PRODUCTION / FUNDING Germany / Switzerland
Historical series Davos being shot in the Swiss Alps
by Teresa Vena
- The six episodes of the German-Swiss co-production will be directed by an international duo comprising Jean-Eric Mack and Anca Miruna Lăzărescu
Davos is a small place located in the Swiss Alps. It is known internationally for several reasons: since the early 20th century, it has been a health resort to which people with respiratory issues have flocked in order to cure themselves. Indeed, a sanatorium served as the inspiration for one of the classic works of German literature, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. But it wasn’t only in the 1910s that Davos was a social hub: later, German Expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner lived and created a whole body of work there. And of course, it is also the mountainous venue for the World Economic Forum, where political matters of global importance are debated every year.
A historical series will now try to capture the atmosphere of this special place. A fictional story with a female main protagonist will be told in six episodes. Johanna is a nurse who gets embroiled in a plot involving international spies. She intends to find her illegitimate daughter and agrees to a dangerous deal with the German secret service. The story is set during World War I in the then supposedly neutral Switzerland.
The shooting of the series, co-produced by Germany and Switzerland, started in November 2022 in the German regions of Hamburg, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. In January this year, the second leg of shooting started, which should last until March. Filming is taking place in Switzerland, in Davos itself.
Swiss producer Ivan Madeo, of Contrast Film, says: “It was our goal from the beginning to produce the first Swiss series designed for an international audience.” It’s therefore only logical that the series will be directed by an international duo, which is composed of Swiss director Jean-Eric Mack (Wilder) and German-Romanian helmer Anca Miruna Lăzărescu (Hanna, That Trip We Took with Dad [+see also:
interview: Anca Miruna Lazarescu
film profile]), who both have experience with series. The script has been written by Swiss author Adrian Illien, in conjunction with Thomas Hess, Julia Penner and Michael Sauter.
In the main roles, we will see Swiss actress Dominique Devenport (Sisi) as well as German thesps Jeanette Hain (Babylon Berlin) and David Kross (A Stasi Comedy). They will be flanked by Anna Schinz (Private Banking), Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart (Wilder) and Sunnyi Melles (Triangle of Sadness [+see also:
interview: Ruben Östlund
interview: Ruben Östlund
Davos is a production by Switzerland’s Contrast Film and Germany’s Letterbox Filmproduktion. It is being made in co-production with Amalia Film (Germany) as well as the TV channels SRF and ARD Degeto. It has been funded by the Zürcher Filmstiftung, the Teleproduktions-Fond, the municipality of Davos, the cantons of Graubünden and Zug, MEDIA Desk Suisse (Bundesamt für Kultur) and the region of Engadin Bassa/Val Müstair. The funding on the German side comes from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, FFF Bayern, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, MFG-Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg, Nordmedia Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen and the German Motion Picture Fund. The release of the spy thriller is planned for winter 2023/2024. It will also be presented at the imminent Berlinale, as part of the Co-Pro Series Market (see the news).
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