GAME OF TRUTH

a Fabienne Lips-Dumas & Domino Production (BE), project (90’/52’) – December 2018

SYNOPSIS & SUBJECT

 

Jan Hendeberg’s son William is suffering from an illness steeped in controversy: electrosensitivity. For more than 5 years, he has been living in confined isolation and under a radiation-shielding blanket. His health has badly deteriorated and he has lost the will to live. Jan fights tirelessly to find a cure for his son.

 

Director Marie Lidén, grew up with a mother suffering from a then unknown illness - electrosensitivity. Today, in a technologically advanced world, medical professionals still fail to diagnose it and treat it. Many people who claim this condition are forced to live isolated, removed from modern technology. Using her own story as a thread, her family having had to adapt their lives in order to ease her mother‘s suffering, the director explores William’s isolated world and his father’s commitment to help him.

 

In 2006, William was a typical, energetic, highly socialized, happy 31 year old. When a hearing loop system was installed at his workplace, he and three co-workers became severely affected by electrosensitivity. Eight years later, he is forced to isolate in a cottage set in a pine forest, an hour’s drive from his family home. 

There has always been mixed scientific opinion about the effects of electromagnetic fields upon humans and the natural world. As 3G, 4G and WiFi signals grow year on year, and as evidence of their potential ill-effects builds, this discussion becomes ever more necessary. Few, if any projects, have taken an independent view upon this issue, nor provided an experience which is effective, understandable and personally engaging.

 

Electrosensitivity has become one of the serious health concerns of the 21st century, whith an enourmous potential impact onto law suits of its causes and on social security if recognized as a handicap.

 

TREATMENT

 

Unique to this subject matter and defying filmmaking are the physical limitations to filming electrosensitivity sufferers. The intimate style of the project is the result of cinematographer Michael Sherrington’s textured imagery along with composer John Lemke’s unconventional electronic soundscapes which together draw us deeply into the story. Classic cinematic conventions will be applied with hand-cranked 16mm footage and sound recording with non-transmitting microphones which allow to create a distinctive ‘look’ while not causing William harm. 

 

Specialists Interviews are minimal, with most of the story revealed through live scenes, observing our main characters’ circumstances and challenges. While the inherent drama surrounding our subjects’ situation can be scientific, the focus remains on the emotional and personal. The intention will be not only to plumb the depths of this illness but also the mystery of human nature in relation to pain and isolation. To paint a nuanced portrait of a complex and compelling situation while exploring more wide-ranging questions about our society and this invisible illness. 

 

The 52 min. version will, however, priviledge information over cinematic time, on a factual society and current  angle. However, the quality filmaking will enhance the more classic narrative of this TV hour.

 

OFF GRID involves a CROSSMEDIA project, an interactive experience online, about electromagnetic fields in our daily lifes, featuring a personnalized electrosensitivity and radiation test, as well as  Generative Artwork. The Test offers the user a unique opportunity to not only measure... but to see, hear, and interact with their very own electro-magnetic fields; generated by their location, wifi networks and devices. The project will be browser based, accessible upon: computers, tablets, or smart phones. The Crossmedia involves also a series of short Webdocs.

 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 

Director / Fabienne Lips-Thomas is an experienced director of Theatrical and TV Documentaries, based in USA, who cooperated with numerous television channels as ARTE, France Televison, Radio Canada,  Canal +, as recently with the acclaimed « Winds of chemical war»), which she has directed with the support of Domino Production.

 

Production house / Domino Production is a production company created by Sergio Ghizzardi  focusing on documentaries. Our objective is to produce documentary films, reports and television programs that wake up of the viewers to the social realities – political, economic and/or cultural – of our contemporary times.  For us, it is essential to reach a broad audience in a positive manner by putting into perspective the work of those in charge of building our society.  Domino Production has during all these years coproduced or collaborated with various television in the world such as RTBF, VRT, ARTE, TV5, RTE, ERT, Star TV, YLE, SVT, ORF, RTP, Phoenix TV, LCP, EST TV, PBS Taiwan. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTRIC MALADY

a Maria Liden & Aconite Production (SC), Agent Double (BE) project (90’/52’) – December 2018

SYNOPSIS & SUBJECT

 

Jan Hendeberg’s son William is suffering from an illness steeped in controversy: electrosensitivity. For more than 5 years, he has been living in confined isolation and under a radiation-shielding blanket. His health has badly deteriorated and he has lost the will to live. Jan fights tirelessly to find a cure for his son.

 

Director Marie Lidén, grew up with a mother suffering from a then unknown illness - electrosensitivity. Today, in a technologically advanced world, medical professionals still fail to diagnose it and treat it. Many people who claim this condition are forced to live isolated, removed from modern technology. Using her own story as a thread, her family having had to adapt their lives in order to ease her mother‘s suffering, the director explores William’s isolated world and his father’s commitment to help him.

 

In 2006, William was a typical, energetic, highly socialized, happy 31 year old. When a hearing loop system was installed at his workplace, he and three co-workers became severely affected by electrosensitivity. Eight years later, he is forced to isolate in a cottage set in a pine forest, an hour’s drive from his family home. 

There has always been mixed scientific opinion about the effects of electromagnetic fields upon humans and the natural world. As 3G, 4G and WiFi signals grow year on year, and as evidence of their potential ill-effects builds, this discussion becomes ever more necessary. Few, if any projects, have taken an independent view upon this issue, nor provided an experience which is effective, understandable and personally engaging.

 

Electrosensitivity has become one of the serious health concerns of the 21st century, whith an enourmous potential impact onto law suits of its causes and on social security if recognized as a handicap.

 

TREATMENT

 

Unique to this subject matter and defying filmmaking are the physical limitations to filming electrosensitivity sufferers. The intimate style of the project is the result of cinematographer Michael Sherrington’s textured imagery along with composer John Lemke’s unconventional electronic soundscapes which together draw us deeply into the story. Classic cinematic conventions will be applied with hand-cranked 16mm footage and sound recording with non-transmitting microphones which allow to create a distinctive ‘look’ while not causing William harm. 

 

Specialists Interviews are minimal, with most of the story revealed through live scenes, observing our main characters’ circumstances and challenges. While the inherent drama surrounding our subjects’ situation can be scientific, the focus remains on the emotional and personal. The intention will be not only to plumb the depths of this illness but also the mystery of human nature in relation to pain and isolation. To paint a nuanced portrait of a complex and compelling situation while exploring more wide-ranging questions about our society and this invisible illness. 

 

The 52 min. version will, however, priviledge information over cinematic time, on a factual society and current  angle. However, the quality filmaking will enhance the more classic narrative of this TV hour.

 

OFF GRID involves a CROSSMEDIA project, an interactive experience online, about electromagnetic fields in our daily lifes, featuring a personnalized electrosensitivity and radiation test, as well as  Generative Artwork. The Test offers the user a unique opportunity to not only measure... but to see, hear, and interact with their very own electro-magnetic fields; generated by their location, wifi networks and devices. The project will be browser based, accessible upon: computers, tablets, or smart phones. The Crossmedia involves also a series of short Webdocs.

 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 

Director / Maria Liden is a Swedish born animator and filmmaker based in Glasgow. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2011 with a degree in animation, Marie is now focused on documentaries, animations and sound design. In the past 3 years, she has built a strong portfolio, working on over 10 independent and broadcast commissions – ranging from a BAFTA nominated animation, a Channel 4 First Cut documentary, to editing ‘Barefoot in Business’, a documentary commissioned by Al-Jazeera English.

 

Production house / Aconite Productions, Producer Aimara Reques is an award-winning Producer with over 20 years experience in the film industry in the UK. She is a winner of two BAFTA Scotland Awards, a Fox Searchlight Award; an Amnesty International Media Award and has produced work for Channel 4; BBC; Scottish Television and Border Television. She is also developing three other international co- productions to include “AQUARELA” by renowned Russian director Victor Kossakovsky.  

 

 

WATCH TEASER https://vimeo.com/122326390    password: Electric2015

 

THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE

a Hannes Schuler & Heide Film (DE), Synergia (CZ), Agent Double (BE) project (90’/2X48-52’) – October 2018

SYNOPSIS & SUBJECT

 

Europe is in the midst of crises: the Euro-crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit… Only twice in history have such challenges been overcome by diplomatic activity: At the Vienna Congress in 1815 and with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which forged the legislation for an international peace settlement in Europe. A revision of this peace settlement can deliver a valuable lesson for today’s crisis management.

Münster and Osnabrück were the first Pan European peace negotiations; Swedes, Frenchmen, Habsburgs, Prussians, Poles and Bohemians were seated at the same table trying to align their national interests, and resurrect a Europe devastated by the Thirty Years’ War.

The dramatic documentary is told from the POV of a fictitious horseback messenger, and depicts the negotiations of the powerful main players on and behind the scenes at Münster and Osnabrück. These deliberations form the dramatic framework for the film. We follow the messenger through the eventful days in Westphalia and are immersed into his backstory, which depicts important events of the Thirty Years’ War and a world of violent and ruthless power games to secure the dominion over Europe.

TREATMENT

 

The challenge of this dramatic documentary is creating a modern narrative of suspense when depicting this historic event. The scripted scenes are commented upon and contextualised by historical experts. To appeal to a younger audience, we will work with young experts who add their own questions to the narrative: these are no woolly academics.

For the re-enactments we will enter into the world of CGI, allowing for endless visual possibilities. The production style will be unique as we place real actors into a CGI world, the synthesis of both elements creating the edgy visual effect also employed in graphic novels. The strong emotions of real life characters being placed into a digital world of endless dramatic possibility gives us new access to the historical documentary format.

 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 

DIRECTOR- Hannes Schuler is director and scriptwriter for documentaries. He has many years experience and directed elaborate re-enactments, such as for the ZDF series Metropolis – Die Macht der Städte, or the German/French/Australian co-production Darwin’s Lost Paradise and the documentary drama Keeping it in the Family Royal (ZDF/arte). His documentary, Living in the Ghetto won the Bavarian Film Award. He has extensive experience with computer animation and compositing, this skilll was put to use in the two-part documentary drama Conquest of the Globe. For ARD he recently completed the film Herbs, Crucifixes and Quacksalvers (“Kräuter, Kruzifixe und Quacksalber”), the documentary accompaniment to the premier of the feature Medicus.

 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Holger Preusse has overseen many current affairs features, documentations and documentaries as producer. Including Für mich gab’s nur noch Fassbinder – Die glücklichen Opfer des Rainer Werner F. (ZDF/ARTE, 88min, 2000) by Rosa von Praunheim and Kinshasa Symphony (WDR/RBB, 94min, 2010) by Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer. For the latter he was nominated for the German Film Award LOLA. He always returns to historical and contemporary themes, such as Keeping it in the Family Royal – the House of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (ZDF/ARTE, 75min, 2013), or as creative producer for the German/Israel/Canada co-production Hannah Arendt ((WDR/ARTE, 90min, 2015).

 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Reiner Bauer has been working as cameraman in Hamburg since 1994. He has collaborated on many international documentaries for ARD, ZDF, ARTE and SPIEGEL TV. His camera work captivates with its strong and intense image play. Perfect framing, speed and aplomb, as well as extensive experience with the possibilities offered by the modern HD camera distinguish his work. He is one of the most sought after cameramen on the German documentary market. He also has longstanding experience with re-enactments scripted scenes and documentary dramas.

 

WATCH TEASER : https://vimeo.com/218263670

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENTS

a Wolfgang Reinke documentary project, ZUSAMMEN Filmproduktion (90’/52’) – October 2016

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 SYNOPSIS

Greece is back in the news with its pivotal position towards the migrants flow, while its debt comes on the news table again. For 6 years, the Greek Health Care Service has been in a state of collapse due to the government`s structural adjustment policy requested by the European Union`s austerity package. 40 % of the Greek population have no health insurance and no access to public health services. In about 40 self-organised “Solidarity Clinics“ throughout Greece, volunteers fight for lifes, for even less lucky syrian citizens alike. Solidarity is essential.

Five days a week about 90 Health Service workers, doctors, neighbours, unemployed people, pensioners and former patients, run a Solidarity Clinic in Korydallos, a neighbourhood in Piraeus, Greece. They offer free medical treatment to anyone without health insurance, regardless of their social status or origin. Their action wouldn’t be possible without the support of donors from several european countries.

The Korydallos Clinic was presumed to be a temporary measure and would close as soon as a Public Health Service for all was restored.  Their great hope of Syriza’s government putting an end to the social catastrophe has been increasingly frustrated. The volunteers now realise that there is no alternative but to carry on with their engagement. Although enduring the worsening of their own living conditions, their solidarity is even growing with an unbowed joie de vivre. Right now, every day they provide basic support for thousands of refugees arriving at the Piraeus port.

The film portrays three people who are part of the Clinic's collective. The film tells the poetic, honest and important story of an absolute strength of solidarity in a European dimension.

 TREATMENT

In the style of direct cinema, the camera observes the everyday events in the clinic. We meet doctors and patients, who share their reasons for being there. However three people from the Clinic's organizing staff are the focus of the story and lead us through the film. They allow us into their private lives, which can't be strictly separated from their solidarity activities.

The story is structured into four main chapters: winter, summer, autumn 2015 and spring 2016 : the most important political events between January 2015 and March 2016 mark the pivotal points of the film’s plot: the first snap elections in January 2015, the referendum in July and the new bailout programme passed by the Greek parliament 10 days later, the second snap elections in September 2015, the increasing number of refugees arriving at Piraeus port in November on their way north, and a more and more critical situation down at the port in early 2016, when thousands of refugees have found shelter in the port facilities as the European borders were closed.

The camera films dynamically action scenes with changing angles, allowing a vivid shots and countershots editing. Otherwise the camera movements are minimal. The camera remains where their life happens most of the time: in the neighbourhood of Korydallos, where the clinic is located, or in Nikaia, where Fotis, Elena and Vasiliki live.

There are no talking heads to the exception of rare short interviews which happen randomly, in the course of action, interviews are mostly recorded only as sound files. Music is only used if recorded during the filming process and situations.

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director / Wolfgang Reinke, born in 1974, is an independent and self-taught documentary director living in Berlin. After working as a freelance author of satires and reportage photographer he had decided to start film-making. He's been realizing documentaries of all length, both for TV (NDR, ZDF - Das Kleine Fernsehspiel) and cinema, since 2000; amongst them four feature length films and a number of shorts. In 2008 he was awarded for the best montage of a documentary at the Cologne Montage Festival FIlm+.

Production house / ZUSAMMEN Filmproduktion, means TOGETHER. ZUSAMMEN Film Production was founded in 2012 in answer to the difficult situation for documentary film makers in Germany. ZUSAMMEN gives us the tools for independence and a stage for cooperation inside of a growing network of professionals, most of them friends. Since 2012 we've finished 2 short documentaries - "Victory Day" and "The Song of the Germans". "Structural Adjustments" is our first feature length documentary, another feature length documentary, "House of Peace" and the feature comedy "Aurora Borealis" are being developed. 

WATCH EDITED SEQUENCES https://vimeo.com/167079147 ;  vimeo.com/167079148 ;  vimeo.com/167079149

Password : solidarity 

THE NORTH SEA CEMETERY

a Jacques Loeuille & REAL PRODUCTION (FR), Image Creation (BE)  film (52’) – February 2018

SYNOPSIS

About three billions tons of chemical and conventionnal warfare lay in the bottom of the North and Baltic sea. These silent witnesses of both World Wars have become a true treat for the environment. Confined in unstable metal barrels the poison has started spreading in the sea. Only sixteen percents of these deadly substances’s leak would be enough to erradicate any living sea form for centuries.  How and why were these weapons dumped in the sea and is this massive propagation of highly toxic products evitable ?

The Director takes us to Bornholm (Germany), to the Skarregak Straight (between Finland and Denmark), to the French North sea and Channel coasts, to the South of England, to Knokke Heist (Belgium), The Netherlands and Denmark. He dives to witness, bring testimony and defend the cause of our seas’s survival.

 

TREATMENT

The director is physically engaging in the shooting process, while diving with the minesweeping teams, with shipwreck hunters. He will lead the interviews with ecologists and scientists.

Aerial images will establish the scenes of pollutions, dynamic and moving rapidly up to coastlines, using drone shots and Blackmagic technique.

Visualizing pollution, rather invisible by nature, will require CGI giving a visual dimension to the spreading of the poison, as ink reaching out to deep sea. These sequences will prolonge filmed archives of shipwrecks, and those, rather ever unseen, of the actual dumping of warfare.

Submarine imaging is at the center of the film, featuring divers’s interventions and R.O.V. filming (Remote Operating Vehicule), up to 600 meters down. The preparation and supervision of those shots will be part of the dramaturgy.

The style keeps away from the usual environmental issue films catastrophism, providing rather a discreete sensibility in the narrative treatment. The voice over is factual but also subjective, telling the director’s interest in these shipwrecks. It won’t be limited to elucidating the story, but will recalls mariners’ mythologies, and the narration of Jacques Cousteau’s last films.

The interviews will be shot outdoors, on location or placed at the center of the landscapes of painters Caspar David Friedrich, William Turner, of the photographs of the Helsinki school. They will be also executed partly in studio on a blue key, associated in postproduction with suggestive underwater marine backdrop.

The diving sequences are accompained with an original score, inspired by a selection of te Deum, Stabat Mater and Requiems, a musical creation evocating Fauré, Brahms, Schubert, Berlioz, Dvorak, Haydn, Scarlatti and Haendel, bringing the film up to a degree of solemnity but never graveness.

 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

 

Director / Jacques Loeuille graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Lyon), the Mel Hoppenheim school of cinema (Concordia University of Montreal), and Fresnoy, National Studio of Contemporary Arts. He is the author of several documentaries (Marguerite Yourcenar Alchimie du Paysage, An Optimist in Andalusia, Roadside Attractions), and worked with Cousteau team. He is a skilled diver himself and a professionnal DOP.

 

Production house / Real Productions, France, was created 25 years ago by Bruno Florentin, producing films for which the author's point of view is key while developed with a setting appropriate image, and television access in mind. Real Productions’s filmography deals with decrypting the challenges of the contemporary world (environment, ecology, human rights, ...), questioning the history and bringing a singular look. Real Productions cooperates with all French broadcasters (Arte, France Télévisions, ...), RTBF, VRT, TSR, YLE, SR .. 

 

Production house / Image Creation.com, Belgium, was founded in 1987 as a subsidiary of Brussels Studio l'Equipe, and acquired in 2000 by its director Martine Barbe, with an editorial line of creative documentaries with television and audience relevance, and expertise in new technologies (interactive museum, multimedia book, etc.). 

 

WATCH TEASER https://vimeo.com/166930085    password: cemetery

GREEN GOLD

a Sergio Ghizzardi documentary project DOMINO PRODUCTIONS (BE) (75’/52’), RTBF – September 2017

 

SYNOPSIS 

At a time when the oil price is at its lowest and when we are desperately trying to reduce C02 emissions, "Green gold" tells the story of biofuels: a political project about industry, energy and the environment.

In the early 2000s, biofuels made from agricultural produce appeared to be the ideal solution,  driven by industrial and agricultural lobbies. Politicians turned biofuels into one of their main weapons to decarbonise transport. However, biofuels quickly showed their limitations in terms of environmental efficiency (causing deforestation...) and economic efficiency (soaring agricultural prices, highly dependent on fluctuations in raw materials …). NGOs on one side and the oil sector on the other cross  swords over this emerging industry.

Today, a second generation of biofuels has emerged, based on waste from forests, straw and oil. In Brussels, in the corridors of power, politicians no longer dare to support biofuels. Yet the results are clear. The 2nd generation touches on a more lucrative sector: biochemistry uses biofuels to identify new molecules for products such as paint, inks and cosmetics.

  

The hope of finding a solution to decarbonise transport may still exist but it appears to have been crushed by economic tensions provoked by all the different stakeholders. It may be that this crisis is just one step towards building a real energy policy, both economically and ecologically coherent. We are only at the beginning of the biomass era.

 

TREATMENT

 

Crisscrossing the world, from one side to the other (Argentina, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, etc…) the film exposes the cracks that spread to disaster in the making of the biofuels industry and biofuels policy. The narrative is formed around sequences without comment, in line with the principles of traditional documentary.  Testimony from politicians, activists, economic actors and also ordinary citizens are weaved together. A voice-over guides viewers along on the journey. 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Director / Sergio Ghizzardi has produced about twenty documentary films and directed several ARTE Thema evenings (‘Spain, the political stage’, ‘How we all became american and « The blow of chemical war») as well as two feature length: ‘In the heart of Europe’ and ‘180 days to convince’.

Production house / Domino Production is a production company created by Sergio Ghizzardi  focusing on documentaries. Our objective is to produce documentary films, reports and television programs that wake up of the viewers to the social realities – political, economic and/or cultural – of our contemporary times.  For us, it is essential to reach a broad audience in a positive manner by putting into perspective the work of those in charge of building our society.  Domino Production has during all these years coproduced or collaborated with various television in the world such as RTBF, VRT, ARTE, TV5, RTE, ERT, Star TV, YLE, SVT, ORF, RTP, Phoenix TV, LCP, EST TV, PBS Taiwan.  We have collaborated with institutions such as « Media programme », European Parliament, Belgian French speaking Film Fund (Centre du cinéma de la Communauté française de Belgique) and have benefited from Tax shelter.

WATCH EDITED SEQUENCES https://vimeo.com/165686027  ;  vimeo.com/165751882 ;  vimeo.com/165743050  password: greengold

UP TO THE LAST DROP

a Yorgos Avgeropoulos documentary project, SMALL PLANET (52’), ARTE GEIE, ERT – September 2017

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SUBJECT & SYNOPSIS

 

Cities, regions and countries all around the  world are increasingly rejecting the water privatization model they had adopted for years and are remunicipalizing services in order to take back public control over water and sanitation management. In many cases, this shift is due to the false promises of private operators who have proven to be unwilling to put the needs of communities before their own profit.

 

Water remunicipalization is a global growing trend which is reshaping the global water sector.  In crisis-stricken Europe, Paris and Berlin have recently taken back public control over their water. But at the same time, however, the European Commission through the Troika demands from the countries of the European South to privatize their water services. Public operators mainly in Greece and Portugal are constantly under attack. Provisions about water can be found in every M.o.U, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have signed with the Troika.

 

Between corporate and public interests, EU politics, austerity and debt-ridden countries Up to the Last Drop unveils an underground long-standing water war in Europe, which is still in progress.

 

TREATMENT

 

At a time when Europe is going through a crisis that is not solely economical but also a crisis of moral values, millions of European citizens demand a response to a crucial question: is water for the European Union a commercial product or a human right? Until today, European institutions have not given a clear answer. A vast gap seems to separate their rhetoric from their daily practice.

 

Based on extensive research that began in January 2013, Up to the Last Drop builds the plot in six member states of the EU. A stark contrast lies in the heart of this affair: In times of crisis, countries like Germany and France that had tested the water privatization model are now gaining back public control of their water systems while at the same time they are pushing the countries of the European South to privatize their water management.

 

Six different stories in six different countries (Greece, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal) are interwoven and evolve in parallel throughout the film.  Their leading characters are key personalities of the European water affairs – politicians, insiders, Brussels bureaucrats, company executives, European citizens and activists.  Through inventive photography and graphics, dynamic editing, original music and narration, a revelatory and balanced film is created on a topic that concerns us all: the public or private management of a natural monopoly on which depends our very existence.

Up to the Last Drop is a documentary film about water that reflects contemporary European values and the quality of the current European democracy.