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photo courtesy of augenschein Filmproduktion

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2012

Last autumn saw Wilm Huygen, a graduate of Cologne’s Academy of Media Arts, traveling to Burkina Faso to make the documentary TOUR DU FASO about Africa's biggest cycling race and focusing on cyclists from Germany, Burkina Faso and France.

While the race is an adaptation of the Tour de France, it has still retained its original and very African character as a ‘flawed’, but much more likeable copy of its European model.

The project marks another collaboration between Huygen and the Cologne-based production outfit augenschein Filmproduktion who had previously worked with him on the TV documentary THE COALMAN.

Describing the film as “a parable about Europe's relationship to Africa,” producer Jonas Katzenstein recalls that the film’s German distributor Real Fiction had recommended that they attend the 2010 German-French Film Meeting in Heidelberg, and this is where they found their French co-producer La Huit Production and distributor Jour2Fete.

“We were faced by various kinds of challenges on this film,” Katzenstein and partner Maximilian Leo explain. “We put the financing together without a broadcaster, and the shoot had to take place in October because of the race's dates. Then our lead cameraman got food poisoning in the middle of shooting and had to stay in the hospital for two days. Fortunately, he quickly recovered.”

“Visually, this film is dominated by the interplay between vast, powerful panoramas of landscape and an intense observation of and closeness to our protagonists,” Huygen says, adding that he wants his film to deliver images the audience has never seen before: “racers who appear beside a baobab tree out of clouds of dust or simple huts which the peleton bypasses like an avalanche. Then there will be shots from right within the racing field, showing the strain etched on the racers’ faces from touching distance: details and extreme close-ups of their eyes, hands, muscles, brake chains, gear wheels and pedals will emphasize the dynamic and pure physical efforts of the tour.”

Genre Sports
Category Documentary
Director Wilm Huygen
Screenplay Wilm Huygen
Cinematography Andreas Köhler
Producers Jonas Katzenstein, Maximilian Leo, Keve Zvolenszky
Co-Producer Stéphane Jourdain
Production Company augenschein Filmproduktion, in co-production with La Huit/Paris
 German, French, Mooré
Shooting Dates October-November 2011
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, CNC
German Distributor Real Fiction Filmverleih/Cologne

augenschein Filmproduktion
phone +49-221-169 50 500
fax +49-221-169 50 509