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First Promo-Reel of BABYLON BERLIN – International Sales Announced – Broadcast in Fall

Feb 08 2017

Berlin – 8 February 2017. At the eve of Berlinale, X Filme Creative Pool, ARD, Sky and Beta Film have presented first footage of their collectively produced series BABYLON BERLIN. The 16-hour-show by the author/director trio Tom Tykwer, Henk Handloegten and Achim von Borries will be aired by Sky Germany starting on October 13th and by ARD later in 2018. Beta Film, which as co-producer also handles world sales, signed deals with Sky UK, Sky Italy, Spanish premium subscription platform Moviestar +/Telefonica and the Belgium Pay TV partner Telenet. SVT Sweden, NRK Norway, DR Denmark, YLE Finland and RUV Iceland have already bought on the program a script basis. Negotiations with the US are almost finalized. BABYLON BERLIN was shot from May to December 2016 in Berlin and surrounding areas as well as in North Rhine Westphalia/Germany.

Tom Tykwer calls the shoot intense: “After almost three years of working on the script, finally getting on set was an unbelievable joy. We had 180 days to shoot, sometimes working with two and even three units at the same time. In hindsight, it is unbelievable that we even were able to do that. Our fantastic team is to thank for that!” At the same time, he puts an emphasis on the collaboration with Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten: “We wrote and directed the whole series together. There isn´t a single episode on which all three of us didn´t work on.”

For Achim von Borries there are no clear-cut protagonists in the series. Much rather it´s like this: “The city of Berlin is the center of the narrative. In 1929, Berlin was the international, magical, cosmopolitan capital of the world. Everybody wanted to go there. It really was challenge to create a late 1920´s Berlin. The set of Neue Berliner Straße, created by our production designer Uli Hanisch for Studio Babelsberg, made it possible to use all different kinds of city blocks from all different kinds of Berlin´s neighborhoods.”

Henk Handloegten emphasized the high topicality of the series: “It´s the roaring 1920´s, a big party: After losing the Great War, fathers aren´t home, sons and daughters are dancing on the tables. Absent authority makes it possible, just like Berlin after the wall came down. But then, as the 20´s drew to an end, more and more people were overwhelmed by an exhilarated way of life, a confusing world – a call for order, an iron fist would grow louder and louder. While we were working on BABYLON BERLIN, it was like the world around us was adjusting to the mood of the 1920´s. This makes the series as topical as ever.”

BABYLON BERLIN´s leading actors are Volker Bruch as Gereon Rath (“Generation War”) and Liv Lisa Fries as Charlotte (“She Deserved It”). Volker Bruch has fond memories of last year´s shoot, excitingly recounting: “BABYLON BERLIN was a truly dazzling journey! Close to 600 people put all their passion and love into this vision of a project. I´m still captured by this breathtaking, fulfilling experience and the memories of it follow me to this day. I have never felt this at home in a production, felt so motivated and blessed to be part of it – on an artistic as well as on a personal basis, while being so well-dressed at the same time.” 

Liv Lisa Fries adds: „2016 was a year full of BABYLON BERLIN, shared with many great colleagues, inspiring scenes, analogue set-ups and three wonderful directors. The shoot was inspiring, challenging, harmonious and stimulating. I´ve danced a lot, I´ve talked a lot, laughed and cried, I was euphoric, I was Charlotte Ritter.”

Producer Stefan Arndt also stressed the unique nature of the collaborative effort: “To unite a passion for crime stories with the most thrilling era in German history on a content-related basis is, on its own, something deeply satisfying, but even more so doing it with highly knowledgeable partners, of course the creatives but also the great teams of Degeto and ARD, Sky and Beta´s Jan Mojto. This is quite encouraging; this is why we expect to once again being able to offer a German TV blockbuster for the somewhat jaded national and international audience.”

Producer Uwe Schott adds: “With our unbelievably dedicated team of over 400 people, we could make 1920´s Berlin come back to life. This is also due to support by Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the German Motion Picture Fund and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, all of whom we would like to thank. We´d also like to thank the City of Berlin for their immense support.”

Carsten Schmidt, CEO of Sky Deutschland, announced the air date. BABYLON BERLIN will light up the silver screen starting October 13th, 2017 and has the 8:15 pm prime time slot on Sky Atlantic. Carsten Schmidt states: “In the past weeks and months I´ve had the opportunity to peak over the artists´ shoulders as they were working at the Studio Babelsberg. What I have seen left a deep impression on me, really made me feel good about the project. BABYLON BERLIN will change German series, both because of how it´s made but also the way it tells its story. I am really looking forward to its start on Sky on October 13th.”

In 2018, BABYLON BERLIN will come to ARD. Volker Herres, programme director of the Erste Deutsche Fernsehen, explains: „BABYLON BERLIN is a cinematic event, a class of its own. That´s how we are planning to present it to a large audience at the end of the year 2018, in a compact rhythm. We are also planning to accompany the series with a historical documentary about this era of change, which is so very topical today. And we have the directive “online first” – our online media platform will have the series available for streaming before it can be seen on TV. With this production, we went down a new path – which took some courage. And with our audience in mind, I can already say: It was truly worth it.

Christine Strobl, managing director of ARD Degeto, adds: “With BABYLON BERLIN, German TV series have reached a level of international competitiveness. We have made a precedent in financing this project, which will undoubtedly change the way things are done for future series. BABYLON BERLIN isn´t merely a historical crime show about 1920´s Berlin, much rather it represents the birth of a new, modern and unique world in which Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries simply shine as Gereon and Charlotte."

Jan Mojto, CEO of Beta Film, notes: “We are very pleased that the distinctiveness and quality of BABYLON BERLIN, on which we counted on from the start, was equally convincing to others now as it was to us then. SVT Sweden, NRK Norway, DR Denmark, YLE Finland and RUV Iceland already decided to buy on a script basis and are now to be joined by Sky Italy, Sky UK, the Spanish premium subscription platform Moviestar +/Telefonica and the Belgium Pay TV partner Telenet. In the U.S.A., France and other European territories and in Latin America, negotiations are about to be completed shortly.”

BABYLON BERLIN is based on the internationally bestselling series of novels by Volker Kutscher and tells the story of police inspector Gereon Rath, who conducts his investigations in 1920´s Berlin, in a cabinet of curiosities and most exciting city of the world, between drugs and politics, murder and art, emancipation and extremism.

BABYLON BERLIN is produced by X Filme Creative Pool, ARD, Sky and Beta Film. The chief editors of BABYLON BERLIN are Christine Strobl, Sascha Schwingel, and Carolin Haasis (ARD Degeto), Gebhard Henke and Caren Toenissen (WDR), and Marcus Ammon and Frank Jastfelder (Sky Deutschland). The producers for X Filme are Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott and Michael Polle, co-producers for Beta Film are Jan Mojto and Dirk Schürhoff. The Project is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe Media, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the German Motion Picture Fund.

 

For international media:
Beta Film, Dorothee Stoewahse, Tel: + 49 89 63 84 627, Cell: + 49 170 63 84 627
press@betafilm.com, www.betafilm.com

For German media:
JUST PUBLICITY GmbH, Regine Baschny, Tel. +49 89 – 20 20 82 60, info@just-publicity.com

 

Pictures available at:
ftp.betafilm.com, username: ftppress01, Password: 8synopsis

 

Please visit the BABYLON BERLIN site: www.babylon-berlin.com/en