The most-read German writer in the world is: Franz Kafka, whose death falls on the centenary of his death in June 2024. To celebrate the occasion, all ARD broadcasters (NDR, WDR, SWR, BR, MDR, RBB, HR, SR and Radio Bremen) will produce the project ” KAFKA” in co-production with ORF and in collaboration with Superfilm. The six-part mini-series tells the life story of Franz Kafka, one of the greatest and most famous writers of the 20th century. The scenarios are based on a basic three-volume biography of Kafka by Rainer Stach, who also works here as a consultant. Writer Daniel Kellman (“Measure the World” / “Tyll”) is writing the scripts in collaboration with director David Schalko (“Braunschlag” / “Me and the Others”).
The mini-series is not only about Kafka’s difficult relationship with his tyrannical father, and his wonderful love affairs with Phyllis Bauer, Milena Jesinska, and Dora Diamant, but also about his close friendship with Max Brod, who ends up betraying his terminally ill friend. At the same time he gained worldwide fame. With Joel Basman (Franz Kafka), Danielle Bruhl (Max Broad), Nicholas Ovcharek (Hermann Kafka), and Liv Lisa Fries (Melina Jesinska), the cast will be top notch in front of the camera. Filming is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2023, the expected broadcast date in the ARD media library, on the first and at ORF in the spring of 2024.
Jörg Schönenborn, ARD Fantasy Coordinator: “ARD’s entire collaboration with ORF is a great example of how powerful we can be when we pool our energies and invest in such an outstanding project. Daniel Kellman and David Schalko bring the audience closer to Kafka’s works, some of which remain obscure, in an entertaining – but never superficial” way. I am looking forward to the result, which can certainly be seen internationally.”
mag. Katharina Schenk, director of the ORF TV channel: “I am very happy that ORF is part of this project, which focuses on the world of Franz Kafka himself. For this extraordinary project, Daniel Kellman and David Schalko have found a perspective that looks at the life and work of Kafka through the eyes of two distinguished storytellers and presents it to a wide audience in a new way. “.
Daniel Kellman, author: “Franz Kafka’s nightmares are our everyday reality: in his dark but comedic visions, he presented the world we all live in now. These visions did not come out of nowhere, but were shaped by his life, his family, and his own environment. I am proud and grateful to have had the privilege of writing screenplays based on Reiner’s work. Stach’s record-breaking director and storyteller David Schalko, and I very much look forward to seeing it come to life with these wonderful actors very soon.”
David Schalko, Director: “We picked the wonderful biographies of Reiner Stach eight years ago and I have been working on this project in various forms ever since. The fact that it was finally realized is due on the one hand to Daniel Kellman’s excellent books and on the other hand to the perfect constellation of brave public service announcers who do not take the importance of not only have Kafka in mind, but they also relish the challenge of re-discovering the autobiographical genre.”
Joel Basman, Daniel Brühl, Nicholas Ovcharek, Liv Lisa Fries and others inspired by the scripts of Daniel Kellman and directed by David Shalko – filming is expected to begin in the spring of 2023
October 5, 2022 / IB
North German Radio
Press and Communication
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