Generation War

Chicago-based company aims to give German TV series a theatrical run Stateside

CANNES — Underscoring growing synergies between film and TV drama, Chicago-based distrib Music Box has acquired all U.S. rights to “Generation War” (pictured above) and “The Tower” (Die Turm), two German historical mini-series co-produced and repped by Jan Mojto’s Beta Film, on the eve of MipTV.

WWII-set “Generation War” is a six-part series turning on six German teens whose friendship is put to test during the conflict.

“Generation War,” lead-produced by Nico Hofmann’s TeamWorx, premiered on Teutonic pubcaster ZDF to top ratings and warm reviews, sparking a public debate about the period.

“The Tower” is a two-parter based on Uwe Tellkamp’s novel about life in East Germany in the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“European television is upping its game and both ‘Generation War’ and ‘The Tower’ are good examples of it,” said Ed Arentz, Music Box’ managing director.

Arentz added “Generation War” will probably play in two-hour blocks and will be released theatrically in major markets.

“ ‘Generation War’ has a theatrical quality and we want it to be treated that way and reviewed seriously.”

Music Box will also sell “The Tower” and “Generation War” in secondary markets — TV, VOD and DVD.

“Anything is possible. ‘Generation War’ might end up on Netflix before we even consider television. Netflix streaming is a wonderful place for series programming to be discovered — it has a viewership that’s intrigued by series,” Arentz said.

It’s the not the first time Music Box has picked up a TV title for the bigscreen. Last year, it nabbed Henning Mankell’s “Wallander,” a Swedish crime drama comprising 13×90-minute episodes.

Leo Barraclough contributed to this report.

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