Big is beautiful for Teamworx TV fare

Company's prod'ns please auds, crix, b'casters

BERLIN — Most local producers are lamenting the tightening purse strings of German broadcasters, hit by the continued advertising slump. But for Teamworx, there seems to be no end to production.

The Berlin-based company, which is celebrating its 5-year anniversary this summer, continues to churn out lavish TV pics to all the territory’s main broadcasters that please auds and critics alike.

Teamworx has produced 66 titles, most recently two-parter “Forever Lost” for SAT 1, about a German woman falsely imprisoned in Turkey, and pubcaster ARD’s “Two Days of Hope,” about the East German uprisings against the Soviet-backed regime in June 1953.

Teamworx’s focus on high-profile projects, event movies and high-profile stars has meant continued success despite a growing reliance among local webs on bargain-priced product, says Teamworx topper Nico Hofmann.

“There’s a lot of cheap programming out there and companies like (RTL’s) Grundy Light Entertainment are having a lot of success with formats,” he says.

Yet “Forever Lost” and “A Love in Africa,” a two-parter that aired on ARD earlier this year, garnered nearly 7 million viewers and respective market shares of 22.3% and 21.5%.

Although the extravagant productions may be pricier than most TV movies — budgets run $4.5 million and up — Hofmann says his projects are tailor-made for the broadcasters and provide cost-effective programming. “They have all been successes.”

Teamworx’s track record has made it a producer of choice for pubcasters like ARD affiliate SWR. Teamworx is currently producing “Stauffenberg,” the story of German military officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Pic, which stars Sebastian Koch, is backed by SWR and fellow pubcasters WDR and RBB as well as Austria’s ORF.

“Teamworx has an outstanding reputation with historical dramas,” says SWR head of fiction Carl Bergengruen. “Their excellent experience and expertise in these kinds of projects made them the obvious choice for us.”

Teamworx’s current slate also includes an epic two-parter for SAT 1 about wily German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who unearthed the lost city of Troy in the 1870s. “Schliemann and Sophia: A Love for Troy,” which stars Heino Ferch (“The Tunnel”), will likely be shot in South Africa, which also doubled as Turkey in “Forever Lost.”

Company will be returning to South Africa for the upcoming two-parter “No Heaven Over Africa,” the true story of Kerstin Cameron, a German woman who was falsely imprisoned for the murder of her husband in Tanzania. Pic is being co-produced with Martin Krug’s Bella Vita as a likely project for ARD.

The company is entering new territory with a filmed stage production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Baal” for culture outlets ARTE, 3sat and ZDF’s digital theater channel Theaterkanal. Uwe Janson (“Forever Lost”) is helming the adaptation, which stars Matthias Schweighoefer.

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