¨The Physician¨ celebrates world premiere
On Monday, 16 December, ¨The Physician¨, the lavish adaptation of Noah Gordon’s eponymous bestseller will celebrate its glittering premiere in the newly-opened Zoo-Palast cinema in Berlin. Together with director Philipp Stölzl Noah Gordon, author of the original novel, and his lead actors Tom Payne, Emma Rigby, Stellan Skarsgard, Olivier Martinez, Fahri Yardim and Elyas M’Barek, NRW’s prime-minister Hannelore Kraft is also expected to appear on the red carpet. And there’s a good reason for this: substantial backing from Filmstiftung NRW meant that large parts of the spectacular studio shoot and key elements of the postproduction from the visual effects to that sound mix were undertaken in North Rhine-Westphalia.
¨The studio shoot of ¨The Physician¨ was quite sensational. Magnificent sets, lavish costumes and an international lineup for the cast. Cologne’s MMC studios showed here once again what is possible in NRW. We are now looking forward to Robert Cole’s journey into the world of the 11th century and are keeping our fingers crossed for Philipp Stölzl and his whole team for the Christmas cinema release,¨ says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.
Based on Noah Gordon’s international bestseller, the story centres on the orphan Rob Cole and his journey from London to Persia’s Isfahan to study medicine under the ¨doctor of all doctors¨, Ibn Sina. Director Philipp Stölzl staged the opulently historical adventure film with, among others, Tom Payne, Emma Rigby, Sir Ben Kingsley, Elyas M’Barek, Fahri Yardim and Stellan Skarsgard in the leads. The film was shot at original locations in Morocco and at Cologne’s MMC studios where sets for the Shah’s palast and a hospital in Isfahan were constructed. The VFX studio Pixomondo also from Cologne was responsible for digital processing of around 160 shots from the film. This resulted in the 11th century Isfahan being completely constructed by digital technology and landscapes and digital crowd scenes created.
¨The Physician¨ is a production of UFA Cinema in co-production with ARD Degeto and Beta Cinema. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW funded the film’s production with 2 million Euros and is supporting its release with 200,000 Euros.
Other funders are Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). The film will be released in German cinemas by Universal Pictures International Germany on 25 December, 2013.