East-West spy drama to get American debut

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East-West spy drama to get American debut
Actor Jonas Nay stars in Deutschland 83 as Moritz (German) or Martin (English). Photo: DPA

While "Deutschland 83" gets its permiere as a mini-series at Berlinale on Tuesday and Wednesday, it also makes entertainment history as being the first German series to be broadcast for American audiences.


The series, entitled "Germany 83" in English, takes place in Berlin and looks at a young East German man who is recruited by the Stasi and sent to West Berlin as spy to infiltrate the West German army.

Broadcaster SundanceTV and FremantleMedia International partnered with German broadcaster RTL on the production of the eight-part show.

"It's a fresh and heart-pounding thriller set against the remarkable political backdrop of 1980s East and West Germany," said UFA president Sarah Barnett.

UFA is producing the show, created by German producer Jörg Winger and his American wife, Anna Winger, who wrote the novel "This Must be the Place".

The film is set in 1983, a year of high tensions in the Cold War and the year the German band Nena released their anti-war transatlantic hit, "99 Red Balloons".

Looking at German press and English-language press reports about the new show, there is one notable difference to be made. In the German broadcast, the main character played by Jonas Nay is called Moritz, while English audiences will know him as Martin.

Before making its television debut, Deutschland 83 is getting a premiere at the Berlinale Film Festival, split between Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the Berlinale Special Series programme.

"I could not imagine a better frame to present the premiere of this extraordinary East-West story than Germany's biggest film festival in the heart of a once-divided city," said RTL's head of fiction series Philipp Steffens.

Couch potatoes, however, will have to be patient. RTL announced in January that Deutschland 83 will first air on German television in autumn 2015. 


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