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Scene from "Gestrandet" (photo © Flying Moon)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2003

“I was relieved to have such a fantastic script after looking at so many bad ones!” says director Susanne Zacharias of her first feature. “The elements came together and I could imagine the film as I read it.”

Gestrandet (translation: Stranded) is the story of Ben, a young man in his twenties who lives with his father on a housing estate on the outskirts of Halle. Ben’s dream: to travel the world and write about it. Ben’s reality: distributing travel-brochures and trying to find his father a new job. When he falls in love with Jana he is forced to make a decision.

Gestrandet is also one of the OSTWIND (translation: East Wind) 12-film series of theatrical features, all concerned with changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and part of ZDF’s famous Das kleine Fernsehspiel series. But what marks OSTWIND out as special is that it’s a joint venture between the public broadcasters ARD (in this case Berlin-Brandenburg’s RBB) and ZDF. Otherwise, they don’t work together.

The ZDF producer responsible is Annedore von Donop. The film’s authors, Sarah Esser and Ivan Dimov, “sent a script to ZDF, which then found its way to me. We met and I commissioned them to write what became Gestrandet. I chose Susanne as the director because, having watched her short films, she has a special signature.”

All that remained was to find a production company. The choice came down to Flying Moon, because, says von Donop, “it’s a young company, they’re keen and it’s one of the very few in the region which thinks and works internationally.”

Founded in 1999 by Helge Albers, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad and Konstantin Kroening, Flying Moon makes high quality feature and documentary films while putting a lot of emphasis on working with new talent.

That this strategy pays dividends can be seen in Havanna Mi Amor, Uli Gaulke’s 2000 documentary about the Cuban capital (among its many awards are the German Film Award in 2001 and the Audience Award at Pamplona 2002) and Heirate Mich, Gaulke’s 2003 documentary about a German man who marries a Cuban woman and their ensuing inter-cultural difficulties.

At the beginning of this year, Flying Moon established an office in Halle to promote the region and its stories. It is also one of the international partners in the Paris-based production company, Unlimited S.A.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Susanne Zacharias
Screenplay Sarah Esser, Ivan Dimov
Cinematography Daria Moheb Zandi
Philipp Stahl
Eike Hosenfeld, Moritz Denis
Cast Hanno Koffler, Peter Kurth, Marie Roennebeck, Max Riemelt
Producers Annedore von Donop, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad
Production Company Flying Moon Film/Potsdam-Halle, in co-production with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel, RBB, Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Format Super 16
Shooting Dates Halle and Leipzig, July - August 2003
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung

Flying Moon Filmproduktion GmbH
Helge Albers, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad, Konstantin Kroening
Grosse Brauhausstrasse 16
06108 Halle/Germany
phone +49-3 45-6 82 33 60
fax +49-3 31-7 04 25 11