Great Freedom: Sebastian Meise’s Drama about Man Sent to Prison for his Homosexuality (LGBTQ, Gay)

Austria has selected director Sebastian Meise’s drama Great Freedom as its official submission for Best International Feature Film Oscar.

The decision was announced by Austrian Films and the Film and Music Austria industry association, and confirmed by the film’s distributor MUBI.

The drama world premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, where it won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, before going on to win the award for best feature at the Sarajevo Film Fest.

Set in Germany after World War II, it tells the story of Hans, a man repeatedly sent to prison for his homosexuality.

With each return, he grows ever-closer with his cellmate Viktor, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence.

Over time, what begins as revulsion blossoms over time to something far more tender.

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press)

The film stars Franz Rogowski (“Victoria,” “Undine,” “Transit,” “A Hidden Life”) and Silver Bear winner Georg Friedrich (“Helle Nächte,” “The Piano Teacher”).

It was produced by Sabine Moser, Oliver Neumann, and Benny Drechsel. Meise co-wrote the screenplay with Thomas Reider.

“Great Freedoms” opened Filmfest Hamburg in September and had its U.K. premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in early October.

It will continue to screen at festivals globally this fall and winter, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and others, before releasing theatrically in the U.S. and U.K. on March 4, 2022.