Zentropa’s Peter Engel producing.
Having tackled corruption and diamond smuggling in central Africa in their highly controversial feature doc The Ambassador (on TrustNordisk’s Berlinale slate), producer and director team Peter Engel and Mads Brügger are turning their attention closer to home.
Zentropa’s Engel has confirmed that they are now moving ahead with The Quatraro Mystery, which is already 75% shot. This film explores the strange and sinister way in which Italian EU official Antonio Quatraro died in 1983.
Quatraro fell out of his office window in 1993. At the time, he was in charge of the tobacco subsidies in the EU. He was about to go to court on corruption charges. The circumstances of his death have baffled and intrigued conspiracy theorists ever since.
Brügger has already spent two years researching the film. Further shooting is due to take place in Brussels in May.
Alongside The Quatraro Mystery, Engel is developing a big-scale fiction series based on the same events.
“All the research on The Quatraro Mystery was very interesting. We were inspired to write a drama series also about corruption in Europe,” Engel said.
The drama, called Babylon, is set to be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall). An ambitious pan-European project, the series is backed by (among others) ARTE France, RTE and DR.
“Right now, we are in the writing process - writing the first season of 12 episodes. It’s a very long process,” Engel commented of the project, which is being made through Zentropa and is also backed by the European Broadcasting Union.
The Ambassador received its North American premiere in Sundance last month.