'Strawberry Bubblegums' to Open Oldenburg Festival

Strawberry Bubblegums
Courtesy of the Oldenburg Film Festival

Benjamin Teske's feature debut features German stars Jasmin Tabatabai and Andre Hennicke.

Strawberry Bubblegums, the feature debut of award-winning shorts director Benjamin Teske, will open this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival, the German indie fest often described as Germany's answer to Sundance.

Teske has attracted attention with a number of well-received short films, including Rummel, which won the audience award at the Dresden Film Festival in 2010. In his previous films, Teske's fascination with society's outsiders was evident, as was his light touch with heavy subjects.

Both aspects are on display in Strawberry Bubblegums, which follows 17-year-old Lucy, who discovers that her mother was once a porn actress and that her birth was the product of an accident “on set.” Together with a down-and-out former porn star, she sets out to find her father, a journey that takes her into the depths of the adult entertainment industry. Gloria Endres de Oliveira and Eva Nurnberg star alongside Jasmin Tabatabai and Andre Hennicke.

Strawberry Bubblegums will have its world premiere on Sept. 14 in Oldenburg.

With its official lineup almost complete, Oldenburg has again assembled an eclectic mix of indie features from around the world. They include a handful of titles from the festival circuit, including Chan Wook-Park's decidedly odd period drama cum sex thriller The Handmaiden (Cannes), Anna Biller's horror comedy The Love Witch (Rotterdam), Ti West's In the Valley of Violence starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta (SXSW) and Xander Robin's horror romance Are We Not Cats (Venice).

But Oldenburg wouldn't be Oldenburg without some left-field surprises. For 2016, they include The Apprentice, a Kafkaesque dystopian horror from Turkish director Emre Konuk; Appalachian drama Some Beasts, the directorial debut of U.S. filmmaker Cameron Bruce Nelson; and German feature Der Tode im Westfjord (The Death in the West Fjord) from director Till Endemann, which marks the return to German film of Run Lola Run star Franka Potente, whose last local-language role was in Oskar Rohler's Atomised in 2006.

The fest will announce its full lineup later this week. The event is set to run Sept. 14-18.