Beta Film Pre-Sells Period TV Drama ‘Sisi’ To France & Austria, First Look At Production

EXCLUSIVE: Beta Film has closed pre-sales with two leading European broadcasters, France’s TF1 and Austria’s ORF, on RTL Group’s series about iconic Austrian Empress Sisi.

Shooting of the six-hour series has just started in the Baltics and will continue in Austria, Hungary and Germany. Today we can reveal a first look on set. RTL Group’s streaming service TVNOW plans to release Sisi at the end of this year. Further negotiations with several international broadcasters are said to be underway.

Empress Elisabeth, nicknamed Sisi, whose fictional character was portrayed by Austrian actress Romy Schneider in the 1950s, was a pop star and influencer of her time at the end of the 19th century, and an icon in Europe and beyond.

The series circles around the tomboy and Bavarian princess, who, after her marriage with Franz Joseph I., Emperor of Austria, has to realize that life at the Habsburg court in Vienna is not at all what she expected. The monarch must fight against the strict and even cruel regime at court and for her ideals.

The role of Sisi is interpreted by up-and-coming Swiss-American actress Dominique Devenport (Night Train to Lisbon), while Emperor Franz is portrayed by Germany’s Jannik Schümann (Center of My World, Charité). Also starring are Grimme-awarded Désirée Nosbusch (Bad Banks) in the role of Archduchess Sophie, the mother-in-law of the young Empress, and Julia Stemberger (Wild Republic) as her mother Ludovica and Tanja Schleiff (Downfall) as famous Countess Esterhazy, amongst others.

Beta handles world sales for Sisi, which is produced by Story House Pictures (Andreas Gutzeit and Jens Freels) and Satel Film (Heinrich Ambrosch and Bettina Kuhn) as co-producers. Andreas Gutzeit also functions as head writer, along with Robert Krause and supported by Ela Hell. Sven Bohse (Dark Woods) directs the series; Hauke Bartel serves as RTL’s executive producer, as well as Markus Böhlke and Sylke Poensgen. The show is supported by the FFA German Federal Film Board and the FFF Bavarian Film and Television Fund.

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