Saturday, September 3, 2022

'The Young Chief Winnetou': 14-year-old Brucker stars in new film

 The Limited Times

By: Lisa Fischer


[Mika Ullritz from Fürstenfeldbruck plays the young chief Winnetou.]

Heroes and superheroes are very trendy among young people today.

Now a young Fürstenfeldbrucker child is playing a role model that inspired his parents' and grandparents' generation: Winnetou.

And the 14-year-old, along with his film sister and friend, has also succumbed to the fascination of the famous Apache chief.

"The Treasure in the Silver Lake", "Unter Geiern" and "Winnetou 1" - many people's ears still ring with these titles.

There are well-known film adaptations of the Karl May books about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand.

But what did the famous Indian boy do in his childhood?

That's what the film "The Young Chief Winnetou" asks. Winnetou is played by 14-year-old Mika Ullritz from Fürstenfeldbruck.

His screen sister Nscho-tschi, is played by 12-year-old Lola Linnéa Padotzke from the Starnberg district.

The film was shot in the summer of 2020. The two young actors (12 and 10 at the time) went to Andalusia in Spain for the filming.

"I received a request for the casting through an agency that I'm registered with," says Mika, who had already had experience shooting "Polizeinotruf 110" and "Fack ju Göthe 3".

"But with young Winnetou, it's the first time I've played a leading role in a movie."

He took his first steps as an actor at the amateur theater "Brucker Brettl".

Neither he or his screen sister, Lola had seen the old Winnetou films with Pierre Brice as the chief.

"But before the first round of casting, my mom showed me photos and told me about the films," says Lola, who is now 12.

In the film young chief Winnetou and the others want to save the Apache people.

After the first round of casting, both youngsters had to compete again - this time directly for their later role.

"I also met Lola and Milo there and we got along well from the start," says Mika.

Milo Haaf from Munich, who is the same age, plays the orphan boy Tom Silver in the film adaptation.

Together with young Winnetou they embark on a dangerous adventure.

The absence of the buffalo threatens the existence of the Apache.

Together with his sister Nscho-tschi and Tom Silver, young Winnetou tries to save the Apache people.

In the best Karl May manner, the actors sit in the saddle in many of the scenes.

That's why Mika, Lola and Milo first took riding lessons at the Niedermayr farm in Olching.

Western riding is offered there.

“I had sat on a horse before, but I never really had ridden one," said Lola.

Only when the casting was complete did the riding lessons slowly start,” says Winnetou actor Mika

Before they went to Spain, the young actors and their colleagues met for a script reading.

"Later in Andalusia there was a reading rehearsal every Sunday with director Mike Marzuk and the other actors, depending on which scenes were on the next week," says Mika, who plays soccer at SC Maisach in his free time.

Things got exciting the week before shooting started: “We had riding lessons on our actual film horses.

They were bigger and wilder than the horses at home,” says Mika.

The young actors were not completely on their own during the shooting, which began in the summer holidays and lasted until the school year: “First my father flew with me and accompanied me for the five weeks,” he said.

There was a week break prior to filming.

“Then my sister followed us and finally my mum,” says Lola Padotzke.

Back in Germany, the young actors eagerly are awaiting the release of the film.

For Mika, school life continued at the Realschule Maisach - after the holidays, Lola went to the fifth grade of the Montessori school in Inning am Ammersee.

At the beginning of August, the premiere of “Young Chief Winnetou” was just about to arrive.

When asked if she had seen the film beforehand, Lola replied: "No, I wanted to have a real 'wow' moment." The premiere was in a well-known cinema in Munich.

“It was very exciting, especially with the red carpet. ,Then the tension gradually subsided,” adds Mika.

But just before the projection started, he was very nervous again.

He was accompanied on the day by his family and two best friends.

Only the grandmother watched the premiere at the same time in the Scala cinema in Fürstenfeldbruck together with Mika's younger sister, because of the long distance to Munich.

The young Brucker's judgment after he had watched three old Winnetou trailers in the meantime: "They are different from our film.

It's all filmed in Croatia and there's a lot of shooting.” Also, the actors used to do riskier things without a stunt double.

He himself recommends the film about the young chief Winnetou not only to children, but also to adults.

“I would like to be right back with a second film.

I hope that many will go to the cinema and that there will be a second part,” adds Mika.

For Lola, who is passionate about sewing in her free time, the filming had after-effects at home: “I now ride horses again at home and participate in horseback riding,” she says.

She also found two new friends in Mika and Milo.

"After the shoot we met again, for example for a barbecue with our families." A friendship between the three developed not only on the screen, but off ”, offered Lola.

Before the young actors went to Andalusia and were allowed to mount the spirited Spanish film horses there, they had to take extra riding lessons.

Franziska Niedermayr, from the riding school of the same name in Olching taught Mika Ullritz, Lola Linnéa Padotzke and Milo Haaf western riding.

The school horses in Olching are rather well-behaved and easy-going, says the riding instructor.

"It was important for the children to get used to those horses first."

She didn't treat Mika, Lola and Milo very differently from her other riding students.

“But you noticed that the children have a completely different approach.

There was more ambition behind it,” says Franziska Niedermayr in retrospect.

Overall, the lessons were very exciting, says the 29-year-old.

"Training three young actors isn't something you do every day."


Submitted by Michael Ferguson

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