A documentary about war in the digital age. An intimate insight into the everyday life of Syrian friends and families separated by the war documented in a completely new manner: through the phones of the affected people, that have become prime instruments of upholding relationships, hopes and meaning.
The illegal film
Cameras replace our eyes. We take more photographs in a single day than we did in the entire twentieth century. Our world transforms itself into its own image. What are we to do with all of these images? What are these images doing to us? Can we even make a film about a world that is becoming an image itself?
Documentaries for cinema, TV and the web
Since 1995, Berlin Producers (formerly Fernsehbuero GmbH) has produced over 400 multi award-winning documentaries for TV, cinema and the web.
We believe in the power of the documentary.
And we believe:
1. In real life
Nothing is more powerful than reality. We believe that true life – in all its facets – provides the strongest stories that are worth telling.
2. In exhaustive research
Good storytelling and in-depth research are the foundations for strong documentaries. Above all, it’s attention to detail that gives weight to a story.
3. In strong protagonists
Our films would be nothing without their protagonists. We look for and immerse ourselves in far-flung places, as well as in seemingly everyday situations. Our protagonists inspire through their unique life stories and personal insights on things big and small.
4. In visually powerful narrative styles
We think that every story deserves a distinctive visual language. We look for extraordinary perspectives and sensual images for our stories: from the air, on land and under water; in wide panoramas and macro shots; with moving camera and moments of rest that allow you to catch your breath.
5. In passion
We invest great passion in our films. And we want our audiences to feel this passion. That’s why we go where others cannot and immerse ourselves in situations where others would only skim the surface. Throughout, we have the courage to venture down unusual paths.
6. In our audience
We take our audience seriously, because we know that they are savvy and inquisitive. We want to reach them wherever they are – in the cinema, on the sofa or on the move and online.
7. In international perspectives
The language of the moving image is universal. We believe in international co-productions that help us to increase the quality of every single one of our film productions.
Film is a universal language. We believe in international co-productions that help us to increase the production value of our films.
8. In the future
We are always looking for new ways of creating the documentary storytelling of tomorrow. The thread running through everything that we do is strong stories that stand the test of time.
Our award-winning films
Our films regularly compete in major international documentary film festivals and have received numerous awards. Here is a short selection.
(Elke Sasse, 90 min., WDR/DW 2016)
2016 Prix Europa, Best Documentary on TV in Europe
Hannah Arendt – The obligation to disobey
(Ada Ushpiz / Holger Preuße; WDR/ARTE 2017, 90min)
2017 Grimme Preis, nomination
Many of our films are international co-productions. We produce documentaries and historical films together with partners from all over the world, including Canada, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. In 2017/18, these were: ‘Champions versus legends’ as well as the historical films ‘Andreas Hofer’, ‘Guiseppe Garibaldi’ and ‘1648 – The Long Road to Peace. How the Thirty Years War was ended’
Series, formats and new media
Berlin Producers produces hugely successful and long-running serial formats that have been the recipient of numerous awards.
Compelling documentary series
In the meantime, we have produced more than 200 episodes of the series ‘Zu Tisch’. The format has been a guarantee of high ratings in the Arte schedules for nearly 20 years.
Also for Arte, we produced the series ‘Landträume‘, ‘Schulgeschichten’, ‘Hotroads’, ‘Inseln der Queen‘ and ‘Bei Anruf Entdeckung‘ for a variety of broadcasting slots.
For five years, we produced the science & knowledge format ‘Faktenchecker’ in co-production with the companies Taglicht Media in Cologne as well as ECO Media in Hamburg.
We were present at ‘re:publica 2018’ with our own project ‘Digital Africa’.
The multi award-winning documentary ‘#MyEscape‘ is based on ‘user-generated content’ captured on the smartphones of refugees on their long journeys to Europe. This type of user-generated content also played a central role in the follow-up project ‘The war on my phone’. The film tells the tale of refugees who are unable to truly settle in Germany and who stay in touch with their homelands via smartphone. It is a life between worlds.
YELLOW TABLE MEDIA
In 2018, together with the Cologne-based company Taglicht Media, we founded YELLOW TABLE MEDIA in Leipzig.
Here, the idea is to give young filmmakers and creative minds the chance to develop new ideas and formats for classical TV, but above all for social media and streaming providers.