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(Reine Formsache)

"Reine Formsache" team (photo © Nik Konietzny)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 04/2005

Writer-producer Béla Jarzyk debuts with a romantic comedy that begins where romance normally ends; in the divorce court! Pola has had enough of husband Felix’s flings. Not that their friends Wito and Ada and Gustav and Effi are having an easier time of it. Making matters better/worse is Felix’s father, desperately trying to fan the flames of love!

Taking his cues from Britain’s writer-director Richard Curtis and the U.S.’s Steven Soderbergh, Jarzyk says, he “wanted to tell a story from life and Reine Formsache is a larger than life story. It’s about problems I know, told with humor.”

Jarzyk, who had already secured lead Christiane Paul and broadcaster Sat.1, then sent the script to Senator Film’s managing director and head of production and distribution, Benjamin Herrmann.

Herrmann says he “found it a classic romantic comedy with a new touch where most don’t go – with the divorce. It has great dialogue and I knew it was going to be very entertaining and also touching. That’s why we took it.”

Now all Jarzyk needed was a director!

“I knew from my contact network,” says Jarzyk, who founded the agency Players together with his wife Mechthild Jarzyk-Holter, “that Ralf was already working on a related subject. I called his agency, sent him the script and he agreed in 24 hours! Then we worked together on the script for three months. We orientated ourselves on the British producers Working Title to make sure we had the light touch.”

Films such as the crime comedy Die Musterknaben and the comedy Mondscheintarif (also co-produced and distributed by Senator), amply demonstrate that Huettner has “the light touch”.

Jarzyk, who came into film via theater promotion and actor management via the art trade, left Players to pursue his production ideas. “It’s untypically German,” he says, “but I didn’t want to do the same thing my whole life!”

Jarzyk is also keen to point out that his production company, Independent Players, is what it says on the box, independent. “So the film is even more market compatible and there’s no conflict of interest! But seriously, we cast the film on its and the actors’ merits. Independent Players is a separate entity. It’s not a pre-packaged deal like in the U.S.”

And coming next from Independent Players is Der Absacker. “Also a comedy,” says Jarzyk, “about a man who very quickly loses everything and only then gets to know what life really is and has to offer.”

Genre Romantic Comedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2005
Director Ralf Huettner
Screenplay Béla Jarzyk, Ralf Huettner
Cinematography Hannes Hubach
Dirk Vaihinger
Ingrid Buron
Cast Marc Hosemann, Christiane Paul, Bastian Pastewka, Floriane Daniel, Oliver Korittke, Petra Schmidt-Schaller, Robert Schupp, Michael Gwisdek
Producers Béla Jarzyk, Benjamin Herrmann, Stefan Gärtner, Alicia Remirez
Production Company Independent Players/Berlin, in co-production with Senator Film Produktion, SevenPictures Film
Format 35 mm, color
Shooting Dates Berlin, Ruegen, July - September 2005
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
German Distributor Senator Film Verleih/Berlin

Independent Players GmbH
Béla Jarzyk
Sophienstrasse 21
10178 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-28 51 68 0
fax +49-30-28 51 68 6