Set visit to "Benjamin Blümchen" at MMC Studios

At MMC Studios, director Tim Trachte is currently staging the big film adventure of Germany's best-known elephant Benjamin Blümchen. The film is being shot almost entirely at the Cologne studios. On March 27, "Benjamin Blümchen" was presented to the press on set at MMC Studio 34.

Present at the set press event were: of the child actors Manuel Santos Gelke (Otto), Heike Makatsch (Zora Zack), Friedrich von Thun (zoo director Tierlieb), Anette Frier (mother Ortrud), Siegfried Terpoorten (father Ottokar), Petra Nadolny (cashier Frau Meier), director Tim Trachte, cinematographer Fabian Rösler, Producer Christian Becker (Westside Filmproduktion), Producer Martin Richter (Rat Pack Filmproduktion), Tanja Güß (Press Officer Film- und Medienstiftung NRW), Isabel Hund (Executive Vice President German Production & Acquisition, Studiocanal) as well as Martina Priemer and Gabi Salomon from the co-production company Kiddinx.

With more than 14 million books sold, 160 gold and platinum awards and over 65 million radio plays sold, "Benjamin Blümchen" is one of the most popular characters ever. Everyone knows his "Törööö". Now the jovial, clumsy and warm-hearted elephant - who celebrates his 40th birthday this year - is getting his first cinema adventure as a live-action film for the whole family.

On March 20, the first take of Benjamin's first feature film adventure took place at MMC Studios in Cologne. A full 31 of the 32 shooting days for the feature film will take place at MMC Studios 34 and 35 in Cologne. Shooting will continue until May 5, 2017. On the MMC side, the film project is supervised by Bastie Griese, Managing Director MMC Movies, and Tobias Velmans (MMC's Account Manager Studios).

Produced is " Benjamin Blümchen" by Westside Filmproduktion in co-production with Rat Pack Film, Kiddinx and Studiocanal. The fast-paced and funny family adventure directed by Tim Trachte ("Abschussfahrt", "Vampirschwestern 3") and written by Bettina Börgerding ("Bibi & Tina 1-4") opens the gates to the Neustadt Zoo in 2018.

Benjamin Blümchen and his best friend Otto (Manuel Santos Gelke) have to deal with the cunning Zora Zack (Heike Makatsch, "Alles ist Liebe") and dig deep into their bag of tricks to save the zoo.

In other roles are Frederick von Thun ("Dream Women") as zoo director Mr. Tierlieb, Dieter Hallervorden ("Honig im Kopf") as ex-agent Walter Weiß, Uwe Ochsenknecht ("Welcome to the Hartmanns") as a corrupt mayor, Tim-Oliver Schultz ("The Red Ribbon Club") as guard Karl, Liane Forestieri ("Männerherzen") as the raving reporter Karla Kolumna, Petra Nadolny ("Radio Heimat") as cashier Mrs. Meier as well as Max von Thun ("Dream Women") and Johannes Suhm ("The Baader Meinhof Complex") as Hans and Franz.

"Benjamin Blümchen" and the world around the Neustadt zoo will be VFX Specialists from Blanx Studios Cologne and Fish Blowing Bubbles brought to life. Benjamin Blümchen is of course once again spoken by the popular original voice Jürgen Kluckert.

Promoted the project was supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW as well as the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).

About the film:
Vacation at last! Otto can hardly wait to spend the coming weeks with his best friend Benjamin Blümchen at Neustadt Zoo. However, his good mood is somewhat dampened by the worry lines of zoo director Mr. Tierlieb, who urgently needs money for the upcoming repair work at the zoo. A raffle is supposed to fix it!

Then, in the middle of the celebrations, the mayor of Neustadt bursts in with an announcement: He has hired the shrewd Zora Zack to modernize the zoo and make it the new prestige object of Neustadt.

And the busy expert doesn't take long: first she wraps Benjamin around her finger with his beloved sugar pieces - he is to become the new advertising face of the campaign - then the first construction cranes roll in. But in reality, Zora Zack has a completely different goal...

Will Otto, Benjamin and the other zoo inhabitants catch on to her in time to stop her plans?

Theatrical release 2018 distributed by Studiocanal.

More information:

Photo: On the set of "Benjamin Blümchen" at MMC Studio 34 in Cologne: (from left to right) Siegfried Terpoorten, Annette Frier, Petra Nadolny, Heike Makatsch, Manuel Santos Gelke and Friedrich von Thun. © Westside / Kiddinx / Rat Pack / Studiocanal, Photo: Wolfgang Ennenbach