Filmfritz GmbH is a film and television production company based in Munich. We produce films for various broadcasters, and for clients from industry. Our main focus is on documentaries. Why?

Documentaries are witnesses of the past. They show us real, non-fictional life in a condensed form. Reality offers an inexhaustible and fascinating range of topics. We’re especially interested in observing how people develop, and in detecting social trends. Here, time is an important element for us: we take the time to observe people, to discover stories that are not so obvious, and also take our time when filming and editing. What’s important for us?  Well-founded research; sensitive and responsible interaction with protagonists; authenticity; and an original visual language. The managing director Astrid Bscher works as a director in her own production company, concentrating mainly on television portraits and extended documentaries. A lot of her work involves the stage – i.e. music, opera and the theatre, as well as the fine arts and architecture.

Filmfritz GmbH is a film and television production company based in Munich. We produce films for various broadcasters, and for clients from...  

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Wotan Must Wait. The singer Günther Groissböck.

Father of the Gods, Castle of the Gods, Wotan, Valhalla – words that instantly conjure up the "Ring of the Nibelung", Richard Wagner, and Bayreuth. For almost one hundred and fifty years, people have counted the singers brave enough to perform the weighty and extremely difficult role of Wotan. In the summer of 2020, Günther Groissböck was to have been the new Wotan at Bayreuth. The Austrian currently has an international career; he is a regular at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at all major European opera houses. For many months, we accompanied him on his way to this complex debut, and watched his “Wotan” grow. Then came Covid-19, the lockdown, and the closure of all opera houses. So the portrait of Günther Groissböck has now become a film about the fact that nothing in life can be planned. Everything an artist encounters – joy as well as pain – can become part his inner trove of experience, in the hope that he can use these feelings as a kind of raw material to continue shaping himself. Written and directed by: Astrid Bscher

Father of the Gods, Castle of the Gods, Wotan, Valhalla – words that instantly conjure up the "Ring of the Nibelung", Richard Wagner, and...  

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The myth of the tenor. Heroes of the operatic stage

Furente grido dell’anima or “wild cry of the soul” - that's what the Italians call a tenor’s high C. For centuries now, singers producing high notes with their chest voice have been the main focus of the opera world - especially where women are concerned. Enrico Caruso or Mario del Monaco were celebrated like popstars in their day, and the generation of Luciano Pavarotti even began to appear in football stadiums. But there is more to it all than just training the body to produce unnatural, almost feminine pitches. Tenors are only really adored when they have the bearing of a true dragon-slayer to match. The myth of the tenor has a lot to do with a longing for the seemingly incompatible - for example, empathy versus a fierce fighting spirit, or tenderness versus toughness. This 52-minute-long film commissioned by ARTE/WDR – together with present-day tenors such as Peter Seiffert, Jonas Kaufmann, Klaus Florian Vogt, Vittorio Grigolo and Joseph Calleja – sets out to discover why these high-voiced heroes remain so perennially fascinating.

Furente grido dell’anima or “wild cry of the soul” - that's what the Italians call a tenor’s high C. For centuries now, singers producing high...  

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The Olympus Of the Arts – Munich’s Nationaltheater.

Some people regard opera as a magical place where miracles can happen – others as a pointless relic from a bygone era that is only kept afloat through state subsidies. Nevertheless, the art form has survived – it has been around for over 400 years. One of the world’s oldest opera houses is located in Munich: the city’s Nationaltheater. Destroyed by a fire in 1823 and bombed in 1943, it was rebuilt each time. Film director Astrid Bscher takes an anniversary as an occasion to retell the building’s history. Her film, commissioned by Bavarian Television, also sheds light on the creative processes that take place in and around an opera house. The story of how Richard Strauss's “Die Frau ohne Schatten” came into being is documented by the correspondence between the composer (played by Rainer Bock) and his lyricist Hugo von Hofmannsthal (Alexander Beyer) – and also by a new production of this opera, conducted by Kirill Petrenko and directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski.

Some people regard opera as a magical place where miracles can happen – others as a pointless relic from a bygone era that is only kept afloat...  

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Andrés Orozco-Estrada (In Production)

Anyone who observes the Colombian Andrés Orozco-Estrada at rehearsals with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, or with his very own HR Symphony Orchestra, will notice that this conductor is very wiry and temperamental: he speaks enthusiastically and quickly, guides the orchestra to the sound that he wants with broad sweeping gestures or tender, intimate ones, and radiates strength in his constant search for the very soul of the music. If you meet Andrés Orozco-Estrada after the rehearsal, however, you encounter a calm and modest man. Every sentence spoken by this 42-year-old is well considered, regardless of whether he is talking about composers, Viennese desserts, or the European order of things that so fascinates him. And it is probably this mixture of grand emotion and clear structure that is already making this young conductor so successful. Orozco-Estrada came to Vienna from Colombia at the age of 19 to study, and combines the positive aspects of both cultures. We accompany him over a period of several years, filming him in Vienna, Glyndebourne, and his native Colombia.

Anyone who observes the Colombian Andrés Orozco-Estrada at rehearsals with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, or with his very own HR Symphony...  

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The conductor Andris Nelsons - Genius on Fire

Andris Nelsons seems to have just two physical states – solid or liquid. Either he sits firmly on a chair, quiet, self-absorbed, and saying very little. Or he flows, streaming all his energy into his surroundings. An in-between state of so-called normality does not exist with him, and never did. Nelsons was a prodigy from his childhood onwards, and today conducts the best orchestras in the world. The trumpeter Hokan Hardenberger puts it like this: “He has a lot of energy. Every note in the score becomes music, it really does. With him, everything has weight. There are no half-measures, not even in rehearsals. He’s always full of intensity.” The film accompanies the Latvian conductor for a period of two years, in locations such as his home city of Riga, and on concert tours to Vienna, Zurich and Munich. A production commissioned by WDR/ARTE, the film is also available on DVD.

Andris Nelsons seems to have just two physical states – solid or liquid. Either he sits firmly on a chair, quiet, self-absorbed, and saying...  

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A gift for Düsseldorf - the eco-house for economists

They transformed a small country pharmacy into an internationally active pharmaceutical company with 4,100 employees worldwide - and now they want to help students to be just as successful. The former owners of “Schwarz Pharma” (the Schwarz-Schütte family) are giving Düsseldorf an “Oeconomicum” worth 40 million dollars. Behind the ambiguous name lies a modern, ecological, transparent glass building into which all the business students at Heinrich Heine University are moving. The architect is Christoph Ingenhoven. And a newly-established chair is also part of the gift. The Düsseldorf students are now increasingly occupied with research into the concept of competition.

They transformed a small country pharmacy into an internationally active pharmaceutical company with 4,100 employees worldwide - and now they...  

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The Mastersinger. Klaus Florian Vogt

At the age of 30, Klaus Florian Vogt led a secure middle-class existence, as a horn player with the Hamburg Philharmonic with a lifetime contract, living with his family of four in his home town of Brunsbüttel. But the predictability of his life terrified him. One day, a singing professor casually told him: "You are a tenor, and if you want, you can come more often." Vogt gradually decided it was time for a change. The film "Der Meistersinger" shows how an opportunity that many people would have let slip has now turned into a world career. With her camera, for five years, the author accompanied this tenor who discovered his true calling late in life. The result is a deeply moving portrait that deals with singing as an opportunity for self-realization. The film is available on DVD.

At the age of 30, Klaus Florian Vogt led a secure middle-class existence, as a horn player with the Hamburg Philharmonic with a lifetime...  

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Making of Ballo – José Cura

A star tenor as a director? A marketing gimmick, surely? José Cura has never been surpassed in versatility - he studied piano, composition and conducting, was a rugby player, and worked as a fitness trainer – and now he’s a director too? The Argentine was mostly successful when he performed on stage in all his glory. Although the ladies officially only praise his “creamy baritone-based spinto voice”, they also adore his good looks. Maybe those will also help him with his first job as a director? The entertaining documentary "Making of Ballo" accompanies the brilliant showman José Cura From the first mock-up set rehearsal all the way to the premiere at the Cologne Opera, showing how he captivates the whole team – and brings an exciting production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" to the operatic stage.

A star tenor as a director? A marketing gimmick, surely? José Cura has never been surpassed in versatility - he studied piano, composition and...  

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