Lionsgate has acquired U.S.-Canada and U.K. rights on the Tele Munchen Group pic The von Trapp Family – A Life of Music. The film directed by Dutch filmmaker Ben Verbong takes a different angle on the Sound of Music story the entire world knows and loves. Pic is based on Agathe von Trapp’s autobiography “Memories Before and After the Sound of Music,” which tells the story behind the legend. The screenplay was written by Christoph Silber (Good Bye Lenin) and Tim Sullivan (Letters to Juliet).
In the film, Agathe von Trapp (Eliza Bennett) has been searching for her path in life since childhood: She is the eldest daughter among many siblings, and her relationship with her father, the distinguished marine officer Georg von Trapp (Matthew Macfadyen) and his second wife Maria von Trapp (Yvonne Catterfeld), is often challenging. She develops her beautiful voice and stimulating musical talent together with her family and with the support of the famous singer Lotte Lehmann (opera singer Annette Dasch). She constantly struggles for the love of her childhood sweetheart Sigi (Johannes Nussbaum), not to mention, she must confront the menacing rise of fascism in Germany and Austria. Emigration to the U.S. finally brings a decisive step toward freedom and world success. Rosemary Harris (Spider-Man) plays the elder Agathe con Trapp.
The deal was completed during the Cannes Film Festival by Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution, Jim Packer, and Lionsgate’s Senior VP Acquisitions and TMG’s Thomas Augsberger.
TM International is handling worldwide sales. Presales have also been made to Germany’s ZDF, while TMG’s theatrical distribution arm, Concorde Filmverleih and Constantin Film Vienna will release the picture in Germany and Austria in November 2015. Lionsgate is planning a Christmas 2015 release. Pic is currently being shot in Salzburg, Austria and Bavaria, Germany.
The film is produced by Clasart Film- und Fernsehproduktion, Munich in cooperation with ORF and Concorde Media, Vienna, with executive producer Herbert G. Kloiber and Producer Rikolt von Gagern. The von Trapp Family – A Life of Music is also being financed by the FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the Filmstandort Austria FISA and by the Filmförderung Salzburg / Standort Agentur Salzburg.