Winnetou Productions

Home of the Winnetou Movie

Aberdeen Film Festival

September 29th, 2012

Not far to the west where the corners of the North American states of South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota meet, rode two intrepid filmmakers whose appearance, at any other place than this western one, would have caused a justified stir.

They were of very different build. One was tall whilst the other was much shorter. One was a man and the other a woman.

It was impossible to tell the age of the man. His flowing white beard suggested a great age but his blue eyes displayed the sharp look one observes on seamen and the inhabitants of wide-open plains.

The woman was clearly younger and had a child-like smile that belied the determined look in her dark eyes. Her facial features also suggested that she had an Indian heritage.

The two were on their way to the Aberdeen Film Festival to watch the film Thunderheart that was primarily shot on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

The actor Graham Green, who played the role of Walter Crow Horse, also attended this screening.

The showing was followed by a question-and-answer session with the attending actor who was given a standing ovation by all who attended.

Further information can be viewed here

Who will play the role of Old Shatterhand?

September 25th, 2012

There have been many suggestions for the role of Old Shatterhand including such well-known action film actors as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. It has even been suggested that the Spaghetti Western actors Clint Eastwood or Terrence Hill would make a perfect Old Shatterhand. Kevin Costner, Owen Wilson, Brad Pitt and even Leonardo DiCaprio have also been suggested …

Who then should play the role of this fictional hero of so many of Karl May’s narratives? What are his qualities? What did he look like?

What we do know from the opening chapter of the Winnetou tale is that the hero is young, well educated, probably in his early twenties and a greenhorn willing to try anything and everything.

We also discover that he is of German heritage, that he comes from a poor family, and that he has strength despite his outward appearance. The latter is best illustrated in Karl May’s own words:

“Halloo!” he shouted, jumping up. “What’s that then? He handles the gun like a light walking stick, yet it’s the heaviest weapon I know. Do you really have such strength?”
Instead of answering I took him by the bottom of his buttoned up jacket and belt buckle and lifted him up with my right hand.

It has also been suggested that Old Shatterhand must be blond and blue eyed … because he is of German heritage. There can be no doubt that Karl May is of German heritage and it is clear that Charles (the English equivalent of Karl), as the hero is called, hales from Germany. But is he blond and blue eyed or did this image only manifest itself after the movies of the 1960’s were screened wherein the late blond and blue eyed actor Lex Barker played the part of Old Shatterhand?

If one consults the Oriental Odyssey, where the Old Shatterhand hero is known as Kara ben Nemsi, one discovers that Karl is dark haired as the following paragraphs indicate:

“It will depend how much of such ammunition can be had here. Besides, one has to be crafty when faced with such violent people. When it comes to me, I will deceive these scoundrels.”
“How so, Sihdi?”
“Tomorrow I will have blond hair and a blond beard …”
“How will you do that?”
“There is a plant, the leaves of which, when boiled in soapy water, can lighten the color of the darkest hair. Such leaves are available in the apothecary.”

So much for the hero being blond and blue eyed …

Who then would be best suited to play the role of Old Shatterhand?

Cathy Smith expresses interest in the role of Costume Designer

September 23rd, 2012

Cathy Smith, costume designer, artist historian, and scholar of the American West, is best known for her authentic costumes in films such as Dances with Wolves, Comanche Moon, Geronimo and Son of the Morning Star – for which she won the Emmy for Excellence in Costume Design.
Growing up on a ranch in western South Dakota, bordering two Sioux reservations, led to her relentless pursuit of authentic, traditional Native American art forms, design, and techniques – which have become a much sought after commodity for everyone from museum curators to international collectors to Hollywood producers.
Cathy has spent her lifetime participating in the ceremonies and cultural life-ways of relatives on the Cheyenne River Reservation and refining her skills in the sacred art of porcupine quillwork “Maintaining these traditional arts is imperative as they are a part of our American heritage in danger of being lost. Not only are they beautiful and useable, but when made with integrity, they are imbued with power & spiritual meaning.”
Cathy lectures on the art & culture of the Western Plains at museums and events, from the Smithsonian to the Eiteljorg. She has exhibited at the National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth and the Smithsonian,
among others. She restores original artifacts for museums & collectors and creates custom clothing and accoutrements not only for film and museums, but for clients worldwide.
Currently she is painting the Plains Indians she loves and knows so well, trading buckskin & sinew for oil & canvas, capturing the soul & essence of her Tiospaye.
Cathy has a studio in Nambe, NM and in the Black Hills of S.Dakota.

Steve Howell expresses interest in the role of Cinematographer

September 22nd, 2012

Steve Howell is a three time Emmy Award winning Director of Photography. His first motion picture was the Terminator. Since then Steve has worked on Crash, Collateral, Cursed, XXX, The Sweetest Thing, True Lies and many more motion pictures. Steve’s passion is aerial cinematography using gyro stabilized camera systems and remote controlled helicopters which permits the audience to view breathtaking aerial views of the American Wilderness. Steve has also been working on music videos with Brittany Spears, Bryan Adams and the late Michael Jackson.

Rene Haynes expresses interest in the role of Casting Director

September 9th, 2012

Rene is a two time Emmy Nominee; First, for the TNT/DreamWorks mini-series “Into the West” and in the following year, for the HBO feature “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”, for which she also won a CSA Artios Award for “Outstanding Casting”.

In addition to being recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nations casting, Rene specializes in conducting international talent searches and enjoys taking on projects with very specific and challenging casting needs. Her world wide search for the female lead in the Terrence Malick feature “The New World”, being just one successful example. That film’s debut performance by the young lead went on to be named “Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress” in 2005 by the National Board of Review.