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Dani Levy shooting his new movie, Der kleine Diktator


- The Swiss-born writer-director is making a comedy about a single mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Dani Levy shooting his new movie, Der kleine Diktator
Director Dani Levy (© Michael Hauri/Coop Zeitung)

Swiss-born writer-director Dani Levy is currently shooting his screwball family comedy Der kleine Diktator [+see also:
film profile
, about a single mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “It’s time to make a movie about these women who have to deal with their child, job, their responsibilities and loneliness, and often an irresponsible ex-husband who makes life worse,” says Levy. “For me, comedy is another form of tragedy because comedy and tragedy always go hand in hand.”

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Shooting at various locations in Germany such as Mannheim, but also in Switzerland, the filmmaker has called in a crew consisting of Carl-Friedrich Koschnick as director of photography, costume designer Ingrida Bendzuk, production designer Su Erdt and assistant director Arndt Wiegering, who have been part of his team for many years. “We are almost like a family. This is important to me because I don’t want to play-act on set, but rather be the way I am, with all my doubts, insecurities and follies.”

Each take is filmed with two cameras. “That has to do with my approach, because I don’t rehearse with the actors,” underlines Levy. Once their costumes and make-up are done, he starts to shoot right away. “Everything that happens in front of the camera is very authentic and spontaneous because the actors are not trapped or restricted by the direction or the camera. There are some very vivid and intense moments that come out of that,” says the filmmaker. “From my point of view, the camera is a tool to catch life on set.”

The shoot for Der kleine Diktator will continue until 20 November. Produced by Stefan Arndt from Berlin-based production outfit X Filme Creative Pool, the production received support from HessenInvest, MFG Baden-Württemberg, the German Federal Film Fund, BAK Bundesamt für Kultur and Zürcher Filmstiftung.

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