The Fascination of Silent Movies: UFA Film Nights 2017 in Berlin Once Again an Audience Magnet - Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

Information about the international media enterprise and it's corporate divisions RTL Group, Penguin Random House, Gruner + Jahr, Arvato; detailed information for journalists in the Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA's Press Center as well as everything about Corporate Responsibility activities at Bertelsmann.

Press Release

Press Release | Berlin, 08/22/2017

The Fascination of Silent Movies: UFA Film Nights 2017 in Berlin Once Again an Audience Magnet

  • Early masterpieces of cinematic history and a contemporary UFA movie attract cinephiles to Museum Island
  • Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe: Preserving the silent film heritage is important common cause
  • UFA co-CEOs Wolf Bauer and Nico Hofmann: UFA Film Nights highlight innovative power of Weimar cinema
  • A few tickets still available for this year’s four open-air film screenings

This year’s UFA Film Nights, featuring an attractive lineup of movies and prominent presenters, will once again attract thousands of film friends to Museum Island in Berlin’s historic center. Starting this evening and through Friday, there will be open-air screening of three classics of silent cinema, as well as – for the first time – a contemporary UFA film, to live musical accompaniment. The event is hosted by the international media company Bertelsmann and its film production subsidiary UFA, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017. The screenings are in high demand, but there are still a few remaining tickets available.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe says: “The UFA Film Nights are being held in Berlin for the seventh time now, and have even developed into an international format. This shows how, even a century later, silent films still provide fascination and inspiration for people around the world. The UFA Film Nights are our contribution to keeping this art form alive while also advocating the protection of Germany’s cinematic heritage.” Bertelsmann's broad cultural engagement includes supporting the restoration of historic silent films.

UFA co-CEOs Wolf Bauer and Nico Hofmann comment: “We are delighted that the UFA Film Nights have become such a popular brand in Berlin’s cultural summer. This event series provides a highly visible platform for the unique visual aesthetic and technical innovation of Weimar-era cinematography.”

On Tuesday evening, the screening of a 1927 masterpiece by director G.W. Pabst kicks off this year’s UFA Film Nights against the spectacular backdrop of Kolonnadenhof: “Die Liebe der Jeanne Ney” (The love of Jeanne Ney). This marks the premiere of the digitized, reconstructed version of this exciting melodrama set during Russia’s October Revolution. The reconstructed musical accompaniment to the film, commissioned by ZDF/ARTE, is played live by the WDR Funkhausorchester Köln, directed by Frank Strobel. The actress Maria Furtwängler will provide an introduction to the movie. Those who are unable to procure a ticket are invited to watch a live stream of the opening night on www.arte.tv/ufa from 9:00 p.m.

Before the Film Nights officially begin, Bertelsmann and UFA will welcome approximately 350 guests to a reception at Bertelsmann Unter den Linden 1. The hosts will welcome numerous celebrated actors, cultural figures and personalities from politics and society. In addition to that evening’s film presenter Maria Furtwängler, the actors Sebastian Koch, Michael Degen, Inka Friedrich, Lisa Martinek, Stephanie Stumph, Samuel Finzi, Hans-Werner Meyer and Dominic Raake have also confirmed their attendance. The director Wim Wenders, filmmaker Tanja Ziegler, also plan to attend, as well as Nicola Lubitsch, the only child of the famous German-American filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch, and Christoph Kunheim, the son of actress Brigitte Helm, who played Maria in “Metropolis.”

On Wednesday, August 23rd, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's masterpiece “Der letzte Mann” (“The Last Laugh”) will be screened, starring the great Emil Jannings in one of his best-known and most powerful roles. Deutsche Oper Berlin’s UFA Brass, conducted by Manfred Honetschläger, will play the musical accompaniment based on Honetschläger’s own new composition. This film will be presented by the actor Tom Schilling.

On Thursday evening, August 24th, Fritz Lang's “Metropolis,” a cinematic landmark of the twentieth century, is on the program. For U.S. DJ Jeff Mills, it is the first time that he will set the complete, restored version of “Metropolis” from 2010 to music, live on the mixing desk. Actress Katharina Wackernagel will give an introduction to the movie.

This year's UFA Film Nights will close on August 25th with “Der Medicus” (“The Physician”) from 2013. Philipp Stölzl's movie adaptation of Noah Gordon's international bestseller will be screened for the first time with live music. The ambiance and dialog remain on the soundtrack, while the music will be played by the Neues Kammerorchester Potsdam. The actor Franz Dinda, who appears in the movie, will introduce “Der Medicus.”

The UFA Film Nights have become a cinematic-musical highlight of Berlin’s cultural summer with a dedicated stage orchestra and big screen erected for the occasion in the Kolonnadenhof on Museum Island, a World Cultural Heritage site. It can accommodate more than 800 guests on each of the evenings.

The Program at a Glance

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., screening starts at 9:00 p.m.
DIE LIEBE DER JEANNE NEY – THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY (1927), Director: G.W. Pabst
With Édith Jéhanne, Brigitte Helm, Hertha von Walther, Uno Henning, Fritz Rasp and others
Premiere of the digitized and reconstructed version
Music: The WDR Funkhausorchester, directed by Frank Strobel, plays a reconstructed orchestral score, arranged by Bernd Thewes (commissioned by ZDF/ARTE)

 Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., screening starts at 9:00 p.m.
DER LETZTE MANN THE LAST LAUGH (1924), Director: F.W. Murnau
With Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Georg John and others
Music: Deutsche Oper Berlin’s UFA Brass, directed by Manfred Honetschläger, plays a new composition by Manfred Honetschläger

 Thursday, August 24th, 2017. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., screening starts at 9:00 p.m.
METROPOLIS (1925/26), Director: Fritz Lang
With Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Heinrich George,
Fritz Rasp and others
Music: Jeff Mills with a new composition

 Friday, August 25th, 2017, Doors open at 8:30 p.m., screening starts at 9:00 p.m.
UFA FILM NIGHTS EXTENDED
DER MEDICUS – THE PHYSICIAN (2013), Director: Philipp Stölzl
With Tom Payne, Stellan Skarsgård, Olivier Martinez, Emma Rigby, Elyas M’Barek and others
Music: Neues Kammerorchester Potsdam, directed by Ud Joffe, to music by Ingo Ludwig Frenzel in a revised orchestration by Bernd Wefelmeyer

The UFA Film Nights hosted by Bertelsmann und UFA are internationally popular as well. Much to the delight of cineastes, several UFA Film Nights have already been held in Brussels, Madrid, Paris and New York.

This year’s UFA Film Nights in Berlin are being held with the kind support of Deutsche Telekom, ARTE, the National Museums in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation, Maz & Movie, and Gegenbauer Facility Management.

Yorck Kinogruppe, Stroer, radio eins, RBB Kulturradio, and Mit Vergnügen are the event’s media partners.

More information at www.ufa-filmnaechte.de or on Twitter: #UFAFilmnächte

A few remaining tickets are still available for 15 EUR including advance booking charge:
Online:            www.ufa-filmnaechte.de or www.gegenbauer-ticketservice.de
Phone:            +49 30 4430 4430
Email:             tickets@gegenbauer-ticketservice.de
and all the usual ticket agencies.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 116,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.0 billion in the 2016 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

About UFA
UFA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2017, making it one of the oldest entertainment brands in the world. Today's UFA Group is a powerful creator of entertainment content, and has steadily expanded its market leadership as a film and television producer in Germany over the years. The company has evolved from a creator of programs and TV producer into a content specialist that delivers a range of solutions for digital and multimedia content exploitation - for all major broadcasters in Germany as well as for many other partners. The UFA FICTION, UFA SERIAL DRAMA and UFA SHOW & FACTUAL production units as well as the UFA LAB operate under the UFA umbrella. UFA is part of the global media and entertainment company FremantleMedia, which operates the worldwide production business of Bertelsmann-owned RTL Group.