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Scene from WAS WEG IS, IS WEG (photo © deutschfilm/Meike Birck)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2011

A new genre has been born – the eco-comedy (Ökomödie) – with actor-screenwriter Christian Lerch's feature film directorial debut WAS WEG IS, IS WEG which couldn't be more topical following the Fukushima reactor catastrophe and the German government's decision against nuclear power this year.

Inspired by Jess Jochimsen's novel Bellboy, Lerch's screenplay takes us back to rural Bavaria in the 1980s and a story touching on such global issues as saving the environment, friendship, family, love and reconciliation.

Young Lukas has had his fill of life in Bavaria and wants to become a Greenpeace activist on the Rainbow Warrior to save the world. But a series of unexpected events puts a halt to these high-minded plans: the gorgeous Luisa is suddenly one good reason to stay, all hell is let loose by a lower arm separated from its owner, and a family secret finally comes to the surface after 20 years...

According to Lerch, who was the screenwriter on Marcus H. Rosenmüller's feature films GRAVE DECISIONS, LITTLE WHITE LIES, and RÄUBER KNEISSL, WAS WEG IS, IS WEG is about “wanting to go away and then finding love at home after all. The film should also stand a bit for the hope that things aren't already too late and that one could perhaps still manage to save the world: first of all, on a small scale, in one's circle, in the family, and then also on a larger scale.”

Saving the environment has not only been played in front of the camera, as producer Anatol Nitschke explains: “We have tried to keep our CO2 emissions to a minimum during the production by, for example, avoiding unnecessary journeys and using local produce for the catering.”
He points out that the production has worked with the agency sustainable AG which advises companies on strategies for sustainable development. “It is the first time they have worked on a film production, and our experiences could be a pilot project for future more eco-friendly film productions,“ Nitschke suggests.

Genre Comedy
Category Feature
Director Christian Lerch
Screenplay Christian Lerch
Cinematography Stefan Biebl
Cast Florian Brückner, Mathias Kellner, Maximilian Brückner, Siegfried Terpoorten, Marie Leuenberger, Johanna Bittenbinder, Heinz-Josef Braun, Jürgen Tonkel, Nina Proll, Johann Schuler, Jess Jochimsen
Producers Anatol Nitschke, Helge Sasse
Co-Producers Hubert von Spreti, Hans-Wolfgang Jurgan
Production Companies deutschfilm/Berlin, Senator Film Produktion, in co-production with BR, ARD Degeto
Shooting Dates May-June 2011
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

deutschfilm GmbH
Anatol Nitschke
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10777 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-23 63 63 50
fax +49-30-23 63 63 39