Farewell to Rolf Zehetbauer

Farewell to Rolf Zehetbauer

On 23 January 2022, the great German Production Designer and Academy Award winner, Rolf Zehetbauer, died at the age of 92.

He created works for eternity and thus remains alive in the memory of us all. Farewell words from our colleague, German Production Designer, Toni Lüdi:

“His pictures of the world took us into the narrowness and drama of the submarines and into the bygone times of Berlin in the 1930s; they are time travels into the past and into the future. As a production designer, Zehetbauer ran an art department/production design department that was instrumental in bringing German film through the period of the country’s division, a time when the studios of UFA were located in the GDR, which meant that the Federal Republic had lost the basis of professional film production.

The break in the art of film, the New German Auteur Film took a long time to find its way back into the film studio. Zehetbauer helped build the bridges and worked with commitment even for wild berserkers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He willingly shared his knowledge with the members of the professional association VSK as well as with the students of the scene design course, where he was a guest in 2003.

No other medium, no other art can capture us and take us into other times, other milieus, other worlds like film. The images in film are fundamental, and Zehetbauer has created them in an extraordinary way. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science deservedly honored him with the Academy Award, namely the Oscar for the impressive set designs for the feature film CABARET!

Goodbye to a great production designer.”

(Photo: Stephan Rumpf)