Beta Film has begun production on drama series Empire Oktoberfest for BR/ARD Degeto.
Set in 1900, the six-hour series centres on the battle between two family breweries in Munich and stars Mišel Maticevic (Babylon Berlin), Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others) and Klaus Steinbacher (Das Boot).
Directed by Hannu Salonen (Shades of Guilt), the drama sheds light on a chapter of the iconic festival, at which powerful individuals in Munich also carry out their affairs.
The Zeitsprung Pictures and Violet Pictures-made production is shooting in Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Prague, and will wrap mid-August.
Beta Film is handling the world sales.
Zeitsprung and Violet are co-producing with BR, ARD Degeto, WDR and MDR for Das Erste, supported by FFF Bayern, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the German Motion Picture Fund.
Producers Michael Souvignier, Till Derenbach and Alexis von Wittgenstein said: “The power-obsessed milieu of Munich’s breweries in 1900 is a fascinating setting for a series. The contrast between roughness, gloom and the ease of the world-famous Schwabing bohemia with eccentric artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Thomas Mann is a great, exciting stage for a family epic of Shakespearian scale.”