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Opening Film

Inside view of a state of emergency


19 July 2022


With We are next of kin by Hans-Christian Schmid, the 30th FILMFEST HAMBURG will open on 29 September 2022 as a world premiere and in the presence of the director, actors and crew. It is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Johann Scheerer, who describes the kidnapping of his father Jan Philipp Reemtsma from his own perspective as a 13-year-old


‘Finally, another feature film by Hans-Christian Schmid! And one about a nationally known Hamburg crime case that was filmed in Hamburg and will celebrate its world premiere here. We couldn’t resist,’ says festival director Albert Wiederspiel.


On 25 March 1996, the publicist Jan Philipp Reemtsma is kidnapped. For 13-year-old Johann, nothing was the same on that day. With the kidnapping of his father, he experiences real fear for the first time in his life. Overnight, his home is transformed into an operations centre, police officers become housemates of questionable competence. For more than four weeks, Johann witnesses the tenacity of the struggle with the kidnappers, and how the agonising uncertainty affects everyone in the house. In between failed money transfers, his father’s desperate letters reach him. How does one endure the worry, anxiety and boredom? How do you fill the days when anything can happen at any time, but at the same time you are forced to wait?


Hans-Christian Schmid (After Five in the Forest Primeval, Distant Lights, Storm, The Vanishing, Home for the Weekend) directs the screenplay developed by Michael Gutmann and him about a family in a state of emergency and tells the Jan Philipp Reemstma kidnapping case for the first time from the point of view of the relatives, based on the autobiographical novel by Johann Scheerer.


We are next of kin was shot on locations in Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to Claude Heinrich as Johann and Adina Vetter as Ann Kathrin Scheerer, Justus von Dohnányi, Hans Löw, Yorck Dippe, Enno Trebs and Fabian Hinrichs are in front of Julian Krubasik’s camera.


The film, which is screening as a world premiere at FILMFEST HAMBURG in the section ‘Große Freiheit’ and is nominated for the Hamburgs Producer Award of German Cinema Prodctions, is a co-production of 23/5 Filmproduktion (Britta Knöller and Hans-Christian Schmid) with NDR (Christian Granderath, Sabine Holtgreve), BR (Claudia Simionescu) and Arte (Andreas Schreitmüller, Claudia Tronnier) and is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the  Deutschen FilmFörderFonds , MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Film- und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, FFA Filmförderungsanstalt and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Pandora Film Verleih will release We are next of kin in German cinemas on 3 November 2022.


Photo: 23/5 Filmproduktion, Julian Krubasik



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