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(Du bist nicht allein)

Katharina Thalbach, Axel Prahl (photo © Oe Filmproduktion Loeprich & Schloesser/Conny Klein)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2006

The concrete jungle of Berlin's Marzahn district was the setting for Bernd Boehlich's second feature film Du bist nicht allein which was shot this summer with a top-notch cast including Katharina Thalbach, Axel Prahl and Herbert Knaup.

"Bernd had already written a draft of the screenplay in 2001 and it was clear to him from the outset that he wanted Katharina and Axel to play," recalls Katrin Schloesser of the Berlin-based production outfit Oe Filmproduktion which was invited to Cannes' Directors Fortnight this year with Stefan Krohmer's Summer ’04 (Sommer ’04 an der Schlei).

At the center of the tragicomedy are the decorator Hans Moll (Prahl) and his wife (Thalbach), the TV presenter Frau Wellinek (Karoline Eichhorn) and her ex (Knaup) and the German-Russian Jewgenia (Katerina Medvedeva). They all have a lot of what one needs for life: food, drink, and a flat. However, what they don't have is work.

Du bist nicht allein is described as "a story about the power of love and the little miracles we can discover if we keep our eyes open as we travel on life's journey. The film does this by using powerful emotions and true-to-life, affectionate humor to tell stories from everyday life and about people who, in spite of all adversity, look for the light in their lives – and even though it may not be the big career, they learn in their mature years to swim!"

As with many of his previous works, director Boehlich also wrote the screenplay and pays particular attention to psychological precision as well as vivid images, expressions and gestures for what is his second film for the cinema after his feature debut in 2004 with Mutterseelenallein, which starred Katrin Sass and Vadim Glowna and was presented as a "surprise film" at last year's Berlinale.

"The whole film was shot in Marzahn and Berlin is recognizable in the film, but the story would be possible in other places with the pre-fabricated concrete housing estates and people looking for work," explains Schloesser who already has several sales agents and distributors interested in picking up the film.

Delivery of Du bist nicht allein is scheduled for the beginning of 2007 when another project from Oe Film, Karger (working title) by Elke Hauck, is also due to be completed. This low-low budget film was shot in the industrial town of Riesa in Saxony with amateur actors and centers on the challenge for a steelworker of embarking on a new life after going through a divorce and being fired from one day to the next.

In addition, Schloesser and her partner at Oe Film, Frank Loeprich, are working with screenwriters Christoph Silber and Stefan Schaefer on the development of a highly topical political thriller – Renditions – about a CIA agent based in Berlin trying to free a Lebanese poet and translator she had mistakenly identified as the head of a terrorist group from a secret prison.

Genre Tragicomedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Bernd Böhlich
Screenplay Bernd Böhlich
Cinematography Thomas Plenert
Karola Mittelstaedt
Beatrice Schultz
Cast Katharina Thalbach, Axel Prahl, Katerina Medvedeva, Herbert Knaup, Karoline Eichhorn, Victor Choulmann, Jürgen Holtz
Producer Katrin Schlösser
Production Company öFilm/Berlin, in co-production with RBB, WDR, SWR
Format 16 mm
Shooting Dates Berlin, June - July 2006
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

öFilmproduktion Loeprich & Schloesser GmbH
Frank Loeprich, Katrin Schloesser
Prinzessinnenstrasse 16
10969 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-61 10 75 75
fax +49-30-27 58 28 72