30. March 2006

Beta Film Presents a European Myth

Press Release
Beta Film Presents a European Myth

 Munich, 30 March 2006. One of the great myths of European history toplines Beta Film's new programs at this year's television trade fair MIP TV in Cannes. The international film and TV licensor is presenting The Crown Prince, an 11-million-euro miniseries on the life of Rudolf of Austria-Hungary, Empress Sisi's only son, and his mysterious death at his hunting lodge in Mayerling. The Crown Prince was produced by EOS/MR Film for ORF, ARD Degeto and RAI. Further high points in Beta Film's line-up are the teamWorx productions Cold Summer and Not All Were Murders, as well as the French action thriller Rats – Paris Under Siege (TF1/Alma Productions). New classical music productions will also be presented, such as Unitel's Kent Nagano Conducts Classical Masterpieces, a music documentary with the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin. The TV trade fair MIP TV begins Monday in Cannes.
The event miniseries The Crown Prince (2x90') was shot in English with an international cast. Directed by Robert Dornhelm (Oscar nominee for "Children of Theatre Street"), it stars Max von Thun ("Hitler - The Rise of Evil"), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Oscar nominee for "Out of Africa"), Vittoria Puccini (star of the Italian telenovela "Elisa di Rivombrosa"), Sandra Ceccarelli ("Light of my Eyes"), Julia Jentsch (Oscar nominee for "Sophie Scholl – The Final Days"), Alexandra Vandernoot ("The Dinner Game") and Omar Sharif ("Monsieur Ibahim"), who had starred as the Crown Prince alongside Catherine Deneuve in the 1968 screen version of the Mayerling tragedy. The script to The Crown Prince was written by Klaus Lintschinger and Didier Decoin ("Napoleon").
With his liberal views, Rudolf is an outsider in politically conservative Vienna. His father, Emperor Franz-Joseph, keeps him away from government affairs. Rudolf seeks in vain the attention and affection of his mother, the famous Empress Sisi. In order to be able to succeed to his father one day, Rudolf enters into an unhappy marriage of reason with Stephanie of Belgium. Soon, however, he succumbs to the charms of young Baroness Mary Vetsera, who loves him passionately. Franz-Joseph, who does not approve of Rudolf's affair, severs relations with him. Rudolf then plans to overthrow Franz-Joseph; but when this fails, he sees only one way out of his dilemma. Mary finds Rudolf as he plans to commit suicide in Mayerling, the secret meeting place of the two lovers. Although he sends her away, she returns when she realizes what he intends to do...
Beta Film will be welcoming the lead actors Sandra Ceccarelli, Alexandra Vandernoot and Max von Thun at its Beta Brunch in Cannes at the Hôtel Majestic, Croisette, on 4 April at 12:30 pm. The photo-call will take place at 11.30 am, Majestic Beach.
Not All Were Murderers (Co-production of teamWorx, EOSm SWR/BR/Degeto) tells the true story of a Jewish boy who goes underground with his mother in Berlin in 1943 and, with the help of friends and acquaintances, manages to survive the horrors of the Nazi regime. Jo Baier ("Operation Valkyrie") shot Not All Were Murderers (1 x 90') with Nadja Uhl ("Storm Tide!"), Aaron Altaras and Hannelore Elsner ("No Place to Go"). It is based on the memoirs of the actor Michael Degen.
Cold Summer (1 x 90', director: Hartmut Schön, "Waiting Means Death") evokes the drama of 13 August 1961, the day that the Berlin Wall was built. An East-Berlin couple (Heino Ferch, "The Tunnel" and Inka Friedrich, "The Last Seal") leave their son with neighbors and spend the evening at a birthday part in the Western part of Berlin when suddenly the borders are closed. They are unable to return home to their son. Cold Summer was produced by teamWorx in co-production with EOS and WDR/RBB/Arte.
In the action film Rats – Paris under Siege (1 x 90', TF1/Alma Productions/Fontana/RTL-TVI), Paris is in the grip of a plague of rodents in the wake of a garbage collectors' strike. The rats carry a deadly virus for which there is no cure. A race against time begins... Starring are Claire Borotra ("Lautrec") and Thierry Neuvic ("Code Unknown"). Charlotte Brandström ("Julie") directed.
In Kent Nagano Conducts Classical Masterpieces (Unitel/Deutsche Welle), the world-famous conductor leads the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin in a six-part TV series (6 x 26' or 6 x 52') featuring great musical works and their creators. Among the works presented are Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Mozart's Jupiter Symphony No. 41 in C major, and Beethoven's E-flat major Symphony, the Eroica. In addition to the recordings of the symphonies, each episode presents excerpts from the rehearsals, commentaries by Nagano, explanations by the musicians and original quotations from the composers. The symphonies are also available as individual works in their respective lengths, without documentary material.