‘Afire,’ Winner of the Silver Bear at Berlinale, Acquired by Sideshow and Janus Films

Christian Petzold’s film will premiere in theaters this summer


Sideshow and Janus Films have picked up the North American rights to “Afire,” which won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlinale 2023. A theatrical release is planned for Summer 2023.

From writer-director Christian Petzold, the film follows four young people who convene at a holiday house by the Baltic Sea. Plagued by drought, the surrounding landscape soon begets fires, while inside the house emotions heat up: happiness, lust, love, along with jealousies, resentments and tensions.

The film stars Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs and Matthias Brandt. Producers are Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber, and Anton Kaiser.

“I am very happy that Sideshow and Janus Films have acquired the film in North America,” said Petzold in a press statement. “After the screenings at the Berlinale, I am sure that ‘Afire’ will find its audience in the US and Canada. I wish us many viewers and sold out screenings.”

Sideshow and Janus Films added: “Christian Petzold has consistently been one of the most thrilling and surprising filmmakers. ‘Afire’ represents him working at the peak of his craft with an exhilarating amount of confidence and even humor. We are proud to bring the film to theaters this year.”

The distributors previously worked together on the release of last year’s Best International Feature Oscar winner “Drive My Car.” They also recently acquired Lila Avilés’ “Tótem,” winner of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Berlinale 2023. Current releases include Jerzy Skolimowski’s “Eo,” up for Best International Feature at the 2023 Oscars.

The “Afire” deal was negotiated by The Match Factory on behalf of the filmmakers with Janus Films and Sideshow.