Disney, Beta Board ‘Work Without Author’ From Oscar-Winning ‘Lives of Others’ Director

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck won an Oscar for 'The Lives of Others'

The Lives Of Others
Courtesy of Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Walt Disney has taken distribution rights in Germany for “Work Without Author,” the next film from director-screenwriter Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who won an Oscar for “The Lives of Others.” Beta Cinema is handling world sales.

The movie is a psychological thriller about three periods of German history. Young artist Kurt Barnert has fled from East to West Germany, but “continues to be tormented by the experiences he had in his childhood and youth in the Nazi years and under the [Communist] regime,” Beta said in a statement. “When he meets the student Ellie, he is convinced that he has met the love of his life, and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation.”

Henckel von Donnersmarck said in a statement: “I hope that we succeed in making a film that shows that art can discern things that are otherwise forever closed to the mind.”

In the lead roles are Tom Schilling (“Oh Boy”), Paula Beer (“Frantz”), Sebastian Koch (“The Lives of Others”), Saskia Rosendahl (“Lore”) and Ina Weisse. Also appearing are Johannes Allmayer, Florian Bartholomäi, Hans Uwe Bauer and Ben Becker, among others. The cinematographer is five-time Academy Award-nominee Caleb Deschanel (“The Right Stuff,” “The Patriot,” “The Passion of the Christ”).

The film is produced by Pergamon Film and Wiedemann & Berg Film. The producers are Beta’s Jan Mojto, Quirin Berg, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and Max Wiedemann. As with “The Lives of Others,” ARD Degeto and the Bayerischer Rundfunk are on board as co-producers. The film is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFA, FFF Bayern, Filmstiftung NRW and MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung.

The pic started shooting this week in Berlin and will also film in the German regions of Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. It will wrap at the end of August.