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(etwas andere Familie, Eine)

Scene from "Eine etwas andere Familie" (photo © miko-film)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2006

Bing Crosby dreamed of a white Christmas. Oliver, the hero of writer-director Marc Meyer’s debut feature, Eine etwas andere Familie, is going one better: he’s dreaming of the perfect family Christmas and he’s not about to let the fact that he hasn’t got a family get in the way!

So Oliver steals a wife, three kids, grandma, grandpa and a dog and then, by golly, he’s going to weld this bunch of complete strangers into a family unit with as much love and determination as it takes. Come hell or high water, it’s going to be a happy holiday, or else!

“I live in a district full of young families,” says Meyer, “and I was sitting alone one day, writing, looking out the window, and just thought how easy it would be to borrow a couple of kids and a single mother!”

Meyer took the idea to his good friend, Faysal Omer, who is making his producing debut. An architect, he has been responsible for project development at the European Film Market since April 2005, overseeing its recent move to the Martin Gropius Bau.

“Marc needed a good organizer,” says Omer. “We wanted to do the film with our own money but it just grew. We wanted to get on and do it but the material was so good we managed to get support from three of the four sources we approached.”

As Meyer acknowledges, raising finance for a debut feature is never easy. But his first film, Sonntag, im August, won him the Short Film Award at the Dresden Film Festival 2005, so the talent is obviously there.

In any event, Meyer is “able to manage with little means so I don’t think about it! DV is super,” he says, “as I can get that film look and also experiment. It lets me concentrate on the actors. The cast is wonderful. It’s great fun and that’s the best reason to direct, watching the characters come to life.”

Speaking of which, Nina Kronjaeger (who plays the mother) appeared in Elementarteilchen and Abgeschminkt and she was nominated for the German Television Award 2005 and the Adolf Grimme Award 2005 for her performance in Typisch Mann.

Meyer and Omer are also keen to praise the rest of the ensemble: Samuel Finzi, Anna Maria Muehe (an up-and-coming young talent) as well as Schulze Gets the Blues’, Harald Warmbrunn. As Meyer says, “he’s the guarantee things don’t get too serious!”

Eine etwas andere Familie also marks the acting debut of Maetzchen as the baby. She/he is scheduled to be born some three weeks before shooting starts! And a name to note: Cleopatra von Akazienwald as Cleo, the dog! A born pro, “she knows exactly what’s expected of her,” says Meyer. “Besides, who could resist those eyes?”

Genre Tragicomedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Marc Meyer
Screenplay Marc Meyer
Cinematography Peter Polsak
Diana Karsten
Agi Dawaachu, Volker Frackmann
Cast Samuel Finzi, Nina Kronjäger, Anna Maria Mühe, Harald Warmbrunn, Margot Nagel, Ennio Incannova
Producer Faysal Omer
Production Company miko-film/Berlin
Shooting Dates Berlin, September & November 2006
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
German Distributor Zorro Film/Munich

miko-film GbR
Faysal Omer
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10405 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-1 63-7 77 14 11
fax +49-30-96 08 68 15