Friday, March 6, 2009

North American premier of Der Rote Baron (The Red Baron)


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The Red Baron

Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation lands
North American premier of Der Rote Baron
(The Red Baron)

First U.S. screening of German-made WWI epic will be presented by its producer/writer/director in Dayton on Sunday, March 15


(Dayton, OH – March 5, 2009) The National Aviation Hall of Fame's (NAHF) Second Annual Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation will host the North American premier of a much anticipated World War One epic, Der Rote Baron, released in Europe last year but not yet screened for American theatre audiences. The German funded and produced feature film brings to life the colorful, but also often intensely stark, tale of legendary WWI flying ace, Baron Manfred von Richtofhen.   Presenting Der Rote Baron's premier will be its producer/writer/director, Nikolai Muellerschoen. Muellerschoen will also respond to audience questions after the screening that takes place at the Dayton Convention Center theatre on Sunday, March 15th, the final day of the four-day Reel Stuff Film Festival.


With an uncanny resemblance to the famed fighter ace, Matthias Schweighofer stars as von Richtofhen, leading a mostly German, all English speaking cast. Acclaimed English actor Joseph Fiennes (Luther, Shakespeare in Love, Enemy at the Gates) appears as von Richtofhen's adversary, Canadian pilot Capt. Roy Brown, and Lena Headey (300, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) plays Kate Otersdorf, a nurse and the love of von Richtofhen's short life.


Reel Stuff is dedicated to sharing documentaries, classics and new features cinematically celebrating the people, wonder and joy of flight. Each film is presented to the audience by a filmmaker or someone closely associated with its production. The four-day festival takes place March 12-15, 2009, at various Dayton venues (, and is produced as a benefit for the Congressionally chartered non-profit NAHF Learning & Research Center. 


NAHF Executive Director, Ron Kaplan, also Reel Stuff's founding director, said his organization is thrilled with the young festival's addition of not only a premier, but also an international one at that. "We knew after the artistic success of the inaugural Reel Stuff that the film industry might embrace our new festival," explained Kaplan. "For our second-year festival to land such a blockbuster, even before it hits U.S. theatres, is a delightful coup and speaks to the overall quality of this year's thirteen film lineup."


Kaplan credits the Der Rote Baron's North American agent and Muellerscheon for choosing Reel Stuff for this history-based film's debut. "I believe selecting Reel Stuff, at the Birthplace of Aviation, for the launch of this movie makes perfect marketing sense," states Kaplan. "I have to think von Richtofhen would approve," he said of the feared ace, known for his provocatively painted red aircraft, who was killed in aerial combat in 1916 at the age of 25, with 80 victories to his credit.


He also believes the audience will approve of the film, whether or not they are flying buffs. Kaplan, who has attended a private screening of the film, says it spectacularly captures the era, in both its beauty and brutality, while providing a personal take on the mythical Red Baron. 


As for aviation, he says there is plenty of it, with the production utilizing 23 full-scale reproductions of WWI aircraft but also a team of internationally acclaimed digital artists to realistically render the breathtakingly chaotic aerial and ground combat scenes. Much of the credit for the impressive visual quality and authenticity of the period film goes to its creative director, Yvonne von Wallenberg, who will accompany Muellerscheon to Reel Stuff for the March 15th premier.


Admission to any of the Reel Stuff screenings, including Der Rote Baron premier, is just $10 per person. Active duty military personnel receive $2 off each admission when presenting a valid ID. A complete schedule of Reel Stuff showtimes and locations, ticket prices, special reception info, presenters' bios, hotel contacts, sponsors and other festival details are available on Ticket packages and merchandise can be ordered online or by calling the NAHF at (937) 256-0944 x11.


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To schedule interviews, obtain photos of Reel Stuff staff or participants, etc, contact:


Ron Kaplan, Executive Director           
National Aviation Hall of Fame

Dayton, Ohio                                 
O: (937) 256-0944 x16  C: (937) 212-8847

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