December 6, 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Bombay Berlin Film Productions (BBFP) has revealed that August Diehl has been cast to play the role of German Olympic athlete Otto Peltzer in upcoming biopic The Distant Near

Polish-UK filmmaker Rafael Kapelinski is set to direct the project, which has been selected for the Co-production Market of India’s Film Bazaar, currently taking place in Goa (November 20-24). The screenplay is written by UK writer James Pout with support from the Nipkow program of Medienboard.

Peltzer had an extraordinary life – an Olympic middle distance runner and former world record holder, he was persecuted by the Nazis for being gay and spent time in Mauthausen concentration camp. On his release, he moved to India to avoid further persecution, later becoming a coach for the Indian athletics team and inspiring them to victory over a visiting German team. 

Diehl’s credits include Phillip Noyce’s Salt, alongside Angelina Jolie, Terrence Mallick’s A Hidden Life and Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. He also played the eponymous philosopher and economist in Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx

European casting on The Distant Near is being handled by Anja Dihrberg-Siebler, whose credits include A Hidden Life, I’m Your Man and Munich: The Edge Of War.

Kapelinski was awarded with a Crystal Bear at Berlinale 2017 for Butterfly Kisses and also won the Cinéfondation Residence Award at Cannes Film Festival for Up On The Roof

Bombay Berlin Film Productions, a Mumbai and Berlin-based production company, previously produced award-winning LGBT-themed Indian drama LOEV; Midi Z’s The Road To Mandalay, which won the Fedeora Award at Venice Days; and Trijya – Radius, which played at Shanghai and Tallinn Black Nights film festivals and is available on Mubi worldwide. 

The company is also developing OTT series, handles line production in India for companies including ARD Degeto, ARRI and Discovery channel and collaborated on Indian-German comedy Marry Me!

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