A doyen of this year’s Berlinale Series Market, where it has “Echos” and “Alive and Kicking” screening in its new Series Market Selects showcase, Munich-based Beta Film has boarded two new European limited series: “Hotel Europa,” a historical drama, and mafia thriller “The Winemaker.”
Beta Films will handle international distribution on both titles which, it announced Thursday, form part of a spring slate that will feature at various events before and during April’s digital MipTV.
“The Winemaker” has just been confirmed as one of 12 series at the 2021 MipDrama, which will play online on April 9, just before the Digital MipTV Week.
Both titles air on German public broadcasters – ARD and ZDF respectively – reflecting Beta Film’s policy of cherry-picking some of finest of drama series coming out of European public TV networks, particularly in Germany and Italy, such as, in recent examples, ZDF’s “The Typist” and RAI’s “The Hunter,” the two selected for Canneseries.
Directed by Thorsten M. Schmidt (“Divorce for Beginners”), “Hotel Europa” is produced by Zeitsprung Pictures for ARD Degeto and scheduled to air later this year on ARD. It stars Jonathan Berlin (“Summer of ’44”), Benjamin Sadler (“Luther”) and Katharina Schüttler (“Generation War”).
Set between WWI and WWII, the predictably sumptuous series portrays down the years the dreams, foibles and destinies of members of the Dreesen hotelier dynasty, owners of the Rheinhotel Dreesen, built on the very banks of the Rhine, and a popular place of stay for celebrities from many walks of life.
“‘Hotel Europa’ is the unbelievable and dramatic story of an entire continent, portrayed through the personal fates of the Dreesen family,” said Zeitsprung-CEO Michael Souvignier.
“In this unique hotel, where Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler were sleeping wall to wall, you can experience the incredible history of Europe with all its ups and downs.”
“The Winemaker” is produced by Good Friends Filmproduktion in co-production with Satel Film for ZDF and ServusTV.
Tobias Moretti (“Louis van Beethoven”), one of Austria’s most-prized actors, stars with daughter Antonia as father and daughter in “The Winemaker,” set in picturesque valleys and steep-backed mountains of Italy’s South Tyrol and Austria. There, Matteo lives as a successful winemaker, until an old friend turns up, exposing his secret mafia life.
An International Emmy winner for “A Day for a Miracle,” Andreas Prochaska directs and co-writes with Ben Braeunlich. Key cast also takes in Melika Foroutan (“Tribes of Europe”; “Vienna Confidential”) and Harald Windisch (“Vienna Confidential”).
Good Friends CEO Moritz von der Groeben called “The Winemaker“ “an archaic story, with a brilliant cast and a visionary director, shot in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe.”