German film world bids farewell to Eichinger
by Julio Talavera Milla
26/01/2011 - German cinema is in mourning after producer Bernd Eichinger died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles, aged 61. He produced legendary films including Downfall [trailer, film focus], The Neverending Story, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer [trailer] and The Name of the Rose.
With over 30 titles to his name, Eichinger was considered Germany’s most successful producer. He won numerous accolades, including the Bayerische Filmpreis, the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Nowhere In Africa [trailer], a César and the David di Donatello Award.
Eichinger began his career at the Munich Film and Television School. He then worked in various roles for Bavaria Studios before founding his first company, Solaris, in 1970. It was here that a large part of the “New German Cinema” movement was developed, with the production of titles like Wim Wenders’s Wrong Move.
Eichinger made his directorial debut at the end of the 1990s, although he made little impact. He also tried his hand at screenwriting and TV production.
At the end of the 1970s, he bought shares in distribution company Constantin Film, renaming it Neue Constantin Film and becoming its executive director in 1979. In 1984, he diversified the company’s activities and started its film production arm. He remained executive director until the company’s listing on the stock market in 1999 and, at the time of his death, he was still chairman of the advisory board.
In 2010, the German Film Academy gave Eichinger an Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement.
(Translated from Spanish)