Babelsberg is thriving – the long-established film studios in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, have already been booked for four major international film productions in 2013 alone. One of them stars George Clooney in “The Monuments Men”, a film set at the end of the Second World War which tells the true story of a spectacular treasure hunt. A team of experts is tasked with saving precious works of art before they can be destroyed by the Nazis. Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett co-star in the movie, which will be coming to cinemas in early 2014. Clooney, who not only plays the leading role in the film but is also its director, also used a historic backdrop in the North German Harz mountains for his action thriller. The Hollywood star, who frequently comes to Germany, celebrated his 52nd birthday in the small town of Wenigerode.
The director Brian Percival (“Downtown Abbey”) also chose Germany for his latest project “The Book Thief”, a film adaptation of a novel by German-Australian writer Markus Zusak. The film, which stars Oscar award-winner Geoffrey Rush alongside the German actress Heike Makatsch, was shot in the studios in Babelsberg and in Görlitz. This town in Saxony right on the border with Poland boasts an impressive historic centre and rose to fame thanks to the Hollywood production of “The Reader” which starred Kate Winslet. Görlitz also featured recently in scenes of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, a comedy starring Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes.
Oscar-nominated director Marjane Satrapi is filming a psychological thriller entitled “The Voices” in Berlin and Babelsberg, a project that is being supported by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg to the tune of 450,000 euros. Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” also received a subsidy of 400,000 euros.