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Die Aufschneider

Die Aufschneider
Carsten Strauch (photo courtesy of Razor Film)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2006

Carsten Strauch had seemingly been one of German cinema's best kept secrets until Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner of Razor Film became aware of him.

"We saw the short Das Taschenorgan [which featured in German Films’ NEXT GENERATION 2001 program] and died laughing!," recalls Paul about their first encounter with multitalent Strauch. "We found his contact details via Google and were surprised that nobody else had been in touch as he already had so much experience and success. Such a thing would never be conceivable in the USA, that can only happen in Germany."

Indeed, Strauch has made a name for himself over the past ten years writing, acting and directing in such shorts as the 1996 animation film Futter, which won the German Short Film Award in Gold and awards at festivals in Dresden and Oberhausen, the 1999 parody Nachbarn, and 2001's Das Taschenorgan which was nominated for the German Short Film Award and won the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Short Film Award and the Audience Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival.

"It is also a peculiarity of the German market that he doesn't come from Munich or Berlin, but from Offenbach," Paul adds. Indeed, Strauch stayed in his home town to study Visual Communication at the local College for Design (HfG) and graduated as a qualified designer in 2001.

Razor Film worked with Strauch on the idea of a black comedy about two hospitals using every means available to fight for survival in the new economic climate. "There was the question whether this would still be topical and in the zeitgeist when the film came to be made," Paul recalls. "While the film is not primarily about the changes to the health reform, it is a subject that's out there. Some of the things we thought up for the story seemed a step further on from reality, but then have become real! That rather shocked us a bit, but it also confirmed that we were on the right way."

The producers also landed something of a coup by bringing MTV Films Europe onboard as an investor for the film. "The English executives at MTV in London had seen Carsten's shorts and said that these were the first German comedies they really found funny," Paul explains. "The film is macabre and black; everyone can understand and empathize with the situations here because it is not specifically about the German health system."

Genre Comedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Carsten Strauch
Screenplay Carsten Strauch, Nina Werth, Rainer Ewerrien
Cinematography Nina Werth
Daniele Drobny
Cast Carsten Strauch, Rainer Ewerrien, Cosma Shiva Hagen, Christoph Maria Herbst, Burghart Klaußner
Producers Roman Paul, Gerhard Meixner
Production Companies Razor Film Produktion/Berlin, 3L Filmproduktion/Dortmund
Format 35 mm, color
Sound Technology Dolby SR
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, BKM, Hessische Filmfoerderung, MEDIA Plus, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, Hessen Invest, MTV Films Europe
German Distributor 3L Filmverleih/Dortmund

Razor Film Produktion GmbH
Wassergasse 4
10179 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-84 71 22 80
fax +49-30-8 47 12 28 77