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February 22 @ 10:00 am to approx. 12:30 pm
BALLOON – Germany – 128 min – Drama | Thriller
Based upon a true story. 1979, Thuriingen, East Germany at the height of the Cold War. Günter Wetzel (David Kross, The Reader), a bricklayer, and his friend Peter Strelzyk (Friedrich Mücke), an electrician, can no longer bear the oppressive regime. The two men and their wives resolve to undertake a mission to work on an audacious plan for more than two years secretly building a hot air balloon from scratch that will carry them and their families over the border fence to freedom. Over the course of 18 months they sew 1,000 square metres of cloth and gather countless weather reports from West German radio with the Stasi (State Police) hot on their heels. A nerve-racking battle against the clock begins.
Director: Michael Bully Herbig)
Writers: Kit Hopkins | Thilo Röscheisen
Genre: Drama| Thriller| History
Running Time: 125 minutes
Distributor: Distrib Films US
Language: German | English
Rating: M for Mature Audiences
Starring: Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, David Kross, Alicia von Rittberg
Premiere Status: Southern California Premier
FESTIVALS: Zurich International Film Festival; Kolkata International Film Festival, India; The European Union Festival, Toronto; International History Film Festival of Pessac, Film Festival of Valenciennes, France; Sonoma International Film Festival, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Washington DC International Film Festival, USA
AWARDS: USA: Filmfest DC, St. Louis International Film Festival, Jefferson State Flixx Fest, CA, Washington DC Filmfest; France, TV5MONDE
“This is a tense story of incredible bravery, one that isn’t diminished by knowing that the families successfully made it to the West.” A Film Life]