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photo © UFA Cinema/Stephan Rabold

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 03/2012

Principal photography began this summer on Ufa Cinema’s English-language international project, Philipp Stölzl’s THE PHYSICIAN, based on Noah Gordon’s eponymous international bestseller which has sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.

THE PHYSICIAN tells the story of Rob Cole (played by young English actor Tom Payne), a boy who is left a penniless orphan in an 11th-century English mining town when his mother dies of a mysterious illness. Vowing to become a physician and vanquish death itself, he travels to Persia to study medicine under the great Ibn Sina (Ben Kingsley). Through countless ordeals and challenges, and making many sacrifices along the way, he struggles on unwaveringly. His unflagging quest for knowledge leads to the blossoming of friendship and true love.

“THE PHYSICIAN is one of the last un-filmed big mega-sellers of our time,” producer Wolf Bauer says, adding that the film would follow “in the tradition of major European productions like THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, THE NAME OF THE ROSE, PERFUME or POPE JOAN.”

“THE PHYSICIAN not only forms the basis for an emotional and visually breathtaking adventure film, it is also a modern-day plea for peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance,” Bauer adds.

“I read THE PHYSICIAN immediately when it was first published and I was deeply moved and thrilled by it,” says director Philipp Stölzl. “The novel is not only a great adventure revealing the fascinating world of medieval medicine, but it also explores some of life’s big questions – about the meaning of death, whether religion is a liberating force or a prison of the mind, and the culture clash between East and West – all topics that concern us more than ever today.”

The shoot is set to last for more than 60 days until September at locations in Germany and Morocco, with VFX being handled by Oscar®-winning Pixomondo (HUGO CABRET).

Genre Drama, Action, Adventure, History
Category Feature
Director Philipp Stölzl
Screenplay Jan Berger
Cinematography Hagen Bogdanski
Cast Tom Payne, Ben Kingsley, Stellan Skarsgård, Olivier Martinez, Emma Rigby
Producers Wolf Bauer, Nico Hofmann
Production Company UFA Cinema/Munich Berlin Cologne Potsdam, in co-production with ARD Degeto, Beta Cinema
Shooting Dates June-September 2012
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds

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82041 Oberhaching/Germany
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