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Sky to play Wirecard doc, drama

European satcaster Sky is working on documentary and drama series about Germany’s Wirecard financial scandal with filmmaker Gabriela Sperl.

Gabriela Sperl

Sperl (NSU – Mitten in Deutschland, Preis der Freiheit, Tannbach) and her Berlin-based producer Sperl Film und Fernsehproduktion (SFFP) are developing a feature-length documentary on the scandal for Sky Studios.

The documentary will be directed by Benji and Jono Bergmann through their Babka label and they will also coproduce.

The doc will chart the rise and fall of Wirecard, a financial payments firm once seen as the posterchild for German tech innovation that collapsed in scandal in June following the uncovering of a €1.9bn (US$2.3bn) accounting black hole. Today, Wirecard’s CEO Markus Braun remains in custody while chief operating officer Jan Marsalek is on the run following the issuing of an international arrest warrant.

After many years of journalistic investigation, Sperl will bring the story to screen with exclusive access to those closest to the scandal, plus those who, like Sperl, followed the story closely as the company unravelled earlier this year.

In addition to the doc, Sperl is also developing a fictional miniseries on the same topic for Sky Studios.

Sperl said: “Wirecard is a global story of corruption and greed, of masterminds and narcissists, of the driven, dreamers and power mongers who, trapped in their own realities, carried others away in their insatiable desire for more.

“In the 90-minute documentary and limited series, we will tell the thrilling drama of the rise and fall of Wirecard, set against an international backdrop of lies and misplaced trust. This is a story of betrayal, lack of responsibility and loss of values – and it’s about the brave ones who, despite persecution, ridicule and malice, did not let themselves be stopped from bringing the truth to light.”

Marcus Ammon, senior VP of Sky Original Production, said: “A financial crime thriller of this dimension, the mystery of a fraud of epic proportions and its mysterious protagonists is not only material for an insightful documentary but also contains countless narrative strands and complex characters as the basis for a fictional series.

“We are happy to get to the bottom of this monstrous story together with Gabriela Sperl. Gabriela’s unique network and her unbroken will to enlighten and bring the truth to light are the best conditions for these two exciting projects.”

Shooting for the documentary will start in early autumn. Sky holds the first broadcast rights on pay TV before the documentary will be shown on ARD. The miniseries will be shot next year and will be shown on Sky and RBB/ARD in Germany.

For Sky Germany, Julia Jaensch will oversee both projects, working within Frank Jastfelder’s team. Rolf Bergmann will oversee on behalf of RBB.

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