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.
The world's last old-style communist country is a secluded terra incognita - cut off, politically isolated and dramatically impoverished. Pyongyang brings about a Cold War atmosphere. The drill of militias, socialist high rises and soviet-style palaces. Giant murals and slogans praise party, leader and ideology.
1. Under the Red Star – Daily Life in North Korea - 2006
Digibeta 16:9, 43’30 Min. German, 52.00 Min. English
Parade grounds, huge martial memorials and statues of Kim Il Sung resound with the 24 hours playback of heroic military choirs. Particularly by means of small portraits of ordinary citizens the film tries to gain an insight into daily life in North Korea. Not all is depressing.
2. Mission North Korea – Insights into the last "Paradise for the Masses" - 2003
Digibeta 16:9 28’30 and 26 Min.
During BSE crisis, consumers avoided eating even sound, certified beef. Huge amounts of beef had to be destroyed. Instead, the German government donated the beef to North Korea. The meat of 130,000 cattle was distributed to six million needy North Koreans. Together with team leader Christoph Bürk we visited ports and warehouses, filmed in orphanages, school canteens and day nurseries. We travelled to impoverished province centres and to farming co-operatives in the country. The relief mission was a unique opportunity for a rare introspective into everyday life in North Korea.