Producer - Phillip Kreuzer

Mr. Kreuzer, as a film producer, you have direct contact with the editorial offices. How is the topic of „Corona“ being handled there right now? Is it a hot topic?

During the pandemic, various editorial departments dealt with the subject of corona and a number of productions were made, but these were mainly set against the backdrop of video conferences. For many, the topic is now „over“. Sunshine Eyes, on the other hand, is the only series that was actually filmed on location during the lockdown and deals with what the pandemic means for the lives of young people.

What is your experience with Sunshine Eyes?

Sunshine Eyes is unmatched in emotionality, in my opinion. The main young actors are all newcomers, and Maria von Heland has succeeded in capturing the feeling of that time. This was only possible because we were working under real lockdown conditions and not shooting exclusively in apartments. Covid protocols were strict, but everyone involved brought all their energy and emotion to this production. You can feel that in every second of this series. 

Has escapism always been a basic trait of German entertainment?

Escapism is an essential element of all fictional entertainment programs. People watch programs to escape from everyday life. But that doesn’t mean excluding topicality, but rather stimulating it.

German fiction manages to do this time and again, but usually through deliberately weaving themes into a crime plot, for example.

Sunshine Eyes does not need this help, though. It goes head-on into the events of spring 2020.

Programming for young people are often made by the older generation for them and not with them. But with Sunshine Eyes, we took the direct approach here as well, developing and telling the story through the eyes of the younger generation.

What do you say to the people in charge who say: We can’t expect our viewers to watch this (yet)?

The time for this series is now, two years after Lockdown 2020.

We hear sometimes that viewers don’t want to be subjected to this. A real reckoning with the lockdown and its consequences for young people has yet to take place. In that sense, it’s like the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of East Germany. A deeper conversation is just beginning now. 

The digital world forgets quickly and 2020 is already a memory for many. That’s what makes us human and makes it easier to move on. Inside, however, what we experienced is still fresh.

We see it as our task as filmmakers to enable our viewers to process what they have experienced through reflection, and not to wait 30 years for this, as we did after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Interview by Francesca Ferguson