An entire half-timbered town acts as a film double


Wetzlar is located in Saxony-Anhalt. Well, in the film 'Goethe' at least, as the town that is actually in the German state of Hesse had to make do with a double. In terms of half timbered buildings and historic backdrops, Osterwieck in the Vorharz region and Quedlinburg were way out in front. It was here that the love story between the young poet and Charlotte Buff was played out. The film, directed by Philipp Stölzl, celebrated its premiere in 2010.The Harz, Altmark and Burgenland regions all have what it takes to be great filming locations, not forgetting Halle, which has been the location for several episodes of the TV crime show "Polizeiruf 110" starring Jaecki Schwarz as Herbert Schmücke. The Location Guide of the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) (Central Germany Media Fund) lists 256 filming locations for Saxony-Anhalt. With these offerings we hope to attract film producers to our region. "We not only view it as an image question but as a kind of economic promotion," explains MDM spokesman Oliver Rittweger. For this reason, although the range of possible filming locations is considerable, it is currently limited to publicly managed and accessible buildings or complete townscapes and landscapes. These include the baroque buildings of Blankenburg as well as the Dessau Bauhaus, the old Hermannschacht briquette factory near Zeitz and a former border watchtower near Rhoden.Everywhere the film teams work, actors, technicians and film crew need accommodation, have to eat and will make use of regional companies. An additional MDM database lists sound editors, special set decoration companies, makeup artists, extras, and music producers, all of whom benefit from the filming work.It is in this context that the 12.5 million Euros in subsidies that the MDM hands out each year benefit the three participating federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. "Our goal is that at the least, the sum of the subsidy which we give to each production is ultimately spent here in Saxony-Anhalt," explains Rittweger. This money is given as an interest free loan which flows back into the subsidy fund when a production is a success. At the same time, the goal is that the films should also have an opportunity to do well in the area of DVD rentals or TV. The productions include sophisticated feature films and documentaries.The MDM estimates that at least 160 films have been made in Saxony-Anhalt since the end of the 1990s. These include 20 animation film productions alone. "The federal state is very well positioned in an international context," explains Rittweger. The Halle company MotionWorks GmbH is now a popular partner in the area of media production. “Mollywopp“, "Globi and the Stolen Shadows“, "The Little Polar Bear" and "Laura's Star" are just some of the movies that have been produced in the studios located on the river Saale. The artists there feel at home in all genres of animation. Their skills in 2D and 3D animation and with puppets and animation are talents that are filled with future promise. Halle also has also made a name for itself across Germany and beyond as an important location for high quality post production work. In this context, specialists initially complete the editing and digital processing of the images by computer and also add the sound. Contractors' ideas and visions take form in the Mitteldeutsche Multimediazentrum (Central Germany Multi Media Centre). Since it opened in the summer of 2007, 55 companies from the creative, media and IT sectors have made the Central Germany Multi Media Centre their home, creating almost 600 new jobs. The primary focal points of these firms are on film production, graphics and design work and web development and design.Next year also promises interesting projects. An international co-production submitted by Bavriapool International Coproductions GmbH, with a budget of 13 million dollars and with the working title of "Der schwarze Schmetterling - Black Butterfly“ has been given a 750,000 Euros subsidy from the Central Germany Media Fund. This production will see Vernica Ferres and Nicolas Cage going before the cameras in the leading roles. In this psycho-thriller, reclusive author Paul shares his house with a strange but very helpful drifter, Jack. Their encounter leads to a dangerous turn of events at the end of which nobody turns out to be the person that they apparently were. The movie is directed by Brian Goodman, with filming in and around Wernigerode planned to take place in early 2012.That productions of this kind have the chance to achieve considerable success is also proven by the Franco-German coproduction "Carlos the Jackal" by director Olivier Assayas. Rittweger reminds us that this film was awarded the prize for the best mini-series and TV film at the 68th Golden Globe Awards. The portrait of one of the most wanted terrorists of the 1970s and 1980s is a production by Egoli Tossell Film (D) and Filmen Stock (F) and was released in 2009, having been filmed in Halle/Saale, Naumburg and Leipzig as well as in Paris, London, Budapest, Yemen and Sudan along with other locations. The film also received a subsidy from the Central Germany Media Fund.Author: Klaus-Peter VoigtContact:Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung GmbH(Central Germany Media Fund)Hainstraße 17 -1904109 LeipzigPersonal contact:Oliver Rittwegerph: +49 (0)341 / 2698714E-Mail: oliver.rittweger@mdm-online.deWeb: