ZDF Studios acquires global distribution rights for Turbokultur’s drama “The Zweiflers”

The German company confirmed it will be available in German, English, Russian and Yiddish languages.

16 FEB 2024

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Germany's ZDF Studios announced it had become the global distributor for "The Zweiflers" (6 x 45'), produced by Turbokultur, a brand new drama about a dysfunctional extended Jewish family. Featuring an all-star international cast, the series is produced by Berlin-based Turbokultur in co-production with ARD Degeto Film and Hessischer Rundfunk for ARD and was supported by Hessen Film, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFF Bayern and GMPF (German Motion Picture Fund). It will be available in German, English, Russian and Yiddish languages. In Germany, the series will premiere on the ARD Mediathek in the spring and will also be shown on TV channel Das Ersteshortlye.

David Hadda, CEO of Turbokultur and showrunner of "The Zweiflers," said:" Our aim was simply to tell the story of a Jewish family living in Germany without having to explain ourselves. The more specific our characters, the more universal our story becomes. We have achieved this by creating our show as thoughtfully and authentically as possible at all levels of production."

Sebastian Krekeler, Director of Drama, ZDF Studios, stated: "It's only once in a while that you come across a family drama with such distinctive characters, wonderfully portrayed by a great international cast. Nuanced with emotional family and cultural conflicts, "The Zweiflers" is a tragicomedy that many people will relate to regardless of their religion and background."

David Hadda is the showrunner and creator of "The Zweiflers" and wrote the screenplay along with Juri Sternburg and Sarah Hadda. Turbokultur's co-CEO, Martin Danish, also produced the series. “The Zweiflers” stars Aaron Altaras as Samuel. British actress Saffron Coomber ("Three Little Birds," Steve McQueen's anthology series "Small Axe") plays Saba. In contrast, the Swiss-Hungarian actress Sunnyi Melles ("Kaiser Karl," "Triangle of Sadness") takes on the role of Mimi Zweifler, Samuel's mother. Israeli actor Mark Ivanir ("Heart of Stone," "Schindler's List") plays Jack Horovitz, and Broadway and TV actress Eleanor Reissa ("The Walking Dead," "The Plot Against America") performs the role of the grandmother. The series also stars the award-winning singer and actress Ute Lemper ("Chicago," "Paris Days," "Berlin Nights," "Cabaret") as Tammi and Mike Burstyn ("Kuli Leml," "Judah") as Symcha Zweifler.

"The Zweiflers" is directed by Anja Marquardt ("The Girlfriend Experience S3", "She's Lost Control") and Clara Zoë My-Linh von Arnim ("Feelings," "Echt and Druck"). Phillip Kaminiak was responsible for the camera work. In the series, family patriarch and Holocaust survivor Symcha Zweifler wants to sell his delicatessen empire when suddenly he is confronted with his past in Frankfurt's red light district just after World War II - an acid test for the whole family as long-suppressed conflicts resurface. Who, if not Symchas's grandson Samuel, should carry on his grandfather's life's work? But Samuel's British Caribbean girlfriend, Saba, has other plans. Things get worse when Samuel and Saba are expecting a son. Samuel's sister Dana, who has found her anchor in religion and has traveled all the way from Israel to celebrate the circumcision of the newborn in Frankfurt, is confronted with old conflicts and repressed secrets in her hometown. She does everything in her power to take over her grandfather's business. The youngest sibling, Leon, is clearly the loser of the return of his two older siblings. A scandal ensues when he invites the family to his first exhibition, in which he shows his provocative family portraits. Mimi, the mother of the three, always walks a fine line between caring and manipulation. How far will she go to bring her children closer to her again? Her husband, Jackie, a psychiatrist, is in the middle of a belated midlife crisis, including an affair with his patient. He is tired of always being the family punching bag. The grandparents, Symcha and Lilka Zweifler are the undisputed rulers of the family. But their strength and lifespan are slowly beginning to fade. A tragic-comic search for meaning in life begins, culminating in decisions that will change the lives of everyone involved.