29. May 2024

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Rapunzel: Another Popular Christmas Fairy Tale from the Dream Team of Mia Film, Provobis, and ZDF

In the spring of 2023, filming took place in the Czech Republic for another in a series of traditional Christmas fairy tales for ZDF Television in co-production with the German company Provobis and the Czech Mia Film. The Czech-German team’s fairy tales regularly find popularity with viewers and win awards at festivals. The producers praise the great working relationships and beautiful locations. Part of the post-production was also done in the Czech Republic. 

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© Mia Film / Daniela Bužgová

Long-standing partnership brings audience success and prestigious awards

“The collaboration between ZDF, Provobis, and Mia Film has been working for many years with excellent results,” says ZDF’s Editor and Coordinator of the “Märchenperlen” series, Jörg von den Steinen. He explains that the Czech-German connection benefits everyone involved economically and in terms of content and art.

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

“The fairy-tale gems produced from this partnership regularly score high with viewers and film critics. This is evidenced by multiple international awards, such as two awards in the Best Fantasy category in 2023 for The Tale of the Frog and the Golden Orb (Das Märchen vom Frosh und der goldenen Kugel) at the Brno Film Festival and Prague International Film Awards. In April 2023, it won the Grand Jury Prize in the Best Feature category at the multicultural Universe Film Festival in the USA. It is precisely thanks to cooperation and resource pooling that such world-renowned production quality can be achieved. It’s a source of inspiration in the best sense since the beginning of the cooperation, which the Czech Film Fund largely supports,” says Jens Ripke-Desaules, Head of the ZDF department for children's and youth films, on the joint successes. He also confirmed that ZDF plans to continue its well-established cooperation.  

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

6 fairy tales + 1 series = 7 years

Producers Michal Pokorný and Jens C. Susa first teamed up on a joint project in 2017, when Provobis and Mia Film co-produced the fairy tale Krakonoš's Treasure (Rübezahls Schatz), which screened on Christmas Eve that year on ZDF Television. That was the start of a partnership between the two production companies that has strengthened over the years. 

Over the past seven years, they’ve created six Christmas fairy tales together. Krakonoš's Treasure was followed by Snow White (Schneewittchen, 2018), The Kidnapped Princess (Die Hexenprizessin, 2019), Nose the Dwarf (Zwerg Nase, 2021), The Tale of the Frog and the Golden Orb (2022) and the latest film, Rapunzel. In 2018, Provobis and Mia Film also collaborated on the series Krüger Becomes Kryger (Krüger bleibt Kryger) for German ARD (Das Erste).  

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

An almost entirely Czech crew

The German Producer identifies another significant advantage of filming in the Czech Republic - the smooth cooperation, the “almost family-like working relationships, and no need for long rehearsals. This is a clear advantage over the film crews in Germany. Mia Film is highly professional and reliable. As working partners, we know each other’s needs,” reflects Susa on the key parameters of long-term cooperation. 

The mutual trust is confirmed by Czech Co-Producer Michal Pokorný: “We have a really special relationship with Provobis and the fabulous ZDF editorial team. They trust us and our people - all our collaborations have worked out well, and the artistic side is highly praised. So we can fill the entire crew with Czech filmmakers, except for a few positions.” 

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

In addition to Co-Producers Zbyněk Pippal and Michal Pokorný of Mia Film, the crew also included Unit Production Manager Daniela Bužgová, 1st Assistant Director Míša Strnadová, Costume Designer Petra Stašková, Sound Designer Matouš Sýs, Make-up Artist Hanka Chýlová, Casting Director Mirka Hyžíková and Stills Photographer Dušan Martinček. 

Fairytale locations

“The Czech Republic is known for its amazing period locations, perfect for our fairy tales. Some special locations can only be found in the Czech Republic. The production value here is always exceptionally high!” explains Jens C. Susa.

The producers chose the castles of Křivoklát and Šelmberk, the natural scenery of Tisá and the Prachov Rocks, Sadská, Lipnice nad Sázavou, Toušice, and used Barrandov Studio for some scenes. Filming took place in the spring of 2023.

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

Post-production and VFX services in the Czech Republic

Provobis used Imagine Studio in the Czech Republic for creating Rapunzel’s visual effects, supervised by VFX Supervisor Tomáš Markl. Signal Generator provided dailies and the data lab. 

Some scenes, especially the Forest of Shadows, were filmed in the FZG Studio in Klecany. In its LED studio, the LED wall is a permanent part of the studio and can even be hung as a ceiling. And of course, the studio includes a special computer for working with video. Director Christoph Heimer, Cinematographer Patrick D. Kaethner and Editor Patrick Wilfert worked on the remainder of the post-production at home in Germany.

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© Mia Film / Dušan Martinček

What fairy tale awaits us this Christmas Eve?

In February and March 2024, the Mia Film - Provobis - ZDF trio filmed this year’s Christmas fairy tale in the Czech Republic with the working title Sleeping Beauty and the Curse of the Seventh Fairy (Rosabelle), directed by Ngo The Chau, Director of the award-winning The Frog and the Golden Ball and the previous fairy tales of the Czech-German team , Nose the Dwarf, The Kidnapped Princess, and Krakonoš's Treasure. 

We hope this team keeps working together and that their fairy tales continue to bring joy to their producers, creators, and viewers.