Magazine article Screen International

Studiocanal to Co-Produce, Sell German Children's Classic

Magazine article Screen International

Studiocanal to Co-Produce, Sell German Children's Classic

Article excerpt

Studiocanal is to co-produce and handle world sales on the first German live-action film adaptation of Otfried Preussler's children's classic The Little Witch (Die Kleine Hexe).

Published in 1957, Preussler's tale centres on a witch who is a mere one hundred and twenty-seven years old and thus deemed too young to be allowed to dance with the others on the Hill of Witches during Walpurgis Night (30 April).

Before she can prove to the chief witch that she has what it takes to become a good witch, she must hone her magic skills, but she hadn't reckoned with the mean weather witch Rumpumpel using every means to prevent her reaching her goal.

Studiocanal's German production arm, Studiocanal Film, will co-produce with Munich-based Claussen+Putz Filmproduktion and Switzerland's Zodiac Pictures after last year's successful collaboration on the remake of another children's classic, Heidi.

Alain Gsponer's adaptation of Johanna Spyri's Heidi has been seen by 1.2m cinema-goers in Germany and was sold by Studiocanal to nigh on 50 territories worldwide. It is one of two children's films nominated at this year's German Film Awards.

Principal photography on The Little Witch is scheduled to run between the end of September and December at locations in Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and Switzerland. Funding is already in place from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, MDM, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), and MEDIA Development.

Karoline Herfurth - recently seen in the box-office hit Fack Ju Göhte and The Pasta Detectives trilogy - has been cast as the little witch under the direction of the Student Academy Award-winner Michael Schaerer (Warmth). …

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