BAD BANKS

Please rate this film for the Audience Award



Watch the first two episodes of a thrilling new German series, featuring both the seedy underbelly and the sleek executive prestige of international finance.

When investment banker Jana Liekam (Paula Beer) is informed that her position at a major international bank in Luxembourg has been terminated, she knows she’s being deliberately and falsely blamed in order to deflect the failings of another culpable but protected employee. Someone with less drive and grit would have cleared out her desk and left quietly, but Jana refuses to go without a fight. She storms into the office of the bank’s president, Christelle Leblanc, and demands to know the reason for her dismissal. Her gumption pays off. “We can talk about it tonight,” Leblanc suggests. “Don’t tell anyone.”

When the two women later meet at Leblanc’s palatial home, Jana learns that her former boss has already passed on her name to the executive headhunter for Global Bank in Frankfurt. “I want you to work there. Maybe someday I will need a favor,” Leblanc adds. Jana realizes she has been given a poisoned chalice—an offer of a lifetime but with morally questionable strings attached. With little hesitation, she pledges her troth to her new career master.

Armed with killer instincts and a power wardrobe, Jana impresses Gabriel Fenger, her dynamic new boss at Global. She puts her personal life on hold to accept a lucrative but risky role leading a crucial project.  But Jana is soon sucked into a maelstrom of divided loyalties in an increasingly toxic environment built on dysfunction and concealment where the need to succeed overrides all else. As trust in her mentors erodes, she engineers an outcome that could not only expose the seedy underbelly of her sleek world of executive prestige and power but also instigate a wider global financial crisis.

 

North American Premiere

Genre Drama, Thriller
Category Mini Series
Director Christian Schwochow
Screenplay Oliver Kienle, Jana Burbach, Jan Galli
Cinematography Frank Lamm
Cast Paula Beer, Desirée Nosbusch, Barry Atsma, Mai Duong Kieu, Albrecht Abraham Schuch, Tobias Moretti, Marc Limpach, Jörg Schüttauf
Producer Lisa Blumenberg
Co-Producer Nicolas Steil
Production Companies Letterbox Filmproduktion/Hamburg, in co-production with Iris Productions/Luxembourg
Length 104 min
Festivals Berlin 2018 (Berlinale Special Series)

Christian Schwochow studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. He garnered attention in 2008 with his debut feature film, NOVEMBER CHILD. His two-part TV film THE TOWER (2012) won the prestigious Grimme Award. His second feature film, CRACKS IN THE SHELL (2011), received several accolades, including the German Film Award for Best Supporting Actress. His feature WEST (2013), also won the German Film Award, this time for Best Actress. He then made his debut as a theater director with POISON at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. The production was awarded with the German Theater Prize for Best Actress. His other films include: BORNHOLMER STRASSE (2014, TV), NSU GERMAN HISTORY X (2016, TV mini-series), PAULA (2016), and the 6-part series BAD BANKS (2018).

 

Lisa Blumenberg studied Literature, Journalism and Psychology and received her PhD in 1993. After working at the national theatre in Mainz and as a TV journalist, she became a story consultant for the Saarland division of the major public broadcaster ARD. In 1996, she joined Studio Hamburg Produktion as an Executive Producer, where she produced successful films and TV shows for RTL, ZDF, arte and ARD. She received the VFF TV Producers Award for Die Frau am Ende der Straße (NDR) in 2006.

In 2007, she became a member of the managing board of Studio Hamburg Filmproduktion. Her latest productions include critically acclaimed television films such as Eine gute Mutter, Es war einer von uns and Vater Mutter Mörder, as well as several episodes of the German cult-serial Crime Scene. Her award-winning adaptation of the bestselling novel Neue Vahr Süd won the Grimme Prize and the German Comedy Prize.

Blumenberg is also creative producer of the series BLOCHIN (ZDF), as well as initiator and lead producer of the international drama series BAD BANKS.

Désirée Nosbusch has been a successful and internationally acclaimed actress and television host for over 30 years, starting as a Radio Luxembourg host at age 12. In 1984 she hosted Grand Prix d’Eurovision de la Chanson, with over 500 million viewers worldwide. Her films include NACH MITTERNACHT, GOOD MORNING BABYLON, A WOPBOBALOOBOP, SCHREI NACH HILFE, EIN ALPTRAUM VON 3½ KILO, EINE LIEBE IN SAIGON, LOVE TRIP, TATORT/VERGISSMEINNICHT, FEINDLICHE ÜBERNAME, DER OPERNBALL, DAS GEHEIMNIS DES LEBENS, DER TOD MEINER SCHWESTER, DIE JAHRHUNDERTLAVINE, SUPERJHEMP, JUSTICE.NET. She also stars in the highly acclaimed miniseries BAD BANKS by Christian Schwochow. She has also appeared in numerous plays; next up is the monologue Your Very Own Double Crisis Club, by Sivan Ben Yishai, premiering at the Kasemattentheater in June of 2018. After Désirée Nosbusch earned a Master’s Degree in directing and film production at UCLA in Los Angeles, she directed several short films, and in 2010 she founded her production company with producer Alexandra Hoesdorff, deal productions in Luxembourg. She successfully developed, produced, directed and starred in the first Luxembourg sitcom Weemseesdet for RTL. Her debut feature documentary SUCCÈS FOX premiered at Discovery Zone – Luxembourg City Film Festival 2014. She is currently in development of her debut fiction feature film, an adaptation of the play Gift – Poison by Lot Vekemans for the big screen, with the support of the Luxembourg Film Fund.

 

Q&A on April 7th is moderated by Lara Zarum. Lara is a staff writer at The Village Voice, with a focus on arts and culture. Previously, she was the TV Editor at the online culture publication Flavorwire. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Slate, Brooklyn Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Guernica, L.A. Review of Books, Bookforum.com and Canada’s two national newspapers, The Globe and Mail and The National Post. She holds a master’s degree from the NYU journalism department’s Cultural Reporting and Criticism program.

World Sales Federation Entertainment, lionel.uzan@fedent.com, www.fedent.com/

With the support of Film Fund Luxemburg.