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(Zwerg Nase)

Scene from “Zwerg Nase” (photo © Hans-Peter Pfeil)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2008

Marking the feature film debut of director and co-writer Felicitas Darschin, Zwerg Nase originates from the pen of that classic German teller of fairytales, Wilhelm Hauff. Overshadowed as he might have been by a certain couple of Brothers Grimm, Hauff could still wield a mean quill of his own!

Zwerg Nase has all a cracking fairytale should have: Jakob, a young, good looking hero, aged ten; his father, a cobbler; his mother, a vegetable seller and an ugly old woman who’s really a witch (of course!) who teaches our hero, Jakob, how to cook and also changes him into an ugly dwarf.

Misshapen, unrecognized by his parents, laughed at and rejected by everyone else, Jakob makes his way to the Duke’s court where his culinary talents are welcomed with open arms. It’s when he meets Mimi, a young girl who’s been turned into a goose, that he finds someone with whom he can share his predicament.

Cue dramatic tension when the demanding Countess Wilhelmine comes to visit. Duke Alois, determined to win her hand (along with the rest of her) in marriage, orders Zwerg Nase to pull out the gastric stops. But when the lady demands he make her a pie, the recipe for which he doesn’t know, the diminutive master chef finds his life is suddenly on the line. Fortunately, Mimi, the enchanted goose, has a trick up her sleeve. Or, rather, under her wing! Cue the happy end till ever after! And for anyone still searching for the moral after all that: beauty is only skin deep, true happiness lies beneath the surface.

“The script, which I co-wrote with Egbert van Wyngaarden,” says HFF film school graduate Darschin, “has a great deal of poetical excitement and mystic atmosphere, which invites the viewer to be astounded and also share the experience. We followed Hauff’s literary tradition but have interpreted the exciting as well as psychologically deep material in a contemporary manner.”

Young Jakob/Zwerg Nase’s journey through three fascinating worlds – the everyday in the Biedermeier period, that of the witch, and the aristocratic way of life – offers something for children, parents and grandparents alike. Add an expressive visual language, a production design with a love for detail as well as an outstanding cast and you have all the ingredients for a magical cinema-experience.

Kinderfilm, founded in 2000, specializes in producing high-quality, stimulating films for children and young people. Previous credits include the multi-award winning Bloede Muetze! (2007), Die Blindgaenger (2004) and Wer kuesst schon einen Leguan? (2003). What Kinderfilm does not produce are dumbed-down, feature-length commercials for mass market franchises. You want quality for the kids? This is the real deal!

Genre Fantasy
Category First Feature
Year of Production 2008
Director Felicitas Darschin
Screenplay Felicitas Darschin, Egbert van Wyngaarden
Cinematography Axel Block
Thomas Kohler
Otto Kinzer
Cast Mechthild Grossmann, Inga Busch, Markus Majowski, Josefine Preuß, Gilbert von Sohlern, Daniel Roesner, Edda Leesch, Justus Kammerer, Michael Markfort
Producers Ingelore König, Ernst Geyer, Juergen Haase
Production Company Kinderfilm/Erfurt, in co-production with Moviepool/Munich
Format Super 16, color
Shooting Dates Bamberg, Nuremberg, Koenigsberg, October - November 2007
Sound Technology Stereo

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