Garmisch-Partenkirchen – known for its Bavarian charm, as one of the best winter sports and hiking destinations, and for Germany’s highest peak…of course, this is also the perfect backdrop for popular national and international film productions. In the past years the town at the foot of Zugspitze has been the mainstay for numerous movies and tv film productions. On the occasion of La Loupe’s fifth anniversary we took a close look at five successful formats. Take one…
Bavarian puns and breakneck bob runs
Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s Bavarian surprise film “Grave Decisions” is quite well known – with “Heavyweights” the cult producer managed to continue his success.
It’s the year 1952: in idyllic Garmisch-Partenkirchen indebted Gamser (Sebastian Bezzel) wants to beat his rival Dorfler (Nicholas Ofczarek) in four-man bobsleighing at the Olympic Winter Games in Oslo. No sooner said than done! The layman timbers his own sled and together with three friends he manages to win the ticket for the competition. But all of a sudden, the two teams need to decide: hold on to the old animosity or fight for victory together?
The folk comedy is inspired by real events, in 1952, for the first time after World War II, German teams were allowed to take part in the Olympic Games again – back then the German four-man sled with Anderl Ostler from Garmisch-Partenkirchen won the gold medal in Oslo.
The “Heavyweights” premiere took place in 2006 at the 40th Hofer Filmtage (= Hofer film days) where it quickly became the audience’s favourite.
Country of production: Germany
Year of production: 2006
Director: Marcus H. Rosenmüller
Cast: Sebastian Bezzel, Michael A. Grimm, Antoine Monot, Jr., Simon Schwarz, Nicholas Ofczarek
Föhnlage. Ein Alpenkrimi - Foehn conditions. An Alpine Thriller
Watch out, thrilling!
Murder in alpine paradise! Föhnlage is the film version of the thriller written by Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s own author Jörg Maurer. It was first broadcast in 2011 as part of the series of ‘folk thrillers’ in Bavarian television.
Inspector Hubertus Jennerwein (Martin Feifel) investigates in his home town at the foot of Zugspitze. During a piano concert, a man tumbles from the ceiling into the audience, killing one of the audience members. The question this raises is: was it an accident or murder – and what does the undertaker Grasegger have to do with the case? Rustic types paired with a lovingly staged view of the Zugspitze make “Föhnlage. Ein Alpenkrimi” not just thrilling and quirky television entertainment, they also make one want to visit the alpine destination.
The alpine thriller was shot between October 19 and November 19, 2010 in the congress centre, on Richard-Strauss square, on Chamonixstrasse and the station. By the way: many locals were extras in the television film and even the bestselling author has a little guest appearance.
Country of production: Germany
Year of production: 2011
Director: Rainer Kaufmann
Cast: Martin Feifel, Jürgen Tonkel, Katharina Marie Schubert
Hollywood-action in the Alps
Actually, this top-class thriller is plays in northern Finland, but the outdoor scenes in “Big Game” were shot at the foot of Alpspitze. Hollywood paid Garmisch-Partenkirchen a visit!
Air Force One with the US-president (Samuel L. Jackson) on board is attacked by terrorists, the most powerful man in the world survives thanks to an escape pod after the crash and finds himself in the Finnish wilderness. There he runs into the boy Oskari (Onni Tommila) and together the two fight for survival in the bleak nature while villains are constantly chasing after them.
The woods of Finland weren’t dense enough and the landscape was too flat so the gorge Partnachklamm and the very original and untamed nature right below the Alpspitz’ north face served as the backdrop for the blockbuster. During the two weeks of shooting the Werdenfels region was simply moved further north, snow included. And what did the Hollywood actor think of Garmisch-Partenkirchen? “A truly marvellous place with extraordinarily beautiful flora”, Samuel L. Jackson is amazed.
Country of production: Finland
Year of production: 2014
Director: Jalmari Helander
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila, Felicity Huffman
Eddie the Eagle
Underdogs become high-flyers
Loosely based on the true story that took place in Great Britain in the 1980s, the filmmakers simply moved the setting of “Eddie the Eagle” to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to Olympiahaus in Garmisch, to be exact.
Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) has the ambitious goal of qualifying as a ski jumper for the Olympic Games – and that despite the fact that he only did his first jump at 22 years of age and may be a little too heavy for the job. His charismatic coach Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) supports his dream and then it really does happen, his wish seems within his reach. The Grand Dame of German film, Iris Berben, enchants the audience in her role as waitress Petra in “Eddie the Eagle”. At the premier of the sports comedy at the Sundance Filmfestival in 2016 the production was popular with critics.
500 extras from the Werdenfels region perform as skiers, ski instructors, officials, and pub guests – and they were happy to be able to see international film stars up close.
Country of production: Great Britain, USA, Germany
Year of production: 2016
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Iris Berben
On the tracks of a legend
The script is more than 5,000 years old yet no-one has dared to make a film out of it yet: the legend of the glacier mummy Ötzi which was found in Schnals valley in South Tyrol 26 years ago. The film “Iceman” was shot in original locations and the Asam and Partnach gorges.
The story takes place in the Neolithic Age and it’s about the oldest unsolved murder in European history. When Ötzi (Jürgen Vogel) returns from the hunt he finds his wife and child have been murdered. On his search for the murderers the man embarks on an odyssey through the high mountains. “Iceman” is a drama about love, murder, revenge, and compassion. For director Felix Randau emotionality and authenticity were the most important factors, which is why the museum of Bolzano was strongly involved in the process.
“Camera rolling” – in 2016 filming took place in the locations around Garmisch-Partenkirchen for a week. The team often had to face logistical challenges: in the Partnach gorge numerous helpers had to collaborate to transport the equipment to the film location. But it was worth it. Jürgen Vogel is amazed: “The natural backdrop really is very beautiful.” At the end of 2017 the film will be released in cinemas.
Country of production: Germany, Italy, Austria
Year of production: winter 2017
Director: Felix Randau
Cast: Jürgen Vogel, Susanne Wuest, Franco Nero, André M. Hennicke