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Why Karl May?

A Message from the CEO of Karl May USA, Inc.

 

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Shasta & Me

 


Me & My Parents,
Anne & Hanno Niederberghaus,
in Germany
(Sept 2005)

 


My Husband, Mal, on Dakota &
Me on Shiloh

 


Me & Mal

 


Our Horses in the Trailer & Ready to Go Off

 

 


My Nephew, Kai, with Me & Mal

 


Guapo & Me


Having been born and raised in Germany, I became a Karl May fan at a very young age in childhood.

Between the years of 1962-1969, some movies (see our “Film History” section) based on the classic German novels of Karl May were produced, and they became the most successful, theatrically-released, feature films in the history of German movie making.  These films inspired a huge number of young people from all over the world to visit the American Wild West.  More and more children started to read books about the Wild West, and many even took up horseback riding.  With all of this, Karl May created a new generation of the “young German cowboys and Indians.”  I, myself, was one of those children.

I was fortunate to have parents who could afford to buy ponies for their children.  In fact, my father purchased a little horse ranch in Germany, which was only a five-minute bike ride away from our house.  Everyday after school and after completion of homework, we would get on our bikes and take our friends to be with our ponies…playing cowboys and Indians in the German forests – what a way to grow up!  I am still very thankful to my parents for having given their children such vast possibilities.

Then, it was time to grow up.  I decided that, after completion of high school, I wanted to see the world and left my family in order to live on another continent – Africa, namely the east coast of Africa – in Kenya.  I was just 19 years of age when I started living there.  When I was 27 years old, I decided to move back to Europe – as education was calling.  I pursued European Business Studies in Germany and finalized my studies in the U.S.

During the U.S. study program, I met my now-husband, Malcolm A. Lesavoy, MD, FACS – at the time (1994), Professor and Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCLA (Los Angeles, California) and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (Torrance, California).  We discovered that we had many things in common, one being our love of horses – and he happened to own three horses at the time…Here, I finally met my real cowboy.  For the first time, I sat in a real Western saddle.  I learned about how to keep horses the American way, and it was a huge experience to me…More freedom for our four-legged friends, no so-called “cages,” etc….and feeling like a real cowboy.  Eventually, we created our "country retreat," away from the city, in Topanga Canyon (in the hills above and bordering Malibu and the San Fernando Valley).  

One morning, during a visit of my nephew Kai from Germany, we went for a ride into the mountains around our ranch.  Suddenly, Kai said to me, “Sabine, when are you going to fulfill your dream and finally create new Karl May movies?”  Kai was my inspiration to do what I had dreamt off all of my life, being the creator of new Karl May movies in order to continue a legend in Europe and to introduce Karl May to the countries which Karl May had not yet been able to touch.

I immediately started researching who owned the international film rights to all WINNETOU™ and SHATTERHANDŌ stories written by Karl May.  My long-awaited response came from the Karl-May-Verlag in Bamberg, Germany.  Finally, we did exchange information and started talking on the phone; then, I went to Germany to introduce myself, and I was able to gain their trust.  During the first few years of my efforts in creating a new Karl May movie, I became the official U.S. representative to the Verlag in Germany.  Subsequently, I was able to get their approval to register the trademarks in the U.S. under my name.  

My next goal is to create a quality feature film, followed by a TV series, all with the goal of introducing Karl May to the U.S. population.

My Karl May project has been my baby for over 7 years so far.  And as the famous and popular writer/director Roland Emmerich encouragingly said to me in one of my many producer meetings in my work with the Verlag in Germany, “Sabine, my first big project success took me 10 years.  This was Independence Day.  You have just started with the project, and you need to understand that quality projects take quality time, and you will need many years to realize your dream.  The main issue here is never give up!”

Therefore, I am actively working on this project, and of course, your suggestions and input are always welcome to me.

I look forward to receiving your comments, questions, etc. to our KarlMayUSA.com website and remain with my best wishes to you all.

 

Thanks for your interest and visiting our website,

 Sabine Niederberghaus-Lesavoy

May 2006 

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Official website of Karl May USA, Inc.
Please send mail to webmaster@karlmayusa.com with questions or comments about this website.
Last modified: 09/12/07

 

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Official website of Karl May USA, Inc.
Please send mail to webmaster@karlmayusa.com with questions or comments about this website.
Last modified: 02/04/10