Mainz, 26th June 2007
ZDF Enterprises has secured comprehensive worldwide distribution rights for two high-quality Event Programs: the UFA production "Port of Hope - The Last Voyage of the Wilhelm Gustloff" promises to be a very special film event, with its blend of historical fact and spectacular fiction. In January 1945 the refugee ship "Wilhelm Gustloff" was sunk by a Soviet submarine as part of the winter offensive. This two-part production on the greatest tragedy in seafaring history - over 9000 people perished, six times as many as on the Titanic - is based strictly on historical facts and eye-witness statements. The story is told from the perspective of the young civilian ship's captain Hellmut Kehding, who had the task of getting the vessel to safety in Kiel with approximately 1500 members of the German Army and almost 9000 refugees. The production has an outstanding cast - including Kai Wiesinger, Valerie Niehaus, Heiner Lauterbach, Dana Vávrová, Alexander Held, Michael Mendl, Ulrike Kriener - and is directed in authentic and gripping style by Joseph Vilsmaier, who has won numerous awards including the German Cross of Merit ("Autumn Milk" - two Bavarian Film Prizes, German Film Prize in Gold and in Silver, etc; "Sleep's Brother" - Bavarian Film Prize, German and Austrian Film Prizes, Oscar nomination, Golden Globe nomination, etc; "Comedian Harmonists" - German National Film Prize in Gold for Best Film, four Film Bands in Gold, nominated for European Camera Prize, Journalists Media Prize, etc).
The second TV highlight is a production by teamWorx, which has already claimed a large number of huge successes under the watchful eye of director Nico Hofmann, with awards including the German Film Prize and the Adolf Grimme Prize ("Dresden - The Film“, "The Storm Tide", "The Airlift"). On 9th November 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down, the TV film "The Miracle of Berlin" with Veronica Ferres, Heino Ferch, Kostja Ullmann, Karoline Herfurth and Michael Gwisdek in the leading roles captures a piece of history in absolutely authentic style. The story deals with the final months of East Germany as seen through the eyes of a young soldier in the East German National People's Army, who experiences a parallel conflict with his own father, a hard-line State Security colonel. The tale is based on actual facts, culminating in that incredible moment when a country discovers its people has abandoned it - and a nation regains freedom, hope and trust after 40 years. The director Roland Suso Richter has recently been responsible for several major television and cinema films ("Dresden - The Film“, “The Tunnel“, "The I Inside“) which have gained him large audiences and considerable critical acclaim, winning a number of film prizes.
Both TV highlights will be broadcast in Germany by ZDF; worldwide distribution rights are available from ZDF Enterprises. Dr. Alexander Coridass, President and CEO of ZDF Enterprises, is confident: "We have invested heavily in both these programs. I am absolutely certain that they will compliment the rest of our catalogue perfectly, and that we will be able to market them successfully on an international scale.“
About ZDF Enterprises
Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German language. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.
Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Lise-Meitner-Str. 9, D-55129 Mainz/Germany, tel. 0049 6131-991228, fax 0049 6131-991229, e-mail: [mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org], [http://www.zdf-enterprises.de www.zdf-enterprises.de]