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Scene from “Hangtime” (photo courtesy of Little Shark Entertainment)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2009

Vinz (Max Kidd) has his high-school diploma in his pocket and is about to begin the next phase of his life, one that involves making big decisions. As the top scoring player with basketball team Phoenix Hagen, he has what it takes to turn pro. His big brother Georg (Misel Maticevc) cannot imagine a better life, but his dream of a professional baseball career crashed ten years ago after their parents’ tragic death. Now Vinz can achieve what, back then, Georg was denied. But is that what Vinz wants to begin with? The two brothers have to learn to part from each other and go their separate ways. And what it means to make difficult decisions all by oneself is something Vinz has to demonstrate in the end; during the decisive match as to which team will gain promotion to the first division...

Max Kidd, who has previously been seen in the TV series Unter Uns, as well as occasional guest roles, makes his feature film debut with Hangtime. Misel Maticevic, who is equally at home in the theater as well as on the screen, won the Best Actor Award for Lost Killers (1999) at the Thessaloniki film festival. His most recent credits include A Year Ago in Winter (dir: Caroline Link) and Effi Briest (dir: Hermine Huntgeburth). In 2008 he won the German Television Award for Best Actor (Im Angesicht des Verbrechens, dir: Dominik Graf).

Hangtime’s director, Wolfgang Groos, cut his teeth as first AD, on, among others, The Miracle of Bern (dir: Soenke Wortmann), Napola (dir: Dennis Gansel) and The Treasure of the White Falcons (dir: Christian Zuebert).

In 2000, producers Tom Spiess and Soenke Wortmann set up Little Shark Entertainment, whose credits include Christian Zuebert’s Lammbock and The Treasure of the White Falcons, as well as The Miracle of Bern. Soenke Wortmann himself is currently directing Pope Joan.

Co-producer 3L Filmproduktion is Werner Wirsing’s shingle. Founded in 2005, the company’s credits include actress July Delpy’s directorial debut, 2 Days in Paris, Ob Ihr Wollt, oder nicht (dir: Ben Verbong) and Paul Schrader’s Adam Resurrected.

Hangtime could not have a better pedigree, with some of Germany’s best production names behind it. The proof of the film pudding is always in the watching, but Hangtime looks set to be a box office slam dunk.

Genre Sports, Coming-of-Age Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2009
Director Wolfgang Groos
Screenplay Christian Zübert, Heinrich Hadding
Cinematography Alexander Fischerkoesen
Martin Wolf
Robert Matt
Andrea Kessler
Cast Max Kidd, Mišel Matičević, Ralph Kretschmar, Max Froehlich, Mirjam Weichselbraun, Veit Stuebner
Producers Tom Spieß, Sönke Wortmann, Werner Wirsing
Production Company Little Shark Entertainment, in co-production with 3L Filmproduktion/Dortmund, Pandora Film Produktion, WDR, ARTE
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Hagen, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Duesseldorf, September - November 2008
Festivals Sao Paulo 2009, Shanghai 2010
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
German Distributor 3L Filmverleih/Dortmund

Little Shark Entertainment GmbH
Sönke Wortmann, Tom Spieß
Maria-Hilf-Str. 15-17
50677 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-33 61 10
fax +49-2 21-3 36 11 12