UTA Signs Ilker Çatak, Filmmaker Behind German Oscar Entry ‘The Teachers’ Lounge’

EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed Ilker Çatak, the writer-director behind Germany’s official International Feature Oscar entry The Teachers’ Lounge, for representation in all areas.

A dramatic thriller acquired by Sony Pictures Classics after premiering at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Label European Cinemas and C.I.C.A.E. Awards, The Teachers’ Lounge is set to hit theaters in the U.S. on December 24th. The German-Turkish award-winner’s latest centers on teacher Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch), who decides to get to the bottom of the matter when one of her students is suspected of theft. Caught between her ideals and the school system, the consequences of her actions threaten to break her.

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Over the summer, the film picked up German Film Awards including Best Picture, Screenplay, Director, Actress, and Editing. It had its North American premiere in Telluride, before moving on to TIFF and AFI Fest, and is currently nominated for Best Screenplay and Actress at the European Film Awards.

Çatak’s first feature, 2017’s Once Upon a Time… Indianerland, adapted the award-winning youth novel Es war einmal Indianerland by Nils Mohl. His second, I Was, I Am, I Will Be, received the Bronze Lola at the 2019 German Film Awards in 2019, and his film Stambul Garden, released in Germany in 2021, competed at the same ceremony.

A German-Turkish creative who won the Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2015, with his Hamburg Media School graduation film Sadakat (Fidelity), Çatak continues to be represented by Philip Westgren at Black Bear and attorney Danny Passman at Gang, Tyre, Ramer.

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