Series 6 x 45 Minutes
Franz Kafka is one of the most important writers of the 20th century – his writings are strange and dark, his personality is complicated, his influence undiminished. But without his best friend’s breach of trust, the world would never have known about Kafka. 
Franz Kafka, born in Prague in 1883, is a complicated man: he doesn’t have an easy time with women, he doesn’t like going to the office and his tyrannical father makes his life difficult. But his passion is writing – night after night he works on his dark stories, even if he is never satisfied with the results. Franz’s best friend, the author Max Brod, firmly believes in Kafka’s genius and does everything he can to make him famous as a writer – even against his will.
“Kafka” tells of love, friendship and family – but it is also an insight into Kafka’s and our nightmare fantasies: a castle that can never be reached, an accusation against which one cannot defend oneself, a father who forbids the child to grow up, a machine that tortures people to death. And yet Franz Kafka also struggles with the impositions of everyday life in a time of enormous upheaval: the impossibility of a relationship in the midst of work and duty, the family’s expectations of an overburdened son, modern vegan food alongside Sunday roasts on the bourgeois dining table. A surprising look at a genius who teaches the people around him to see the world as they have never seen it before.
Joel Basman plays Kafka, surrounded by a unique star ensemble: David Kross, Liv Lisa Fries, Lia von Blarer, Robert Stadlober, Lars Eidinger, Nicholas Ofczarek, Charly Hübner, Katharina Thalbach and many others. Director David Schalko is staging the screenplay by Daniel Kehlmann.
“This is the best dramatisation of the life of the great Kafka that it’s possible to imagine, perfectly cast, stunningly acted, and weaving the work into the life with extraordinary skill. It does a great service to one of the true giants of 20th century literature.”
– Salman Rushdie
“Kafka is simply brilliant. Finely dramatised elements from Franz Kafka’s writing are fused with the author’s own profound insight into this tortured genius. What results is a drama of enormous emotional and intellectual power. The writing flows like honey. Gorgeous, mesmerising scenes throughout and, at the end, a heart-rending theatrical climax wich leaves the viewer deeply moved by the strange and beautiful echoes of Kehlmann and Schalko’s triumphant collaboration.”
– Ian McEwan

With Joel Basman as FRANZ KAFKA, David Kross as MAX BROD, Nicholas Ofczarek as HERMANN KAFKA, Marie-Lou Sellem as JULIE KAFKA, Maresi Riegner as OTTLA KAFKA, Robert Stadlober as FELIX WELTSCH, Tobias Bamborschke as OSKAR BAUM, Lia von Blarer as FELICE BAUER, Liv Lisa Fries as MILENA JESENSKÀ, Tamara Romera Ginés as DORA DIAMANT, Michael Maertens as ERZÄHLER, Jan Bülow as KARL HERMANN, Charly Hübner as ERNST ROWOHLT, Robert Palfrader as PACHINGER, Laurence Rupp as KURT WOLFF, Christian Friedel as FRANZ WERFEL, Lars Eidinger as RAINER MARIA RILKE, Konstantin Frank as JIZCHAK LÖWY, Verena Altenberger as ROBERT MUSIL, Johannes Silberschneider as ROBERT MARSCHNER, André Pohl as EUGEN PFOHL and many more.

DIRECTOR: David Schalko,

WRITER: Daniel Kehlmann (in collaboration with David Schalko based on the biographies of Reiner Stach),

CAMERA: Martin Gschlacht, PRODUCERS: John Lueftner, David Schalko & Katharina Theissen,

EDITORS NDR: Christian Granderath & Philine Rosenberg,

MUSIC: Kyrre Kvam,

MONTAGE: Karina Ressler,

VFX SUPERVISOR: Maurice Miller,

SCENE DESIGN: Hannes Salat,

COSTUME DESIGN: Alfred Mayerhofer,

MASK DESIGN: Sam Dopona,

LINE PRODUCER: Wolfgang König,

CREATIVE PRODUCER & 1st AD: Florian Engelhardt,