MIPTV: Beta Film opens curtains for 'Babylon Berlin', '1993' & 'Professor T'


MUMBAI: Beta Film will, at this year’s MIPTV, open its red curtains for Babylon Berlin, presenting first-look excerpts of the extraordinary event series by Tom Tykwer, Henk Handloegten and Achim von Borries.

The writer/director trio will introduce the show during the MIPDrama Screenings in Cannes with a 20 minute glimpse of what is currently in post-production and has been sold to numerous territories throughout the world. At its International Screening, Beta will feature Professor T., an eccentric but brilliant forensic scientist, who assists police investigations with special charm. The German remake for ZDF, which launched very successfully, is based on the Belgium series original.

Another remake for TF1 in France is in post-production. 1993 marks the second season of the Italian high-end success series 1992 and follows in the footsteps of corruption and a merciless game of politics. First scenes will be shown at the traditional Beta Brunch on MIPTV-Tuesday, 12.30 pm.

Babylon Berlin (The Hollywood Reporter: “game changer for high-end TV”) with its 16 episodes and a 40 million Euro budget will premiere on Sky Germany this coming fall, all of Europe including UK as well as overseas and German Free TV ARD will follow. Berlin in the Roaring Twenties is a metropolis for those with talent and ambition. But beneath the glittering surface, the impoverished masses strive for a better life. It is a time for organized crime and political extremism with old militaristic elites not yet abolished while an even more dreadful monster starts flexing its muscles. The show follows a police officer investigating with his own agenda in the capital. Babylon Berlin is produced by X Filme Creative Pool, ARD Degeto, Sky and Beta Film.

Rome, 30 April 1993: A crowd throws coins at Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi – as if the Civil War has begun. It is the setting of 1993 (8 hours; “1992”: 10 hours), the highly ambitious Sky Italia series about political corruption, the mani pulite bribery investigations, the collapse of a political system and the chance for new powers to rise out of the ashes. 1993 is a Sky Italia production realized by Wildside (“The Young Pope”).

Further highlights among Beta’s event miniseries lineup are Sacher (4 hours), a moovie/Constantin/MR/Beta Film production about the renowned Grand Hotel and glamorous hotspot for the élite of Vienna’s Golden Age and the second season of legal thriller series Shades of Guilt (10 hours, moovie/Oliver Berben), centering on defense lawyer Friedrich Kronberg, who is struggling for justice, no matter how guilty his defendants are. The event movie The Light of Hope (2 hours, Distinto Films Miriam Porté), based on a true story, tells the harrowing tale of Elisabeth Eidenbenz and her female co-workers who saved the lives of almost 600 infants and their mothers who suffered unbearable conditions in refugee and prison camps in Southern France during World War II.

Formats are flying high at Beta Film, with Professor T. (Rowboat) gaining record ratings on Germany’s ZDF and the French version premiering on TF1 (6 hours, VEMA Production) later this year. The crime format is the latest example of successful shows being adapted abroad, just like the Spanish series Grand Hotel (39x70', bamboo) with its offspring in the US, Italy and the Middle East or Red Bracelets (German version produced by Bantry Bay), which goes into its third season on Germany’s VOX, even extending the Spanish/Catalan original run.

The kids’ slate comes with the brand-new scripted show Five2Twelve (26 x 24') about five teenage boys between 14 and 16 who have their last chance to get it right. All of them already hear the prison doors closing when a judge gives them the option for a new perspective in a mountain boot camp. The series is produced by BR/TV60. Also available are seven new family entertainment features like Timm Thaler (Constantin), the boy who sold his laughter or the friendship adventure of Wendy (Bantry Bay) on vacation at her grandparent’s horse ranch.

Last but not least, there are new entries in Beta’s movie cycles. Inspector Dupin (16 hours, filmpool) solves murders at Brittany’s seaside and completed its sixth part, while Murder by the Lake (20 hours, Rowboat) presents its seventh case at the three nation border in the heart of Europe.

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