Bavaria is one of the leading film locations in Germany. The destination is undeniably stunning and as the biggest state in Germany it has the scale and detail that could never be matched in the studio. With over 1,600 lakes and groups of lakes; hundreds of castles, fortresses, regal residences, stately homes and castle ruins; over 2 million hectares of forest; over 540 nature reserves and 504 protected landscapes, as well as 2 national parks; traditional villages with traditional cultures that live on to this day; modern cities and innumerable interesting individual sites all provide the perfect backdrop for a “film made in Bavaria”.
In 1919 the Bavarian film studios were founded when Munich-raised film producer Peter Ostermayr converted the private film company he had started in 1907, Münchener Lichtspielkunst GmbH, to the public company Münchener Lichtspielkunst AG (Emelka), and acquired a large area (ca. 356.000 m²) for the studios in Geiselgasteig, a district of Munich’s southern suburb.
The first film was created by Alfred Hitchcock in 1925 and was titled The Pleasure Garden. Then in 1934 the film Peer Gynt was made. The studios have since been used by numerous famous directors, such as Elia Kazan (Man on a Tightrope, 1952), Max Ophüls (Lola Montès, 1954), Stanley Kubrick (Paths of Glory, 1957), Richard Fleischer (The Vikings, 1958), John Huston (Freud: The Secret Passion, 1960), Robert Siodmak (L’Affaire Nina B, 1960), Billy Wilder (One, Two, Three, 1961 and Fedora, 1978), John Sturges (The Great Escape, 1963), Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, 1965), Orson Welles (The Deep, 1967), Jerzy Skolimowski (Deep End, 1970), Mel Stuart (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971), Bob Fosse (Cabaret, 1972), Wim Wenders (Ein Haus für uns (2 TV episodes), 1974), Ingmar Bergman (The Serpent’s Egg, 1977), Robert Aldrich (Twilight’s Last Gleaming, 1977), Wolfgang Petersen (Enemy Mine, 1985), Claude Chabrol (The Bridesmaid, 2004), and Oliver Stone (The Snowden Files, 2015).
The Filmstadt is an attraction offered for tourists seeking to explore The film star that is Bavaria. Filming takes place every day on the 350,000m² site with its three street scenes, several mocked-up houses, and twelve studios. There is so much to see and many visitors will have fond memories of The NeverEnding Story, and would have at some point as children dreamt of flying through the air on Falkor the luckdragon, just like Bastian. Others would have imagined themselves in adventures with Vicky the Viking. These dreams can come true at Bavaria Filmstadt. There’s always something worth seeing in the 4D cinema, audiences experience the on-screen images not only in 3D, but also through a variety of different effects that draw them right into the film.
N.B Lots of the attractions on the Filmstadt tour are outdoors, so comfortable footwear and weather appropriate clothing is recommended.
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