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Art Girls

Art Girls
Director Robert Bramkamp (photo © Klaas Dierks/IFF Hamburg)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2011

Filmmaker Robert Bramkamp had the idea for his latest project Art Girls in 2002, after completing his feature Prüfstand VII which included parts of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

“It was a clear plan at the time that I wanted Inga Busch – who had played the lead in Prüfstand VII – for the lead again in my new project,” Bramkamp recalls. In addition, he cast Peter Lohmeyer, who appeared in his 1995 film Eroberung der Mitte, to play the scientist twin brothers Laurens and Peter in Art Girls.

Bramkamp’s screenplay focuses on three women artists: Nikita Neufeld, Una Queens and Fiona da Vinci who are intending to collaborate on a group art exhibition in Berlin’s world famous art district Mitte. However, the exhibition is, in fact, just a front for a scientific experiment by the Maturana twins to test out their new technology of ‘biosynchronization’ with unexpected results…

Art Girls is a low-budget, romantic science-fiction film, but also a satire on the art world and offers an entertaining journey into a world which is otherwise often regarded as being elite,” Bramkamp continues, pointing out that the film will serve as a “long overdue parody on disaster movies and disaster capitalism. And yet this genre mix leads into an entertaining, sometimes weird, but finally positive encounter with a new form of intelligence, which is not exactly alien.”

Apart from the production of a feature film for the cinema, the Art Girls project will also have other activities in a cross-media context. Public broadcaster ZDF is co-producing The Art Girls Mockumentary which will combine a ‘making of’ the actual feature film with fake documentary passages about people’s experiences with their “new nature”, which is again another word for the evolutionary leap the story revolves around.

In addition, new technological and creative possibilities of digital animation are being explored by students, graduates and teaching staff at four institutions of higher education in Germany and Switzerland: Stuttgart Media University (HdM), Hamburg’s University of Fine Arts (HfbK), the University of Film & Television “Konrad Wolf” (HFF) and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU).

“Each institution has a different background or emphasis,” Bramkamp explains. “For example, the students at HfbK Hamburg have a more artistic perspective, whereas at the HdM they are focused on the specific potentials of digital animation and SFX design. The findings from these four centers can then be incorporated into the feature film.”

Meanwhile, the financing is not yet closed for an Internet narration project in collaboration with ARTE-online and Hamburg-based First Motion New Media Fund where Internet storytellers can enrich the cross-media narration through their own creative input.

In addition, an art exhibition is set to be staged in 2012 in cooperation with the Kunsthalle Göppingen which will then later on move to Hamburg and Berlin. This exhibition will be based on the exhibitions staged by the three “Art Girls” in the film and launched as a ‘tie-in’ to the theatrical release.

Genre Experimental, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Category Feature
Director Robert Bramkamp
Screenplay Robert Bramkamp
Cinematography Sebastian Egert
Andreas Zitzmann
Susanne Weirich
Cast Inga Busch, Peter Lohmeyer, Megan Gay, Simon Schwarz, Jana Schulz
Producers Kirsten Ellerbrake, Robert Bramkamp
Production Company IFF (Institut Forschender Film)/Hamburg, in co-production with BramkampWeirich/Berlin, ZDF, ARTE
Format DCP 2K, color, 16:9
Shooting Dates August-September 2010, January-February 2011, May 2011, Spetember 2011, December 2011
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo
With backing from MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Nordmedia, MFG Baden-Württemberg

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