ORF-Enterprise Secures Kafka Distribution Rights


ORF-Enterprise has secured the distribution rights for Kafka, a miniseries co-produced by Superfilm, ORF and ARD.

The six-parter, set to premiere in spring 2024, tells the story of the peculiar 20th-century writer Franz Kafka. Kafka explores the author’s complicated relationship with his father and addresses his love affairs and close friendships.

The series is to be broadcast on ORF and ARD and stars Joel Basman (Franz Kafka), David Kross (Max Brod), Nicholas Ofczarek (Hermann Kafka) and Liv Lisa Fries (Milena Jesenská).

The scripts are based on the fundamental three-volume Kafka biography by Reiner Stach, who is also acting as an expert consultant. The screenplay was written by Daniel Kehlmann in collaboration with director David Schalko.

Oliver Böhm, CEO of ORF-Enterprise, commented: “This extraordinary miniseries brings to life the enigmatic world of Franz Kafka, a writer whose influence resonates to this day. We are thrilled to add Kafka to our sales catalog, paying homage to Kafka’s remarkable literary legacy on the 100th anniversary of his passing and showcasing the brilliant storytelling of Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko.”

Armin Luttenberger, head of content sales at ORF-Enterprise, said: “The meticulous attention to detail in bringing Franz Kafka’s world to life is evident in every frame. Kafka adds depth and richness to our drama section, aligning perfectly with our commitment to delivering high-quality content. There is no doubt that Kafka will be a standout addition to our catalog.”

Katharina Schenk, ORF’s head of television film, added: “I am very pleased that ORF is part of this project, which places Franz Kafka’s own world at its center. For this extraordinary undertaking, Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko have found a perspective that looks at Kafka’s life and work through the eyes of two outstanding storytellers and presents it anew to a broad public.”

Jörg Schönenborn, ARD coordinator for fiction, said: “The collaboration of the entire ARD in association with ORF is an impressive example of how strong we are when we combine our energies and invest in such an outstanding project. Daniel Kehlmann and David Schalko bring the audience closer to Kafka’s work, which is still enigmatic in parts, in an entertaining—but never superficial—way. I’m looking forward to the result, which I’m sure will be internationally acclaimed.”

Kehlmann added: “Franz Kafka’s nightmares are our daily reality; in his dark yet comic visions, he divined the world in which we all now live. These visions did not come out of nowhere but were formed by his life, his family and his private environment. I am proud and grateful that I was allowed to write the scripts based on Reiner Stach’s work for the great director and storyteller David Schalko, and I am very much excited about seeing them performed by the wonderful cast.”