Balkan Melody

Balkan Melodie
Director: Stefan Schwietert

Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Documentary, 2012, 92 min., french, romanian, bugarian and german with english and lithuanian subtitles, V

The entertaining film tells a great love story – the story of Marcel and Catherine Cellier and their lifelong dedication to the music of Eastern Europe. Amidst the Cold War the couple transcended the Iron Curtain to collect and document sounds and harmonies never been heard before in the West. In numerous radio programmes and through selling millions of records Marcel Cellier spread the music among an international audience, who fell in love with it immediately. He paved the way to fame for musicians like the Romanian pan flute player Gheorghe Zamfir and the legendary Bulgarian women’s choir “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares”. Following the traces of the Cellier family the director of the film “Balkan Melody”, Stefan Schwietert, travels to Eastern Europe to find the protagonists of those days and to resurrect the richness of their music.

About the director:

Stefan Schwietert was born in 1961 in Esslingen (Germany) and grew up in Switzerland. Studied filmmaking at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. In 1991 he established film production company “Neapel Film”, where he produces and directs documentary films. In 1996 Schwietert achieved international breakthrough with “A Tickle in the Heart”, a film about the klezmer musicians Epstein Brothers. Since then he has made a name for himself as an astute music film director, awarded Swiss Film Prize for Best Documentary for his music documentaries “Accordion Tribe” (2004) and“Echoes Of Home ” (Heimatklänge, 2007). Apart from working as a film director, he also lectures at numerous film schools in Germany and Switzerland.

Section: Music Moves The World

Screenplay: Stefan Schwietert

Dir. of Photography: Pierre Mennel, Pio Corradi

Music: Gheorghe Zamfir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Ioan Pop, Mahala Rai Banda, Nicolae Pitis, Grupul Iza