Munich, January 19, 2021 

Production begins today on Missile from the East (1 x 90”, 1 x 52” and 2 x 45”), a co-production between Salon Pictures (McQueen, Audrey) and Night Train Media (NTM). Abacus Media Rights will distribute the completed documentary internationally. 

Directed by Justin Stokes and produced by Mike Wells, managing director of HLA productions and Nick Taussig, founder and managing director of Salon Pictures, the documentary has been commissioned for Sky Documentaries by Jack Oliver, Head of Co-Productions and Jamie Morris, Director of Programme Strategy. NTM’s Herbert L. Kloiber and Olivia Pahl serve as executive producers. 

Set around the 1961 Swedish Grand Prix, Ernst Degner, a prodigiously talented East German motorcycle racer flees across the Iron Curtain – risking his life in the hope of freedom – as he defects to the West in a heart-stopping stunt together with his family and some Stasi-protected engine technology. Returning to the racetrack the following season with Suzuki, the rider wins the world championship and catapults the Japanese industrial giant into global domination of the motorcycle industry. 

Missile from the East marks a new chapter in an expansion into factual programming for the NTM banner that Kloiber, the former Managing Director of Tele München Group, launched in February 2020. 

“Worldwide demand for distinctive local and international documentaries has never been greater and this incredible high-stakes true story, a RUSH meets BRIDGE OF SPIES, instantly struck us as something dramatic, heartfelt, new and aspirational that audiences worldwide can enjoy. We are hugely excited to be partnering with critically acclaimed producers Salon Pictures for our first project in the factual realm.” says Kloiber, CEO of NTM.

Nick Taussig commented: “When Mike brought us this story, we were immediately driven to try and help him make it, not least because of the quality of material he’d already captured with Justin, and his long and exceptional background in commercials, running HLA in London. The story has great stakes and scale, and, set in a seminal moment in Cold War history, lends itself perfectly to a feature-length documentary.” 

Mike Wells added: “I am delighted that Salon, Night Train and Sky have seen the potential in this project and that we have it underway. Nick and Salon are the perfect partners for us, providing exactly the right mix of support and experience. Herbert and Night Train’s commitment will ensure that the world learns about Ernst Degner’s extraordinary story 60 years after the Berlin Wall went up.” 

About Salon

Salon is a leading producer of feature film and documentary. Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated, with a focus on exceptional material, Salon is committed to a close creative relationship with talent, to develop and produce a portfolio of intelligent, moving and unique films and documentaries. Salon’s latest film, Stardust, starring Johnny Flynn and Marc Maron, which chronicles the young David Bowie’s first visit to America, world premiered at Tribeca 2020, followed by a global rollout. Its 2020 documentary, Audrey, about the life and work of Audrey Hepburn, was released through Universal Pictures; and A Space in Time, a candid, lyrical, intimate portrait of one family’s struggle to transcend disease, is set to be distributed by Bohemia Media in March 2021. Salon recently completed The Night Caller, a four-part true crime series for Sky, Sundance Now and Stan, depicting and exploring a killer’s harrowing legacy. Salon 

About Night Train Media 

Night Train Media (NTM) was founded in February 2020 by Herbert L. Kloiber, former managing director of Tele München Group. Based in Munich, NTM is active on a global scale. Utilising a vast network of international producers to develop and source projects, NTM’s core segments include development, licensing, co-production and co-financing of premium English and local language scripted content. NTM is a content partner of NENT, the Nordic region’s leading entertainment provider. In September 2020, NTM announced a significant, long-term investment from Serafin Group to provide complete funding of NTM’s current and future projects, as well as future company growth. NTM also appointed Olivia Pahl as Head of Development and Co-Production, overseeing the company’s expanding slate of global film, premium network television and streaming projects. 

About Abacus Media Rights 

Abacus Media Rights (AMR) acquires and distributes a diverse slate of premium, multi-genre programming in the international market. At the same time, the company also works with producers to facilitate pre-sales and development finance as well as broadcaster commissions. 

Embracing a fully transparent reporting ethos throughout, AMR focuses on building strong client relationships and generating positive solutions at every stage of the process, from initial financing to worldwide broadcast in order to successfully deliver scripted and non-scripted entertainment that counts to a global audience. 

Abacus Media Rights is a member of the Amcomri Entertainment Inc

Further details: Twitter: @abacus_rights 

About Sky 

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content. 

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love – TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service. 

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.