Through watching documentaries, audiences are able to travel to locations that they may not otherwise have the chance to visit in their lives. How many people have actually been inside of a juvenile prison, shared everyday life with the homeless for a week, or had the opportunity to live
with hippies on a Spanish island?
As a documentary filmmaker I commit myself to capturing the reality. For example, when shooting my documentary about poverty among the elderly, “Working Til The End”, it was only me, my camera, and an 84 year-old newspaper deliverer at 4 o’clock in the morning. He opened up to me while showing me his tiring work in the middle of the night, sharing with me his fears about the future in his small, simple flat. This is what it’s all about—what documentaries have to contribute to the future. They create a way to bring up true-to-life topics that are socially and politically relevant through the telling of real and personal stories that are accessible to the audience. In the best-case scenario, documentaries would help us to understand the world just a little bit more, and understanding, as I see it, is a powerful agent for change.
BARZAN - my new Syrian brother (2017)
NDR | documentary | 30 minutes || script, director, camera, editor
""We always talk about the poor conditions of the refugees, we have such a big house, why don’t we take in a refugee ourselves?", Lennart confronts his parents. The 18-year-old German teenager Lennart consistently describes his point of view of life with Barzan, a 15-year-old Syrian kid, who was taken in by his family in Bremerhaven. In Germany more than 50.000 unattended minor refugees are taken care of by German families or the German youth welfare service.
Street Blues + StreetBLUES.org (2015)
NDR + MigutMedia | documentary + web page | 30 minutes || director, camera, editor + founder
It’s in the fall of 2012 that documentary filmmaker Nik and a homeless man named Alex meet for the first time. Shortly before five in the morning, they set out from the railway mission in the Berlin Zoo station on a brief nighttime trip. Two and a half years later, they meet again. And everything changed… Out of the documentary the web page www.StreetBLUES.org developed that has the goal to build bridges between people with homes and the homeless.
Working Til The End (2012)
NDR | documentary | 45 minutes || script, director, camera, editor
“Although I have worked my whole life,” Ferdinand Mennecke says, “the retirement pay does not suffice, as one half is already spent on expenses”. Therefore, despite his retirement, the 84 year-old delivers papers in the middle of the night as a way to earn extra money. He is only one of more than 760,000 people in Germany who are over the age of 65 and are working in a side job.
7 days... in prison + Knastkarrieren.de (2014/2015)
NDR | documentary-reportage + web documentary | 45 minutes + 20 minutes || research, director, camera, editor, text, photos
Locked away in a 9-square-meter cell. Living there for months or for years. “Some are acting cool, but that’s not what they’re like.” Laschet knows what he’s talking about. At 22 years old he still has seven months of custody to go. “You must not show weakness. Otherwise you immediately become a loser, a prey.” One week in the prison (JVA) for juvenile delinquents at Heinsberg, the biggest facility of its kind in Germany. Web documentary: www.knastkarrieren.de
The Story of One Evening (2015)
NDR | documentary-talk | 45 minutes || author, camera | shooted as a team
A dinner together at a table in the middle of Hamburg’s party and red light district. Five people, who have nothing in common at first sight: Dolly Buster (ex-porn star), Eddy Kante (former bodyguard of singer Udo Lindenberg), Frank Spilker (singer of “Die Sterne”), Laura Karasek (writer and daughter of Hellmuth Karasek), and host, Dirk Sterman. “The Story of One Evening”: a night with surprising and profound insights.