The 2022 Semiramis Award for Excellence in Casting will be presented at the prestigious Torino Film Festival in Italy on 26th November. Running up to the event, we will be posting interviews with all of this year’s nominees. First up is An Dorthe Braker, nominated for the German film FABIAN – GOING TO THE DOGS (directed by Dominik Graf), in conversation with ICDN Advisory Board member Florentina Bratfanof.
How did you start work for this project? How long did you work on the casting? As the casting process is an extremely collaborative affair, please name three people that supported this casting process and why.
I have been working with Dominik Graf as a director for many years and projects. Therefore, the foundation of our collaboration is a mutual trust in terms of content.
In addition, when we worked on FABIAN, we felt a high level of appreciation from the producer and his company. It was pure pleasure working with Felix von Boehm and Lupa Film on this project.
One of the qualities of the movie is the ensemble cast, the main character fits very well into his Dresden family, as well as his friend at University and in different parts of his world. Please tell us a little bit about how you have succeeded in matching the fictional family and all other relationships so well.
Dominik Graf had Tom Schilling in mind for the role of FABIAN from the beginning. Tom was Dominik’s Fabian. So we started looking for Laube and early on we came across Albrecht Schuch.
Dominik Graf likes to find a mixture of well-known and unknown actors and actresses. That gives us more freedom in putting together the ensemble.
To find the role of Cornelia, we did a big casting and looked at a lot of actresses. But after that, we quickly decided on Saskia Rosendahl. And Saskia also quickly decided on the role.
The casting of the parents, Petra Kalkutschke and Elmar Gutmann, is proof of this idea. Both are great actors, but not known to a wider audience. So we achieved a high level of credibility through the same dialect of the mother and son and their similarity.
In general, I like working with the second assistant director. Luisa Leopold was by my side again on this project. She is on set/shooting location earlier to cast extras and small roles. Our collaboration is trusting after several films.
The script was ready early, Görlitz as the main filming location was fixed early and Luisa was able to do castings for certain scenes with many unknown actors from the region.
That gave Dominik Graf and me a good selection. In the end, we had to find a good balance between the actors’ different fees and their availability for this film. (In Germany, most actors and actresses have other dates/commitments during filming) This was a big task, since the budget for Fabian was small. But it worked out, as you have seen.