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Blood of the Templars, The (Blut der Templer, Das)

Blood of the Templars, The
Florian Baxmeyer, Gerhard Schirlo

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2004

According to legend, the Templars no longer exist, extinguished long ago in the fog of time. But throughout the centuries there have been constant reports that the mystic and secret order does still exist. What the legend does not say is that there was a schism within the Knights Templar that lead to the formation of a breakaway group, the Priory of Sion, and that this group is still very much with us. As are, indeed, the Templars themselves, keeping a low profile, blending in and recognizable only to each other. For thousands of years the two warring sides have fought for possession of the Holy Grail. But where is it and what powers does it have?

The project is truly the heady stuff of TV mini-series and guaranteed to get viewers tuning in for parts one and two in their millions! In Germany that will be on commercial network ProSieben. Anyone else will have to beat a path to the Beta Film stand at MIP-TV, MIPCOM, or Cannes and put in a bid for it.

Rat Pack’s almost in-house director of photography, Gerhard Schirlo, was responsible for, among others, Hunt for the Hidden Relic (Das Jesus Video) which last year won the German Television Award for scenery and costume. As well as Schirlo, costume designer Janne Birck is also back onboard.

But what really marks The Blood of the Templars as a stand out production is not just its producer’s pedigree, (Rat Pack specializes in those genres often ignored by the German film industry: high-concept thrillers, action and horror), but also its 29-year-old director. No, not the fact that he might be a bit young for this sort of thing (because he isn’t) but because the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has honored Florian Baxmeyer. Not once but twice.

Last year, he won the Student Academy Award for his short film, The Red Jacket (Die rote Jacke). This year, Baxmeyer’s film was nominated for the coveted OSCAR in the Best Short Film category. Although he did not win (this time!) as he says, “I make films not just to win awards. Rather, I want to reach as large an audience as I possibly can. I think that’s the most important thing.”

Rat Pack’s Catarina Raacke, who developed the project together with Baxmeyer (who was suggested by ProSieben editor Katrin Holetzeck) and the writers, praises him “not only for his enormous energy but especially for paying such close attention to the human depth and emotion of the characters. Without that an action adventure is just boring and ordinary.”
Genre Adventure

Year of Production 2004
Director Florian Baxmeyer
Screenplay Kai-Uwe Hasenheit, Stefan Barth, Christian Zübert
Cinematography Gerhard Schirlo
Jens Klueber
Egon Riedel, Siggi Mueller
Cast Harald Krassnitzer, Mirko Lang, Catherine Flemming, Alicja Bachleda, Oliver Masucci, René Ifrah, Peter Franke
Producers Christian Becker, Anita Schneider
Production Company Rat Pack Filmproduktion, in co-production with German Filmproduction GFP/Berlin for ProSieben/Unterfoehring
Runtime 180 min
Format Super 16, color
Shooting Dates Vilnius, Prague, Rome, April - July 2004
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern

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