Pictured above: The ‘Das Boot’ crew – Colin Teevan (head writer of season 2), Tom Wlaschiha (actor), Clemens Schick (actor), Oliver Vogel (Bavaria Fiction chief creative officer and EP on ‘Das Boot’), Vicky Krieps (actor), Rick Okon (actor).
Bavaria Fiction celebrated its latest TV productions at a glitzy soirée at Soho House in Berlin on Monday.
The powerhouse TV division of Bavaria Film has enjoyed huge success with “Das Boot” and its newest series, “Freud,” opened this year’s Berlinale Series sidebar. It’s also rolling out “Arctic Circle,” a Finnish-German coproduction, which recently premiered on ZDF.
Bavaria Fiction focuses largely on the German-speaking market but it’s looking to further expand its portfolio.
“We moved into international productions four years ago with ‘Das Boot,’ a hugely successful series, being sold to over 100 countries, including Hulu in the U.S.,” says Bavaria Fiction managing director Jan S. Kaiser.
“Das Boot” season two premieres on Sky in April.
“With our executive producer Moritz Polter we have somebody who comes from the international sector,” Kaiser adds. “With him we have co-produced ‘Arctic Circle’ with Yellow Film & TV, co-produced ‘Freud’ with Satel Film and, together with Oliver Vogel, produced the Sky Original ‘Das Boot.’ In France we co-produced the series Deutsch-Les-Landes’ with Telfrance for Amazon and Deutsche Telekom and at the moment several new series are in the works. In addition to the public broadcasters in Germany, streamers like Amazon, Netflix, Telekom and of course Sky are very interesting for us.”
Bavaria Fiction is building up its international division with Polter “as one of the pillars of our business. Over the next few years we want to build a pipeline of series and further develop our international business,” Kaiser says.
With global audiences increasingly embracing foreign shows, Bavaria Fiction could well have more hits on its hands.
“You have to ask, what is international and what is German?” chief creative officer Oliver Vogel points out. “You can make something that is international and it doesn’t work and you make a German production and it’s distributed around the world and it works.”
“With ‘Freud,’ it’s a brand,” Vogel says. “Sigmund Freud is well known around the world. It’s a brand that is internationally recognized. It was similar with ‘Das Boot.’ When we told people in the U.S. that we had the rights to ‘Das Boot’ and were planning an international series, we didn’t need to explain to anyone what the series was about. When brands are so strong – even if it’s an old German brand – then it can well be that German content goes global.”
Among the talent and industry reps attending the party were “Arctic Circle” stars Clemens Schick and Maximilian Brückner, and the key cast of “Das Boot”: Franz Dinda, Vicky Krieps, Rick Okon, Tom Wlaschiha and August Wittgenstein.
Also on hand were local thesps Jonathan Berlin, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Christine Urspruch and Anna Schudt as well as filmmakers Gregor Schnitzler and Rainer Matsutani.
The bash attracted such high-profile TV execs as Sky’s Marcus Ammon; Christian Granderath of NDR; Robert Franke (ZDF Enterprises); Frank Jastfelder (Sky); Peter Kerckhoff (Deutsche Telekom); Jana Kaun (ProSiebenSat.1 Media); Florian Kumb (ZDF); Tim Werner (Mainstream Media); and Thomas Münzner (Joyn).
Political talks how host Anne Will, ARD news anchor and deputy chief editor Helge Fuhst, and Christina Bentlage of regional funder Filmstiftung NRW likewise stopped by for a drink.
Manfred Haus-Pflüger (M.D. Bavaria Fiction), Tessa Mittelstaedt, Matthias
Walther (M.D. ndF) (Courtesy of Andreas Schlieter)
Tim Werner (CEO, Mainstream Media), Jan S. Kaiser (M.D., Bavaria Fiction), Georg Höss
(head of legal, Bavaria Film) (Courtesy of Andreas Schlieter)
‘Arctic Circle’ actors Maximilian Brückner and Clemens Schick (Courtesy of Andreas Schlieter)