Locarno First Look Winner ‘One Last Evening’ Picked Up by Beta Cinema Ahead of Debut in Competition at Rotterdam (EXCLUSIVE)

Beta Cinema has picked up sales rights to director Lukas Nathrath’s first feature film “One Last Evening,” a tragicomedy that competed in Locarno’s First Look selection and won the main prize. Produced on a micro-budget, “One Last Evening” will world premiere in International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Tiger Competition and subsequently at the Max Ophüls Preis Filmfestival.

“One Last Evening” (original title “Letzter Abend”) is set during the standstill of the pandemic summer and was shot over seven days, almost entirely in the protagonists’ city apartment: A young couple want a fresh start, moving from Hannover to Berlin. Lisa is an on-the-rise doctor bracing herself for a new position, Clemens is a talented but unsuccessful singer-songwriter crippled by self-doubts. To say goodbye, they host a dinner party in their now empty flat. But good friends cancel — and uninvited guests show up. As the attendees start eying each other’s achievements, the evening slowly escalates, leading to an emotional crash that uncovers misunderstandings, rivalries, animosities and anxieties.

Nathrath co-wrote the script with lead actor Sebastian Jakob Doppelbauer, and further developed the roles in close collaboration with his young actors ensemble. Nathrath and Doppelbauer started off the production independently and soon were joined by producer Linus Günther from klinkerfilm. Postproduction was enabled with the support of Nordmedia, local sponsoring and the Cinegrell First Look Award.

Nathrath stated: “Our characters crave for adventures and distractions after months of isolation. They don’t suffer materially but fear inadequacy in a success-based society. Although they are unhappy and lonely, they desperately want to appear cheerful and strong. This divergence between facade and emotions provided a lot of tragicomic potential for conflicts and awkwardness.”

Nathrath’s short film “Morale” was invited to the Next Generation Program of German Films at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. His graduation film “Kippa” screened at more than 50 international film festivals and received the Studio Hamburg Young Talent Award and the European CIVIS Media Prize. As an actor, Nathrath has appeared in numerous film and television productions.

Thorsten Ritter, exec VP acquisitions, sales and marketing at Beta Cinema, said: “Only once in a while you see a truly ‘generational’ piece of work. But no matter how well-observed and truthful this snapshot of the generation Y is, the beauty is that the awkwardness, anxiety, humor and poignancy resonate across generational and any other borders. With just a few brushes, Lukas creates full-rounded characters in an amazingly accomplished and inventive debut.”

“One Last Evening” was lensed by Philip Jestädt (“Die Discounter”) and edited by Silke Olthoff (“Rammbock,” “Goliath96,” “Sleep”). Lucie Bates (“Go for Zucker!,” “Hanna,” “Effie Briest”) created the costumes and the songs performed in the film were composed and performed by Doppelbauer (“Biohackers,” “The Legend of Wacken”).

The ensemble cast also includes Pauline Werner (“Tatort”) as Lisa, Susanne Dorothea Schneider, Nikolai Gemel, Isabelle von Stauffenberg, Valentin Richter, Julius Forster, Nils Rovira-Muñoz, Amelle Schwerk (“System Crasher”), and Pascal Houdus (“Thirty,” “Les Combattantes”).

The world premiere of the film will take place on Jan. 26 in Tiger Competition in Rotterdam followed by the German premiere one day later at Max Ophüls Preis Filmfestival in Saarbrücken.

Beta Cinema is handling world sales, including German-speaking territories.

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