22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025
LFFI19_regionales Langfilmprogramm_Fly Rocket Fly_1

Fly Rocket Fly

Oliver Schwehm

Following Space-Talk with director Oliver Schwehm, ESA-expert Rainer Kresken and Dipl.-Ing. Frank Wukasch (OTRAG) // Host: Dirk Wagner (hr-iNFO)

When Elon Musk was still in diapers, Swabian engineer Lutz Kayser was already developing a concept for low-budget rockets, which in 1975 led him to found the first private astronautic corporation worldwide. Orbital Transport- und Raketen AG, based in Neu Isenburg, provided the essential support in funds to get the corporation going – and flying. He also knew how to avoid the German prohibition of rocket launches. Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire, was the benevolent backer who leased a gigantic area for tests to OTRAG. But the young visionaries soon found themselves in the middle of a global political conflict.

Involving impressive original images and accounts of participants, Fly Rocket Fly tells OTRAG's crazy story in the midst of the make-believe paradise of Central Africa.

Oliver Schwehm was born in 1975 in the small town Alzey. Today, he still likes to return to his Rhine-Hessian hometown. After all, he gained significant cinematic experience there in his teens. In 2015, this led him to shooting the documentary Cinema perverso – die kaputte Welt des Bahnhofskinos (the beat-up world of the train station cinema), which was, among other places, set in the Bali-Kino (cinema) in Alzey. 


WED 27th of March / Cinema at DFF / 8:30 PM

In the late 70s, the Orbital Transport- und Raketen Aktiengesellschaft (OTRAG), the first private astronautic corporation, was at the centre of attention with its aim at creating a cheap alternative to the American Space Shuttle – the so-called Bündelrakete. The undertaking shortly failed. Dirk Wagner (hr-iNFO) talks to director Oliver Schwehm and the former OTRAG-engineer Frank Wukasch about the origin of OTRAG and engineering adventures in African wastelands.

Discussion with: Dirk Wagner (hr-iNFO), Oliver Schwehm (director), Frank Wukasch (OTRAG)

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Oliver Schwehm
Year D/BE 2018
Duration 91 min
Language original with English subtitles
Production Markus Hilß, Amel Bouzid, Olivier Dubois
Camera Hermann Sowieja
Script Oliver Schwehm
Editing Helmar Jungmann
Sound René Liebig and others
Music Heiko Maile

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