Bait, who won the award for Breakthrough Producer at the British Independent Film Awards earlier this week. Bait screened at Watershed for an astounding eight weeks earlier this year and returns on Fri 27 Dec with a selection of 35mm screenings.
In a Q&A following the screening of the powerful film, Producer Frauke Kolbmüller described the phenomenon of System Crasher in German cinemas since it won the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlinale, becoming one of the most successful local arthouse releases of the year in Germany, grossing $2.9m in its first four weeks on release. Opening on 93 screens on in mid September, it grew to 400 screens by the following month. Kolbmüller described writer/director Nora Fingscheidt’s process of crafting the story of “Benni” and casting the outstanding lead actress, Helen Zengel. Pat Kelman, Head of 606 Distribution, recounted that watching an eight minute clip of the film was enough for him to know that he wanted to release it in the UK.
Mark Cosgrove, Cinema Curator, Watershed says: “It
was a privilege to be invited to be part of the European Cinema Night
celebrations. Showcasing the richness of European and world cinema is in our
DNA so being able to bring a preview of the award-winning German film System
Crasher to Bristol audiences felt very special. Also, having the opportunity to
connect the film’s producer Frauke Kolbmüller with Bristol and the South West
filmmaking talent to share film industry experiences was a real
Bristol UNESCO City of Film Coordinator Natalie Moore: “Independent films like System Crasher and
Bait make up a tiny proportion of films released in UK cinemas each year, yet
the impact they can have on audiences is immeasurable. It was a real treat to
host European Cinema Night in Bristol and to welcome Frauke to share details
about the journey the filmmaking team have been on. System Crasher sheds light
on one of the toughest social issues we face; children in care and the
challenges of the systems that are set up to protect them. Bristol audiences
are fantastic at getting behind unique stories that are expertly told; I’m
confident this film will get the great response it deserves when it is released
in the UK next year.”
debut feature from German director Nora Fingscheidt, ‘System Crasher’ is a
powerful drama about a troubled nine year-old girl caught in an overstretched
social welfare system. Driven by a powerhouse performance from Helena Zengel as
the young Benni, the film was a highlight of the Berlin International Film
Festival in February this year, winning the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize
which recognises films that "opens new perspectives on cinematic
Crasher will be released in the UK in March 2020.