Shortly after the Wall came down, the Austrian conductor Otmar Suitner ended his long-standing career at the State Opera in East Berlin. Parkinson syndrome was causing his hands to tremble. A conductor who had achieved world fame at Bayreuth could not control the baton. Music disappeared from his daily life. But the fall of the Wall brought something new: changes to his family life. For decades Suitner had two private lives, one with his wife in East Berlin, the other one with his mistress and their son, Igor, in the west of the divided city.

In A Father's Music Igor Heitzmann tells the story of a rapprochement: with his father, the distant conductor; with a vanished country, the German Democratic Republic; with the exceptional paths of his parents’ lives; and with music. He shows the great moments of Suitner's life as a musician, celebrated concerts and concert tours, but also common orchestra rehearsals or the work with students of the conductor's class at the University of Music in Vienna. Through the music recordings Igor Heitzmann's own, fragmented memories of his rare encounters with the father are tied together. He reconstructs the family story between East and West through interviews, archive footage, and original scenes.

The father expresses his feelings in music; his son, with a camera. A Father's Musicis the portrait of a man whose life was an incredible balancing act - between communism and the West, private life and career, wife and mistress - and, above all, he always lived for music. A film about a great conductor, told by his son who seeks out music in order to find his father.
Directors of photography
Sound engineers
Sound design
Sound mixer
Production manager
Script consultants
Commissioning editor 
Igor Heitzmann
Inge Schneider
Rali Raltchev, Hoyte van Hoytema
Ulla Kösterke, Ivonne Gärber
Daniel Iribarren
Martin Steyer
Ivette Löcker
Claudia Tronnier, Stefan Schwietert
Jens Körner, Oliver Niemeier, Thomas Riedel
Claudia Tronnier, ZDF-Das kleine Fernsehspiel

and the generous participation of 
Otmar Suitner
Marita Suitner
Renate Heitzmann
Igor Heitzmann

Staatskapelle Berlin

A production of
Filmkombinat Nordost Gmbh & Co KG

In co-production with
ZDF - Das kleine Fernsehspiel / The German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) / Igor Heitzmann

Funded by
Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) / Kulturelle Filmförderung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern / Land Tirol /
Stadt Innsbruck / German Films

Documentary, Germany 2007, 105 mins, German with English subtitles, 35mm (transfer from Digital Betacam), format 1:1,85, Colour & black-and white, Dolby Digital SRD (5.1)

Festivals & awards

Kino - Festival of German Films, Lisbon, Portugal, January 22 - 29, 2009

5th Vilnius Documentary Film Festival, Lithuania, December 5 - 14, 2008

Soundtrack Cologne 5.0, Germany, November 20 - 23, 2008

2nd Wismar Film Festival, Germany, October 10 - 12, 2008

Unerhört! 2nd International Festival of Music Documentaries, Hamburg, Germany, September 4 - 7, 2008
Competition New Talents - Sunday, September 7, 18:00, B-Movie Cinema

27th AsoloArt Film Festival, Asolo, Italy, August 29 - September 7, 2008
Competition: Artist's Biographies - Friday, September 5, 17:00, Teatro Eleonora Duse

4th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival, South Korea, August 14 - 19, 2008
International Competition - ASIAN PREMIERE in presence of Igor Heitzmann
>>Jury Special Prize<<

7th Dokufest Prizren, Kosovo, August 4 -10, 2008
Sektion: View from the World

30th Moscow International Film Festival, June 19 - 28, 2008
Free Thougt - documentary cinema program, screening: June 26, 10pm, Multiplex Cinema October, Hall 5

48th Krakow Film Festival, Poland, May 30 - June 5, 2008 Poland premiere, International Feature Documentary Competition
>>Silver Horn for the Best Directing<<

EDOC 7, Encuentros del Otro - Documentary Film Festival, Ecuador, May 8 - 25, 2008 Equador premiere in presence of Igor Heitzmann

DocAviv - 10th Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, Israel, April 3 - 12, 2008
International Competition, Israel premiere in presence of Igor Heitzmann
>> Special Jury Nomination Award <<

I'ts All True - 13th International Documentary Film Festival, Brazil,
March 26 - April 6, 2008, Brazil premiere, Section: State of Things

13th Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria, March 6 - 16, 2008

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Montana, USA, February 14 - 20, 2008

Magnificent 7 - European Feature Documentary Film Festival, Belgrade, January 26 - 29, 2008

New Films from Germany at the MoMA, New York, Nov. 1 – 14, 2007

50. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm, DOK Leipzig,
29. Oct. – 4. Nov. 2007, German Competition
>> Zweitausendeins Award for Best German Documentary <<

Doclisboa 2007, V Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, Oct. 18 – Oct. 28, 2007
International Competition
>> Award for Best First Documentary <<

Docúpolis, Barcelona Oct. 3 – 7, 2007
International Competition

Vancouver International Film Festival, Sept. 27 – Oct. 12, 2007
Section: Nonfiction Features

Montreal World Film Festival, Aug. 23 – Sept. 4, 2007
>> Public Award for Best Documentary Film <<

Documenta Madrid, Madrid, 05. – 07.05.07, Competition

Visions du Réel, Nyon, 23. – 24.04.07, Competition
International premiere



Weltecho GmbH
Schnorrstraße 76
D-01069 Dresden
Tel.: +49.351.47 96 04 52
Fax: +49.351.49 52 065
Mobil: +49.177.2359503

Director & co-producer:

Igor Heitzmann
Arndtstr. 32
D-10965 Berlin

Tel.: +49-179-202 55 84
+49-30-257 59 161
E-Mail :

Public Relations & Festivals:

DFFB (German Film and Television Academy Berlin, co-producer)
Jana Wolff
Tel.: +49.30.257 59 152
Fax: +49.30.257 59 162

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