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Cold Spring (Kalter Fruehling)

Cold Spring
M. Schweighoefer, M. Maticevic, J. Schwarz, D. Graf, F. v. Thun (photo © Bavaria Film/Uwe Stratmann)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2003

When a sexual dare goes very wrong, twenty-two-year-old Sylvia’s life changes in ways she never once imagined. She suddenly finds herself estranged from her wealthy parents and friends, lost in a maze whose paths lead her to dissolution, poverty, illness and prostitution before she finally finds her way home, regaining her life.

Melodramatic? Of course! “It’s the perfect narrative form for this story,” says writer Markus Busch. “You can do so much with it. Everything happens to one character: how she reacts, copes with the situations. At the same time, she isn’t isolated. She has parents, friends, lovers.”

Busch, who studied Fine Arts and then went on to film school in Cologne, “used to read loads of comics. I connected the pictures with words. I wrote because I was unemployed and writing takes up the least space!” And while he is the first to admit he is “not a young woman (!) ... it’s not a problem. I’ve written films where people have murdered and I have no experience in that, either. I simply imagine the characters as I know and see them. They have to be credible. What happens to them has to be possible.”

Directed by Dominik Graf, who also co-wrote (together with Busch) and directed the critically acclaimed 2002 Berlinale competition entry A Map of the Heart (Der Felsen, 2001), Kalter Fruehling is actually the fifth time the two have collaborated.

“I met him at film school,” says Busch, for whom Kalter Fruehling is his eighth film to go into production. “Two years later, I sent him some concepts and layouts. He chose the three he wanted to make and we went ahead!”

The teamwork obviously works well. But, says Busch, “it’s not that I write and he directs. We talk a lot about the material, how it should look. I know his films and, of course, he does it differently to how I would have done it, but I’ve never had a problem letting go of a script and certainly never with Dominik, because I’m curious to see what he will do with it.”

He is not the only one.
Genre Melodrama
Category TV Movie
Year of Production 2003
Director Dominik Graf
Screenplay Markus Busch
Cinematography Hanno Lentz
Christel Suckow
Dieter Schleip
Cast Jessica Schwarz, Friedrich von Thun, Tanja Gutmann, Matthias Schweighöfer, Angela Roy, Markus Boysen, Mišel Matičević
Producer Michael Hild
Production Company Colonia Media Filmproduktion/Cologne, in cooperation with ZDF
Runtime 90 min
Format 16 mm, color
Shooting Dates Cologne and surroundings, March - April 2003
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

Colonia Media Filmproduktions GmbH
Moltkestr. 131
50674 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-9 51 40 40
fax +49-2 21-9 51 40 44