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photo © 2014 Constantin Film Verleih/Tom Trambow

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2014

What with Bora Dagtekin’s box-office hit SUCK ME SHAKESPEER and now Sönke Wortmann’s new film, it could seem that Constantin Film has a fixation on stories set in schools!

“Yes, you might think that, but, in actual fact, we had been developing this project for some time after Sönke directed Lutz Hübner and Sarah Nemitz’s play at Berlin’s Grips Theater in 2012,” producer Oliver Berben recalls.

“There were really two main challenges with this film,” he continues. “On the one hand, you don’t want to disappoint those who know the play, but, at the same time, you need to find another component, you can’t just film the play as it is. Cinema allows us to go deeper into the individual characters when they are away from the others. In film, we can move around the school and go outside. I call it THE BREAKFAST CLUB for adults!”

Adapted by the original authors with screenwriter Oliver Ziegenbalg, MS. MUELLER MUST GO centers on a raucous parents’ day where the prime goal is to oust Ms. Mueller for the low grades she has given to their offspring. Eventually, the teacher storms off, accidentally leaving her handbag with a list of the grades – which are quite the opposite of what the parents had feared. Now, all hands are on deck to get Ms. Mueller back....

While Gabriela Maria Schmeide is cast as Ms. Mueller, other parts are taken by comedienne Anke Engelke (known internationally as the presenter of the Berlinale’s opening and closing ceremonies and the European Film Awards), Mina Tander, Ken Duken, Alwara Höfels and Justus von Dohnányi.
“Normally, those actors in great demand are shooting two films simultaneously, but we were lucky to have our actors continuously for the 30 days of shooting,” Berben says. “While it was important that they function together as couples, the point of an ensemble is that they also work well together, and that was definitely the case here!”

Genre Comedy
Category Feature
Director Sönke Wortmann
Screenplay Lutz Hübner, Sarah Nemitz, Oliver Ziegenbalg
Cinematography Tom Fährmann
Cast Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Mina Tander, Ken Duken, Alwara Höfels, Anke Engelke, Justus von Dohnányi, Rainer Galke, Jürgen Maurer
Producers Tom Spieß, Oliver Berben
Co-Producer Stefan Gärtner
Production Company Little Shark Entertainment, in co-production with Constantin Film Produktion, SevenPictures Film
Shooting Dates February-April 2014
Awards Bavarian Film Prize 2014 (Best Screenplay)
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds
German Distributor Constantin Film Verleih

Little Shark Entertainment GmbH
Sönke Wortmann, Tom Spieß
Maria-Hilf-Str. 15-17
50677 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-33 61 10
fax +49-2 21-3 36 11 12