THE PEACEMAKERS. The 30-years war 1618-1648

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


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.


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.





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.