Beta Film has boarded ZDFneo’s new medical drama series “Krank Berlin,” set in the toughest and most overcrowded hospital in the German capital.
Created by former British emergency room doctor turned screenwriter Samuel Jefferson, “Krank Berlin” will be part of the Berlinale Series Market showcase Up Next: Germany, which presents an exclusive selection of the country’s upcoming high-end series to international buyers at the EFM.
Set against the backdrop of the vibrant, fast-paced and multicultural Southside districts of Neukölln and Kreuzberg, the series stars Haley Louise Jones (“Dear Child,” “Paradise”) as Dr. Parker, the new head of the ever chaotic emergency room. Managing the challenging environment is no small task for the young physician, who is seeking a fresh start in the big city after her private life implodes in Munich.
When she tries to implement necessary reforms, Parker is confronted with resistance from the hospital staff. The motley crew of underpaid, poorly equipped, chronically fatigued professionals who manage to survive with an indispensable dose of dark humor are nevertheless dedicated to saving lives while standing up to an increasingly merciless healthcare system.
Shooting on the high-tension, eight-hour drama wrapped in December at Berlin’s vast SEZ, an abandoned sports and recreation complex in former East Berlin, which fills in for the hospital, or Krankenhaus Neukölln-Kreuzberg (Krank for short).
The ensemble cast includes Slavko Popadić (“House of Promises”), Şafak Şengül (“Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush”) and Peter Lohmeyer (“The Net”).
Originally commissioned by Sky Germany, the series was picked up by ZDFneo after the former stepped back from original scripted programming last year.
“We are thrilled that ‘Krank Berlin’ found a home at ZDFneo and Beta Film,” said Julia Herb, Beta Film’s VP sales and acquisitions for German-speaking territories. “This fast-paced and distinctive series deals with globally relevant issues: It brings a laser focus to the challenges faced by healthcare and medical professionals every day, especially now, in a post-pandemic world. And it is as real as it gets. Even though this is a fictional story, the lived experience by creator and former emergency room doctor Samuel Jefferson contributes to the series’ outstanding authenticity. Set against the exciting backdrop of the melting pot that is Berlin, it’s this unique and special combination that will surely resonate well with audiences across the globe.”
The series is produced by Violet Pictures and Real Film Berlin for ZDFneo and directed by Alex Schaad (“Skin Deep”) and Fabian Möhrke (“Eichwald MdB”), with Violet Pictures managing director Alexis von Wittgenstein (“Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood”) and Real Film head Henning Kamm (“Unorthodox”) producing.
Beate Bramstedt is serving as commissioning editor for ZDF and Christiane Meyer zur Capellen as coordinator for ZDFneo.