Jeroen Krabbe and Barbara Hershey are headlining the cast of UK director Gavin Millar's biopic Schweitzer (working title) on the life of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer.
Set in 1949 in the early years of the Cold War, the film follows Schweitzer (played by Krabbe) as he arrives in the USA with his wife Helene (Hershey) to raise funds for his hospital in Lambarene, West Africa, and is caught between the battle lines of world politics.
The co-production between Alexander Thies's Halle-based Salinas Filmgesellschaft and the South African production house Two Oceans Production began shooting in Cape Town last week and will wrap on August 13 at Port St. Johns in the Transkei where Schweitzer's jungle hospital in Lambarene is being recreated.
Backing for the international project, which also features Judith Godreche, Samuel West, Jeanette Hain, Jonathan Firth and Armin Rohde in the cast, has come from ARD Degeto, Arte, Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), Hessen Invest, Filmstiftung NRW, FFF Bayern, and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).
Speaking to Screendailyat this week's Munich Filmfest, Giselher Venzke of Two Oceans Production added that this official bilateral co-production between Germany and South Africa would also be benefitting from South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) as well as benefitting from the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) tax incentive.
Earlier this year, Venzke's company was also a co-producer on Studio Hamburg's English-language family entertainment film The Three Investigators - The Secret of Terror Castle which is set to be released by Walt Disney in Germany in early 2009.
NFP will release Schweitzer theatrically in Germany.