Unauthorized Anne Frank film project sparks criticism

The Swiss foundation holding the rights to the diary of Anne Frank has leveled harsh criticism against Germany's main public broadcaster and two German production companies after plans were revealed for an unauthorized miniseries about the life of the Jewish girl who famously spent over two years hiding from the Nazis with her family.

The Anne Frank Fund has accused broadcaster ZDF and production firms Moovie and Constantin Film of flouting "all standards of convention, fairness and decency" and "disrespecting the Frank family, which was largely massacred in the Holocaust" after plans for the miniseries were unveiled January 13. The organization has requested that the project be canceled before shooting starts this summer, and has threatened legal action if ZDF and the production companies to not comply.

"This is not about money for us," Anne Frank Fund board member Yves Kugelmann told The Hollywood Reporter. "This is about Anne Frank's legacy. She has become incredibly commercialized -- Anne Frank has become a brand, separated from the real person and her identity."

The Fund has given its approval to two other projects about Frank's life. ZDF has noted that the project has the support of the Anne Frank Foundation, a rival nonprofit that runs the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

All three films are due to be released in 2015, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Frank's death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

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