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(Nimm Dir Dein Leben)

Sabine Michel, Thomas Wendrich

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2004

"Sabine and Thomas came to us two years ago with the Take Your Life project and we were very impressed because it was a fantastic script," recalls producer Judy Tossell of Berlin-based production house Egoli Tossell Film.

"What we loved about the story was its originality," Tossell adds. "In other debut films, the stories tend to be set in the big city, but here you have this original setting and an incredible landscape. In addition, there is an extraordinary and very laconic humor. It is a bit like Detlev Buck, but goes deeper than that."

Take Your Life, which received the German National Screenplay Award for Thomas Wendrich in 2002, centers on 20-year-old Milan from the village of Dunkelhaeuser on the Polish-German border in Saxony. Milan, a rabbit-hunter and maker of home brew from potatoes, has been brought up without his mother by his tyrannical, alcoholic father in an isolated village peopled only with stubborn unworldly farmers. Into this eccentric world comes a lovesick Polish stranger whose mysterious death sets off a chain of events that rock the foundations of village life. Milan solves the mystery of the past and, using the power of love, manages to free himself from his father and the village...

Wendrich - whose background is actually in acting including engagements at the legendary Berliner Ensemble, but has developed a successful parallel career as a screenwriter - says that the idea for the film first came to him when he was in Iceland in 1996. He and director Sabine Michel - who both hail from Dresden - had a chance to try out the characters and setting in the short The Duck Shits Back (Hinten scheisst die Ente) which Michel made at the "Konrad Wolf" Academy of Film & Television (HFF/B) in Potsdam-Babelsberg.

In addition, Wendrich has since directed a short film of his own, Zur Zeit verstorben, starring Michael Gwisdek, Fritz Marquardt and Paul Schulz - which won the Audience Award and a Special Mention at the Filmfest Dresden and the Flying Ox Prize for Best Short at the Schwerin Film Festival this year. Moreover, he has spent the past 12 months working on the adaptation of Wladimir Kaminer's bestselling cult novel Russendisko for CMW Film Company, Von Vietinghoff Filmproduktion and Kinowelt Filmproduktion; and he is preparing his first feature film as a director, Mary-On-Water (Maria am Wasser), to be produced by Egoli Tossell Film next year.
Genre Love Story / Romance
Category Feature
Year of Production 2004
Director Sabine Michel
Screenplay Thomas Wendrich
Anja Neraal
Wolf Marcus Goeppner
Cast Sebastian Urzendowsky, Marie Gruber, Peter Kurth, Michael Wittenborn, Juliane Köhler, Gudrun Ritter
Producer Judy Tossell
Production Company Egoli Tossell Film/Berlin
Runtime 90 min
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Gross Grimma, July - August 2004
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Moscow 2006, Warsaw 2006
German Distributor Novapool Pictures/Berlin

Egoli Tossell Film AG
Jens Meurer, Judy Tossell
Revaler Str. 100
10245 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-2 46 56 50
fax +49-30-24 65 65 24