Feature Film


Upon his arrival at Stuttgart's State Theater in 1960, choreographer John Cranko does not yet suspect that this journey will change his life. As a homosexual, he has received hostile treatment in London; now the Stuttgart Ballet has invited him to serve as guest choreographer. Cranko’s unconventional lifestyle attracts attention in the relatively provincial region: He smokes in the ballet studio, drinks excessively, and loves whoever he wants to love. Though his directing style also breaks with the classical ballet norm, his "Romeo & Juliet" is an initial sensation, and charismatic Cranko becomes the darling of the audience. He plunges headlong into the intoxication of his success: the limelight, the parties, the wildly enthusiastic "bravos!" Still, the superstar is unable to come to terms with his loneliness and sorrow. Cranko's meteoric rise to the top of the ballet world at New York's Metropolitan Opera goes hand in hand with private setbacks and losses – and yet his unconditional love of dance, and of his company, propel him onward until his tragic, untimely death.


Screenplay & Director: Joachim A. Lang
Camera: Philipp Sichler, BVK
Editor: Jan Henrik Pusch, BFS
Music Composer:  Walter Mair
Conductor: Wolfgang Heinz
Orchestra: Das Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Production design: Astrid Poeschke
Costume design: Juliane Maier, Christian Röhrs
Make-up design: Frederika Höllrigl, Lisa Hilpert
Cast: Marc Schötteldreier
Rights John Cranko: Dieter Gräfe
Die Staatstheater Stuttgart: Marc-Oliver Hendriks
Artistic consulting Dance Ballet: Reid Anderson
Executive Producers: Till Derenbach, Michael Souvignier
SWR Co-producer: Sandra Dujmovic

Starring: Sam Riley, Marti Fernandez Paixa, Jason Reilly, Hanns Zischler, Maria Eichwald, Louis Nitsche, Dieter Gräfe, Reid Anderson, Vladimir Klos, Birgit Keil, Egon Madsen, Friedemann Vogel, Elisa Badenes, and many more.

"Cranko" is a Zeitsprung Pictures (Till Derenbach, Michael Souvignier) production in co-production with SWR (Sandra Dujmovic) in collaboration with the Stuttgart Ballet, Tamas Detrich (Artistic Director), Vivien Arnold (Director of Communication and Dramaturgy), and Krzysztof Nowogrodzki (Production Manager, Ballet Master). Supported by the German Federal Film Fund, the MFG Media and Film Society Baden-Württemberg, the Film and Media Foundation NRW and the FFA Film Funding InstitutePort au Prince has taken over the German distribution and Beta Cinema has taken over the world distribution.