The case Serebrennikov
ClientSWR / Filmakademie
DirectorHanna Fischer
Runtime45:00 Minutes
LanguageDeutsch, Englisch
CountryDeutschland / Ruanda

The creation of the opera "Hänsel und Gretel" at the Stuttgart Opera was to be documented in a co-production between Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and SWR. When I was asked to be a producer for the project, I naturally agreed, because the project already sounded very exciting back then. For the director of the opera Kirill Serebrennikov - a Russian film and theatre director who is a real great in the scene - Hänsel and Gretel are not just two children who got lost in the forest, but two children from Africa who got lost in Europe, more precisely in Stuttgart. For the opera he wanted to make a film that would be shown on a screen during the performance and the orchestra and the singers would then set the film to music live.

The shooting for the Africa part took place in early 2017 in Rwanda, which we accompanied with our documentary film team. After the two weeks, which were mainly shot in Kigali, another week was shot in Stuttgart. After that we started editing the first part of our documentary. In autumn we were supposed to shoot some more pictures during the rehearsal process, as well as at the premiere on 22.10.2017. But everything came differently.

In August Kirill Serebrennikov was arrested in Russia. The accusation: he is said to have embezzled money in the millions. However, connoisseurs rather suspect a targeted campaign against him. The opera was faced with a big problem: they no longer had a director. When the SWR heard about it, the desire was to change the film completely so that we should now focus on how the Stuttgart Opera deals with this situation. This meant for us that we had to throw the old concept overboard and shoot much more than originally planned in the rehearsal process.

After the premiere of the opera, which took place as planned on 22 October, but of course looked completely different from the realization, we had quite little time to finish the film, because the film was also to be broadcast promptly. On 19.11.2017 at 11:00 a.m. the time had come and the film was broadcast on SWR.

Nevertheless, we plan to finish the originally planned film. Probably the "first" film will be finished in March 2018.