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Scene from SCHILF (photo © X Verleih AG)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2011

“I had always been interested in quantum physics and parallel universes and the connection between philosophy and esoterism,” producer Manuela Stehr recalls. “And Claudia Lehmann was just the right person to make a film set in this world because of her scientific background.”

The idea of working together on Lehmann's feature debut came after Stehr had supervised her shorts during her studies at the Hamburg Media School, including the graduation film MEMORYEFFECT which premiered at the Berlinale in 2007.

“We were looking for inspiration when, by chance, I received Juli Zeh's novel Schilf as a Christmas present,” Stehr continues. “I gave it to Claudia to read and we both agreed that this was what we had been looking for.”

Described as “an exceptional physical thriller about different perceptions of truth, reality and incidents happening in parallel universes” and as “a film about friendship, love and guilt”, SCHILF focuses on Sebastian, a professor of Physics (played by Mark Waschke), who is close to a breakthrough on his research into the existence of parallel universes. In order to be able to devote himself completely to his work, he has sent his young teenage son Nick (newcomer Nicolas Treichel) to scout camp and wife Maike (Bernadette Heerwagen) is holidaying in the mountains. His world is turned topsy-turvy when his son suddenly disappears and an alleged kidnapper demands that he murder the head physician of a local clinic.

The shoot at locations in Jena, Weimar and Erfurt is the first time that X Filme Creative Pool will have completely produced a film in Thuringia, and Stehr is full of praise for the crew recruited from the region.

Meanwhile, speaking about Lehmann's qualities, she points out that “in her shorts, one could see this mixture of a warm, human approach to directing the actors combined with her clear, scientific and analytical way of working. Claudia has everything very well prepared and thought-out.”

Genre Drama, Thriller
Category Feature
Director Claudia Lehmann
Screenplay Claudia Lehmann, Leonie Terfort
Cinematography Manuel Mack
Cast Stipe Erceg, Mark Waschke, Bernadette Heerwagen, Sandra Borgmann, Paul T. Grasshoff, Christoph Tomanek, Bernhard Conrad, Nicolas Treichel
Producer Manuela Stehr
Co-Producers Bettina Ricklefs, Barbara Buhl, Jochen Kölsch, Monika Lobkowicz
Production Company X Filme Creative Pool, in co-production with BR, WDR, ARTE
Shooting Dates May-June 2011
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds

X Filme Creative Pool GmbH
Kurfürstenstr. 57
10785 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-23 08 33 11
fax +49-30-23 08 33 22