Mannheim, February 3, 2016
On January 17, 2016, a very special film premiered at the Cineplex theater in Mannheim. In his autobiographic documentary “My Father, His Father, and I” by Jan Schmitt, both the city of Mannheim and MWM, the name under which Caterpillar Energy Solutions had operated until recently, play a key role. In view of its standing as one of Mannheim’s tradition-rich companies, Caterpillar Energy Solutions was thrilled and decided to support the production. Accordingly, the company became the main sponsor on the corporate side and provided its company premises and even its staff for the shooting.
A Life for the Engine
In an insightful, sensitive manner, Jan Schmitt ? whose father Wolfgang Schmitt completed his apprenticeship at MWM ? sheds light on the role of the father and the male image as time passes. Wolfgang Schmitt had discovered his passion for engines as a 14-year-old apprentice. He was trained in the field of engine production and design, and was especially fascinated by the ship engines that MWM still used to manufacture back then. His enthusiasm was so great that he did not only want to manufacture the engines, but also operate them. As a young adult, he thus decided to leave the company and go to sea. Of course, the ship had to be one with a genuine Mannheim-made engine. Though Wolfgang Schmitt did not spend all of his life in Mannheim, his first job at MWM plays a major role in his biography and thus also in the memories and the film by his son Jan Schmitt.
The trailer for the film “My Father, His Father, and I” by Jan Schmitt gives a sneak peek. [DE]
Mein Vater, sein Vater und ich (Trailer)
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Caterpillar Energy Solutions Employees in the Spotlight
Obviously, Wolfgang Schmitt was born with a passion for engines. Like his father and his son, he grew up in the immediate vicinity of the MWM plant on Schimperstrasse, Mannheim. The proximity to his father’s workplace also had a profound effect on young Jan Schmitt. He remembers the afternoons in his youth, when he and his friends waited at the turnstile at the company gate, looking forward to meeting his dad after work. To convey these remembrances as authentically as possible to the viewers, such as scene was reenacted with the help of Caterpillar Energy Solutions. For this purpose, some current employees of the company were filmed as they passed the turnstile at the exit of the company premises together with their colleagues, mounted their bikes, or were welcomed by their kids.
Apart from supporting the film project financially, Caterpillar Energy Solutions wanted to be actively involved in the production process. The film had already received a lot of praise at the German Film Festival in Ludwigshafen, and since it started showing in theaters, it has garnered a flood of positive reviews. For example, “Berliner Zeitung” refers to the movie as a “smart essay”, and film critic Herbert Spaich calls it a “cinematic innovation”.
For further information on the film, go to:
- Link: www.schmitt-film.de [DE]