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Oscar Winner Karl Markovics Plays Leading Role in 'Ship of No Return - The Final Voyage of the 'Gustloff''

ZDF Enterprises markets 15.2 million US dollar production about the greatest shipping disaster in the history of mankind

Mainz, 3rd March 2008

Oscar prize-winner Karl Markovics plays the part of the corvette captain and hard-line Nazi Wilhelm Petri in the UFA production 'Ship of No Return - The Final Voyage of the "Gustloff".

Markovics also plays the main role in 'The Counterfeiters', which has just been awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. In this film he brings to life the memories and experiences of a master forger, Smolianoff, who is imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp and forced to work for the Nazis, while in 'The Gustloff' he takes a diametrically opposed part. Corvette Captain Wilhelm Petri is itching for the opportunity to prove himself once again and to strengthen the German Navy with new strike power. But he is so obsessed that he underestimates the dangers lurking in the Baltic Sea, which is heavily mined, and it emerges that the enemy is closer than he thought.

Speaking about his part in 'Ship of No Return - The Final Voyage of the "Gustloff "', Markovics says: "It's interesting to see how a macho, military faith in invincibility leads to arrogance and, in the end, loss of contact with reality. Petri, as he is depicted in the script, is single-minded, insensitive, obsessed with his career and out of his depth. He is so convinced that he is in the right, he doesn't care at all whether other people like him. He's actually quite a pathetic figure, but I didn't want to portray the character in such a way that you end up feeling sorry for him. You should feel sorry for the 9,000 people who lost their lives in the disaster."

ZDF Enterprises, co-producer of 'Ship of No Return - The Final Voyage of the 'Gustloff'', is handling worldwide marketing of the production, which cost over 15.2 million US dollars - making it the most expensive UFA project of all time.


**About ZDF Enterprises**
Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German language. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.

**Contact ZDF Enterprises**
Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Lise-Meitner-Str. 9, D-55129 Mainz/Germany, tel. 0049 6131-991228, fax 0049 6131-991229, e-mail: [], [].


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany