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ZDF Joins NiKo Film as Co-Producer on Sundance Winner Sophia Mocorrea’s Debut Feature ‘Marriage by Abduction’ (EXCLUSIVE)

ZDF, one of Germany’s leading broadcasters, has announced its co-production involvement ,via ZDF–Das Kleine Fernsehspiel, in the upcoming feature “Marriage by Abduction” (“Brautraub”).

The film is directed by Sophia Mocorrea and builds on her short “The Kidnapping of the Bride” which took accolades at both Berlin and Sundance. It is now one of the high profile projects at Ventana Sur’s Proyecta lineup, its main arthouse project platform.

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Narrative is set against the backdrop of intercultural dynamics. The film will delve into the lives of Luisa, hailing from Buenos Aires, and Fred from Berlin, as they plan a wedding that is meant to be a symbol of liberation from traditional norms.

However, a playful German tradition of bride abduction at their wedding unexpectedly turns their world on its head, “Mocorrea explores existential questions of identity, traditions and power dynamics in intercultural relationships,” noted producer Nicole Gerhards at NiKo Film.

ZDF Das Kleine Fernsehspiel’s entry as a co-producer is not just a strategic move but a testament to the film’s potential. In Germany, the involvement of television networks is often a cornerstone for film financing and production, providing a substantial platform for creative ventures. And the history of Das Kleine Fernsehspiel as a launch pad for immense talent, think Jarmusch and Fassbinder, is legend.

“Marriage by Abduction” is produced by Nicole Gerhards’ NiKo Film, a company known for its art house co-productions (“The Stranger in Me,” “Babai,”“Clash”). Raised in both Germany and Argentina, Mocorrea’s background in these two distinct cultures deeply influences her work with this film taking inspiration from her parents’ wedding to explore “how customs can throw us back into social roles we feel that we have left behind long ago,” she said at Sundance.

The film’s development journey has garnered significant recognition, including the Talent Village Award at Les Arcs in 2021, participation in the Poitiers Jump In Lab and TIFF Toronto’s Filmmakers Lab in 2022, and selection for the Torino Script Lab in 2023, illustrating its promising progress and industry interest. With shooting scheduled for Autumn 2024, the film is likely to hit the international film circuit from 2025.

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