Saturday, March 18, 2023

‘Babylon Berlin’ Producers X Filme and Beta Film Join RTL for ‘House of Promises’ (EXCLUSIVE)

TVNow, RTL Deutschland’s streaming service, high-flying Berlin-based production house X Filme Creative Pool and production-distribution powerhouse Beta Film are partnering on what looks like one of the biggest German drama series productions of 2021: “House of Promises.”

Beta Film is handling world sales and will present first moving images of the series at October’s Mipcom trade fair in Cannes, it said Friday.

Described by Beta Film as a “high-end” and a “visually stunning drama,” the 12-hour series is currently shooting on location in Berlin, Brandenburg and the Saxon city of Görlitz. Set in Berlin in the 1920s, it captures the hopes of a dazzling decade and the dramatic turn of an era from the perspective of a young woman and a Jewish family, owner of a state-of-the-art department store at Berlin’s Torstrasse 1.

Award winning director Sherry Hormann (“A Regular Woman,” “3096 Days,” “Desert Flower”) directs episodes 1-6, once again focusing on “complex, multi-layered female characters whose experiences are at the center of the action,” Beta Film observed. Austrian director Umut Dağ (“Vienna Blood,” “Breaking Point”), also an award winning helmer, will direct episodes 7-12.

X Filme and Beta Film teamed – producing with ARD and Sky –  to make the groundbreaking mega hit “Babylon Berlin,” a vision of ‘20s Berlin marked by the seeds of social unrest which would finally drive the rise of Hitler’s Germany.

“House of Promises” looks more upbeat than “Babylon Berlin,” tracing a classic across-the-tracks love story as young Vicky (Naemi Feitisch) arrives from the provinces to a glamorous Berlin, in the vanguard of European modernity, though marked by great poverty.

She scores a dream job as a saleswoman in the newly opened Jonass department store. At a dance bar she falls in love with the seemingly penniless pianist Harry (Ludwig Simon), who turns out to be the son of the department store owner Arthur Grünberg (Alexander Scheer). “And so begins an impossible love across the class divide that nevertheless – or precisely because of it – outlasts time,” the synopsis runs.

However feel-good, the story’s setting is inspired by history. Now Berlin’s Soho House, the Bauhaus building was Berlin’s first credit department store, founded in the early 1920s by the Jewish Gollhuber family.

The new series toplines up-and-coming lead actors Feitisch and Ludwig Simon as well as Nina Kunzendorf (“Phoenix”), Alexander Scheer (“Blood Red Sky,” “We Children from Bahnhof Zoo”) and Samuel Finzi (“Allmen,” “Generation War”).

“Journeying into the vibrant, magical world of yesteryear,” Beta Film announced on Friday, “House of Promises” will initially air on RTL Deutschland’s streaming service TVNow, soon to be known as RTL Plus, in the first half of 2022. It will later play Vox.

“House of Promises” is produced by X Filme Creative Pool (“Babylon Berlin,” “Good Bye, Lenin!”) for TVNow. Uwe Urbas, Stefan Arndt and Michael Polle are producing. It is based on Sybil Volks’ novel “Torstrasse 1” and written by head writer Conni Lubek in collaboration with Silja Clemens, Holger Joos and Carola M. Lowitz. Maximiliane Prokop and Mariella Santibáñez serve as producers.

“House of Promises” follows on “Sisi,” another big German-language property made by the Beta Film TV and RTL’s TVNow, and produced by Germany’s Story House.

Both X Filme and Beta Film played a prominent role at this week’s Series Mania, X Filme co-producing far-right terrorist thriller “Furia,” a buzz title in main competition, while Beta Film had the Neuesuper-produced “Echos,” one of its banner YA titles, playing in Forum Exclusives.


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