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© STUDIOCANAL/Julia Terjung

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2020

SCHACHNOVELLE sees director Philipp Stölzl reinterpreting Stefan Zweig's timeless literature classic. The famous story of the man who survives captivity and mental torture with the help of a chess book becomes an intense game of deception in the new adaptation. Vienna, 1938: Austria is occupied by the Nazi regime. The lawyer Bartok is arrested and taken to the Hotel Metropol, the Gestapo's headquarters, shortly before he can flee with his wife to the USA. As an asset manager for the nobility, he should now provide the local Gestapo chief Böhm with access to the accounts. But Bartok is sent to solitary confinement since he refuses to cooperate. He remains steadfast for weeks and months, but becomes increasingly desperate – until he chances upon a chess book.
Genre Drama, History, Literature
Category Feature
Director Philipp Stölzl
Screenplay Eldar Grigorian
Cinematography Thomas Kiennast
Cast Oliver Masucci, Albrecht Schuch, Birgit Minichmayr, Rolf Lassgard, Samuel Finzi
Producers Philipp Worm, Tobias Walker
Co-Producers Danny Krausz, Kalle Friz, Isabel Hund, Sandrine Mattes
Production Company Walker+Worm Film, in co-production with Dor Film, STUDIOCANAL Film
Shooting Dates December 2019-March 2020
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Bavarian Bank Funk, FISA - Filmstandort Austria, ORF (Film/Fernseh Abkommen), Österreichisches Filminstitut, Filmfonds Wien

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