ORF-E has secured distribution rights to "Kafka." Superfilm, in co-production with ORF, ARD, and ORF-Enterprise, is producing the six-part mini-series, which tells the story of the peculiar twentieth-century writer. “This extraordinary mini-series brings to life the enigmatic world of Franz Kafka, a writer whose influence resonates to this day," Oliver Böhm, CEO of ORF-Enterprise, said. "We are thrilled to add 'Kafka' to our sales catalog, paying homage to Kafka's remarkable literary legacy on the 100th anniversary of his passing and showcasing the brilliant storytelling of Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko."
“Kafka” is a co-production by Superfilm, ARD, and ORF and is distributed worldwide by ORF-Enterprise. "The collaboration of the entire ARD in association with ORF is an impressive example of how strong we are when we combine our energies and invest in such an outstanding project," Jörg Schönenborn, ARD Coordinator Fiction, said. "Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko bring the audience closer to Kafka's work, which is still enigmatic in parts, in an entertaining - but never superficial - way. I'm looking forward to the result, which I'm sure will be internationally acclaimed."
Shooting has already wrapped up in spring 2023, with a broadcast date on ORF and ARD set in spring 2024. “The meticulous attention to detail in bringing Franz Kafka's world to life is evident in every frame," Armin Luttenberger, Head of Content Sales at ORF-Enterprise, said. "'Kafka' adds depth and richness to our Drama section, aligning perfectly with our commitment to delivering high-quality content. There is no doubt that 'Kafka' will be a standout addition to our catalog."
The title tells the story of Franz Kafka, the world's most widely-read writer in the German language. His 100th death anniversary is set to be in June 2024. The scripts for "Kafka" are based on the fundamental three-volume Kafka biography by Reiner Stach, who is also acting as an expert consultant on this TV project. The screenplay was written by Daniel Kehlmann in collaboration with director David Schalko.
The mini-series is not only about Kafka's difficult relationship with his tyrannical father and his fascinating love affairs with Felice Bauer, Milena Jesenská, and Dora Diamant but also about his close friendship with Max Brod, who betrayed his terminally ill friend in the end, thus securing him world fame at the same time. With Joel Basman, David Kross, Nicholas Ofczarek, and Liv Lisa Fries, a first-class cast will be in front of the camera.
"I am very pleased that ORF is part of this project, which places Franz Kafka's own world at its center," Mag. Katharina Schenk, ORF Head of Television Film, said. "For this extraordinary undertaking, Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko have found a perspective that looks at Kafka's life and works through the eyes of two outstanding storytellers and presents it anew to a broad public."
This extraordinary mini-series brings to life the enigmatic world of Franz Kafka, a writer whose influence resonates to this day. We are thrilled to add 'Kafka' to our sales catalog, paying homage to Kafka's remarkable literary legacy on the 100th anniversary of his passing and showcasing the brilliant storytelling of Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko.” Oliver Böhm CEO of ORF-Enterprise