MYANMAR'S GREAT RIVER - SWR + NDR + ARTE - 2013
Daily Life along the Ayeyarwady
2x43 and 2 x 52 minutes
After decades of military rule Myanmar, formerly Burma, has opened up and started a democratic reform process. On the occasion of the positive changes in Myanmar we have been commissioned to produce a 2-part documentary on the Ayeyarwady River.
As it’s main traffic artery the river crosses the entire country from North to South, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Andaman Sea.
The films focus on landscape & culture and tell about the daily life of the people. We meet captains and rafters, farmers and craftsmen, gold panners and monks. Young Burmese especially we see finding their way between tradition and modernity, between concern and hope for a new era. A journey granting fascinating insights into a country in transition.
MARCO POLO-RELOADED - SWR + ARTE - 2011
Series of 5 films of 43’00, HD, stereo.
Marco Polo Reloaded re-travels the Silk Road on the tracks of its most well-known voyager: the mediaeval traveler and writer Marco Polo. Five road movie style-documentaries imagine the past and show today’s reality, in countries like Turkey, Israel, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics and China. The five films accompany a travel writer, Bradley Mayhew, 39, born in England, a senior writer for Lonely Planet Publications.
The films show what is happening if one re-travels Marco Polo’s journey again, 700 years after him, his book in mind , overland, by means of local transport, covering the ancient trade-route on its entire length from Venice to Beijing.Today as in Polo’s times some areas are off-limits, dangerous, ridden by crisis or war and the traveler is forced detours. Travelling the Silk Road today is as exciting and adventurous as it was in Marco Polo’s time.
View the trailer
GRAND CANAL OF CHINA - SWR + ARTE - 2011
43 Min., HD, stereo
The Grand Canal of China is the longest man-made waterway of the world, 1,800 km long, 2500 years old, and busy until today. It connects Beijing with the fertile Yellow River and the Yangtze River basins. It passes 30 cities with more than three million inhabitants and ends in the beautiful town of Hangzhou, the ‚Venice of the East’.
A documentary of 45 minutes contrasts history and presence. We tell about the early tamers of the water of the Sui Dynasty and see skyscrapers grow along the Canal. We ride on tug boats, pass temples and pagodes, meet cormorant fishers. In the evening we visit a popular opera which is performed on the deck of a boat. We meet a preservation expert from Italy who is commissioned by the Chinese administration. China wants to make an apply at the UNESCO to get the Grand Canal appointed world cultural heritage.
PROFESSION : FOODHUNTER - SWR + ARTE - 2005-2009
43 Min. German, 58 Min.French/German, 52 Min. English
Series of 7 films: 26 Minutes, 28 Minutes, 43 Minutes
Mark Brownstein has an unusual profession. He travels through remote areas of Asia to search for old, forgotten or unknown dishes, foods or flavours in order to sell these to creative chefs around the world. He is a foodhunter.
American based in Hong Kong, Mark made his passion his profession: cooking, eating and studying food, experimenting with tastes and flavours – and travelling.
We followed him the first time in 2005/2006 for the film project ‘Profession: Foodhunter’. In 2007 we were again on the road with Mark, this time for a 5-part series of documentaries –‘The Foodhunter. Out for Asia's Culinary Treasures.. We had the pleasure of following Mark to India, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
The films take us from remote villages, food stalls and jungle markets straight into the hippest restaurants in the mega cities of modern Asia.
In 2009 we produced two new 43 min. episodes with Mark, ‘The Foodhunter in China’.
THE PERFUME HUNTER - SWR + ARTE - 2008
43 Minutes, Digital Betacam 16:9, Stereo
Laurent Severac, 44, a Frenchman living in Hanoi, has a rare and adventurous profession. In the mountainous jungles of South East Asia he searches new or unknown organic scents for the international perfume industry.
Exciting, when the perfume hunter distils pagoda Melissa for the first time, which he discovered in the herb garden of a steambath at a Laotian pagoda. Adventurous, when he climbs the mountainous Laotian forests with an expedition to search for the world’s most expensive scent: eagle wood, three times as expensive as gold.
The film immerses you in Vietnam’s world of scents, promising an adventurous journey and savoir vivre in what was once the old Indochina.
COLD, RISKY AND GOOD FOR KARMA - SWR + ARTE - 2006
with Hindu Pilgrims through the Montains of Kashmir
Dig. Betacam, 43 Min.
Every summer it attracts up to 500.000 Hindus. Their path leads over a 5000 meter high mountain, through the Kashmir range, into Amarnath valley. Their destination is a cave, in which they worship a stalagmite of ice, a lingam, Lord Shiva’s symbol. Once in a life a Hindu should have visited the cave.
The documentary accompanies four pilgrims, Premal, Abishek and Vijay are 19, 23 and 31 years old. Together with their uncle Mukesh, a stockbroker of 40 years, they start their journey from Bombay to Kashmir.
Business people and farmers, students and Sadhus, from all parts of India, young folks and old people alike – to the thousand they are trekking the magnificent mountains.
The "Amarnath Yatra" is definitely the most spectacular, striking and dangerous of all Indian pilgrimages.
MARITIM INDIA – Searching for the trails - SWR + ARTE - 2003
3 films of 43 min.or 52 min., Digital Beta, 16:9
For more than 4000 years Indian vessels have been sailing the seas, known as the Indian Ocean. Seamen from Arabia, China and Europe have landed in India's harbours.
Where spices and precious stones, silk and cotton cloth were traded, merchants and rajas were benefiting mutually. The profits from these enterprises were invested in the hinterland and contributed to wealth, architecture and the advanced civilisation of various empires.
Even in India this ancient maritime history is not at all well known and hardly researched. However, in the last few years the country has opened up again and India is rediscovering her coasts and the importance of ports and sea trade.
The films follow India’s coastline: 5.600 kilometres, passing different landscapes and featuring varying cultures and religions. Moving by sailing dhow, by bus or by train, the three films meet people of the Indian coasts, people that live with and of the sea and the sea trade. These people are the focal points of the series.