SOUL KITCHEN, from the celebrated Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin (HEAD-ON, THE EDGE OF HEAVEN), which won the Special Jury Prize and the Young Cinema Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival 2009 and also played at Toronto and the Tribeca film festivals. IFC will open the film in New York on August 20 and in Los Angeles on September 3 with a national release to follow.

Returning to his rock and roll roots and native Hamburg, Akin’s film centers on a likable but hopelessly disorganized restaurant owner whose cafe is peopled by a motley assortment of lovable eccentrics. The ensemble cast includes Adam Bousdoukos (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Akin), Moritz Bleibtreu (RUN LOLA RUN, THE BAADER-MEINHOFF COMPLEX), Birol Unel (HEAD-ON), Pheline Roggan and Anna Bederke.

Young German-Greek restaurant owner Zinos is down on his luck. His girlfriend Nadine has moved to Shanghai, his Soul Kitchen customers are boycotting the new gourmet chef, and he‘s having back trouble! Things start looking up when the hip crowd embraces his revamped culinary concept, but that doesn‘t mend Zinos’ broken heart. He decides to fly to China for Nadine, leaving the restaurant in the hands of his unreliable ex-con brother Illias. Both decisions turn out disastrous: Illias gambles away the restaurant to a shady real estate agent and Nadine has found a new lover! But brothers Zinos and Illias might still have one last chance to get Soul Kitchen back if they can stop arguing and work together as a team.

Soul is the heart of this restaurant in Wilhelmsburg: from funky instrumentals with Kool & The Gang, Quincy Jones or Mongo SantamarĂ­a to classical R&B tracks by Sam Cooke or Ruth Brown. But it’s not all soul music – the sound-track is a mix of Hamburg hip hop and electro sounds, live rock music, Greek rembetiko and “La Paloma“. A typical Fatih Akin DJ-set. And of course you simply can’t have a Hamburg Heimat film without a song by Hans Albers, one of the biggest and most popular German actor-singers in the 30’s and 40’s.

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