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Artur Brauner

Biography

Artur Brauner belongs to the few producers who shaped the German film history strongly over the last 60 years. He stands as a symbol for the German Entertainment Film industry of the 50s and 60s and at the same time is producer of some of the most significant West-German Films in the latest German history.

 Born 1918 to the son of a wood merchant in Lodz (Poland), he graduated from grammar school.  After his “A-levels” he studied at the Polytechnic until the German invasion of Poland.  Together with his parents and four siblings he escaped to the former Soviet Union, where he was able to hide unidentified and survived the war.  He lost 49 of his relatives due to the Nazis, his parents and three of his siblings immigrated to Israel.

 Even before the Second World War, Artur Brauner was a huge film fan, seizing his chance after the war ended. After a brief consideration of immigrating to the US, he applied for a film company license in Berlin and after receiving it, he founded the CCC Film GmbH (Central Cinema Company) on the September 16th ,1946. His initial film with the new company is Morituri (“Morituri”) (1948), directed by Eugen York, starring Hilde Körber and Winnie Markus.  The film reflects the dark German history together with his personal suffering from the Nazis. As post-war German audience is yet not ready for past German history, the film is a financial flop.

 In 1949 Artur Brauner acquired 35.000 sqm property of a former manufacturing plant for poisoned gas in the north of Berlin, Spandau-Haselhorst. He established his first film studios on these grounds, with more than four studios and service buildings. His daughter, Alice Brauner, refurbished the studios in 2015/16. As an result the first German Netflix series “Dark”  was  shot  till  the  end  of  March  2017  in  the  CCC  studios.

In the Fifties Artur Brauner puts more emphasis on films that feed the audience’s desire for pure entertainment.  He then achieved major success with “Dr. Mabuse” productions, films based upon short stories of Bryan Edgar Wallace, as well as cowboy films by the famous German writer Karl May. In those days (late 50s to mid 60s) the CCC Film studios were amongst the busiest in West Europe. Up until today more than 700 films were produced in Spandau-Haselhorst.  Approx. 200 films are CCC’s own productions. One of the first productions in the newly erected studios is “Maharadscha wider Willen” (“Maharadga without desire”) (1950) with Olga Tschechowa.

 Young German starlets shoot their very first films in the CCC studios. Romy Schneider starring in “Mädchen in Uniform” (“Girl in uniform”) (1958) as well as her last film, “La Passante du Sans-Souci” (“The stroller of Sanc Soucci”) (1991) with Michel Piccoli, were productions by Artur Brauner. Between those two productions Artur Brauner produced numerous box office hits, which were viewed by millions of people. Big names such as O.W. Fischer, Maria Schell, Sonja Ziemann or Gerd Fröbe call the studios their home.

 Artur Brauner invested the profits from his entertainment films into productions closer to his heart, due to his personal history. Amongst many, he produced “Die weisse Rose” (“The White Rose”) (1982) directed by Michael Verhoeven, starring Lena Scholze as Sophie Scholl. His “Hitlerjunge Salomon” (“EUROPA EUROPA”) (1990) starring Marco Hofschneider and Julie Delpy wins the Golden Globe and receives an Oscar nomination from the Academy Awards for best the screenplay. He produced “Hanussen” (1988) as well as “Babi Jar” (2003), a film about the true massacre of nearly 33.000 Jews near Kiev. His production “Der letzte Zug” (“The Last Train”, 2006) by director Joseph Vilsmaier and Dana Vávrová, which he produced together with his daughter Alice Brauner, tells the horrific story of a small group of Berliner Jews, who were dumped like thousands of other Jews into in a cattle box of a “special transport train” and deported from Berlin – Grunewald to Auschwitz during the very last days of the war. The further multi-award winning feature film productions “So ein Schlamassel” (“Oh what a mess”, 2009/10) “Wunderkinder” (2011) and “Auf das Leben!” (“To Life!”, 2014) were produced mainly by Alice Brauner who will ensure the future of the established  company.

Artur Brauner has produced more than 200 feature films. He is a prominent member of the Berlin Jewish community, bearer of the “Bundesverdienstkreuz” (“German National Cross”). In 2003 he received the “Goldene Kamera” (“Golden Camera”) from the Berlin Filmfestival, as an award for his lifetime achievements. Amongst numerous other awards, he also has received two Golden Globes. His German / Italian co production “Der Garten der Finzi Conti” (“The garden of the Finzi Continis”) was awarded an Academy Award Oscar in the category “Best Foreign Language Film”.

Artur Brauner married Theresa Albert, called Maria, in 1947. He has been widowed since 2017 and he is father of four children. He lives and works in Berlin.

Filmography  (Selection)
1948:  Morituri
1949:  Mädchen  hinter  Gittern  (Girls  Behind  Bars)
1950:  Maharadscha  wider  Willen  (Maharadga  Without  Desire)
1951:  Sündige  Grenze
1952:  Der  keusche  Lebemann
1953:  Hollandmädel
1954:  Große  Star-Parade
1955:  Liebe,  Tanz  und  1000  Schlager  (with  Caterina  Valente  und  Peter  Alexander)
1956:  Du  bist  Musik
1957:  Die  Unschuld  vom  Lande
1958:  Wehe,  wenn  sie  losgelassen
1958:  Mädchen  in  Uniform  (Girl  In  Uniform with Romy Schneider and Lilli Palmer)
1959:  Der  Tiger  von  Eschnapur  –  Director:  Fritz  Lang  (The  Tiger  Of  Eschnapur)
1959:  Das  indische  Grabmal  –  Director:  Fritz  Lang  (The  Indian  Tomb)
1960: Der brave Soldat Schwejk (The Good Soldier Schwejk) – Director: Axel von Ambesser (with  Heinz  Rühmann)
1960: Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (The 1000 Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse) – Director: Fritz Lang (with  Gert  Fröbe)
1961:  Via  Mala  (with  Gert  Fröbe)
1961: Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse (The Return Of Dr. Mabuse) – Director: Harald Reinl (with Lex  Barker)
1962:  Die  unsichtbaren  Krallen  des  Dr.  Mabuse (The  Invisible  Claws  Of  Dr.  Mabuse)  –  Director:  Harald  Reinl  (with  Lex Barker  and  Karin  Dor)  
1962:  Das  Geheimnis  der  schwarzen  Koffer  (The  Secret  Of  Black  Suitcases)
1962:  Im  Schatten  einer  Nacht
1962:  Der  Tod  fährt  mit  (Journey  Into  Nowhere)
1962:  Das  Ungeheuer  von  London-City  (The  Monster  Of  London  City)
1962:  Das  Testament  des  Dr.  Mabuse  (The  Last  Will  Of  Dr.  Mabuse)
1962:  Der  Fluch  der  gelben  Schlange  (The  Curse  Of  The  Yellow  Snake)
1962:  Sherlock  Holmes  und  das  Halsband  des  Todes
1963:  Old  Shatterhand
1963:  Der  Würger  von  Schloss  Blackmoor  (The  Strangler  Of  Blackmoor  Castle)
1963:  Scotland  Yard  jagt  Dr.  Mabuse  (Scotland  Yard  Hunts  Dr.  Mabuse)
1963:  Der  Henker  von  London  (The  Mad  Executioniers)
1964:  Das  Phantom  von  Soho  (The  Phantom  of  Soho)
1964:  Das  7.  Opfer
1964:  Die  Todesstrahlen  des  Dr.  Mabuse  (The  Death  Ray  Of  Dr.  Mabuse)
1964:  Der  Schut  (The  Yellow  One)
1964:  Fanny  Hill  –  Memoiren  eines  Freudenmädchens (Fanny  Hill  –  Memoirs  Of  A  Woman  Of  Pleasure)  –  Director:  Russ  Meyer
1965:  Der  Schatz  der  Azteken  (Treasure  Of  The  Aztecs)
1965:  Durchs  wilde  Kurdistan  (Wild  Kurdistan)
1965:  Die  Pyramide  des  Sonnengottes  (Pyramid  Of  The  Sun  God)
1965:  Im  Reiche  des  silbernen  Löwen  (Kingdom  Of  The  Silver  Lion)
1966:  Die  Nibelungen,  Teil  1  –  Siegfried  –  Director:  Harald  Reinl  (with  Uwe  Beyer)
1967:  Die  Nibelungen,  Teil  2  –  Kriemhilds  Rache  –  Director:  Harald  Reinl
1967:  Geheimnisse  in  goldenen  Nylons  (Dead  Run)
1968:  Winnetou  und  Shatterhand  im  Tal  der  Toten
1968:  Kampf  um  Rom,  Teil  1  (The  Fight  for  Rome,  Part  1)  –  Director:  Robert  Siodmak  (with Orson  Welles)
1968:  Kampf  um  Rom,  Teil  2  (The  Fight  for  Rome,  Part  2)
1969:  Das  Geheimnis  der  schwarzen  Handschuhe
1970:  Black  Beauty
1970:  Vampyros  Lesbos  –  Erbin  des  Dracula  –  Director:  Jess  Franco
1970:  Sie  Tötete  in  Ekstase  –  Director:  Jess  Franco  (She  Killed  In  Ecstasy)
1971:  Der  Todesrächer  von  Soho  –  Director:  Jess  Franco
1971: Der Teufel kam aus Akasava – Director: Jess Franco (The Devil Came From Akasava)
1971:  X  312  –  Flug  zur  Hölle  –  Director:  Jess  Franco  (X  312  –  Flight  to  hell)
1972:  Das  Geheimnis  des  gelben  Grabes
1972:  Dr.  M  schlägt  zu  –  Director:  Jess  Franco
1974:  Ein  Unbekannter  rechnet  ab  (Ten  Little  Indians)
1983:  S.  A.  S.  Malko  –  Im  Auftrag  des  Pentagon
1983:  Eine  Liebe  in  Deutschland  (A  Love  In  Germany)
1983:  Blutiger  Schnee
1987:  Hanussen  –  Director:  István  Szabó  (with  Klaus  Maria  Brandauer)
1990:  Hitlerjunge  Salomon  (Europa  Europa)  –  Director:  Agnieszka  Holland (with  Marco  Hofschneider  und  Julie  Delpy)
1996:  Von  Hölle  zu  Hölle  (From  Hell  To  Hell)
2002:  Babij  Jar  –  das  vergessene  Verbrechen  (with  Michael  Degen  and  Axel  Milberg)
2006:  Der  letzte  Zug  (The  Last  Train)  –  Director:  Joseph  Vilsmaier  (with  and  Sibel  Kekilli Gedeon  Burkhard)
             with  Alice  Brauner  as  Associate Producer
2011:  Wunderkinder  –  Director:  Marcus  O.  Rosenmüller,  Producer:  Alice  Brauner and Artur Brauner
2014:  Auf  das  Leben!  (To  Life!),  Director:  Uwe  Janson,  Producer:  Alice  Brauner

Awards
1955:  Goldener  Bär  (Berlinale)  for  Die  Ratten  (The  Rats)
1963:  Zürcher  Filmpreis  for  Die  Ehe  des  Herrn  Mississippi
1965:  Goldene  Leinwand  for  Old  Shatterhand
1965:  Goldene  Leinwand  for  Der  Schut
1967:  Goldene  Leinwand  for  Die  Nibelungen
1970:  Goldener  Bär  (Berlinale)  for  The  Garden  Of  The  Finzi  Continis
1972:  Oscar  (“Best Foreign Language Film”)  for  The  Garden  Of  The  Finzi  Continis
1983:  IFF  Gijon:  3.  Preis  for  Nach  Mitternacht
1983:  Deutscher  Filmpreis:  Filmband  in  Silber  for  The  White  Rose
1985:  Oscar-Nomination “Best Foreign Language Film” for  Bittere  Ernte  (Angry Harvest)
1990:  Deutscher  Filmpreis:  Filmband  in  Gold,  Lifetime  Achievement-Award
1992:  Golden  Globe  for  Hitlerjunge  Salomon  (Europa,  Europa)
1993:  Bundesverdienstkreuz  I.  Klasse
1996:  DIVA-Award  (with  Franz  Seitz)
1996:  Scharlih-Award  for Karl May movies
2003:  Goldene Kamera  at  Berlinale

Literature

Artur Brauner: “Mich gibt’s nur einmal” München, Berlin, (Herbig, 1976)
Claudia Dillmann-Kühn: „Artur Brauner und die CCC”, (Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt am Main, 1990)