As a unique example of Czech-German cooperation are five creative documentary films presented under the common name Breathless, Dominance of the Moment.
Czech-German project was established to support daring creative documentary proposals and to fund and develop outstanding documentary films from the Czech Republic and Germany.
In Spring 2008, Zipp – Czech-German Cultural Projects, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, DOK Leipzig and the Prague-based Institute of Documentary Film invited filmmakers to submit innovative and artistic documentary proposals that deal with the socially relevant subjects of ‘acceleration’ and ‘time’ of today’s life.
Among its objectives, the initiative promotes creative documentary proposals that bear a distinct stamp of the author but that would otherwise have little chance of being made. Another aim is to encourage cultural dialogue between Germany and the Czech Republic and to demonstrate how relevant, versatile and established documentary filmmaking in both countries is.
Out of more than 130 submissions, the international selection committee chose six compelling proposals. Two Czech and three German documentary films have been finally produced; Jirí Konecný, endorfilm s.r.o. is the producer of the Czech entries, while Stefan Kloos, Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH supervises production of the German documentaries.
The films have been developed with the support of international experts, filmmakers and professionals from all of Europe; Miroslav Janek (Czech Republic), Peter Badel (Germany), Niels Pagh Andersen (Denmark), Susanna Helke (Finland), Clare Paterson (UK), Stephan Krumbiegel (Germany) and Catherine Rascon (France).
The films are scheduled to premiere at the renowned festivals DOK Leipzig, October 29, 2009, and the Jihlava IDFF, October 30, 2009.
Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects
The Federal Cultural Foundation has launched Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects as the next in the series of bilateral cooperative projects with countries in Eastern Europe. Zipp was preceded by Büro Kopernikus – German-Polish Cultural Encounters (2004-2006) and bipolar – German-Hungarian Cultural Projects (2005-2007). Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects focuses on selected themes and issues which are equally relevant to both German and Czech society. These include, for example, the legacy of the democracy movement, dealing with historic traumas, the personal experience of economic transformation after 1989 and the future of our cities. All the projects funded through Zipp are based on the principle of cooperation between German and Czech partners from their conception to their realization.
Katrin Klingan (Germany) – Program Director
Born in Lienz, Austria. Study in comparative studies and Hispanic studies at the universities of Vienna and Madrid. Conception and organization of various cultural events in Vienna. From 1998 to 2001 dramaturge for the Vienna Festival. From 2001 to 2002 adviser for cultural affairs for the First Bank Group in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Croatia. From 2003, Artistic Director of relations. From 2007, Program Director of projekt Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects.
Samo Darian (Germany) – Managing Director
Born in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia. Sole trader in fair trade. Following that studies in languages, economics and cultural studies at the Universities of Passau, London and Granada. From 1999 to 2001 assistant in the dance and theatre project and the daily open-air program of cultural events at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. In 2002 freelance work in various projects for the Federal Acency of Civic Education in Bonn (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung). From 2003, Project Manager of relations. From 2007, Since 2007 Managing Director of relations e.V. and Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects.
Institute of Documentary Film (IDF)
IDF is a non-profit training, promotion and networking center based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of the EAST EUROPEAN creative documentary film and its wider promotion. IDF was established in 2001 by directors and producers of documentary film and its program has therefore been formed by creative personalities for creative personalities. The IDF program is intended for filmmakers, independent producers and representatives of East and Central European televisions, as well as for festival selectors, journalists and the general public. IDF co-operates with the most prominent European associations and training programs, commissioning editors and distributors, and enables East European authors to take part in the international cooperation.
Andrea Prenghyová (Czech Republic) – Head of the Project
Born in Prague, July 4, 1972. Graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University, documentary direction at the Film Academy of Performing Arts. She has attended international training workshops and fellowship programmes focused on film and media (University of Konstanz, European Institute for Political and Economic Studies Hamburg, University of Milan). Has worked as a reporter for the Reflex magazine, shooting and producing documentary films for Czech TV (Black Knight; Used to Be Better Will Be Worse; Sri Lanka – Half Way Through on the Way to Heaven) and for the Film & Sociology Foundation (On the Street; In the Working Process). Since 1999 she has been involved in the organization of the industry section of the Jihlava IDFF, and in 2001 she stood at the birth of the Institute of Documentary Film, a non-profit organization supporting documentary films across Central and Eastern Europe. Currently she is developing the project “Kolem domu” (Around the House), in co-production with the Czech TV, supported by the grant awarded by the Fund for the Support of Czech Cinematography.
Zuzana Pauková (Slovakia) – Project Manager
Born in Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia in 1980. Graduated from the Faculty of Education, University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra, and in film studies and multimedia from the Film and Television Faculty at VSMU Bratislava. She studied in Helsinki and Jyväskylä, Finland as part of the student exchange programme. Curated a showcase of Finnish feature and documentary films for the ArtFilm Festival in Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia. She worked at an advertising agency prior to coming to IDF where she is responsible for the Breathless project and is involved with other activities of the Institute.
International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film – DOK Leipzig
DOK Leipzig is the largest German and one of the leading international festivals for artistic documentary and animated films. It was founded in 1955 by the ‘club of film-makers of the German Democratic Republic’ (Club der Filmschaffenden der DDR) under the title “All-German Leipzig Week for Cultural and Documentary Film”, as the first independent film festival of the GDR. During the Cold War, the festival was a unique place of encounter and exchange for film-makers from East and West. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Leipzig Festival has developed into one of the most dynamic festivals for documentary and animated film, providing a high-quality program and – since 2004 – additional industry offers.
Claas Danielsen (Germany) – Head of the Project
Claas Danielsen, born in April 1966 in Hamburg is a filmmaker, producer, teacher and festival director living in Leipzig. After working as a journalist and getting practical training in film production companies he became a student at the documentary film department of the Munich Film Academy (HFF München) in 1986. He made seven documentaries of which some were presented at international festivals winning different awards and being sold to European broadcasters. In 1997 he became an assistant of the professor in the documentary department of the Munich Film Academy. In 2000 he became Head of Studies at Discovery Campus and built up this European vocational training initiative for documentary professionals and up-and-coming talents who want to enter the international non-fiction market. In April 2004 Claas Danielsen was appointed Director of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films, the biggest German and one of the leading international documentary festivals. For several years, he was a board member of the German documentary filmmaker’s association a.g.dok and the European Documentary Network EDN. He is an advisor to the European Film Academy and has served on several international festival juries.
Ilo von Seckendorff-Witzleben (Germany) – Project Manager
Born in 1975 in Bamberg, Germany. Graduated from the Faculties of Cultural Sciences and Communication and Media at the University of Leipzig, Germany. During her studies she worked for different cultural institutions in Argentina and Chile, where she was mainly in charge for feature and documentary film programmes. Assistant of Galeri K/ Oslo as coordinator of international art fairs in Berlin and Madrid. Since 2001 she is working for DOK Leipzig, the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film as guest office coordinator, programme assistant and responsible for panel discussions and masterclasses and is now coordinating the “Breathless”-project.
Jirí Konecný (Czech Republic)
Jirí Konecný graduated in 2004 from the production department of FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Music and Performing Arts) in Prague, had worked as a production manager on many projects during his studies.
He had set up independent production company Endorfilm in 1999 and made the omnibus film Riedgost by three young Czech filmmakers – Bohdan Slama, Pavel Göbl and Tomas Doruska – as his first feature. This film won the Maxim Award for Production at the FAMU Festival and the FICC’s Don Quixote Award at the Finale festival in Plzen in 2002. The documentary The Beauty Exchange by Erika Hnikova picked up the Audience Award at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in 2003. Jiri also worked as a line producer on Bohdan Slama’s prize-winning feature Something Like Happiness.
Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH
Stefan Kloos (Germany)
Born 1968 in Mainz, Germany. Studied English, Communication Studies and Art History in Mainz and Galway, Ireland. Since 1988 Print- and Radiojournalist and –presenter e.g. for The Face, Der Spiegel, Die Woche, Boom, Groove, ME/Sounds, Rolling Stone, SWF3 and Radio RPR. From 1994 to 1999 director and producer for TV production company Me, Myself & Eye (MME) in Hamburg. Among others, he was writer, director and producer for the 12volume documentary series „POP 2000 – 50 Jahre Popmusik und Jugendkultur in Deutschland“ (50 years of pop music and youth culture in Germany) for German national television ARD. In 2000, Stefan Kloos was awarded the prestigious Adolf Grimme Award for POP 2000. In 2002, Kloos formed his own production company Kloos & Co. Medien which focuses on the production of creative documentary films for TV and theatrical release. Since, he has directed and/or developed and produced more than 20 hours of documentary programmes and has been invited to speak on documentary film at international workshops and seminars of Adolf Grimme-Academy, MEDIA Europe and others. In 2005, he was a member of the “How To MIP”-delegation of upcoming producers from Berlin and Brandenburg to Cannes, which was initiated by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Kloos is a member of the European Documentary Network (EDN) and AG DOK.
Caroline Kirberg (Germany)
Born 1978 in Herford, Germany. Film studies and English at Freie Universität zu Berlin, Germany. M.A. graduation thesis on “Slowness in Film and Its Empathic Potential”. From 2000 production assistant, coordinator, and assistant director for Road Movies (former production company of Wim Wenders), i.p.s. international production services Berlin, director Matthias Glasner, erdbeermundfilmproduktion, 99euro-films, Independent Partners Filmverleih und –Verlag (director RP Kahl). Since 2003 producer and director of short films and development of feature films (fiction and documentary). In August 2008 she joined Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH as producer.
Miroslav Janek (Czech Republic)
Born 1954 in Nachod, Czech Republic where he wrote, directed and produced nearly forty short films. He also worked as a film editor for the Czechoslovakian Television before immigrating to the United States in 1979. Settling down in Minneapolis, he began working as a freelance film editor and cameraman. In 1981 he began teaching filmmaking at Film in the Cities in St. Paul, MN. During his six years in Minneapolis he also produced and directed a number of independent films sponsored primarily by the local foundations. In 1986 he moved to New York City where he continued his freelance work until 1994.The next two years he spent in Treviso, Italy, collaborating with American director Godfrey Reggio on developing a multimedia project Fabrica. Since 1993 he has shot and directed many documentaries for Czech Television. Currently he resides in Prague. Since 1998 he has been teaching at the documentary department of FAMU (Film Academy in Prague).
Peter Badel (Germany)
Peter Badel is a documentarian, director of photography of cine-documentaries as well as motion pictures, and a photographer. Born in 1953 in Berlin, he studied cinematography at Film & Television Academy in Potsdam Babelsberg. He was a director of photography in the DEFA Studios for Motion Pictures, and since 1992 he is a freelancer. Additionally, he gives symposia of cinematography and teaches at various academies. Currently he is teaching cinematography at the Film & Television Academy HFF in Potsdam. Pictorial language: I care much less about camera angles, menu items or tricks of lightning than it is generally expected from directors of photography. The starting point of all considerations is how people influence each other during the process of filming; it is about how people encounter and how they engage with each other. Personality, experiences of generations and the kind of education may vary significantly among colleagues; but all experiences I came across during my research show the same stalwart ambition for the most vital requirement in the genesis of motion pictures: trust.
Niels Pagh Andersen (Denmark)
Born in 1958, Niels Pagh Andersen started his career as an assistant to two of Denmark’s most important editors: Christian Hartkopp and Janus Billeskov Jansen. Since 1979 he has worked as a freelance film editor and has cut more than 250 films of widely different categories. Some examples of his award-winning work are: Dying – A Part of Living (dir. Dola Bonfils); Pathfinder (dir. Nils Gaup, Academy Award nomination); Betrayal (dir. Fredrik von Krusenstjerna, Nordic Panorama Prize 1995); The War Within (dir. John Fuegi and Jo Frances, International Documentary Association’s (IDA) Best Documentary 1996); Portal to Peace (dir. Thomas Stenderup, Grand Prix, Krakow IFF 1997); Welcome to Denmark (Odense FF, Best Documentary Film 2003); The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (dir. Pirjo Honkasalo, 2004 Venice IFF, Amnesty Prize, IDFA, CPH:DOX – First Prize, PrixItalia); Everlasting Moments (dir. Jan Troell, Premiere 2008) and others. Has also worked in Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, Fiji, Brazil, USA. Also works as a script editor; has lectured at film schools and universities around the world. Recently he received the Roos Prize awarded by the Danish Film Institute for outstanding efforts in documentary filmmaking.
Stephan Krumbiegel (Germany)
Born in 1964 in Stuttgart. After becoming an engineer for media equipment he started his professional career as co-director and editor on a feature documentary about aid projects in West Africa. For several years, he worked as a freelance production manager and set coordinator on several feature fiction films. In addition, he edited numerous student films in cooperation with film students of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and the Berlin film schools. Since 1996, he has worked as a freelance editor of feature and documentary films. Selected filmography: Where the Sky touches the Earth (1999, dir. Frank Müller); Lost Killers (2000, dir. Dito Tsintsadze); Berlin Symphony (2001, dir. Thomas Schadt); Unternehmen Paradies (2001, dir. Volker Sattel); They’ve Got Knut (2002, dir. Stefan Krohmer); Familienkreise (2003, dir. Stefan Krohmer); Night before Eyes (2008, dir. Brigitte Bertele); Wiegenlieder/Lullabies (2009, dir. Johann Feindt/Tamara Trampe). Since 2001, editing lecturer at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Since 2007, guest professor for film editing at the Babelsberg Film School Konrad Wolf in Potsdam.
Catherine Rascon (France)
Editor since 1983. Trained from film to video in all types of editing, short, long, experimental, musical and animation but mainly creative documentary films. Member of Varan Workshops, training for documentary filmmakers in the line of Direct Cinema. Workshops in Paris, Venezuela (2003), Portugal (2004-2006) and Vietnam (2005). Teacher at La Fémis. Member of École et Cinéma. Since the beginning of her career, Catherine has been involved in the making of dozens of films, recently e.g., Kurdish Lover (dir. Clarisse Hahn, 2009); The Burn (dir. René Ballesteros, 2009); Northern Light (dir. Sergei Loznitsa, 2008); The Outside World (dir. Stéphane Breton, 2007); The Operating Theatre (dir. Benoit Rossel, 2006); Silent Summer (dir. Stéphane Breton, 2005); Masters of Fire (dir. Mark Daniels, Véronique Berthoneau, 2002); Le Krach de 89 (dir. Patrick Cabouat, 2001), The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (dir. André van In, 1999), etc.
Susanna Helke (Finland)
Documentary Filmmaker, Theorist and University Lecturer based in Helsinki and San Francisco. Member of the European Film Academy, Research Associate (visiting filmmaker/scholar) at the University of California Santa Cruz Film and Digital Media Department 2007-2008. She received a three-year (2007-2009) Finnish Cultural Foundation grant awarded for practice-based research exploring the use of documentary methods in fictional film. The project combines filmmaking and theoretical writing. Her films include Chilli kaupunki (work-in-progress), American Vagabond. Documentary films made with the co-director Virpi Suutari include Along the Road Little Child (2005); The Idle Ones (2001); A Soap Dealer’s Sunday (1998); White Sky (1998); Sin (1996); Insolence (1994); Animal’s Hand (1994), and others. Retrospectives: Festival of Festivals Tanska Århus 2004; Tampere Short Film Festival 2003; Hommage à Helke & Suutari 16th Travelling Film Festival, Cinema de Rennes France 2005; Crossing Europe in Linz, Austria 2006; DocLisboa 2007.
Clare Paterson (UK)
Freelance executive producer, author (Grow Up! 101 Essential Things Your Child Need To Know Before Leaving Home). Has worked for all the major television channels; a diverse range of programming – popular entertainment: format shows, pop docs (Half Ton Mum; Cars, Cops and Bailiffs), serious, throught-provoking documentary films about matters of social relevance (drugs, pregnant teens, homophobia, prisons, etc.). She received several awards from the Royal Television Society. When bringing a new project to life, her task involves selling the project, hiring the talent, acting as the guarantor for the broadcaster, managing the project financially and editorially, going into the edit to advise on the cut and deliver the best programme possible. She ran The Other Side, a “new talent” series of documentaries for Channel 4 mentoring new filmmakers. Studied Classics and Modern Languages at Oxford. Worked in Brussels at the EC audiovisual department, joined the BBC as a researcher, became a director (history films), joined Channel 4, rejoined the BBC as an Executive Producer, Head of Documentaries for RDF, freelancer since 2004.