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photo © Anja Lehmann

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2012

A largely unknown chapter of German history has provided the setting for Rick Ostermann’s feature debut WOLFSKINDER which was shooting for 28 days at locations in Lithuania until the end of July.

“The struggle for survival by the wolf children can be understood as an example of the fate of many children around the whole world and for quite some time,” says director Ostermann who worked for many years as an AD for Lars Kraume and Matthias Glasner on such films as THIS IS LOVE and DIE KOMMENDEN TAGE.

“My own family background, the stories that were told and my own journeys in the former German territories [of the East] inspired my desire to make a film about the fate of these people and their experiences.”

Moreover, as producer Rüdiger Heinze of Ludwigsburg-based Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion explains, the seeds for the feature film were sown in Ostermann’s seven-minute short film STILL which premiered at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival and won the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Prize in 2010. Produced by Badlands Film, the production company owned by Kraume, Glasner and actor Jürgen Vogel, STILL won the Best Director prize in Spain’s Ourense as well as the Youth Jury Prize at the Bamberg Short Film Days. Producer Stefan Sporbert adds: "Whoever has seen STILL knows that Rick is the right director for this ambitious historical subject with children in the leads."

WOLFSKINDER’s plot centers on the 14-year-old Hans, who initially sets off with his younger brother Karl to make their way to Lithuania after their mother’s death. However, the brothers are separated when they are on the run from Soviet soldiers. Driven by his seemingly hopeless search for his younger brother, Hans joins a group of children – the wolf children – as they struggle against hunger, the weather and illness in a foreign country.

Genre Adventure, Coming-of-Age Story, Drama
Category Feature
Director Rick Ostermann
Screenplay Rick Ostermann
Cinematography Leah Striker
Cast Jördis Triebel, Jürgen Vogel, Levin Liam, Helena Phil, Vivien Ciskowska, Patrick Lorenzcat, Willow Voges-Fernandes
Producers Stefan Sporbert, Rüdiger Heinze
Production Company Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion/Ludwigsburg, in co-production with HR/Frankfurt, ARTE
Shooting Dates June-July 2012
Festivals Venice 2013, Chicago 2013 (New Directors' Competition), Golden Island Film Festival Cyprus 2014
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Hessische Filmförderung

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