Dreams have been playing the leading role in Babelsberg since 1911. More than 3,000 films for cinema and TV have already been produced in the area of Europe’s biggest and oldest media grounds, located between the Wannsee of Berlin and the Sanssouci Palace. Here, Marlene Dietrich filmed “The Blue Angel”, laying the foundation of her worldwide fame. Stars like Greta Garbo, Heinz Rühmann and Hans Albers were on camera in Babelsberg. Fritz Lang wrote movie history with “Metropolis”. – They all loved the atmosphere, the charm and the flair of Babelsberg.
Today the location represents a modern media city with about 130 companies whose business areas reflect the entire range of today’s media landscape. And by providing jobs for about 2,500 permanent staff members and freelancers, Babelsberg is one of the biggest employers in the region of Berlin-Brandenburg. Be it traditional handicraft or the latest techniques and technologies – they all have their place and form the basis of various networks.
The media city also comprises a public service broadcasting institution, the radio station “Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg”, and a long-established and dedicated training centre for young film makers and media workers, the Film and Television Academy (HFF) “Konrad Wolf”, as well as the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and “Radio Teddy”.
In the past few years, famous Hollywood productions were filmed in the film studios of Babelsberg. The Wachowski brothers shot the film “Ninja Assassin”. Clive Owen was there to play in “The International”, and Bryan Singer produced the film “Valkyrie” with Tom Cruise. “The Reader” with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes was made in Babelsberg as well as Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds”. Most recently, Roman Polanski’s political thriller “The Ghost” has been worked on in the studios.
German TV series are also produced, in addition to big Hollywood movies. One example is Germany’s most
successful daily soap “Gute Zeiten – Schlechte Zeiten” made by Grundy UFA TV-Produktions GmbH since 1992.
The Filmpark Babelsberg has seen itself as the media city’s event platform since 1993. By focusing on the great tradition, the opportunities of the presence and the future of film and television, it enthrals hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The theme park is considered a touristic highlight of the region. Everything that has to do with filmmaking is featured here for the visitors.
Every year, between Easter and Halloween, the Filmpark Babelsberg enables an exclusive look into the fascinating world of cinema magic, television hits, live radio, stars and starlets. Being an employer for about 100 employees and having eight trainee positions, the Filmpark Babelsberg is a strong economic power in Potsdam with a social commitment.
The field Special Events & Catering creates unique worlds of experience where events are placed in cinematic surroundings. Be it a glamorous gala night in the style of an Academy Award ceremony, product presentations in the scenery of sumptuous film productions, conferences far beyond traditional congress centres, incentives which are integrated in spectacular adventures in an efficient and result-oriented way or the small company party as a goody for the employees – every event is planned individually and put into action with great attention to detail, with the “little extra far beyond the routine”. The “Metropolis Halle®” is a new multi-functional studio, suitable for TV, with an immediate connection to Filmpark Babelsberg. It was opened on 10 October 2008 and it is the first location in the media city which can be used for major events of national and international interest, like conventions, film premieres, award ceremonies and TV and show productions. Germany’s most important media award, BAMBI, was presented in the Metropolis Halle® in 2009 and 2010.
Friedhelm Schatz, managing director of the Filmpark Babelsberg GmbH, and his partner Ekkehard Streletzki did not only take over the company Filmpark from Vivendi in 2003, but also 24 hectares of the media city altogether. While Filmpark Babelsberg uses little more than ten hectares, the remaining area gives room for development.
“The basic concept of the development has been finalized. Studio Babelsberg, HFF, RBB, UFA, many other companies as well as the Filmpark and the
Metropolis Halle® are the cornerstones of the future. Now we have to carefully develop further ideas, based on our partner companies’ and our own plans and projects, to close the gaps. I think, a lot has been achieved
with the Metropolis Halle®, the
exterior decoration ‘neighbourhood of Berlin’ for the TV soap opera ‘Gute Zeiten – Schlechte Zeiten’, the Guido Seeber House and the Fröbel-Kindergarten at the Filmpark, but many projects are still ahead of us”, says Friedhelm Schatz.
About 80,000 square metres of land in the media city are available for new companies.
Friedhelm Schatz, who among others, roused manor “Krongut Bornstedt” from its slumber, established the western town Eldorado Templin, founded Germany’s first radio station for children, Radio Teddy, and who has now also taken over the Exploratorium Potsdam, has an optimistic view of the future of Babelsberg: “Already today, the media city of Babelsberg is a wonderful place to work, teach and learn, to celebrate. Here you can have fun and be creative. We know that our guests from around the world feel at home here. We will continue working on this and personally, I hope we will never be finished completely, so it doesn’t get boring.”
In the 1960s the author was trained as a photographer in Celle. His daily routine included festivities and family events of all kinds. In 1973 he became an intern at film laboratory of the Bavaria-Studios in Munich. When he left the Bavaria-Studios in 1987, he was a line producer with a production budget of 80 million euros. Since 1993 he has been building on the stage of his dreams – the Filmpark Babelsberg.