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Seneca - On the Creation of Earthquakes

GER/MAR 2023

Filmgalerie 451 produces the new feature film by Robert Schwentke (The Captain). The film will premiere at the Berlinale 2023 in a Special Gala.


Rome in 65 AD, the philosopher Seneca has been Emperor Nero‘s teacher, a callow, self-involved, emotionally volatile boy, gets some bad news from the office upstairs: Nero believes (wrongly, it turns out) that Seneca was part of a plot against his life. (Though Seneca was affiliated with the conspirators, there is no real evidence that he was part of the conspiracy.) Seneca is told: Go home, gather your family and friends and take your life tonight—the way you want to do it. Or, on the other hand, we will show up at your door tomorrow morning…and we will dispatch you.

And you’re not going to like that.

Swiftly accepting his fate, Seneca decides this is an opportunity to swing for the fences—for eternity, that is. He is going to go out like Socrates: gathering a small party of friends (social-climbing hangers-on, to be cruelly blunt) and giving them his life’s philosophy. After that, he shall open his wrists—and his place in history will be cemented forever.

He does exactly that. Except…he doesn’t die. And so, he gives another soaring speech and makes another game attempt at opening his arteries. He’s old, he’s skinny, it’s like he has sawdust in his veins: he just won’t die. Bring the hemlock! This, too, is an epic fail. And on it goes…

ON THE CREATION OF EARTHQUAKES is a miniaturized epic comedy about one man’s very flawed attempt to become immortal through language and ideas…and about what happens when the Most Thinking and Feeling People in the World butt up against real barbarians…who unmistakably and horrifyingly play to win.

(More about the film on instagram #seneca.themovie)



Directed by
Robert Schwentke
Written by
Robert Schwentke und Matthew Wilder
John Malkovich (Seneca), Tom Xander (Nero), Geraldine Chaplin, Louis Hofmann, Lilith Stangenberg, Samuel Finzi, Mary-Louise Parker, Andrew Koji, Julian Sands, Alexander Fehling, Wolfram Koch, Annika Meier, Samia Chancrin, Laurean Wagner, Brice Bexter, Waldemar Kobus, Nadia Benzakour, Blerim Destani
Director of Photography
Benoit Debie
Ernesto Giolitti
Production Designer
Sasa Zivkovic, Roman Mares, Marco Trentini
Anna Wübber
Make-Up Artists
Friederike Schaefer, Julia Böhm
Mike Czarnecki
Music Composer
Martin Todsharow
Anja Dihrberg, Kate Ringsell, Salah Benchegr
Produced by
Filmgalerie 451 - Frieder Schlaich, Irene von Alberti
Gretchenfilm - Annegret Weitkämper-Krug
Kasbah Films - Karim Debbagh
ZDF/ARTE - Simon Ofenloch
dropkick pictures - Guido Broscheit
Harro von Have
Associate Producers
Jakob Kleefass, Katrin Neubauer, Ralph Oliver Graef
German Distributor
Picture Tree
Funded by
BKM – Die Beauftrage für Kultur und Medien, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg MBB, Medien und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg MFG, Filmstiftung Nordrheinwestfalen NRW, Deutscher Filmförderfonds DFFF, Moroccan Cash Rebate CCM, Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union

Assistant Art Director
Claudio Cosentino
Art Department Coordinator
Amine Bensalek
Set Dec
Alwara Thaler
Leadman Set Dresser
Daniel Plashues
Set Dec Assistant / Buyer
Rabaa Rahmouni
Set Dec Assistants
Irai Amana Martins de Souza, Cedric Maury
Set Dec Painter
Montassir Ajaabab
Set Dec Buyer
Mohamed Bouh
Set Dresser / Food Painter / Set Paint
Werilliam Henry Scott
Set Dressers
Brahim Messaoudi, Abdessamad Blinda, Anas Bouabidi
Set Dresser/ Carpenter
Brahim Aït Bourhim
Driss El Kadiri
Set Painter
Anne Petra Schnell
Prop Master
Toby Wood
Tarik Amchemar
Props Assistant
Taoufik Moussoute
Stand By Props
Soufiane Ousaadi
1st AD
Mehdi Souissi
2nd AD
Mohamed Ali Souissi
Script Continuity
Andrea Maldonado Agustin
Trainee (Direction)
Lewis von Alberti
1st AC
Marie Queinec
2nd AC
Asma Hafili
Asmaa Amrahou
Best Boy Gaffer
Abderrahim Bissar
Key Grip
Ulrich Faßbender
Best Boy Grip
Nordine Yakoubi
Sound Operator
Steffen Graubaum
Boom Operator
Robin Hörrmann
Construction Manager
Boujamaa Rassourance
Head Carpenter
Abdelhadi Fkharz
Head Plasterer
Lahcen Bicha
Head Painter
My El Hassan Alaoui
Animal Wrangler
Abdellah Herdam
1st Costume Assistant
Rachel Vogelheim
Costume Supervisor
Ines Khouzima
Costume Assistant
Otmane Elkhammari, Othman Ajana, Nadia Ait Kharaz
Constanze Schuster, Stefan Heinrichs
Wardrobe Mistress
Larissa Sauer
Tailor #1
Abdellah El Mabrouk
Tailor #2
My Abdellatif El Amrani
Trainees (Costume)
Johanna Helen Baumann, Franziska Chantal Börner, Julian Philip Hirsch
Make-up, Hair - Cast
Alena Halavatskaya
Make-up, Hair - Crowd
Khadija Hamdan
Trainees (Make-up)
Helene Frese
Location Manager
Lhoucine Khabid
Location Coordinator
Aissam Raja
Location Assistant
Hassane Aberdine
VFX Executive Producer
Heiko Burkardsmaier
VFX Supervisor on Set
Juri Stanossek, Rouven Dombrowski
Stunt Coordinator
Noureddine Hajjoujou
Transport Captain
Ismail Bakkioui, Mouad Rhaddioui
Nurse Bochra Largou, Fatima Ezzahra Abarach
Band Recordings
Tom Rußbüldt
Sound Design
André Bendocchi Alves
Mounir Ben Hayoun, Abdeljalil Ait Elcaid, Soufiane Jaatit, Abdelkbir Ben Aabid, Hassan Bassad
Jörg Huke, Adnan Semmar
Assistant Accountant
Soulaimane Achkouk, Sophia Affane
Production Accountant
Ibtissame Semmar
Production Runner
Youssef Sakal
Production Assistants
Anna Bitter, Sara El Gouni, Oualid Zarouala
Production Coordinator
Wiam Jaid
Production Supervisor
Seloua Elgouni
Unit Production Manager
Noureddine Aberdine
Line Producer
Irene von Alberti, Felix Eisele, Karim Debbagh