Veteran producer Artur 'Atze' Brauner has received death threats ahead of the special screening of his Holocaust drama Babij Yar at this year's Berlinale.
84-year-old Brauner revealed that he had received anonymous telephone calls and letters in the past few weeks threatening that he would not live to see the film's European premiere at the Berlin film festival on February 11 when he is due to receive a Berlinale Kamera award in recognition of his life's work.
'These hostilities don't worry me - otherwise I wouldn't have made the film. I don't have any fear', said Brauner.
Babij Yar tells the story of two families who attempt to survive the Holocaust and a massacre where over 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were murdered by SS troops in September 1941.
Himself a survivor of the Holocaust - twelve of his family lost their lives in the Babij Yar massacre - Brauner has often returned to the dark period in German history under the Nazis with the production of such films as Morituri (1948), Der 20. Juli (1955), Die Weisse Rose (1982), Hitlerjunge Salomon (1990) and Von Hoelle zu Hoelle (1996). In addition, he had made two attempts in the 1970s and early 1990s to raise the financing for a film about the life of Oskar Schindler.
In spite of these latest threats Brauner is planning with Babij Yar screenwriter Stephen Glantz to tackle another chapter in the history of the Holocaust with a film about three families from the leafy Berlin suburb of Grunewald, who were transported in cattle trucks to Auschwitz in 1942.
Babij Yar, which Brauner describes as his 'most personal film', is set to be released in Germany via Central Film on the symbolical opening date of May 8.