Babelsberg Film Studio (German: Filmstudio Babelsberg, FWB: BG1), located in Potsdam-Babelsberg outside Berlin, Germany, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world, producing films since 1912. With a total area of about 460,000 square metres (5,000,000 sq ft) and a studio area of about 25,000 square metres (270,000 sq ft) it is Europe's largest film studio.
Hundreds of films, including Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel were filmed there. More recent productions include V for Vendetta, Captain America: Civil War, Æon Flux, The Bourne Ultimatum, Valkyrie, Inglourious Basterds, Cloud Atlas, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Hunger Games, and Isle of Dogs.
Today, Studio Babelsberg remains operational mainly for feature film productions. Furthermore, it acts as co-producer on international high budget productions.
In 1911, the film production company Deutsche Bioscope built its first glasshouse film studio (early studios designed to take advantage of natural light) in Neubabelsberg. The company had been originally formed by Jules Greenbaum in 1899 and incorporated in 1902. As his business increased, Greenbaum made a deal with the chemist Carl Moritz Schleussner of the photochemicals firm Schleussner AG in Frankfurt/Main. Carl Schleussner had been involved since 1896 in producing negative film stock for Röntgen photography soon after its discovery. In February 1908 Carl Schleussner bought a majority share in Deutsche Bioscop as a film manufacturing, duplicating and sales operation, for a 2/3 share of 140,000 marks, with 1/3 provided by Jules Greenbaum & his brother Max. Ownership of Deutsche Bioscop was transferred to Schleussner AG and registered on 27 February 1908: Schleussner bought out the Greenbaums' remaining share of Deutsche Bioscop in 1909.
The first filming in Babelsberg began as early as February 1912 for The Dance of Death by Danish director Urban Gad. In 1920 the Deutsche Bioscop Gesellschaft merged with Erich Pommer's Decla-Film GmbH to form „Decla Bioscop“. In 1928, Decla-Bioscop merged with Universum Film AG (Ufa) which had been founded in 1917. This company built the large studio (which is now known as the "Marlene Dietrich Halle") in 1926 for the major film production of Metropolis by Fritz Lang.
The first German sound stage in Babelsberg, the Tonkreuz, was built during 1929, to make use of the Tri-Ergon sound-on-film process to which Ufa acquired the rights. Ufa's first successful full-sound film Melodie des Herzens/Melody of the Heart with Willy Fritsch was in fact made in Hungary in 1929, although this was followed in April 1930 by the premiere of The Blue Angel (which was made at Babelsberg) by Josef von Sternberg, with Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in the main roles.
From 1933 to 1945, around 1,000 feature films were made in the studios and on the studio lot. Under the direction of Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, the studio churned out hundreds of films including Leni Riefenstahl's openly propagandistic Triumph of the Will (1935). The virulently anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süss (The Jew Süss) (1940), was also made at Babelsberg.
On May 17, 1946 the DEFA (Deutsche Film AG) was established, producing over 800 feature films, including 150 children's films. In addition, over 600 films were made for television from 1959 to 1990. The DEFA period was honored by a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City in 2005.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Treuhand took over the responsibility for the privatisation of the former DEFA. In August 1992, the Treuhandanstalt sold the former DEFA film studios in Babelsberg to the French group Compagnie Générale des Eaux (later absorbed into Vivendi Universal). Over the following 12 years the company invested around €500 million updating the studio's infrastructure.
In July 2004, Vivendi sold Studio Babelsberg to the investment company FBB (Filmbetriebe Berlin Brandenburg GmbH), which has Carl Woebcken and Christoph Fisser as shareholders. In Spring of 2005, the restructured studio presented an initial public offering and began trading on the free market.
2007 was the most profitable year since the Studio's privatization in 1992 - 12 feature films were shot at Studio Babelsberg, among them Valkyrie with Tom Cruise, The International with Clive Owen, and The Reader with Kate Winslet.
In 2008 Studio Babelsberg and Hollywood producer Joel Silver formed a strategic alliance to produce feature films from the Dark Castle production slate at the world’s oldest film studio.
Recent co-productions of Studio Babelsberg include Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (released 2009), Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010), Brian De Palma's Passion (2012), and George Clooney's The Monuments Men (2014).
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Eddie the Eagle is a 2016 biographical sports comedy-drama film directed by Dexter Fletcher. The film stars Taron Egerton as Michael Edwards, a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping since 1928. Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Iris Berben and Jim Broadbent co-star. The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on 26 January 2016.The film was released by 20th Century Fox in Canada and the U.S on 27 February 2016 and by Lionsgate in the UK on 28 March 2016. In 2017 it was nominated for the Empire Award for Best British Film.Flightplan
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Flightplan was distributed by Touchstone Pictures and was released worldwide theatrically on September 23, 2005. Upon release the film received mixed reviews from critics who acclaimed the performances of its cast but found the screenplay less competent and was a major box office success grossing over $223 million on a budget of $50 million.Hanna (film)
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Pandorum is a 2009 science fiction horror film, with elements of Lovecraftian horror, and survival adventure. The film was directed by Christian Alvart and produced by Robert Kulzer, Jeremy Bolt and Paul W. S. Anderson. Travis Milloy wrote the screenplay from a story by Milloy and Alvart. It stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. Filming began in Berlin in August 2008. Pandorum was released on 25 September 2009 in the United States, and on 2 October 2009 in the UK. The film's title is a fictional slang term for a form of psychosis called Orbital Dysfunctional Syndrome (ODS) caused by deep space and triggered by emotional stress. This leads to severe paranoia, delirium, and nosebleeding.Renegades (2017 film)
Renegades, known as American Renegades in the United States, is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Steven Quale and written by Luc Besson and Richard Wenk. The film stars Sullivan Stapleton, J. K. Simmons and Charlie Bewley, and follows a team of Navy SEALs that is hired to salvage Nazi gold stored in a bank vault in a submerged town at the bottom of a Bosnian lake. It was released on 1 September 2017 in Germany and 6 September 2017 in France and will be released in the United States on January 22, 2019 on Blu-ray and DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.Solo Sunny
Solo Sunny is a 1980 East German drama film directed by Konrad Wolf and Wolfgang Kohlhaase. It was entered into the 30th Berlin International Film Festival, where Renate Krößner won the Silver Bear for Best Actress. Solo Sunny was the last completed film directed by Konrad Wolf.Spione
Spione [ˈʃpi̯oːnə] (English title: Spies, under which title it was released in the United States) is a 1928 German silent espionage thriller directed by Fritz Lang and co-written with his wife, Thea von Harbou, who also wrote a novel of the same name. The film was Lang's penultimate silent film and the first for his own production company; Fritz Lang-film GmbH. As in Lang's Mabuse films, such as Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Rudolf Klein-Rogge plays a master criminal aiming for world domination.Spione was restored to its original length by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung during 2003 and 2004. No original negatives survive but a high quality nitrate copy is held at the Národní Filmový Archiv in Prague.Stars (film)
Stars (German: Sterne) is a 1959 film directed by Konrad Wolf. It tells the story of a Nazi officer who falls in love with a Greek Jewish girl while escorting Jewish prisoners through Bulgaria to a concentration camp. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival.The Bourne Supremacy (film)
The Bourne Supremacy is a 2004 American-German action thriller film featuring Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character. Though it takes the name of the second Bourne novel, its plot is entirely different. The film was directed by Paul Greengrass from a screenplay by Tony Gilroy. Universal Pictures released the film to theaters in the United States on July 23, 2004. It is the second in the Jason Bourne film series. It is preceded by The Bourne Identity (2002) and followed by The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012), and Jason Bourne (2016).
The Bourne Supremacy continues the story of Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin suffering from psychogenic amnesia. Bourne is portrayed by Matt Damon. The film focuses on his attempt to learn more of his past as he is once more enveloped in a conspiracy involving the CIA and Operation Treadstone. The film also stars Brian Cox as Ward Abbott, Joan Allen as Pamela Landy and Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons.The Legend of Paul and Paula
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Æon Flux is a 2005 American science fiction spy action film based on the animated science fiction television series of the same name created by Peter Chung, which aired on MTV from 1991-1995. It was directed by Karyn Kusama, written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Gale, Gary Lucchesi and Greg Goodman. The film was produced by MTV Films, Lakeshore Entertainment, Babelsberg Film Studio and Valhalla Motion Pictures. It stars Charlize Theron as the title character, Marton Csokas, Jonny Lee Miller, Sophie Okonedo, Pete Postlethwaite, and Frances McDormand.
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