Austria from Above - Jewel of the Country
Georg Riha is and will remain the master of aerial shots. What he used to film with balloons and spidercams is now done with drones and helicopters. In this new four-part series, for the first time, Riha uses aerial shots only. In shootings that took several years he fl ew over almost all of Austria and shows the country's most beautiful places from the aerial perspective during the course of a year.
o Exploring the North
Colombia - From Drugs and War to Economic Upturn
Der kolumbianische Präsident Juan Manuel Santos ist am Freitag, 26. Jänner 2018 auf Staatsbesuch in Österreich. Bundespräsident Van der Bellen will mit der Einladung den Respekt für die Friedensarbeit des Präsidenten ausdrücken. Unter seiner Führung hat die Regierung 2016 ein historisches Friedensabkommen mit den Rebellen unterzeichnet, für das der Präsident mit dem Friedensnobelpreis ausgezeichnet wurde. Seither gehen Entwaffnung und Re-Integration der früheren Kämpfer zügig voran. Die Schrecken des jahrzehntelangen Bürgerkrieges in Kolumbien werden langsam Geschichte: Als Paradebeispiel für die Schaffung einer Friedenskultur und -infrastruktur gilt ausgerechnet die einst gefährlichste Stadt der Welt, Medellín. Die frühere Drogenhochburg von Pablo Escobar ist zum Vorbild im Kampf gegen die Gewalt geworden und zum Motor des kolumbianischen Aufschwungs. Man setzt auf Begegnungszonen und ehrgeizige öffentliche Bauplanung in Absprache mit der Bevölkerung. Verwahrloste Armenviertel wurden mittels Seilbahnen und Rolltreppen erschlossen, auf den Hügeln Kindergärten, Parks, Büchereien und Museen gebaut. WELTjournal-Reporterin Julieta Rudich hat in Medellín Akteure dieser Verwandlung getroffen: Guerilleros, Militärs und Armee - Menschen, die sich bis vor kurzem bekämpft haben - diskutieren und kochen gemeinsam. Sogar eine Hochzeit wird gefeiert. "Wir müssen Begegnungsräume schaffen, denn mit Sicherheitskräften allein kommt man nicht weiter", erklärt der renommierte Kulturberater Jorge Melguizo, "Das Gegenteil von Unsicherheit ist das Miteinander."
The Secret Garden Tour
The organic gardener Karl Ploberger looks beyond the Austrian borders and peeks into dreamy secret gardens. Alongside his numerous journeys across the overwhelming English gardening paradise, he takes trips to Venice, South Africa and northern Germany. He meets gardeners who preserve the old and cultivate the new. He learns about local flora and listens to the exciting stories which leaves and flowers have to tell. This journey of the senses will make you want to travel and discover new greenery.
Viktor Frankl - Logotherapy
Reaching cult status up to this day, particularly among young people, Frankl - Viennese Jew, neurologist and philosopher - survived four Nazi concentration camps. He has made history as a great conciliator. He is renowned world-wide for his famous book "Man's Search for Meaning", which he wrote while being imprisoned in a death camp. The logotherapy which he established is applied everywhere from Japan to the United States.
Salzburg - City of White Gold
Salzburg has salt to thank for its grandeur and for its wealth. This "white gold" with which god has blessed these mountains was so valuable it was used as currency during the Middle Ages. Although it was just as essential an ingredient as it is today, it also had another function: to preserve food in the absence of refrigeration. Given that it was crucial for the preservation of provisions, journeys at sea would have been unimaginable without it. This ORFIII program looks back at salt production and explains its archiepiscopal aspects from this perspective.
Across Vienna's Bridges
1716. This isn't a date, but the number of bridges in the city of Vienna. That's four times as many as there are in Venice. If you can't believe it, bear in mind that some of them are invisible. Gigantic bridges above branches of the Danube lie under the Narschmarkt or even the Hauptbahnhof.
Egon Schiele - Between Love and Hate
Loneliness, hidden potential, rejection, veneration, lust and vice, damnation, condemnation. Schiele's short but spectacular rise to the highest peaks of Art's Mount Olympus ended abruptly in a seemingly meaningless death, but his spirit lived on though his worldwide adoration and canonisation. Egon Schiele's short and enigmatic life and his undecipherable art still to this day, a century after he took his last breath, inspire myths around his unapproachable and dubious character. This film documentary does not focus solely on the artist's biography but rather on the tense correlation between his uncompromising, unconditional artistic talent and its radical opponent: society's moral code of conduct.
Herbert Brandl - Not in Plain Sight
Herbert Brandl doesn't care much about reaching the mountain tops. He prefers the shadows, the dark forests and abysses. Cultured, educated and inspiring, he is full of surprises.
Otto Wagner - Vienna's Visionary of Modern Architecture
This film focuses on the architect, urban planner and designer Otto Wagner's amazing world and builds a bridge between his early Historicist works and his Jugendstil masterpieces. The goal is to paint a truthful picture of the artist's life and work until he became the modernist architect we all know and love.
Where Lemons Bloom - Sweet-Sour Travels from the Alps to Sicily
In supermarkets, they are usually yellow, but green is actually their natural colour. Brought to Sicily by the Arabs a thousand years ago, lemons and citrus fruits have been cultivated ever since, from there and all the way to the Alps in Tuscany. And they have much more to offer than what most of us imagine.
About the Magic of Christmas Cakes in Europe
Christmas time is the best season for cakes and biscuits in Europe. Anita Leckenberger goes on a quest to uncover the secrets of baking traditions. She will track down the Austrian Linzer Tart, the German Stollen, the French Bûche de Noël and many more.
Addiction on Prescription
When doctors prescribe medication, we believe we need it to get better. But our bodies get used to these drugs and the doses need to be increased. This leads to a type of addiction which is entirely different to that to drugs. 150.000 Austrians and 1.5 million Germans suffer from it, whether they are aware of it or not.
Humans are, in theory, able to live up to 120 years. We often complain about the burden of ageing population. But, as proven by several cases in Denmark and Norway, the new elderly live and stay healthy longer than previous generations if they retire later instead of being cast aside. Supportive social systems grant them higher pensions than previous generations. How do today's pensioners spend their days? They join new housing projects, local projects and various clubs; they travel, exercise, play music or go back to University. Some are still working professionals at 70 thanks to tailored part-time contracts. "70 is the new 60" and "At the heart of society even in old age" are the new mottos.
Newton - The Electromobile Revolution
Three brothers, Markus, Johann and Philipp Kreisel have found a battery system which can help electric cars dominate the international market. They promise batteries, which charge faster and last longer than those currently being distributed. The electromobile revolution has begun. Will its competitive advantage be maintained across the world? - because even the big automative companies have learnt from their mistakes and are now putting high achieving models in the race for success.
The Syrian capital, with a centuries-old tradition, a true cultural and religious center of the Orient, torn by the civil war, now largely under the control of Assad.
The secret capital of South Africa, home town of Nelson Mandela, is portrayed. Lovingly called Joburg by its inhabitants - it still is one of the most dangerous and at the same time most varied and creative cities in Africa.
How do the alpine and Mediterranean culturescombine in such a wonderful way in Bolzano? Theproduction depicts the changing history of Italian-speaking and German-speaking South Tyroleans,that determines their homeland, their everydaylife and their coexistence.
Athens is considered to be the cradle of democracy,but the Greeks seem to have lost control over theirdestiny, in view of the economic and financial crisisand the rigid target savings.
Converts to Islam
A young Austrians life unfolds between the forbidden «harem» and allowed «halal» practises.
The Priest That Rocks - Guy Gilbert
82 year old rocker Guy Gilbert is also a Priest and uses his excentricity to help bring young parisians back on the right track.
All Eyes On the Mediterranean Route
Discussing the current situation of the sea routefrom Libya to Europe.
USA's Health Reform
The Republicans in the US Senate have taken the first step towards the abolition of the health reform.
Angela Merkel's Last Election
How does the crisis-prone chancellor Angela Merkel deal with enormous political challenges?
Who brought about catastrophes such as 9/11 or Charlie Hebdo? Who pulls the strings? Watch as social media forces us to find whole new ways to fight these conspiracies.
Close to Heaven
This true story conveys the hopes and dispair of an artillery soldier and a war photographer on the front line of the First World War.
Conquest of the South - Myth of the Prestigious Southern Train
The first holiday goers were rich. Very rich. And they chose to take the prestigious southern train to luxurious weekends by the Adriatic Sea. Even the Emperor's family used to take it. Its renovation is under way to bring it back to its former glory.
Waterways of Northern Italy
Northern Italy's rivers carry both goods and memories. Its picturesque landscape still bears marks of its History as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the entire lagoon-city which is Venice is a constant physical reminder of what these rivers are capable of.
Royal Icons - Field Marshall Radetzky
Field Marshall Radetzky was the hero the declining empire needed. He inspired Emperor Franz Joseph and the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire to the point where the Radetzkymarsch still resonates across the world on New Year's Day. But his life wasn't that simple, and not as luxurious as one might think.
Europe´s Border Rivers
In this threefold documentary, three fluid frontiers the Oder, the Pruth and the Tana are unveiled within Europe. Leaving from their source until reaching their estuaries, we follow their turbulent past and present, their currents and meanders as well as the beautiful landscapes they carve and have to put up with. But rivers can also be both common lifelines and radical separations for animals as well as humans.
The Habsburg Emperors' Adriatic Sea
The Adriatic Sea became the upper class' most prestigious summer destination of the 19th century. These rich and powerful holiday seekers took the southern train to places such as Opatija, Lovran, Losinj, Rijeka, and Portoroz which, until then, were still largely unknown, almost as fast as it does today. In this new production, we track down the imperial charm and lifestyle of the time. The spirit of this glossy era, during which summer tourism was invented, lives on in many historical hotels and cafes.
Mit der neunteiligen Reihe »Unser Österreich« dokumentiert »Universum History« erstmals die Geschichte der Bundesländer. Anhand von neun Familien werden historische Wendepunkte, persönliche Schlüsselerlebnisse und die Auseinandersetzung mit Tradition und Veränderung thematisiert.
Mysteries of St. Stephans Cathedral
We think we know "our Steffl" from the top of the tower to the bottom of the catacombs. Yet this documentary by the multiple prize winning director, Günther Schildhan, proves there is still loads to learn about this Viennese landmark. A digital simulation shows how the cathedral would have looked like with its intended north tower and we will proceed to explain why the tower ended up on the south side. This south tower holds a bizarre secret. There is an exciting theory about the figure of Master Pilgram: has the architect really carved his own figure six times in the cathedral's walls? But even the patron saint, Stephen, remains a riddle. The Italian town of Caorle also claims to hold the real relic of Saint Stephen.
The Rhön - Natural Beauty of the «Land of Open Spaces»
The Rhön region is characterised by its variety: a unique wealth of habitats and a well above-average number of animal and plant species. Its central geographic location in Central Europe and, according to scientists, ideal interconnectedness between open and forested habitats, make the Rhön a vital assembly point for roaming animal species such as lynx and wildcats.
The Rhön is a unique landscape in Central Europe. This fascinating film offers a sensitive portrayal of the animals and plants, landscape and people throughout the seasons.
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Wild Waters, Steep Peaks - The Enns Valley in Styria
Picturesque landscapes, a raging torrent and exciting historical facts - the Enns Valley in Styria measures more than 125 km in length. The Enns itself, at 254 km, is the longest river to flow along its entire course in Austria. Meadows full with blue irises in May and June attract hikers and nature lovers, but the ski resorts in the Enns Valley are the main tourist magnet. The Enns Valley has also been shaped by trade and transport over the centuries. The iron from the Erzberg mountain and food were transported on the 'Eisenstrasse' or iron road and on the Enns. In the past carts, rafts and boats were used; later trains and lorries took over. This film by Alfred Ninaus shows off spectacular landscapes and gives exciting insights into the history and customs of the Enns Valley.
From Grand Hotels to Wonky Shacks - Refuges in Tyrol
Many high Alpine refuges are more than 100 years old. Several outstanding examples of early alpinism in Tyrol now enjoy protected status. The Berliner Hütte in the Zillertal Alps is an outstanding example. This magnifi cent building from the turn of the century feels like a grand hotel, but securing the energy and water supply in the high mountains takes a huge amount of eff ort. Existing huts are given 'velvet' restorations; 'replacement structures' are put in the place of dilapidated huts. Three new refuges are currently under construction in South Tyrol. Which style should alpine buildings adopt? Experimental or traditional? That's one of the questions Teresa Andreae will pursue in her documentary. Hut owners, hut users and hut builders will all get a say.
The Forest People
The Guaraní, Brazil's largest indigenous population, were forced to the outermost fringes of society and violently robbed of their livelihoods. Now they are desperately fi ghting for their ancestors' land. The 'forest people', as the Guaraní are called, are powerless to stop the logging of rainforests. Agrobusinesses and large landowners are dividing up the land while the indigenous population are left to live out their days in reservations against their will. Director Gernot Lercher visited the Guaraní in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. His documentary doesn't just portray their painful battle for a piece of land, it also highlights their deep spiritual connection with nature. The Guaraní see themselves as protectors of the forest and its trees, believing these to be living beings with a soul.
Castles and Palaces
Hochosterwitz Castle, Landskron Castle and the Kraig Castles are just some examples from the long list of imposing castles and aristocratic stately homes in Austria's southernmost state. The Middle Ages are particularly visible in Friesach: there aren't just three very diff erent castles all within sight of each other here. The town is also indulging in a 'new' castle that has been under construction since 2009, using exclusively medieval construction techniques. The project is more than just a laboratory for 'experimental history'; it has also become a tourist magnet. The construction of Siegfriedstein Castle is used by the fi lm's director Gernot Stadler, as a starting point for a journey through Carinthia's castle landscape and a nostalgic trip into the past - everyday castle life complete with medieval cooking.
It is interesting that there are more very old people in Italy than elsewhere on the continent. Sardinia is seen as 'the island of the centenarians'. The remote location has ensured the survival of particular genetic traits. Leading scientists are working to track down the secrets of healthy aging. Stress-resistance, social contacts, a healthy lifestyle and a good family life are evidently the key to happy aging. The people of Campodimele in southern Italy too seem to have discovered the secret recipe for a long and healthy life. WELTjournal reporter Alexander Steinbach has set out on the search for the wisdom behind Europe's centenarians and has come up in a number of places with surprising answers to the great questions of life.
Living in Chinas new megacity - The Rise of Chong Quing
Outside of China the largest city in the world is hardly known: Chongqing at the Yangtze Kiang is as big as Austria in size, has around 30 million inhabitants and continues to grow. Unlike the developed cities in the eastern coastal areas that are only growing slowly, the speed of growth and development is even rising in China's interior.
The New Right Wingers
They are known as the «Party of the People» or «Identitarians». Who are these new groups that are taking a hold on the right fringe?
Russia - 25 Years Without Communism
2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union. How have the lives of the people in Russia changed since? This documentary gives people who experienced the end of the Soviet Union a voice: passionate communists for whom a world came to an end; dissidents who fought for democracy.
'This is not a photograph!'- this statement was to be found as an explanation under many of Yigal Ozeri's pictures. The Israeli artist is outstanding at creating hyper-realistic paintings with a captivating eff ect. His way of portraying light and his skills as a craftsman trigger both amazement and doubt. How are such deceptive copies of reality possible? Why would an artist create such paintings in an age of photography and a fl ood of digital images?
France - The Fear of Marine Le Pen
The rise of the president of the right wing party 'National Front' hit headline news worldwide. What are Marine Le Pen's political goals and how is she going to achieve them? This documentary shows Marine Le Pen throughout her election campaign, talking to political opponents, including her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who she excluded from the party.
Netherlands: right-wing populist or liberal?
On 15th March there will be a general election to choose a new Dutch government. The outcome is uncertain. Will the right-wing populist Geert Wilders be the prime minister in a right-wing coalition? With his anti-Islam stance, Wilders has ushered in a transformation of Dutch politics. He wants to close all the mosques, re-impose border controls, bar the country to Muslim immigrants. And following the British example, Wilders is demanding that the Netherlands leave the EU. Like other right-wing politicians in Europe, he is profiting from dissatisfaction with established politics. Drastic cuts in social services and health spending have added fuel to the fire. Alexander Steinbach reports for WELTjournal from a country that was once the poster- boy for liberal values and tolerance, and analyses the political and social situation in the run-up to the election, which could point the way ahead for the whole of Europe.
Intersex - Neither Woman nor Man?
When a child comes into the world the first question to be asked is usually «is it a boy or a girl?» But what if neither really applies, if the baby is born without definite sexual characteristics? Every year in Austria around 25 children are born that cannot be unambiguously classified as either boys or girls. These children are termed intersex. And since, in our society, there is only male or female, many intersex children are still made into «real» boys or girls through sex-assignment surgery. This is an approach that often has traumatic consequences for those concerned. «Intersex - neither woman nor man?» follows Tobias and Alex as they fight for recognition of what has until now been an almost completely ignored reality.
Fashion, Models and Muslima - The Female Islamic Revolution
The documentary takes a look at the fifties and sixties and paints a wholly different picture of women's rights in the Middle East from the one we're used to today. In those days the veil had become a private matter and equality seemed within reach. Who were the pioneers of this feminist movement? And how could such a reversal take place? This documentary reports on a piece of women's history that will change the way we see countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel.
Sister Mary of Nairobi
The slums of Nairobi are home to more than two million people. Caught in a mire of need and suffering from which there is almost no escape. Sister Mary sees no reason to give up. The combative Irish nun has spent the past forty years battling corruption and mismanagement in the Kenyan capital. She has built schools and training workshops in the middle of the slums and in doing so has saved tens of thousands of slum-dwellers from a life of crime, violence and hunger.
Helmut Lang, one of the most creative and imaginative fashion designers of the 1990s, is known for his minimalism and androgynous looks in this creations. His fashion had big impact on the role model of women and men.
Fighting the Tobacco Industry
Cigarette smoke contains a huge health risk that was long kept secret by the tobacco industry. It wasn't until the insider Jeffrey Wigand went public with his knowledge of the health risk in 1996 that this strategy was revealed. Jeffrey Wigand has since spent his entire time educating people on the consequences of smoking. His Smoke-Free Kids foundation aims at convincing young people in particular of a life without smoking. Scientist have now investigated many ingredients in cigarettes and proved the addictive and carcinogenic effect of many of the substances. Nevertheless, the tobacco industry continues to find a way to reach consumers.
Mann gegen Frau - Lieben und Leiden auf Ägyptisch
Ihr engagiertes Auftreten beim Arabischen Frühling hat Ägyptens Frauen keinen Wandel gebracht: Ein selbstbestimmtes Leben zwischen Politik und Sexualität, zwischen Moderne und Tradition ist angesichts der fortschreitenden Islamisierung schwieriger denn je.
»My Kabul« takes us on a journey though the colourful history of the 4-million-habitant city at the Hindu Kush. The documentary provides insight into how Kabul's music scene is strongly linked to Austria, reveals the secrets of Afghan art and Features the once powerful Taliban spokesman, who spent years in Guantanamo Bay prison, speak about the incredible violence against women.
China - The Largest City in the World
Outside of China the largest city in the world is hardly known: Chongqing at the Yangtze Kiang is as big as Austria in size, has around 30 million inhabitants and continues to grow. Unlike the developedcities in the eastern coastal areas that are only growing slowly, the speed of growth and development is even rising in China's interior.
Paphos - No Man's Home
What happens to a society in which every fifth is forced to leave his home and live at someone else's place? When Cyprus was politically divided in 1974, large parts of the population were forcefully moved. 200,000 people, almost 20% of the entire Population were affected. Whole villages have even lost their entire original population. This movie tells the story of this cultural dislocation from the critical perspective of two young Cyprians. They represent a young generation full of intelligent, self-confident and politically interested Cyprians who want to part with their parents' and grandparents' deadlocked standpoint regarding the Cyprus dispute and its consequences- and this, without losing track of their cultural roots. They also meet two strong Cyprian women who, in the past few years, shaped the reappraisal of the conflict their own way.
The industrial city of Donetsk in the Ukraine was probably only known before the war thanks to its football club, Shakhtar, but hit the international headlines with the advent of fighting two years ago. The renegade Donetsk is the stronghold of the pro-Russian separatists and the influence of Russia is - not least because of the Ukrainian embargo - becoming ever greater. «My Donetsk» provides an insight into the working conditions in this war-torn, crisis-hit region. It shows the political conflicts, the turmoil of war in Donetsk and the arduous reconstruction. The gloss of the pre-war era has gone, but the opera and theatre continue to stage performances. The football stadium serves as a hub for aid of all kinds. The suburbs are still under fire today, but in the centre of Donetsk the people strive to live as normal a life as possible - a life in an unstable equilibrium - neither war nor peace, with a political solution further away than ever.
The Gift of a Day
The report «The Gift of a Day» follows six people as they go about their voluntary activities for one day - in a variety of quite different fields. «It is one of the most sensible things that I have ever done in my life!» says pensioner Elisabeth Benesch, who gives her time to people who themselves have little time left in the palliative care ward of her local hospital. And she herself is rewarded in return: «The experiences that I have had doing this are a blessing that nobody can take away from me,» she says.
The Power of Gratitude
Grouchy and dissatisfied - who doesn't feel that way sometimes? In «The Power of Gratitude» we meet prominent people who might have good reason to moan, but who nevertheless are grateful for their lives - even if they have not always had it easy.
Maria Stromberger - A Nurse in Auschwitz
Maria Stromberger, who was born in 1898 in Metnitz, lived in Vorarlberg before she voluntarily reported to Auschwitz to serve as a nurse in the SS infirmary. Maria Stromberger took up her duties in Auschwitz on 1st October 1942. She was received with the words, «Sister, you have difficult service ahead of you.» She became the Angel of Auschwitz, a nurse who voluntarily reported for work in the SS hospital. She would carry out the mission she had undertaken and only narrowly escape the henchmen of the Gestapo, as Stromberger smuggled pamphlets out of the camp and attempted to save people.
I Dream in German
«We will manage.» The familiar sentence from Angela Merkel has become a byword for positivity in the migration debate. However everyone agrees on one thing: the refugees should be «integrated» into their host countries as quickly as they can be to minimize the financial and political consequences as far as possible. But what does «integration» actually mean? To what extent may people retain their own ideas of religion, values, right and morals and still be thought of as integrated? A documentary from Austria, Germany and Sweden which seeks to examine in detail what integration really means and how it can be successful.
Here and Staying - What Migrants Think About Refugees
For them too, it was hard at first: migrants who came to Austria years ago first had to learn the language and then find their place in society. What do they think now - after many years being established in the country - about the refugees currently arriving in Austria? A film with migrants about their view of the new arrivals.
The Search for the Secret
Brother David Steindl-Rast was born 90 years ago, on 12th July 1926 in Vienna. He is among the world's leading spiritual masters of the present day. The Dalai Lama wrote the foreword to his book, Credo. Their joint appearances are some of the most exciting of all interfaith dialogues.
Venice and the Ghetto
2016 sees the 500th anniversary of one of the most far-reaching inventions of the modern age: the Ghetto. Founded in Venice, it took what became its notorious name from a disused copper foundry. The birth of the Ghetto represents in many respects a turning point in the history of the Jewish people. The idea of the ghetto comprised three key features: the compulsion for the Jews to settle there, their strict separation from the rest of the Population and their imprisonment within walls and locked gates.
An Almost Impossible Friendship - Rabbi, Priest and Imam
A rabbi, a priest and an imam meet ... What sounds like the start of a joke, really happened: «An almost impossible friendship» followed the three men from Austria to the Holy Land, where together they visited the most significant places of pilgrimage for their religions and discussed the similarities and differences between them. Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister, Father Ferenc Simon and Imam Ramazan Demir. A film about how it is not always easy, but nevertheless possible, for Jews, Christians and Muslims to live together.
Cats for Millions - The anything but placid world of Rosina Wachtmeister
As a young, penniless puppeteer and mother of an illegitimate child, Rosina Wachtmeister comes to Rome in the early 1970s. She's left with nothing. Out of boredom she starts painting, and millions of people learn to love her golden cat pictures. She sells them and uses the money to buy an Italian village where she creates a world far from the public. It offers a home to wild dogs and grounded artists. We dive into the adventurous universe of Rosina Wachtmeister and depict her development from an unknown young puppeteer to a globally operating artist and strident patron saint of a whole village.
Longing for the Coast
The coastlines of the upper Adriatic sea around Duino and Trieste, the shores of Istria and the islands of Kvarner Bay off the coast of Rijeka, formerly Fiume, are closely linked to the history of Austria. Between 1335 (Carniola) and 1797 (west coast of Istria), the different counties and districts came into the possession of the House of Habsburg and thus became Austrian. The important port of Trieste was under Austrian rule for over 500 years and, from 1849, was also the capital of the newly created crown land of the Austrian littoral. The - to some extent - centuries' old Austrian rule left clear traces behind in the region: in its architecture, the development of the transportation infrastructure, and in the minds of the people.
An Outdoor Parlour - Traveling like in Imperial Times
From the days of the Habsburg monarchy, the Adriatic coast, the Salzkammergut, Lakes Garda and Worthersee, and the Dolomites were the most exclusive destinations for upper classes and nobility. People travelled to the countryside with all the amenities of the city, and combined the benefits of well-tended natural surroundings and urban conviviality as if they were attending an outdoor parlour. Writers, actors and composers were inspired by the orchestrated natural idyll. To date, these former summer resorts are characterised by nostalgia for the supposed «good old days» of imperial Austria.
The Last Emperor - Franz Joseph I. between Power and Powerlessness
Franz Joseph's rule lasted 68 years, making him the longest reigning Habsburg monarch. Not long after the passing of Emperor Franz Joseph on 21st November 1916, the dynasty, which had endured for centuries, collapsed. He became the symbol of the Habsburg Monarchy, a multi-ethnic state with all of its potential and problems. One of the greatest challenges for the dual monarchy was to unite the 11 nationalities and even more ethnic groups. This documentary off ers a glimpse of the person behind the political fi gure, showing a man caught between power and powerlessness.
The Queen of Vienna - Anna Sacher and her Hotel
The legendary Sacher Hotel in Vienna has been the realm of the social elites for almost 150 years. Since it first opened in 1876, the hotel has represented cosmopolitan openness, the ultimate in culinary artistry, the very finest patisserie and courtly ritual with a clear division of roles. To the present day the hotel is attuned to the heartbeat of one woman: Anna Sacher. She blended a highly attractive mix of the private and public spheres that the elites of European society could not eschew. They held court in the rooms, suites, restaurants, cafés and bars of the hotel. The Sacher Hotel became the much-frequented parlour of artists such as Gustav Klimt, Arthur Schnitzler and Richard Strauss. The Sacher was where those members of society met who at breathtaking speed created everything that makes up our current reality: consumer culture and tourism, the emancipation of women and the breaking of sexual rules, modern marketing, the tabloid press, new technologies and the globalisation of the markets.
Wild Way of the Vikings
The world of the Vikings was a world of ice and flame. A world of epic exploration, adventure and discovery. Connected to Nature in a profound way, the Vikings were the first to experience the fabulous wildlife of the Islands of Fire and Ice - Shetland, Iceland, Greenland and beyond. This unique documentary combines unique animal behaviour never filmed before with a spell-binding historical narrative, drawn from the very sagas created by the Vikings 1,000 years ago. From killer whales hunting seals to arctic fox clans struggling to feed huge and hungry families. From the wily raven to the noble gyrfalcon, walrus haul-outs in the sub-Arctic and vast herds of migrating reindeer all filmed in 4K splendour. This is the Wild Way of the Vikings!
A North Korean Diary
My first visit to North Korea was in 2005, when the regime was still ruled by Kim Jong Il. The country had not yet admitted to possessing nuclear weapons, but I found it strange that Western media showed such disinterest towards this isolationist state: why were they ignoring a country that still ran concentration camps?
Daniel Brühl - My Barcelona
Daniel Brühl, the famous German film actor, gives viewers a guided tour of the city in which he was born. The son of a German director and Spanish teacher first came to international notice when he starred the lead role in the fi lm «Good Bye Lenin». His international breakthrough came with a leading role in Quentin Tarantino's »Inglourious Basterds». From sunrise to the next morning, from Tibidabo Mountain to the sea, on his long walk through the Catalan metropolis, Brühl presents the areas of the city that mean the most to him, such as Sant Gervasi, where he spent parts of his childhood. Away from the tourist trail, he shows off his favourite spots in Barcelona.
625 Jahre Laxenburg: Der Park der Kaiser
Ein weitläufiger Schlosspark und prächtige Gebäude, vom Alten Schloss bis zur Franzensburg: Laxenburg ist ein Ort mit großer Anziehungskraft. Über Jahrhunderte haben sich die Habsburger in die weitläufige Anlage südlich von Wien zurückgezogen. Nun ist sie beliebtes Naherholungsgebiet für die Bevölkerung - und etablierter Standort internationaler Institutionen und Schauplatz von Kongressen und anderen Großveranstaltungen. Eine "Dokumentation am Feiertag" aus dem ORF Landesstudio Niederösterreich stellt am Ostermontag diese Anlage in eindrucksvollen Aufnahmen näher vor, sie erzählt ihre Geschichte und zeigt die Bedeutung von Laxenburg heute.
Die mehr als 1.000 Kellergassen zählen zu den prägenden Kulturgütern Niederösterreichs. Früher wurden hier die Trauben gepresst und später der Wein gelagert - heute haben oft moderne Produktionsanlagen und Lagerhallen diese Aufgabe übernommen. Die Kellergassen stehen demnach nun weniger für Arbeit als für Freizeit-Idylle: Kleine, meist an Weinhänge geduckte Presshäuser, lauschige Plätze, ansteigende Gassen und einfache Heurigenbetriebe. Und in den nahegelegenen Hohlwegen wird ursprüngliche Natur authentisch erlebbar. Eine Dokumentation aus dem ORF Landesstudio Niederösterreich lädt ein zu einer Reise vom Kamptal über das Weinviertel bis zum Leithagebirge: In poetischen Bildern erzählt der Filmemacher Georg Riha in einem Bogen über alle Jahreszeiten von Stille und von grünen Kellertüren, vom Reifen des Weines, von der Lese und von der Kühle in tiefen Kellern. Zu sehen sind u.a. die die längste Kellergasse Österreichs in Hadres, das dorfähnlich gestaltete Ensemble von Unterstinkenbrunn, aber auch der "Galgenberg" von Wildendürnbach, der zur schönsten Kellergasse 2013 gewählt wurde.
Inside a Volcano
A look at Icelands National Team and its road to the European Football Championship in 2016.
Punch Line - A Woman Steps into the Ring
"Punch Line" shows the journey of 36-year-old Kati Zambito from the start of an intense training session up to her first boxing match. The preparations towards the event, in which there can only be one winner, makes her see the world of boxing with fresh eyes: Kati begins to realise parallels between the challenges of boxing and the daily struggle for survival.
Austria from Above - Jewel of the Country: Season 2
Georg Riha is and will remain the master of aerial shots. What he used to film with balloons and spidercams is now done with drones and helicopters. In this new four-part series, for the first time, Riha uses aerial shots only. In shootings that took several years he fl ew over almost all of Austria and shows the country's most beautiful places from the aerial perspective during the course of a year.
o Exploring the North
Austria - From Above and Below
"Dreamland Austria" - Joseph Vilsmaier paints a breathtakingly beautiful picture of the alpine republic. From above, we see the tremendous natural spectacle of the mountains and fly over deep valleys, lakes and rivers. And "below"? Intimacy is created. As the herdsman drive their cattle down into the valleys, as we watch the traditional handcraft, festivals and the arts in action. The juxta-position of landscape, tradition, technical innovation and pulsating life creates a completely new image of Austria, scored with great feeling by Hubert von Goisern. Fantastic classic cinema - for our eyes and ears.
VIDEO FORMAT = CINEMASCOPE
The Great Wall
The Great Wall played a significant role in both the rise and fall of empires and dynasties. It determined the volatile history of China - and the entire world. Over the course of centuries of warfare, ever more walls were established to protect against attacks from nomadic northern tribes. These tribes eventually turned their attentions to the west, altering the history of Europe: the Huns broke the hegemony of the Western Roman Empire, launching the Migration Period in the 4th and 5th century AD. In the west of the Chinese empire, the signal towers of the Great Wall marked the course of the Silk Road for convoys from Asia Minor and Europe to the ancient imperial capital Chang'an (now known as Xi'an).How did the Great Wall develop to become the wonder it is today? The documentary series presents some incredible discoveries: for example, the construction of large parts of the Great Wall was a result of repeated changes in climate. The longest sections were built during periods when average temperatures were between 1.5 and 4 degrees Celsius colder than today. The first of these periods occurred approximately 200 years B.C., while the second arrived in the early Middle Ages. When temperatures dropped, nomads from the north would descend on the south in an attempt to ensure their survival in the highlands and plains of central China. The Great Wall was predominantly constructed to repel the "climate refugees" who could no longer survive in the Eurasian steppe.However, there were also other motives: fear, leadership aspirations and economic considerations were primary motivations for emperors, leaders and generals, as was the ambition to conquer nature, master technical challenges and set new architectural standards.The Great Wall is the world's largest structure, and is among the most famous, and yet we still know very little about it: researchers have only just begun to establish how engineers succeeded in embedding this masterpiece in the landscape, what cartographical feats were necessary, and what has ensured the majestic wall's continued existence. Curious details emerge in the course of this research: for example, the Ming masons mixed a staple foodstuff used by billions of people into the mortar between the bricks...The three-part documentary, which includes high-quality re-enactments, follows the course of the Great Wall as it winds through the Chinese landscape for thousands of kilometres. The breathtaking extent of the wall is both symbolic and reflective of 3000 years of Chinese history. It is a structure that changed the world
Salzburg - A Work of Art in the Heart of Europe
Even though Salzburg has only been a part of Austria for 200 years and many important historic events took place long before then, their impact is still formative and significant. This documentary shows that the city has considerably more to offer than just its most famous resident, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or «The Sound of Music», which is statistically proven to be the no. 1 tourist draw. The film offers plenty to interest both the eye and the ear with familiar as well as largely unfamiliar sights and stories.
1x45 min / 1x 52 min
Miracle Workers and Shamans
The concept of healing through higher power still lives on, especially in shamanic cultures. In these cultures, cures have been seen that simply cannot be explained according to European understanding.The suffering and sick, including from Austria, travel over and over to Africa or Latin America to seek treatment from shamans. This film shows the methods of these healers and the expectations of their patients who commit themselves and their bodies to a transcendental process, even the basics of which they do not fully understand.
Mysterious World of Trees
They are among the oldest trees in Europe: limes and oaks, sweet chestnuts, firs, larches, ancient stone pines, redwoods - and all of these giant trees can be found in the Austrian province of Styria! As well as the tree as a «silent observer», the film also shows the scientific components, the inner life of trees -how are they constructed, what substances do they emit, how far do their seemingly endless root systems stretch? All of these questions then bring the story to the next phase in the drama -namely that trees are medicine for body, mind and soul. Alfred Ninaus looks at trees as living beings and habitats, and paints a portrait of these ancient giants through small anecdotes.
Liza Marklund - My Stockholm
In der 20. Folge der ORF-3sat-Städteporträt-Serie präsentiert die schwedische Krimi-Bestseller-Autorin Liza Marklund ihre Lieblingsplätze in Stockholm.
Sie führt das Publikum durch die pittoreske Altstadt, zeigt ihm die Insel Kungsholmen mit Stockholms Wahrzeichen, dem Rathaus, und besucht den trendigen Stadtbezirk Södermalm sowie die Freizeitinsel Djugården mit ihren vielen Parkanlagen und Museen. Zusammen mit Björn Ulvaeus, einem der vier ehemaligen ABBA-Mitglieder, durchstreift sie die jüngste Museums-Attraktion der Stadt: das ABBA-Museum.
650 Years University of Vienna
Die 650 Jahre lange Geschichte der Universität Wien spiegelt gleichzeitig eine Gesellschaftsgeschichte der Bildung, der stetigen Demokratisierung von Wissen wider. Ihre Geschichte verknüpft sich auch mit dem jahrhundertelangen Kampf um die Freiheit von Forschung und Lehre. Gleichzeitig wird die Frage gestellt: Was ist Wissenschaft überhaupt? Wie definiert sich ihre Relevanz, ihr gesellschaftlicher Mehrwert, aber auch ihre moralische Verantwortung?
A Lake for Three Countries - Lake Constance as Common Property
Austria, Germany and Switzerland share the third largest lake in Central Europe. But how to divide the lake among the countries has been a bone of contention for decades. Unlike drawing the borders, the cooperation of the three riparian countries works in many other areas: fishing, fish farming, water quality, restrictions on marina berths, shipping, lake police and water rescue. The documentary shows how the sensitive ecosystem is treated.
From honey, flour, sugar, nuts and expensive spices such as cinnamon, pepper and cloves arises a miracle of confectionery art: gingerbread. Originally, gingerbread production was closely linked to monasteries, on the one hand because around a monastery there always settled many craftsmen and on the other hand because back then only certain sections of the population, like monks, could afford the expensive spices. The documentary searches for traces across Europe: from Poland to the Czech Republic and Hungary to Austria. Gingerbread has its place in different cultures, and it always tastes like gingerbread, but always a little bit different...
The Great Shaman - Healing in the Kalahari
Boo! Xunta is the most famous healer in all the region in the Khaudum National Park in north-eastern Namibia. Among the about 1,000 San who live in the around 9,000 square-kilometre self-governed community project of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, he is a shining light. Not only because of his skills as a traditional healer, but primarily because of his leadership when it comes to dealing with today's difficult circumstances. Boo! Xunta is also considered an experienced hunter. As an intermediary between this world and the beyond, the spiritual protection during the hunt is among his tasks. He gives his people the strength to overcome all the dangers of living with wild animals. And almost everyone here can tell a story about that.
On the Rails of the Double Headed Eagle -- The Way West
In the new part of the documentary series we take the way west. The Arlberg Railway, opened in 1884, enabled smooth passenger and goods traffic to Vorarlberg. The Western Railway, originally called the "Imperial-Royal Privileged Empress Elisabeth Railway", runs from Vienna to Munich. Since 1863, the "Brenner Railway" has lead over the Brenner Pass to Lake Garda. The film delves deep into the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the early days of European railways.
Schweizer Geist - Mythen, Klischees, Wahre Werte
Die Schweiz zeigt sich gern als idyllisches Alpenland. Zwar liegt die Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft, wie sie amtlich heißt, im Herzen Europas und doch so ganz will sie auch wieder nicht dazu gehören. Seine Bewohner werden manchmal belächelt, gelten sie doch als langsam, aber auch kuckucksuhrenpräzise und unfehlbar pünktlich. Klischees über das Land mit dem Schokoladenimage gibt es viele. Der Dokumentarfilm »Schweizergeist« ist im Inneren der Schweiz auf die Suche nach «Mythen, Klischees, wahren Werten» gegangen.
A Living Museum - Ethnotainment in Namibia
In their seminal essay on »Ethnicity Inc.« (2009) Jean and John Comaroff brilliantly summarized the rampant commodification of »ethnic cultures« as »a new moment in the history of human identity«. They mentioned the commercialisation and ethnic or »indigenous« entrepreneurship of San cultures as a key example for this process. The proposed documentary plans to focus on Namibia, where the actual Living Museum of Grasshoek shall be compared to the with community-based organisation of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy (roughly 80 kilometres away).
The main focus of the film will be on the strategies, processes and economic modes of marketing »traditional culture«. It will also take into account the complex forms of interaction with national and international NGOs claiming to help or assist in this process. The main aim is to view the entire spectrum of chances, potentials and benefits of »ethnic productions« along with some less convenient or even unwanted consequences. However, over time ethnic or indigenous life ways transform into what may be coined »simulacra of indigeneity«. Places like Grasshoek offer a «menu» to every visitor suggesting possible consumptions of culture with fixed prices. Such items include »Bushmen walks«, imitations of former hunting trips, healing dances and even traditional weddings - meaning ceremonies modelled on San rituals of manifesting marital bonds for the visiting tourists.
A traditional village such as Grasshoek increasingly takes on the appearance of a business company or even, through the media of international tourism marketing, a small corporation. There is a lot to be learned from such experiences about a general commodification of «culture» on a global level. In many ways these culture businesses resemble Ethno-theme parks as mentioned by »the Comaroffs«. Of course, the commodification of ethnic cultures is by far no new phenomenon and has been observed in different locations by many anthropologists.
Free Monks - Exceptional Greek Idols
They are called "Paparokades" or "Rocking Monks". Hip Hop, Soul, R 'n' B and Reggae influenced by Greek folklore are the musical foundation for their Greek Orthodox - based message. Socio-critical lyrics against globalization, materialism and the risk of supervision made them win gold and platinum for their albums. Under the guidance of famous abbot - father Nektarios - the "Free Monks" stand up to the government and powers as such and this is exactly what convinces young people in Greece. "Free Monks - Exceptional Greek Idols" let us see behind the curtain of extraordinary monkhood.
Jon Gnarr - My Reykjavik
Jon Gnarr - My Reykjavík presents Jón Gnarr's favorite places in Reykjavík -- from his favorite bar, Café Haiti, to the thermal baths so important for Iceland. He visits historic places such as the guesthouse of the City of Reykjavík, where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev heralded the end of the Cold War in 1986, as well as the working class neighborhood "Breidholt", where he had moved his mayor's office for some months.
In the film, Gnarr speaks about the causes of the financial crisis in Iceland, which almost resulted in financial ruin for the country, the unexpected success of his fun party, and his political vision of Reykjavík as a military-free zone. The documentary accompanies the ex-mayor at the presentation of the LennonOno Grant for Peace Award by Yoko Ono and the annual commissioning of the Imagine Peace Tower, her sculpture of light on a small island in the Bay of Reykjavík. For the film, Jón Gnarr also took a helicopter ride to the imposing volcanic landscapes of Iceland.
The Amazing Journey of the Family Zid
Vienna 1928. The worldwide economic crisis has just begun - and Ludwig Zid's haulier business is steadily getting worse. The need to feed his wife and small child leads him to consider an absurd and hilarious odyssey. The plan is for the family to travel the world in their Ford car and then sell the photos and films they shoot at shows. But no one in the family can imagine the adventures they are now about to face. The Atlantic crossing to South America in a small sailboat powered by the engine from their car already ends in catastrophe, leaving the Zids stranded on a Brazilian prison island. Not one to give up, Mr. Zid transports his family across stormy seas and high Andean passes, along the Bolivian Road of Death and through rain forests - until their triumphal arrival in Henry Ford's Motor City Detroit in 1931. The film follows the traces of the Zid family today and confronts the people in the various localities with the family's photos and diary entries. We meet the descendants of those whom the Zids once met in the middle of nowhere as they drove past. An odyssey full of excitement far beyond the all-inclusive packages for today's tourists.
150 Years of Splendor - Vienna's Ringstrasse
Today it belongs to the most magnificent boulevards in the whole world: «Vienna's Ringstrasse».
Emperor Franz Joseph himself inaugurated the new grand avenue in 1865, although most of the buildings were still under construction.Celebrating the 150th birthday of the «Ringstrasse» in 2015, this trilogy builds a wonderful portrait of this grandiose boulevard and its construction. Until today the impressive and spectacular buildings influenced by Vienna's imperial culture and the «Belle Epoque» create an architectural masterpiece.
Millions of tourists are coming to Vienna every year to visit well-known architecture of the neo-Gothic Vienna city hall, the classicistic parliament or the world famous Vienna State Opera.
The Spanish Riding School - Tradition of Pure Elegance
Whether it´s the excitement of a performance in Vienna's majestic Riding Hall, the birth of a foal in Piber, or the experience of seeing the exhausting day-to-day life of stable work - the fascinating documentary «Spanish Riding School - Tradition of Pure Elegance» gives an exclusive insight into the development of the «Spanish Riding School» over the last centuries. The camera accompanies the horse whisperers to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, the Styrian stud in Piber and to the Lower-Austrian summercamp Heldenberg and takes a look at their daily work. The result is a highly multi-facetted film, which reveals the secrets of the breeding and the extraordinary training of the Lipizzan horses.
Sweet And Sour, Hot And Spicy - Viennese Preserving Art
All these delightful ingredients used in the Viennese Preserving Art have their own history, much is known about them - but there are still a lot of mysteries that need to be unraveled!
Viennese Confectionary Art - Apart from Austrian Sacher Cake
This film takes a look behind the scenes of Viennese confectionary art and over the confectioner's shoulder, while he creates the delicious Esterházy cake, exquisite handmade sweets and chocolates or even passes his examination for his master's certificate.
The Last Nomads
1x 50min., HD
Lost City of the Gladiators
The gladiator school at Carnuntum, Roman city on the Banks of the Danube, turned slaves, prisoners, and also volunteers like our hero Atticus into skilled and brutal entertainers who could be re-exported throughout the Empire. Precision, speed and spectacular technique made them true sports stars, kept in peak condition by their vegetarian diet and rigorous training. Gladiators earned well and paid private visits to wealthy women admirers. But a moment's loss of concentration in the arena was lethal, and even in death, the loser must show no emotion. For two millennia, Carnuntum's gladiator school washidden beneath cornfi elds, but archaeologist Wolfgang Neubauer's scanners uncovered the training complex, reconstructed for this drama-documentary as part of a complete virtual Roman city; while gladiator experts and re-enactors give a uniquely authentic account of a gladiator's life.
The Viennese Alps
Seit einigen Jahren erwacht die Region der Wiener Alpen zu neuem Selbstbewusstsein, das Ziel ist klar: Zurück zu
naturnaher Bewirtschaftung, hochwertigen Lebensmitteln aus der Region und ein bewusster Umgang mit einer der schönsten Kulturlandschaften Mitteleuropas. Hervorragende Gastronomie, Kunst und Kultur und ein reichhaltiges Angebot an Sehenswürdigkeiten verwöhnen den staunenden Besucher. Das Gebiet erstreckt sich über die Bucklige Welt, das Wechselland, die Semmering - Rax - Schneeberg Region und das Schneebergland. In einer Rundreise stellt der Film die »Wiener Alpen« in ihren unterschiedlichen Facetten vor. Wo sich Naturschönheit, hochwertige Gastronomie und kulturelle Vielfalt zu einem harmonischen Ganzen vereinen, findet der Betrachter zurück zum Ursprung. In unterhaltsamen Episoden zeigt der Film die Menschen, ihre Kultur und die Naturschönheit dieses traumhaften Naherholungsgebiets der Wiener. Eine Region im Aufbruch: Die Wiener Alpen.
Oskar Nedbal - Ups And Downs
Scarcely any other Czech musician lived his life filled on the one hand by such exhilarating successes and on the other by such mean-spirited attacks, animosity and hate as Oskar Nedbal (1874 - 1930). His artistic and personal fate starts with a dramatic, steep upward trajectory, yet after the turning point this was followed by a free fall ending in suicide. The moving documentary "Oskar Nedbal - Ups And Downs" follows the real life and works of the musician against the backdrop of historic events in Europe.1 x 52 min. / 1 x 30 min.
Saar, Neckar and Main - Romantic Rivers at the Heart of Europe
This film series takes a new look at three rivers that for centuries have shaped the people and landscapes at the heart of Europe and yet which outside of their local regions are often little known. On their banks are unique technological marvels and grand cultural monuments. Three times this cinematic journey goes from source to mouth, showing in the process how each river has its own unique character. This documentary series combines stunning landscape scenes shot on the water, on land and in the air, with river tales told in a lively fashion - historic and modern, amazing and surprising.
3 x 45 min.
The Invisible Man
Christmas 1960. After five years' imprisonment a man escapes from the most secure prison in Belfast using a file and bed sheets. After him: a 12,000-strong army of policemen and soldiers. But he is not caught. The escapee is Irishman, Danny Donnelly. At 16 he joined Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA. At 17 he was detained whilst handing out flyers and sentenced to ten years imprisonment by reason of his membership of a terrorist organisation. 50 years after his escape, together with his daughter, Danny retraces his footsteps during his escape through present-day Northern Ireland and meets his helpers and adversaries from back then. A film on the conflict in Northern Ireland from a completely new perspective about belief, guilt and forgiveness.
2016 - Best Editing - Irish Film & Television Academy
The six-episoded city portraits of ORF-correspondents start with the »city of lights«. For already over 20 years the France-correspondence Eva Twaroch has been living in Paris. As an intimus of the city she takes the viewers on a journey offside the well-known tourist routes. The journey goes from the palasts to the suburbs over down-home bistros to glamorous districts. The former Austria-born vice-president of the French national assembly speaks about social and political contexts. Architect Dietmar Feichtinger, living and working in Paris, declares in case of historical and own buildings, why the beauty of this city touches so many hearts.
Word of honour who doesn`t want to go to Rome - visiting the eternal city on the trails of Romans, good food, shopping or get to know more about the Vatican? Rome has many faces and a lot to tell. Have you already noticed that ROMA read backward means AMOR? The Italian correspondent Mathilde Schwabeneder declares her love to Rome where all roads lead to.
Lofty Heights - Vienna from Above
Vienna from the perspective of those whose workplaces hit lofty heights. From chimney sweeps, roofers, construction workers and crane drivers, the stonemasons working to maintain the top of the tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral, the building service engineer on the Ringturm tower, via the man who hoists the flag on the roof of Parliament, the window cleaners who take care of the views from Vienna's skyscrapers, to the high points of Viennese tourism: the Danube tower, the Flak tower containing the public aquarium and the postal service satellite dishes, offices and apartments in Vienna's high rise buildings. A very entertaining story with people who talk about their views on, and above all from their points of view about Vienna from above.
Ian Rankin - My Edinburgh
Ian Rankin is one of the most successful crime writers of the present day. His books have sold 60 million copies. In this authentic documentary, the author presents the locations in which his Inspector Rebus novels, which are set in the Scottish capital, take place. Rankin leads viewers into the labyrinth of old underground streets, to Greyfriars Cemetery, where grave Robbers once plied their gruesome trade, and to the Anatomical Museum, where a wallet made from human skin is on display. Edinburgh is the most important source of Inspiration for Rankin's work.
Biljana Srbljanovic - My Belgrade
Orhan Pamuk - My Istanbul
Petros Markaris - My Athens
Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican
Vaclav Havel - My Prague
Veit Heinichen - My Trieste
Hardly no other european metropole fights with such a bad image like the capital city of Belgium, which is also the capital city of the European Union - Brussels. Since the 1950s it is a synonym that stands for a historic political project to unite a continent, that exists of enemies over centuries. Political visionaries meet political brakemen, visionaries meet modifier, progress meets standstill. Socially, cultural and especially in the architectural way worlds collide. The lack of concept and order take the Brussels mostly patiently towards in order to preserve their own individualism and also at the same time this typical variety: Not everything is running smoothly, but it works - almost like in the European Union, for which Brussels is the ideal location for EU capital offers. Brussels leaves no clear verdict about to - and thus no prejudice.
Myanmar - River Journey with Buddha's Blessing
The river cruise ship "Road to Mandalay" goes on a trip which seemed impossible still a short time ago: In 2008 cyclone Nargis had laid waste to wide parts of Myanmar, and the "Road to Mandalay" also lay severely damaged in the dry dock. Now to her second maiden voyage western visitors come again to Myanmar to sail down the big stream of the country, the Ayeyarwady. It is a trip from one king's town to another, from Mandalay to Bagan. The film shows a proud captain, an engaged crew and international guests, all enjoying the overwhelming beauty of the countryside along the riverbanks and shores of the Ayeyarwady.
The "Road to Mandalay" is a ship with a moved history. Built in 1964 as "MS Nederland" as a Rhine cruise ship, it seemed to have her best days well behind her. After the political changes in Germany it dropped anchor under the name "Elbflorenz" as a hotel ship in Dresden. But in 1994 began the astonishing conversion: Aboard a special ship it went to Myanmar, and the Rhine steamboat was extravagantly converted into the "Road to Mandalay". However, in 2008 cyclone Nargis laid waste wide parts of Myanmar. Now for the first time after the disastrous cyclone the "Road to Mandalay" embarks on her journey down Myanmar's legendary river.
As the only film team onboard ThoRa Film was able to exclusively accompany this unique river trip, looking behind the scenes with crewmembers like rinser Zachi Maung and culinary assistant Tunain who both work for many years aboard the ship and save a large part of her income. With their savings they started their own small businesses. Zachi leases a small load boat, Tunain owns a kiosk and a roadside phone store typical for country: simply a sunshade, two chairs and a mobile phone, nothing more. Like everybody onboard the two friends hope that they will be working and travelling for many more years to come onboard the "Road to Mandalay".
To make this happen they know that they need visitors from the west, but they are convinced that everybody who makes the trip will be rewarded with pictures and encounters that are hard to be found anywhere else in Asia today.
The Moselle - A Journey From the Mouth to the Bout
Flowing through the green heart of Europe, the Moselle arises in the Vosges Mountains as a small mountain stream. On its way down the Lorraine valley "la Moselle" grows fast and winds its way through some of the most beautiful and historically significant sceneries of all Central Europe. After 544 kilometres through France, Luxembourg and Germany the Moselle eventually flows into the Rhine. All the way down the river there are places full of longing and romance: Medieval Castles, picturesque villages and, of course, world-class vineyards - already the Romans cultivated the first grapes in the region. Even kiwis, oleanders and figs grow on the sunny Moselle shores. The documentary series combines stunning aerial photography with lively told stories of the people living alongside the river banks and it discovers the river running through the European heartlands in a completely fresh and new way.
Dark Days and Rough Nights - Mysterious Christmas Stories
While everybody knows the beautiful, holy and peaceful Christmas stories one main Christmas story which should have happened in the pre-Christian time has nearly been forgotten. This was a time where the dark days and nights have not only been celebrated but they where also populated by wild women, witches and talking animals.
What was the story behind this wild hunt and those women? Were they really dangerous for men? Is it true that if they got in contact with the wild women they lost their sight and became blind? This documentary leads through a mysterious Christmas world and tells about talking animals, exciting Christmas witches and a lot of other Christmas unrevealed secrets.
It's a Kind of Magic - Christmas in Innsbruck
Christmas in the west of Austria is a winter dream, a romantic fairytale between the snow-covered mountains. Innsbruck celebrates Christmas with a lot of specialties like the traditional arrival-procession of Santa Claus which starts in the romantic city part St. Nikolaus, the magnificently decorated, medieval old town with its Christmas fair. However, there are many other Christmas miracles like the special, hand-made candles, the manufactured bells of the bell foundry or a holy mass which is held early in the morning.
The ceremonies continue until the 6th of January. Up to then one could get a lot of impressions of Christmas in Innsbruck, also some which are apparently hidden. Let yourself dive into the unique magic of Christmas.
A World Through Glasses
How good do you know your own country and its people? Who and what hides in remote regions or in the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. «A World through glasses», an innovative and personal travel report in a series of episodes, takes you across various regions and cities in your own country. «Hello, I'm Michael and I am a documentary film producer. There is a little camera in my glasses and a microphone in my jacket.» This could be one possible greeting of the host, meeting his surprised opponent. «It is told in your village, that you have quite an interesting and extraordinary hobby. Is that true? Do you have time to show me, what it is all about?» Before the answer is even made we are already standing in the door of our respondent and the next moment our camera in the glasses makes us part of a new story, where everything is possible: sometimes sad, sometimes weird, sometimes funny or simply ordinary. Alongside Neo-farmer and professional butterfly catchers, street sweeper turn out to be professional ex-soccer players, former box-champions turn into world changers and house builders become globetrotters. A classic travel report series with experimental and innovative camera material «A World through glasses» is a perfect mix of documentary and road movie and gives a great encouraging insight into a sometimes curious everyday life. Go ahead and explore your country and its people!
A Cowboy Church in California
Time seems to have stood still in the small Californian town of Norco.
Although the 25,000-strong community is barely an hour away from Los Angeles, there is no hint of the fast-paced, urban life here. Hay bales pile up at the side of the road and the main means of transport are on horseback. After all, there are more horses in Norco than there are residents. And in Norco a traditional church has become a cowboy church.
The services are held outdoors, instead of organ music country songs are played on the banjo, and worshippers pray from the saddle - in muddy boots and dirty shirts. American traditions, a longing for days gone by and a close connection to nature come together in the cowboy church to produce an extraordinary yet warm and romantic picture.
For Gods Sake - A South African Bishop enters Politics
South Africa, the rainbow nation on the Cape, has been given a reality check. The newly elected president Jacob Zuma was facing serious corruption charges recently before the case was dropped under dubious circumstances. This and other grievances prompted well-known members of the ruling party to break away and form a new party, the «Congress of the People». COPE, as it's called, has recruited the high profile Methodist bishop, Dr. Mvume Dandala, in a deliberate attempt to promote values and moral authority in the quagmire that is South African politics.
It's a courageous and risky decision by the 53-year-old Cambridge graduate; many religious figures have failed in similar missions after being duped, marginalised and corrupted along the way. Rocked by a series of crises, the South African political climate has also become extremely harsh. On election day a COPE activist was shot and Mvume Dandala and his assistants received death threats. A film about the delicate balancing act of a bishop, who has put his life on the line for the welfare of his people.
The Talking Rocks of the Aborigines
The rock art of the Australian Aborigines is the oldest evidence of human culture, however the unique cultural heritage of the Aboriginal people is in danger of being lost forever due to decomposition and algae infestation over the last 40,000 years. Jürgen Steiner, a stone restorer, has tested new procedures and techniques for preserving these signifi cant art treasures which he has already applied successfully during two longer stays in Australia in 2008 and 2009. It was the first time he managed to restore several ancient rock paintings in the northeast of Australia, which are several thousand years old and thus save them from further decay. «The Talking Rocks of the Aborigines» accompanies Jürgen Steiner on his third journey back to the Bulwai and other tribes of the Australian aborigines where he continues his project to restore and preserve ancient rock art sites.
Dorboz - Tightrope Dancers from Uzbekistan
The documentary tells the story of an Uzbek group of tightrope dancers. Every summer, they roam from village to village, performing their art on bazaars, marriages and fairs. Dorboz, as the wirewalkers of Uzbekistan call themselves, look back on a juggling-tradition, which has been unique in the whole world for more than 1000 years.There are about 20 groups of tightrope dancers - most of them located in Ferghana Valley. The small Uzbek town Kuva, round the eastern regions of Farghana Valley, is known as the spiritual capital for the tightrope dancers. It was here where the most significant Dorboz-masters used to live and act. For the people of Ferghana Valley, rope dancing is an integral part of their culture - the culture of ordinary people. There are no tickets for their shows. People just join in to watch and spend a little of what they have. The documentary is not only close to the protagonists, but also takes time to introduce the landscape, the villages and the people living there.
The Other China - The Most Creative Cities in the Middle Kingdom
China Radio International has, for the third time, invited domestic and foreign media to give a worldwide public a greater understanding of the most creative and innovative cities in China. This time the cities are Chengdu, the capital of the province of Sichuan, and Shenzhen, a city in southern China. In Chengdu, the city's cultural heritage has been elevated to a lifestyle. It ranks at number four in the best places in China to live and is world famous for its food, and both domestic and foreign tourism. Shenzhen was named «Capital of Design» by UNESCO in 2008, becoming the first city in China to hold this distinction. Innovation and creativity shape the lifestyles of the people who live here.
South Africa's Wineland - Ripe for Ubuntu
Wines are supposed to be able to reveal something about their origins. If this piece of wine growers wisdom also applies to South Africa, then the wines of the Cape should have a bitter aftertaste - the taste of slavery, exploitation and inhuman working conditions. Yet wine is also said to have the ability to bring human beings, cultures and peoples together. In the new South Africa the idea of community in the sense of the national motto, «Ubuntu», should also include the wine industry. Can the principle of «Ubuntu» be embodied by the community? This African philosophy says that a person is a person through other persons. A team of researchers has examined the progress towards fair conditions in the Cape and attempts to answer the question in the film from the perspectives of those affected.
Where the Gods Live
On his numerous expeditions since the 1970s the most successful alpinist of all time, Reinhold Messner, has collected the sort of works of art, primarily from the countries of Asia, but also from South America and many other mountain countries of the world, that accompany the mountain peoples as they go through life. The Mountain Museum in Firmian near Bolzano is the spiritual focus and nerve centre of the five museums all founded by Reinhold Messner. The museums also document alpine history with mountaineering relics. The most arresting object is the climbing boot that emerged from the glacier on Nanga Parbat where Messner's brother, Günther, was killed. The design of these amateur architect's museums has been through to the very last detail, enabling them to captivate the visitor with their timeless-seeming architectural execution. The castles have been carefully restored ensuring that the ancient structures were preserved, and the new buildings blend seamlessly into their environment. Creating the museums was Reinhold Messner's fifteenth «eight-thousander».
Rio Negro - Black River
In 1542, Gaspar de Carvajal, the monk, wrote: «On the eve of Trinity Sunday we saw to our left the estuary of a mighty river whose water was black as ink, for which reason we gave it the name 'Rio Negro'.» Laurie is travelling for the sake of travelling. In «Black River» she travels along Rio Negro, the river on which she was born, from its confluence with the Amazon and the million-strong city of Manaus to the immense wilderness of its upper reaches in the region where Brazil borders on Venezuela and Colombia.
Italy's Volcanoes - A Powder Keg
Everything that is humanly possible has been explored, investigated and recorded by mankind. But there is still one area about which we know as good as nothing for certain: the inside of our planet is «terra incognita». No man has ever penetrated the earth's inner core and seen with his own eyes what takes place there. But how dangerous are volcanoes really?
Scientists are unanimous about one thing: the region around Naples - home to around 1.5 million people - is among the most dangerous volcanic areas in the world. The people in and around Naples are sitting on a number of gigantic powder kegs. Which is why researchers are daring to undertake a risky experiment - drilling directly into the heart of the fire chamber.
Martin Walker - My Périgord
Martin Walker is a historian, journalist and, since 2008, an extremely successful crime writer. His first four detective stories, which are set in the Périgord region of south-western France, sold over 650,000 copies - a feat that even Donna Leon did not match with her first novels. The beauty and rich heritage of the Périgord inspired Martin Walker to write his best-selling novels, and they are the centrepiece of this documentary. The Périgord is a beacon for gourmets and considered to be France's culinary centre. The region offers many delicacies, such as truffles, foie gras, cheese and wine specialities. A documentary for all of the senses is guaranteed!
Greece in Bloom
Unemployment, poverty, upheaval, bankruptcy - Greece's image has hit rock bottom. The country is finished in the eyes of Europe. But what is life really like out there, in the olive groves, on the islands and in the tavernas?
In April, the most beautiful time of the year, the filmmakers explore the mood among 'the simple people' during a several week long boat-trip from Crete to Western Greece. How are they experiencing the crisis? What do the reformations mean to them? What happened to 'good old Greece'?
Fabian Eder finds out during his survey that surprisingly many people manage to put aside GNP, debt cut and economic crisis. One escapes to the tried and trusted: music, mediterranean lifestyle and the blessings of the greek cuisine. The tour through the Greek islands shows a country worth living in - it produces hope and contradicts the daily coverage of Greece's situation.
Becoming a City in the Country - 25 Years State Capital St. Pölten
St. Pölten's traditions go way back into prehistory. The youngest statecapital of the Republic of Austria has grown into a major political and culturalcentre, a magnet for politics and business, and it's a modern venue forsports and culture: Every August, more than 120,000 music fans pilgrimageto the so-called «Frequency Festival», and the «Ironman 70.3 St. Pölten» is known for its special ambience not only to sports fans.
The Desert Nomads of Afar
Valerie Browning knows what it means to live in one of the most inhospitable and impoverishedregions in the world. The 60-year-old is at home in the Afar region of Ethiopia - and that's the hottest desert in the world. Mile-long hikes in 50° Cheat are part of her everyday life. The Carinthian Erfried Malle has worked in the region for years with his aid organisation «SONNE international»(Support Organisation for Non-formal NeededEducation), working closely with Valerie Browning's organisation APDA (Afar PastoralistDevelopment Association). Their projects cover awide spread: They dig water reservoirs, purpose fully replenish livestock after droughts and Train health workers, who carry out vaccination campaignsor assist at births.
The Fire Within
The film accompanies Gernot Gleiss on his journey to the Tuvans, a small nomad tribe in Western Mongolia. The Austrian photographer has set out to document the Tuvans' everyday life, their traditions, customs and manners with his pictures. «Before it's gone», says Gleiss who has visited the Tuvans once before in 2008, and he adds: «Their traditional way of life is about to vanish». Together with Galsan Tschinag, the renowned chieftain and spiritual leader of theTuvan nomads, Gleiss has decided to publish a book about the Tuvans, people on the brink of a new age. The film shows Gleiss at work in the fall camp of the Tuvans where he has been livingin his own yurt for over three weeks. Finally the book of Gleiss and Tschinag as well as the film «The Fire Within» have become a unique document of a people who's traditional way of life will soon be gone forever.
In the Valley of a Thousand Gods - The Templar Rescuers of Kathmandu
In the valley of Kathmandu in Nepal, between rice paddies and the Himalayas,the rulers of a two-thousand-year-old kingdom have left behindtreasures of architecture and craftsmanship, namely in the royal cities ofKathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, which today are UNESCO World Heri-tage Sites. Where trade routes between Tibet and China intersected forcenturies, a fascinating synthesis between Buddhism and Hinduism emerged,which expressed itself in pagodas, stupas, monasteries and palaces.Yet the art treasures are threatened by deterioration. When the now 91-year-old Viennese Eduard Sekler, Harvard professor emeritus and architect,came to Nepal during a world tour in 1962 and saw the art treasures, hewas deeply impressed. To protect them permanently, he founded the«Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust» with his colleague Erich Theophil.To date the Trust has saved innumerable important buildings. Among the«masterpieces» are the former royal palace in Patan, now one of the mostimportant museums in Asia, and the «Garden of Dreams» in Kathmandu.
Like Fire and Water - Unity and Diversity in Indonesia
If liquid magma finds its way out of a volcano, then - at least they say soon Bali - because the cosmic turtle, whose shell bears the world, has totteredonce again. Therefore, it is called Bedanang Nale, boiling water andfire. This special blend symbolizes the magma that makes its way from theocean to the surface and forms new land. A large part of Indonesia owesits existence to volcanic activity. Politically, the union that forms a countryout of 18,000 islands is scarcely less precarious. On about 6,000 inhabitedislands live more than 300 ethnic groups speaking over 600 differentlanguages.According to the state motto «unity in diversity», the existenceof the multinational state may seem like an active volcano, whose insidesseethe with violence. Yet in their film, Manuela and Werner Zips would liketo show that with this challenge come great opportunities for mutual enrichment.
Petros Markaris - My Athens
As an author and a political commentator, the mostpopular contemporary author of Greece, PetrosMarkaris, who celebrated his 75th birthday on 1January 2012, is considered «The Voice of Greece».Athens is not only the setting of his crime novels.The Istanbul-born author has lived in the Greekmetropolis for around 40 years. The documentarypresents the life and works of the writer, screenwriterand translator and, against the backdropof the current Greek debt crisis, undertakes acinematic journey through Athens along thecity's oldest metro line. The «line» of the Athensmetro runs from Piraeus to Kifi ssia, across workingclass neighbourhoods, immigrant quarters,modern urban areas and the historic city centre.It is like a journey through 3,000 years of Europeanhistory. The explosive social situation inAthens due to the country's dramatic debt crisisis a major theme of the film.
Biljana Srbljanovic - My Belgrade
Orhan Pamuk - My Istanbul
Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican
Vaclav Havel - My Prague
Veit Heinichen - My Trieste
Ian Rankin - My Edinburgh
The Panama Hat
It probably is the most famous hat in the world. Nevertheless, most know little about its true origin - it comes from Ecuador, not Panama - and the complex art of weaving straw hats. The finest Panama hats are still worn on royal heads, and celebrities like to adorn themselves with them. They pay up to EUR10,000 per hat, because they appreciate uniqueness and quality. The origin of the legendary Panama hat can be traced back to 4000 BC.
That at least is suggested by archaeological finds of figurines from some sombrero-wearing coastal cultures. However, the traditional headdress didn't come to fame until much later. European emigrants, dazzled by the California Gold Rush, discovered the "sombrero fino" on their way from the Old World via Panama to San Francisco in 1848.
Hawaii - Inside Paradise
Hawaii. The palm-studded Pacific paradise is still the place that dreams are made of for many Europeans. The eight Hawaiian islands make up the 50th state of the USA but at the same time constitute a completely distinct, mythical cosmos. Seven million tourists travel to the islands every year to visit the most prominent sights. The documentary series «Hawaii - Inside Paradise» reveals aspects that the majority of them do not see, and uncovers the fascinating landscapes and magical places behind the classic picturepostcard views.
Part 1:Big Island - The Fire Island
Part 2:Maui - The Water Paradise
Part 3:Oahu - The Heart of Hawaii
Part 4:Kauai - Island of Dreams
Part 5:Molokai - The Paradise Island
Wild Waters, Steep Ridges - Out and About in the Reisseck Range
The Reisseck range in Carinthia belongs to one of the most beautiful high Alpine mountain massifs in Austria. The documentary shows the impressive system of reservoirs and pressurized pipelines, the natural abundance of water and how they have been used to generate electricity for decades. The film accompanies the structural observers on the Koelnbreinsperre while they explain their day-to-day work and record them talking about their lonely job high on the mountains. «Wild Water, Steep Ridges - Out and About in the Reisseck Range» is the cinematic portrait of a mountain region of breathtaking beauty, a region where unspoilt nature and the use of available resources are not mutually exclusive but which, instead form a successful symbiosis.
The Last Real Iceman of the Chimborazo
For centuries local Indios have been climbing up South America´s highest volcano, the Chimborazo in Ecuador, to pick ice from the glaciers and sell it to the markets in Riobamba and other villages at the foot of this majestic mountain. Balthazar Ushka, 68, is the last iceman, the »ultimo hielero«, to walk up to the ice mine, 4800 meters above sea level, twice a week with his donkeys and carve out ice blocks. The people in the numerous towns, villages and settlements surrounding the volcanos - the Altar, the Pichincha or the Tungurahua - have learned to live with the threat and danger as they have profited from the advantages of the enormous frutility provided by volcano activity. The film portraits Balthazar, who lives in a small village named Cuarto Esquinas with his wife, daughters and grandchildren.
House Boating in Europe
In German, a «Flussbummler», literally a «river drifter», is someone who travels by water and navigates rivers and canals for pleasure in a homemade or converted house boat. Bruno and Esther from Switzerland travel in this way and every year spend a good six months in their house boat, «Calma». Adi and Ludvik, too, have found a second home on Europe's rivers. The sailors are accompanied on a section of their journey, each revealing what life on board is like and the leisurely peace in their house boats.
The Ice Cream Makers' Winter
For generations, like swallows, they have migrated north in spring to their family businesses, which have names like Dolomiti, San Marco or Riva, and returned south again in winter, home to their Italian villages in the Val di Zoldo. The ceremony with which the Italian ice cream makers reopen their parlours after the winter season might well be different in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Hungary or Austria. As well as the recipes, ingredients and flavours of ice cream may differ from town to town, from country to country. But one thing unites the Italian ice cream makers who run their ice cream parlours north of the Alps: the majority of them come from the Val di Zoldo, a narrow, picturesque valley in the Dolomites.
Silent Valley - Nature Trails to Lake Hubertus
Close to the border between Lower Austria and Styria is a region that is among the most peaceful and unspoilt landscapes there are: the nature reserve along the Walstern, which is home to extensive hunting and fishing grounds. Like an amethyst, Lake Hubertus sparkles out from a sea of trees between Annaberg, Ulreichsberg, St. Aegyd and Mariazell. Today, the perpetually clear mountain lake, where Kaiser Franz Josef once hunted, is a paradise for water birds and fish. Visually stunning pictures of animal life and unspoilt nature illustrate a journey through and examination of every season in this peaceful valley.
The Amber Road - From the Danube to the Adriatic
It is red and burns, is called a stone, but is really a resin. Many secrets surround this fossilised pine tree resin, which has been coveted as a gem since time immemorial. Amber. In olden days its magical charm lay primarily in its sumptuous reddish colouring and its transparency. Samples that feature what are known as «inclusions»- insects that were trapped and preserved in the resin - also give rise to much fascination. Beetles, lice and grasshoppers provide scientists with clues as to the nature of the flora and fauna of bygone ages. This film follows the road and river connections southwards. It lingers a while in those places that were important in times gone by and in individual areas which today, in a united Europe, are again returning to prominence through cross-border projects initiated by the EU.
The Lust for Lust - Of Mandrakes, Chilli and Viagra
The quest for an effective aphrodisiac is probably as old as mankind itself. Love potions and foods to stimulate desire or heighten the sexual experience have always held a fascination and are a constant presence throughout history. Today biochemistry makes it possible to gain a deep insight into the features and specific effects of sexual stimulants.
Stories and Histories of Famous Train Stations - Cathedrals of Volatility
Grand Central New York; London's Victoria Station or Charing Cross; the Gare du Nord in Paris; Chhatrapati Shivaji in Mumbai; Atocha in Madrid and Haydarpascha in Istanbul; Berlin, Vienna, Cologne - the names alone promise anecdotes, adventure and technical and logistical wonders. This film documents an entire day's worth of events in some of the world's largest and most famous railway stations, highlighting a particular aspect of the comings and goings in each location. Around the world - almost - in 24 hours ...
Handicapped but in Full Swing - Headliners in Great Britain
«From our view, disability is the norm, and that's the angle that we'll be coming from.» That is their motto - and it has proven to be a successful one. Damon Rose, blind editor with the BBC, wheelchair bound newspaper publisher Christiane Link and ex-Channel 4 presenter Mat Fraser, a thalidomide victim, are three people who are active in the media in Great Britain and have refused to be restricted by their disabilities. The film portrays the lives of these three very special and prominent personalities and shows just how creative such people can be, if they are given the opportunity.
Not Outdated - Just Living in the Past
A life without mobile phones, laptops and LCD TVs - many people would happily leave behind the blessings of our high-tech age but very few actually manage to do it. This documentary presents three such people. All have decided to live in the past - and not just for a weekend, as a bit of fun - but for their whole lives. The aristocrat Götz Ernst Arnulf Boyneburg lives the life of an Oscar Wilde type dandy in his castle with his butler, while restaurateur Raja Schwahn-Reichmann has immersed herself in the Baroque world of Empress Maria Teresia. Singer Fred Wenzl, also known as «Austrofred», believes himself to be the reincarnation of pop icon Freddy Mercury, and is utterly convinced that he was destined to live in the 1980s. A rather strange but utterly healthy attitude to life!
Disappearing Europeans - The Arbëreshë in Calabria
High in the hills of Calabria in southern Italy lies Civita - a wonderful place, whose name is derived from the Albanian «Quift», which translates roughly as eagle's nest. The Arbëreshë have lived here for around 500 years - Albanians, who left Albania to find a new home after the death of their national hero Kastriota Skanderbeg. On the streets and squares of Civita, chatty older people tell of their former lives in Toronto, Cleveland, Naples and Zurich over a game of cards and explain how they have come back here because it's the one place where they feel that life is worth living. This documentary shows one of the last ethnic minorities in Europe and their ambivalent struggle to hold on to their language and traditional values.
Filadelfia - Heat, Dust and the Word of God
This documentary sets out to the Paraguayan region of the Chaco, which is located in the very heart of South America but represents the most inhospitable land the continent has to offer and explores the colony of Fernheim («Far from home») founded by German Mennonites after they had fled the Soviet Union in the early thirties. The centre of this colony is a little town, called Filadelfia - a community with fascinating memories and touching hopes for the future.
Second Home - New York
Every year in Schwaz in Tyrol the Outreach Festival takes place. Its founder, Franz Hackl, a jazz-musician, already emigrated to New York nearly 20 years ago. This documentary takes an interest in the special vibe of the Big Apple which influences the musician.
Second Home - Jamaica
Originating from Styria, "Mr. Simo" Heinz Simonitsch, hotel and tourismus manager, emigrated to Jamaica in 1963 and today is the co-owner of the legendary Half Moon resort in Montego Bay. Not only interested in his business affairs he also, together with his wife, started a school, built a medical center on the grounds of Half Moon resort and invested in the building of two SOS Children's Villages in Kingston and Montego Bay.
This documentary portrays not only Heinz Simonitsch living in close touch with nature but also nature itself: Jamaica with its wonderful beaches, rum and reggae as well as mountains, waterfalls and rivers.
A Stroll Through Vienna
In case you have never had the opportunity to visit Vienna, here is your chance.
Happy Landings - Germans in Vienna
Does the «Kraut» or in Austrian terms «Piefke», the unpopular German, still exist? Since the credit crunch the Germans are the largest immigrant group in Austria and mingle everywhere with the locals. But those who live and work here are on their guard and look to adapt as far as possible. Many have no idea what's in store for them - a foreign language, prejudice, differences in mentality. A culture shock, says the Viennese essayist, Franz Schuh. After arriving in Vienna, many Germans feel driven onto the defensive, but the defensive makes them creative. So, are they at home already, or still guests?
Also available: "Austrians in Berlin"
Malawi and the Lake of Stars
The very year of 1859, when Charles Darwin presented his work «On the Origin of Species» and therefore his theory of evolution to general public, David Livingstone in south-eastern Africa reached a yet undiscovered inland sea of freshwater which the natives in their language called «Nyassa» - simply «the lake».
579km long, 75km wide and more than 700m deep these waters were the third largest lake of Africa which came into existence more than 3 million years ago in the East African Rift Valley.
«A lake of stars!» Livingstone is alleged to have said, as the waves reflected the last rays of the evening sun if the form of thousands of iridescent lights. He didn't know that day how to the point this description of «Lake Malawi», as it is called today, was.
A glance beneath the waves reveals a stunning sight and a unique wonder of nature: The «stars» of Lake Malawi are alive! Colorful and brightly iridescent fish, so called «mouth breeding Cichlids», inhabit the crystal clear waters of this Lake and impress by their spectacular behavior. Through millions of years they have evolved from a single species of river dwelling fish to more than 880 different but closely related species which are endemic to Lake Malawi.
Charles Darwin never got the chance to see this stunning example of evolution. He would have been very pleased.
The Other Face of Bangladesh
Its inhabitants affectionately call it "Sonar Bangla" - Golden Bengal. But behind the news of floods and poverty, the true face of Bangladesh remains hidden: its rich culture, amiable people, and unique nature. Thus, the documentary takes a trip through a largely unknown country - and shows the other face of a region between misery and boom: the Bengali, their culture and lives beyond the headlines. A people with a turbulent history under shifting sovereignties, which has only been living in its own state for 40 years.
Caribbean Moments shows a different side to the Caribbean. Everyone visualises sand, sunshine and palm trees - but hardly anyone really discovers what lies behind them. In fact an unbelievable variety of cultures, music and religions has developed as a result of the different influences - African, Indian, English, French and authentically Caribbean. This documentary attempts to portray the people - be they the Rastas, who have a lot to say about their mission, the Amerindians in Trinidad, who still have their own Queen, or the Black Caribs - a mixture of escaped slaves and Caribs. In addition, of course, there's a huge variety of music: steelpan, parang, calypso, soca and chutney soca shape Trinidad, whilst other islands are especially scenically beautiful, such as Dominica, which is actually a single rain forest and which seduces with its abundant vegetation. Here too are the true Caribs, who occupy themselves with traditional boat building in the same way as their ancestors did centuries ago. Grenada is the nature and spice island - the world's largest nutmeg producer and also a large cocoa bean grower. Guadeloupe, on the other hand, is a French colony and has an incredible culinary tradition. This is where the term «Creole cuisine» comes from, which is characterised by French, Indian and African influences. Here we had the opportunity to enjoy the world champion chef's menu with him in person. St. Vincent & the Grenadines is a natural paradise with black beaches, on which the film «Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl» was filmed. The films were produced in 6 parts to create a documentary series that shows what lies beneath the surface.
Vienna's Historic City - The World Heritage Site in 24 Hours
After much debate Vienna's old city was finally added to UNESCO's world heritage list. Developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements it turned into a Medieval and Baroque city and soon became the musical capital of Europe. Thus the urban and architectural qualities of the Historic Centre bear outstanding witness to a continuing interchange of values throughout the second millennium - rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks. This tour through the old city takes in the Stephansdom, with its permanent scaffolding, as well as luxury shops in posh locations and expensively renovated palaces but also lesser known winding backstreets with colourful, antique facades. Contemporary impressions are mixed with archival footage, weaving the past and present into a striking synthesis.
Lower Austria's Wild Forests
They are the relics of ancient primeval forests, and the nucleus of a new understanding of nature:Lower Austria's Wild Forests.
The film portrays natural forests in Lower Austria:the famous Rothwald in the Dürrenstein wilderness area in the district of Scheibbs, the core zones of the Vienna Woods biosphere park, the Marchauen nature reserve and a small, private «primeval forest» on the slopes of the Geisbühel mountain in the Pielach Valley.In each case the starting point is the people who live with and in the forests and who determine their fate. It is only through their passion that these forests have been saved.And only through their vision will they be preserved.The film exposes a difficult balancing act between protection and exploitation.
This exquisitely lavish HD production journeys through natural and cultural history and covers a period of 30,000 years.The film looks at the «Venus of Willendorf», possibly Austria's most valuable archaeological find, as well as the imprisonment of Richard the Lionheart after one of his crusades.However the film also shows long-disappeared wild animals such as the wisent - the European bison - and the largest fresh-water fish in the world - the up to 9 metre-long hausen - which was still to be found in the Danube until the end of the 19th century.
Secrets of the Lagoon
Even people who have visited Venice many times find that the city on the lagoon has plenty of hidden sides that are worth discovering. The historic importance of some of these places cannot be read about in the travel guides. Innovations that began in Venice and conquered the world from the Middle Ages onwards are taken for granted today. We hardly know anything about their origins. This documentary presents what is perhaps the best known city in the world from an unusual angle: a Venice whose secrets, which are exciting and amusing in equal measure, are sure to have been a mystery to most people until now. In the fifteenth century the Republic of San Marco reached the peak of its power and wealth. The state enjoyed the highest revenues in the world. Almost 200,000 people lived in Venice, which was the largest city in Italy and the fourth largest in Europe. Today its population only numbers around 70,000.Available in 1x45 and 1x52 min.
Marble Worlds - The Sölk Valley
In one of the largest continuous and untouched regions of the European Alps, lies an extravagant sculpture park made out of incomparable subalpine marble. Internationally renowned artists have created a unique symbiosis here between the pristine highland environment and man-made space. This film takes viewers on a journey of discovery, past mountain lakes and deep gorges, where steep cliffs of marble protrude from the earth, back into the history of this precious stone and shows its mining and very special connection to art and architecture.
Untersberg - Fabulous Nature
The Untersberg is considered the most fabled mountain in the Alps - rich in myths and caves. A giant massif between Austria and Bavaria, it is the local mountain for thousands of city dwellers but is also home to the inimitable local inhabitants. They tell their stories and give us an insight into a modest life dominated by a mountain far from any hectic. They have learned to live harmoniously in and with nature and to take things as they come: Dairymaids and dairymen, ski tourists, potholers and climbers. However, more and more people are coming to the mountains looking for new challenges and thrills and it is simply a matter of time before mass tourism moves into this calm and unhurried part of the world.
Wonderland of Ice
They are considered to be the largest ice caves in the world and attract thousands of visitors every year who want to see the unique ice formations with their own eyes: the Eisriesenwelt in the Austrian Alps. This documentary pays a visit to one of the most impressive natural treasures on earth and presents a portrait of the people for whom the ice has become an integral part of life. Historical pictures show the discovery of the ice caves and their development from being the goal of expeditions to being a place for day trips through the construction of the, at that time, steepest cable car system in Europe. Unique stories, that make the ice sparkle, give an astounding insight into this unique natural spectacle of stone and ice. Or would you have believed that the Eisriesenwelt once served as the training arena for ice skaters? In this wonderland of ice everything seems possible.
Rescue Pilots - Crossing Boundaries in the Sky
This documentary accompanies rescue and police pilots on their daily operations throughout the year. Together with a team of emergency doctors, they tend to the injured in remote mountain villages, save them from steep mountainsides, and fly them to hospitals. When mountain climbers are in danger, the rescue pilots move into action - fast. As in the case of avalanche when every second counts and can mean the difference between life and death to the trapped victims. The bodies of those who cannot be saved still need to be recovered, which is also part of a rescue pilot's work.
Their missions are frequently carried out under unfavorable and even dangerous conditions. However, wind, fog, snow, and the black of night do not keep these pilots from saving lives. Top concentration, courage, and experience are required for the job; and these kings of the air philosophize about their most dangerous maneuvers, their own limits, heroism, and the constant and very real fear of crashing.
Fairy Ring and Snakebite - Natural Poisons on Hiking Trails
Poisonous snakes and poison mushrooms have always appeared sinister to humans and are deeply entwined in our mythology. In most cases our fears are unfounded and are rooted in our ignorance of which animals and plants are truly poisonous. This documentary, from prize-winning film maker Kurt Mündl, shows in extraordinary images the real dangers confronting hikers and walkers in the form of natural poisons in forests and meadows and gives fascinating insights into the life and protective mechanisms of flora and fauna.
Wonderland Underworld - The Caves of Slovenia
The most famous cave in Slovenia is the Postojna Cave. It is the oldest and maybe the most beautiful tourist cave in the world. Ceilings, walls, and floor are full of dripstones, translucent sinter curtains, columns, filigree tubes and basins. Through this wonderland runs what probably is the longest electric cave railroad in the world. A tourist attraction: Already, 32 million people have visited the 21-kilometer-long cave. It is the cradle of "bio-speleology" -- in no other cave in Europe live as many animals as in the Postojna Cave.
In Slovenia, there are more than 9,500 known caves. Archives of earth's history -- for scientists a treasure trove of knowledge about the geological context. For idealistic spelunkers, they are a perfect playing field to quench a thirst for knowledge and adventure. Speleology is one of the last adventures of our time.
Paths of Peace in the Carnic Alps
For three years during the First World War, bitter fighting raged between Italian and Austro- Hungarian soldiers along the Carnic Alps.
90 years after the end of this devestating conflict, a well maintained network of hiking trails runs along the impressive high mountain landscape of the Carnic Alps. The former front and supply lines have become paths of peace. This documentary brings to life the story of this region - taking us on a journey along former communication trenches, caverns and troop positions, where today hikers and mountain climbers from all over the world enjoy peace and freedom.
Return to Europe
Savagery and darkness, tribal feuds and vendettas, political chaos and the belief that might be right: numerous myths are interwoven with the Balkans and there is hardly another region of Europe which has to put up with such deeply entrenched clichés. To the prevailing negative image has recently come a folkloristic embellished picture of a people who would rather put themselves into an earthy celebratory mood with wild brass music than attend to any «sane» economic necessities.
Episodes available for Europe only until March 2015:
Available worldwide until March 2015:
Alps Without Borders
The Alps - a towering natural landscape in the heart of Europe, but one whose unique beauty and wilderness is threatened by transit roads, power stations, mass tourism, development and migration. Bilateral efforts and projects aim to protect the Alps in the future as a nature area and place of recreation. This documentary shows the sometimes difficult path towards cooperation- but also its many successes, from sustainable tourism and the exchange of information and products, to joint events to help break down barriers, forge common links and conserve the uniqueness of the region.
No Journey Too Far - A Journey Through Ethiopia with Almaz Boehm
Ethiopia, with its wonderfully bizarre landscapes, cultural diversity and millennia of history, holds an extraordinary fascination. However its bitter poverty also puts us to shame. Life expectancy is just 48 years, and on average people eke out their existence on less than 100 dollars a year.
Ethiopian-born Almaz Boehm has recently taken over the running of the organisation «People for People» from her husband, Austrian actor Karlheinz Boehm, and is committed to continuing his life's work. No journey on unsurfaced dirt roads is too far nor hours spent marching on foot too long for her to reach out to the poorest of the poor, giving them pinpoint assistance using well thought-out methods and also courage and hope.
Gabon - The Original Africa
For 500 years both islands were Portuguese colonies, gaining independence only in 1975. The country is now a democracy having come through15 years of a failed experiment in Marxism. The population of 150,000 live largely in poverty however test drilling for oil in the Atlantic has roused hopes that the country may soon be rich. So far, however, only small quantities of oil have been found, although the oil is of extremely high quality. Tourists have hardly discovered the islands yet. Formerly successful exports such as coffee, cacao and copra bring in barely any money because international market prices have fallen dramatically and the Marxist government nationalised the plantations. The livelihood of local fishermen has also been threatened by foreigners, who have bought fishing licenses from the islands' government. This documentary explores the difficult lives of the people in the Gulf of Guinea, in the second smallest country in Africa.
Sao Tomé and Principe - Forgotten Islands on the Equator
For 500 years both islands were Portuguese colonies, gaining independence only in 1975. The country is now a democracy having come through 15 years of a failed experiment in Marxism. The population of 150,000 live largely in poverty however test drilling for oil in the Atlantic has roused hopes that the country may soon be rich. So far, however, only small quantities of oil have been found, although the oil is of extremely high quality. Tourists have hardly discovered the islands yet. Formerly successful exports such as coffee, cacao and copra bring in barely any money because international market prices have fallen dramatically and the Marxist government nationalised the plantations. The livelihood of local fishermen has also been threatened by foreigners, who have bought fishing licenses from the islands' government. This documentary explores the difficult lives of the people in the Gulf of Guinea, in the second smallest country in Africa.
Emmanuel Ekeigwe is an immigrant of Nigerian descent. Having arrived in Austria in 2001 the former professional football player immediately decided to go about pursuing his beloved profession and try his luck in Viennese soccer. His initial enthusiasm was soon slowed down by encounters with native soccer players and their provisos towards people of other skin color. After several throwbacks Emanuel Ekeigwe decided to found his own soccer team, solely for African immigrants: the «New African Football Academy». Since 2005 this team is fighting for its place in Austrian society and has managed to become well accepted by most other teams in the Vienna football league. But still life as an African originated soccer player remains tough and various hurdles have to be tackled.
Cameroon - The Golden Days of the Kingdom
This documentary takes you to a land of sacred kings and sultans. It accompanies the regent of Mankon during his golden jubilee. For that, he must first obtain the consent of all his royal ancestors by making offerings to them. Only then may he distribute their lifeblood -- the wine of the raffia palm tree -- to the living. The religious ceremonies, mask dances, and dedications of spears and guns last one week before the people of the kingdom gather for the great community dance. Sacral kingship has all the ingredients that fit the popular stereotypes of Africa: animal sacrifice, warrior parades, ancestor worship, and the transformation of the king into the shape of an elephant ...
Shamans of Survival - The Spiritual Heritage of Southern Africas's San
San societies exist all over Southern Africa. Their living conditions vary considerably from country to country depending on respective state policies. After centuries of displacements, exploitation, enslavement and even genocide, their mere survival appears almost miraculous. It may be summarized under the heading «against all odds». Today, many dispersed San communities struggle to maintain a rest of self-determination - against governmental bodies claiming to own the proper designs for their future development. The cultural creativity of their ancestors has been declared world heritage in the case of rock art left for posterity. Trance dances, healing method sand the art of hunting and gathering in some of the harshest natural environments on earth appear on myriads of ads for tourism. They are often presented as shamans from time immemorial. But their vast knowledge makes many San rather appear as true «Shamans of Survival» in the self-acclaimed modern age that refers them to the past.
San Tunes - The Dance Festival in the Kalahari
Before the arrival of Europeans, they controlled large swathes of southern Africa. Since then the people who call themselves simply «San» have been known as «Bushmen»- a description that makes it all too easy to dismiss their knowledge of nature and ecology and artistic genius. Once a year the sandy fields of the Kalahari are transformed into a stage for mysterious trance, healing and hunting dances. It is predominately the older San who today are still able to sing the old hunting songs in which they call on the spirits of killed kudus, giraffes and eland and attempt to propitiate them. The spirits of the hunted animals visit the bodies of the living during nocturnal trance dances to form a bond between man and nature and fascinating communal healing dances are intended to cure social ills. Many San groups from all over Africa travel to Botswana to display their unique spiritual energy and forget, for a while, the problems of their difficult daily lives: a marvelous festivity of hope!
Kalahari Struggle - Southern Africa's San under Pressure
The San, the inhabitants of the Kalahari, achieved world fame through the film «The Gods Must be Crazy». The then very one-sided representation of the San as simple Bushmen has absolutely nothing to do with the social reality. The San possess valuable skills and knowledge about the natural world. During the entire last millennium their story was one of subjugation, dispossession and exploitation. Even today the San are fighting huge existential and social problems and most of them live miserable lives. The film documents their legal and political fight for a minimum amount of self-determination.
Available as 1x45 min / 1x53 min.
Among Gods and Demons - Shamanism on Bali
Behind the sunshine, palms and sandy beaches of Bali hides an unfathomable cosmology full of black and white magic. Hinduism fuses with animism and veneration of the dead here to create a unique blend of philosophies to explain the world. Those who seek the meaning of life here or anticipate healing find many answers - and yet more questions. The holiday paradise of Bali is home to an estimated 10,000 shamans, whose methods and proposed remedies differ widely. For the Balinese the sea embodies the feared underworld, where demons, monsters and evil spirits live. The gods, on the other hand, sit on the mist-shrouded volcanoes of the interior, in the unreachable upper world. Islanders believe that the world in between has only been loaned to mankind. Only through constant devotion and daily sacrifice can the upper world and the underworld, good and evil, be kept in balance. Magical transition rituals accompany every new stage of life, from birth to the wild celebration of death. And the island's inhabitants view the many, complicated ceremonies not as restrictive, but instead as liberating, because they believe they know how to appease good spirits and placate evil demons. Those who engage with this spirituality, who consent to live amongst gods and demons, will be forced to reconsider their relationship with nature and the cosmos. This documentary is a fascinating journey to exotic places and into one's own subconscious.
The Imperial City of Kyoto - The Gion Matsuri Festival
It is one of the most famous and spectacular festivals in Japan: Gion Matsuri, the festival of cherry blossoms. The hectic, modern life of Japan fades into the background as, once a year, this unusual drama unfolds - a kind of parable, shedding insight on how we should conduct our lives. The festival floats, with their secular and spiritual themes, and the portable shrines have captivated the Japanese public since 1140. Indeed Kyoto has a kind of magnetic attraction for many Japanese, as there is no better place to experience «hanami»- the awe-inspiring viewing of the blossoming trees. A festival full of symbolic significance, Gion Matsuri includes both traditional and modern elements, moving between chaos and contemplation.
Descent Into the Underworld - The Caves of Vieng Xay
Laos, with its vast primeval forests, steep limestone cliffs and caves, is a country that has embraced secrecy and withdrawn from the modern world. Where the territory of Laos reaches like a bridgehead far into Vietnam the CIA bombarded the Laotians in a war that officially never took place.
In the inaccessible province of Houphan, the caves of Vieng Xai lie hidden in a formidable karst mountain range. Hermetically sealed for decades, the Communist Party only opened the breathtaking rocky landscape to international visitors in the last year.
The approximately 400 caves of Vieng Xai are an undiscovered gem for a group of European cavers who are now exploring. Presidents, ministers and rice growersalike all barricaded themselves in the karst caves, and 23,000 people found refuge in them. The Lao revolutionaries went underground and moved an entire town to the caves, building underground military sick bays, armouries and barracks.
At the Sacred Rivers - Cultural Treasures of India
For more than 60 years, Austrian and Indian scientists have been working together to protect ancient Indian cultural assets. With high commitment and technical expertise on both sides, the researchers are striving to preserve unique treasures of art for future generations. The Graz University of Technology has been active in Ladakh for many years to save the old Buddhist temples there from decay, holy places such as the over1,000-year-old shrine in Wanla on the sacred river Indus. For 15 years, a dedicated art historian from Vienna has measured one of the world's most famous cultural monuments and reconstructed the surrounding palace gardens - the Taj Mahal at the sacred river Yamuna. Gudrun Lamprecht visited all these places and documented the impressive work of the Austrians and their Indian colleagues.
Mountains of Freedom - Jamaica's Struggle Against Slavery
As the last British slave ship, the George, docked in Jamaica on the 17th of February 1808, a new era began for the native «Maroons». The word Maroon comes from the Spanish «Cimarron», meaning wild, free and untamed. During more than 80 years of war with Great Britain, from 1655 to 1738, the slaves lived up to the name given to them by the slaveholders. As well as winning their freedom, they also forced Britain to sign a peace treaty - an event which is celebrated by their descendants to this day, at the beginning of January each year. At this time the largest Maroon settlement, Accompong, stirs from its usual slumber and becomes the setting for a colourful and lively festival. Many other Jamaicans, over 95 percent of whom are the descendants of African slaves, also take part in exhilarating festivities. Although the majority of Jamaicans these days are Protestants, it's the diverse African religions, which play a central role in these celebrations.
The life of dolphins in captivity is ultimately a sad one. They live in small enclosed environments. They depend on their caretakers for food and activities - boredom becomes a problem. They are much less self-sufficient than they are in the wild. The most frightening example of dolphins in captivity is the use and training of dolphins to kill divers, to search for mines and to attack enemy ships as live «kamikaze» torpedos for the Native of countries such as the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It also traces in detail the dramatic release of three of the US Navy's 100 dolphins - Buck, Luther and Jake - and their life at the hands of the US government.
Expert and activist Rick O'Berry, better known as the «personal trainer» of Flipper is playing a big part in this film. His newest 13 award winning documentary «THE COVE», where Rick O'Berry documents the massacre of the dolphins in Japan will be shown in the cinemas right now.
Penyu Penyu - The Turtles of the Celebes Sea
«Penyu Penyu - The Turtles of the Celebes Sea» gives an impression of all the difficulties which a sea turtle has to deal with from the moment of its birth. Sangalaki Island, situated in the Indonesian part of the Celebes Sea, with its colourful coral reefs seems to be paradise on earth. But predators like monitor lizards and sea eagles are lurking around every corner and the tiny turtle hatchlings on their way from the nest to the beach are a welcome variety on their menu. However, only on Sangalaki the turtles are safe from their principal predator - man. Only here on the famous «island of the manta rays», after tough negotiations with Indonesian local government, international environmental protection agencies have been able to implement a protected zone. At almost all the other islands of the Celebes Sea employees of Indonesian merchants arrive every morning to plunder all of the turtle nests. Turtle eggs are considered a delicacy in wide areas of Asia.
Komodo - Kingdom of the Dragon
At the heart of the Indonesian archipelago lies the Komodo region, a unique paradise where natural selection has run its course for millions of years, without the interference of humankind. This group of islands is one of the last home of reptile domination, and the ruler of this kingdom is the Komodo Dragon. «Kingdom of the Dragon» explores the magnificent bio-diversity found both above and below the waters of the Komodo National Park, and the growing threat of human encroachment into the dragon's domain.
A docu-fantasy on the year's most haunted night, retelling spooky tales through the encounters of two young students and enabling the viewer to experience the mystical chills in 3-D. We travel with them, the length and breadth of the Highlands as they meet and interview six seemingly normal people, all of whom claim to have endured the horror of coming face to face with some of Scotland's most famous and most terrifying ghosts. Their journey takes them across isolated moors and mountains, past deeply mysterious lochs and through dark and forbidding forests to meetings on galeswept hilltops, at ancient, brooding castles and in desolate, neglected cemeteries.
3D Mega Shark
This is a detective story. Take one monstrous shark, ancestor of present day Great White, and various controversial theories about whether or not it is in fact extinct. Add a group of highlyskilled profilers who pool their knowledge on build up a picture of «carcharadon megalodon», the most terrifying predator which has ever lived and you have Mega-Shark. In a truly unique approach, the concept of the FBI criminal profiler is juxtaposed and interwoven with all the elements which make up a quality natural history film about sharks.
3D Safari: Africa
Africa, kingdom to some of the world's most rare and endangered species. Here we join our 3-D camera team as they begin a unique journey. For the first time ever, using the newest technology, Africas most unusual, largest and dangerous wildlife will be filmed in 3 dimensions - close enough to touch. On this journey our 3-D camera team makes their way through some of Africas most beautiful landscapes including Kenya, South Africa, Urganda and Ruanda filming the animals in their natural environment. From the Black and White Rhinos, to close encounters with some of Africas most dangerous cats our 3-D team has to exercise extreme caution and knowledge of animal behaviour as they attempt to move in amongst these animals filming how they live, hunt and play. »Making of« elements will show viewers just how close our 3-D team has to get to the animals in order to film in 3-D and visits to people who have dedicated their lives to saving Africas endangered species give the viewer an insiders knowledge into Africas animal kingdom. The final challenge and greatest danger comes indeed not from wild animals but from mankind as our team enters a battlezone intent on finding Africas exclusive and highly endangered mountain gorillas. This documentary/adventure brings Africas wildlife into a new dimension - for a very special viewing experience, the wonders of Africa - close enough to touch.
3D Safari: Indonesia
Indonesia, the Southeast Asian archipelago, consists of more than 13,000 islands, most of which are uninhabited. This unique and fascinating environment leads to an animalworld found no where else on our planet. Our three-dimensional Safari through the jungles and islands of Indonesia will be introducing us to an array of unusual and often dangerous animals, all in brilliant 3-D. From the fascinating Sun Bear to the intriguing slow lorus, the hairy "man of the woods« and Indonesias most feared predator, our 3-D safari crew will take you to Indonesias most remote regions to experience the unique wildlife of Indonesia - close enough to touch. Our 3-D teams ultimate goal is the islands of Komodo to film the worlds most primitive and oldest species of giant lizard, the Komodo dragon. Share a unique insight into the behaviour of this ²prehistoric« creature and many other animals in the island paradise of Indonesia, filmed in stunning 3-D.
The Edelweiss Enigma
High up in the European Alps grows a little flower with cult-like status known to millions around the globe. Once picked, it will keep its shape and colour for hundreds of years and thus boosted many myths and secrets - the Edelweiss. Besides prominently featured in a song from the film »Sound of Music« it stands in as a trademark-symbol for all kinds of products and things, even for beer or a French astronomy project. Called »The Everlasting Flower« by Asian people the Edelweiss is used as a medicine by Buddhist doctors, for lighting fires as well as firing guns. Now scientists have revealed an astounding prospect. Edelweiss, the flower of memory, may be a key to human memory.
From the European Alps to the Steppes of Mongolia, through nature, culture, myth and medicine, the Edelweiss Enigma goes in search of the truth behind a flower that has captured peoples' imaginations for centuries. Combining blue chip images, rare archive, playful animation, and characters that will have you singing along - the Edelweiss Enigma shows what can happen when myths become reality.
Guatemala - Death and Hope
During more than 30 years of civil war in Guatemala, over 200,000 people died and around a million were forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
Even today, families are continuing to search for their loved ones, supported by a small army of scientists who are investigating and cataloguing hundreds of mass graves. This forensic anthropology project may be the world's largest but the country's former dictators are not interested in reexamining the past and often threaten the people involved - even with death. This film tells their stories.
Freedom in the Saddle - Horse Riding Wild West Style
Many people just dream of going horseback riding like in the days of the Wild West, with cowboys, rodeo-tricks and the romance of the camp fire. In reality western riding has become increasingly recognised as a serious sport as well as a leisure activity.
This film examines the unique history of this specialist style of horse-riding and shows the extraordinary bond that exists between horse and
rider, from the work of cowboys in the Wild West to today's tournament
and hobby riders. Horse lovers and trainers explain how, through this style of riding, they have maintained their love of the Wild West.
Mephisto - The Operating System of Temptation
In Goethe's play «Faust,» Mephistopheles promises immanence and earthly pleasure to the metaphysician Faust.
For many people nowadays, Goethe's villain is the driving force behind modern productivity in all its negative aspects: sexualisation, rampant capitalism and the explosion of science without ethics or morals. This documentary asks the question - what kind of daily temptations are people exposed? Scientists, who talk about controversial experiments and ordinary people give their views on daily «Mephistophelian temptations.»
The Gold Trail - Camino del Oro
A spectacular climb of the 6,000-metre Nevado Pyramid surrounded by dangerous glacier ice break-offs was the impressive finale of this trek through the Andes. The legend of the creation of the Inca nation on Lake Titikaka, the Inti-raymi festival and the celebrations marking the summer and winter solstices make up the central focus of this documentary. English script available
In the future, however, it may no longer be left up to trend scouts and image consultants to create ideal beauty, but rather to programmers, who create virtual beauties based on recent findings in the field of face recognition and analysis. For pantomime and communication trainer Samy Molcho, though, the major criteria for our aesthetic judgement still include charisma, individualism and personality.
The Secret Father
It is only at the age of 60 that the native of Lower Austria can start looking for him. In a Russian television show on which people search for missing relatives he seems to strike lucky. Shortly after the show is broadcast relatives get in touch. The search for his roots ends in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, where Reinhard Heninger suddenly finds himself in a large new family surrounded by half-sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.
70 year old Mr. Repolusk, for example, has already shot leopards and zebras. In order to complete his collection of skins he travels all the way to Russia to get a bear in his sights. This documentary accompanied bear hunters on their adventures to the Russian Taiga and depicts the eternal fascination for the cunning furry animal.
The Golden Future of the Women of Lihir
In 1982 gold was discovered on Lihir. In 1995 a gold mine was opened. Ever since then, one of the most tradition-bound societies in the world has undergone an enormous, even violent upheaval. The film shows the coexistence and the clash of two extremely different worlds: shell money and gold coins, barter and cash business, forest spirits and fax machines. The dramatic cultural transition is observed from the viewpoint of the women. The entire history is told through the stories of a few women and their lives between west and southeast.
Not Without My Mother
More than alone, he is also thrust into an independent life, struggling to find new happiness, buying nice clothes by himself or dealing with thoughts of even starting a family. This film accompanies a man who was faithful to only one woman in his life on the brink of starting a new unaccustomed existence.
On(e) Line Life - Play Hard, Go Pro
LAN parties, online gaming and cyber-communities are everyday reality. Besides the multitude of new possibilities offered by gaming new problems arise: often virtual adventures have come to replace interaction in the real world. «On(e)line life» tells the story of several video game players, from their first contact with gaming to their eventual addiction and gives an insight into some little known, morally questionable principles of the gaming industry.
The Rainmakers from Botswana - An African Success Story
Living the good life in Africa, and that means Botswana as well, translates as prosperity. That is why, after achieving independence in 1966, the name of the currency was changed to the Setswana word for rain: Pula! The most important religious duty of the King, making rain, remained unchanged: to guarantee Pula - Rain, life, and prosperity.
Everyday Life in Beijing - Private China
China's government wants to present to the world a country on the way to modernity. The communist party has changed the giant empire at a rapid pace, organised the Olympic Summer Games 2008 and presents the country as an hospitable economic power. The old China must make way for glittering new buildings and complex street systems. Many people try to escape the modernisation into the tranquillity of antique districts and temple complexes of Buddha and Confucius where time seems to stand still. This documentary portrays the everyday lives of Beijing's inhabitants: how they live, what has changed and what they expect from the future.
Paraguay - Heart of South America
Paraguayans are thoroughly positive and cooperative people. With this affirmative outlook on life, they have survived the highs and lows of the country's different forms of government. The serenity with which the people face even the most precarious situation is astounding and something not often seen among the peoples of the world. This documentary offers a somewhat different picture of the South American country - a land in which people can live free of the constraints and duties of the modern world and shows Austrian and Bavarian emigrants, who explain why they were drawn to this place out
In the Land of the Rising Sun
In spring, the animal and plant world suddenly awakes within a few golden days. In early summer, rare wild flowers dot the meadows, and some of them are found only here. Highly adapted bird species populate the bullrushes, and salty ponds and puddles are lined with plant life from the sea coast. Slowly approaching winter brings a breath-taking spectacle: More than 15 000 wild geese stop over on their way south. Evening after evening large flocks come gliding in to spend the night on the waters edge.
Green Gold - Medicine from the Primeval Forest
Being the first alpinists to ascend four six-thousand-meter mountains, the group continued its tour to the Ashaninka region in the Central Peruvian rain forest. Equipped with Western medicines, Klaus Keplinger, the medic of the group, made friends with a curandero, a healer who allowed him a glimpse into the Ashaninka art of healing. This was to become the beginning of an extensive exchange of knowledge. On his return to Europe, Keplinger verified the Ashaninka findings in collaboration with the universities of Munich, Graz, Vienna and Innsbruck.
Biljana Srbljanovic - My Belgrade
During the past few years the author has become one of the most important literary voices in opposition Serbia. She attracted international attention with the diary she kept during the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia and which was published in the magazine "Der Spiegel". Her most recent piece, "Overthrow", a farce about a dictator family, was premiered two days after the Serbian parliamentary elections in Belgrade. Her reports on life in Belgrade are currently being published in all the big literary publications in Europe.
Orhan Pamuk - My Istanbul
Petros Markaris - My Athens
Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican
Vaclav Havel - My Prague
Veit Heinichen - My Trieste
Ian Rankin - My Edinburgh
Woman With A Past
With the age of 34 Alex has already experienced everything there is to experience in the red light industry. Now Alex wants to find her way back to a normal life. This film accompanies her as she struggles to find her place in the «middle class» world that has become alien to her - and she to it, dealing with the scars on her heart and soul the life in the red light left behind.
Made to Order Love
That is why he is looking east in the Ukraine hoping to find the woman of his dreams there. However other Austrian men have already dreamed the same dream just to experience a rude awakening. This film tells of love seeking men and internet fraud, of disappointments and several thousand Euros lost in transaction fees.
Jesus in Tarragona
This documentary shows how the citizens of Tarragona cultivate a 450-year old tradition; how the precious, heavy wood and stone scupltures called "pasos" representing Christs Passion are carried through the town - an honour passed from father to son. Women have only been admitted to the procession for a few years. Today participants number more than 2000, with several thousands of spectators. There are 19 "pasos" belonging to the fraternities (a total of 11), whose origins date back to the old medieval guilds. Ever since then, they have joined forces to celebrate the Good Friday processions in their ancient tradition.
Calcutta - Kolkata - A Rickshaw named Desire
Only from a distance can the dream of »Eternal India« be dreamed in an undisturbed way. In reality, cliches fade fast into fleeting snapshots of the tourism- and film-industries. This is especially true for a metropolis like Calcutta, which in 2001 has been renamed to Kolkata by the government of the Indian state West Bengal. Kolkata is one of fastest growing Mega Cities on the planet. According to nonofficial estimates, about 15 million people now live in Greater Kolkata. For over 140 years, Calcutta had been the capital of the Britsh Crown Colony India. Through architecture and infrastructure the colonial heritage is still reflected, as evidenced by the last tramway on the entire subcontinent. One thing though is for sure: The real ruler of the city always has been and always will be Kali, the Hindu-goddess.
My Heart, My Soul - My Horses
For thousands of years, mankind has been fascinated by horses. What is it that ties us so closely to these animals? Can that extraordinary relationship be explained somehow?
In this documentary, various people present their own stories as well as their horses. You will meet Jean Francois Pignon, the renowned French Master of freestyle dressage as well as the 80-year old lady who still masters the highest art of riding. Two young girls, who share a family-like relationship with their horses are portraied as well as a Viennese Fiaker, who cannot live without his animals. Even when dealing with death, man turns to horses: A pastor, who brings together mortally ill children with horses is shown as well as a former tournament amazone who now runs a stud for horses that otherwise would be put down.
No single story of the documentary can answer the above question all by itself. It is the variety of experiences portrayed in the piece that provides for an attempt to solve the mystery that surrounds the complex relations between mankind and horses.
The Side of Africa - Discovering the Lesachtal Valley
To round off the exploratory journey of the Lesachtal, both bright and dark mountains are illuminated with special effects - to mark the geological beginning of Africa. Harald Friedl`s film holds many surprises, not least afforded by the valley dwellers themselves.
Cenotes - The Holy Wells of the Maya
«D'zonot»- holy wells - was what the Maya called the countless, small water holes in the seasonally dry forest of Yucatán, which guaranteed their survival over so many centuries. Flooded passageways, fissures and caves connect the individual Cenotes of Yucatán, as these wells are called today, over great distances. In them, the water from seasonal rainfalls flows in broad underground streams from inland to the ocean. More than 500 kilometres of Yucatan's underground rivers have been cartographically documented so far. However this seems to be just a small part of the most extensive, flooded cave system on our planet. This documentary takes you on a journey through this beautiful labyrinth pursuing the question how and why the Mayas manoeuvred into an ecological disaster?
Long Distances - Traveling in the Other Nepal
This cinematic expedition follows paths in Nepal that are intentionally off the beaten route. Six hours by automobile away from the chaotic, impressive capital Katmandu, roads, electricity, telephones end...in the middle of the other Nepal. Continuing from there, it means walking, walking to the most remote places with names like Ratomate or Gumukhola. It is a walk along the border, not only geographically along the Nepal-Tibet border, but also along one that provides the links between the global experience industry, local underdevelopment and common solutions in the microcosm. This film also deals with a model of Austrian-Nepalese development cooperation aimed at self-help and assistance, transparency and synergies, mini-budgets and maximum results.
Califia's Island of Gold - A Journey to the Other California
This documentary presents a sweeping view of Baja California, the world's third largest peninsula, and a relatively unknown part of Mexico. European classical music, American literature and the hard labor of the film's protagonists are used to portray the social development of a people caught between two continents. The entire production, from conception to shooting and editing, was done by the two filmmakers and the cameraman even played violin with the Viennese Chamber Orchestra during the music recordings.
The Lord Above and the Wienerlied
It is no coincidence that the wellknown Catholic theologian Paul Michael Zulehner has defined a «theology of the Wienerlied» which even has its own «Holy Trinity»: wine, women and song. Here, voices lift in protest against the church and its dogmas, such as its rejection of sexuality, its double standard and the enforced celibacy of priests. The theology of the «Wienerlied» is a merry science. Likewise, Wolfgang Beyer's film essay presents its subject in absurd pictures and with a great deal of humour.
La Mattanza - The Tuna Hunt in Sicily
Every year between April and May enormous swarms of tuna pass by the Sicilian coast. The fishermen of Favignana prepare for their biggest catch in an appropriate way. Under the direction of the experienced "Capo Rais," they build the biggest underwater trap in the world, the "tonnara," from which there is no escape. More than 100 fishermen work round the clock for months on the complicated trap 40 kilometers long. It has to work properly when the big moment comes. The Mattanza is a battle for life and death for the fish, and even for the fishermen themselves. Convoys of tourists from many countries come to witness this spectacle of death from the first row of boats. 90% of the tuna catch on Favignana goes to Tokyo as fresh fish. Japanese chefs come to Favignana to select the best fish. The rest is processed for the Italian market in cans. Nature conservationists are not heard on Favignana, since this is a matter of survival for the fishermen and their families.
Chief Bapak Jali and his tribe live in Jiwika at the edge of the jungle. He is an efficient, likeable fellow who preserves the holy traditions of his ancestors without neglecting modern times. In numerous interviews, the members of this tribe talk about their lives, their longings and their future. The 80-year-old Hani has a vivid memory of bloody fights against the cannibals and of droning iron birds plunging down from the sky.The presence is not very romantic. Hard work on the fields, poor harvests and cold nights determine the day of Jalis. Moreover Irian Jaya being rich in mineral resources, Indonesians plan to make the Danis leave as soon as possible. A continuously smouldering guerrilla fight has led to fierce atrocities and dozens of causalities in recent. In spite of all difficulties, Natalies, the youngest son of Bapak Jali, is fighting to save his village and to preserve the future of his tribe.
Drawn Towards The Mountains
Arriving at Semmering, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a different world. The brightly lit windows of the villas and hotels on the Viennese magic mountain open like the pages of a fantassy calendar of the previous century. Sigmund Freud, Oskar Kokoschka, Arthur Schnitzler and Josephine Baker are just some of the famous people that withdrew to these tranquil natural surroundings. This documentary takes a spectacular journey through time, linking tragic and amusing episodes in European history with the culture of the summer resort, the birth of modern winter sports and the health-spa phenomenon.
Sleepless in Hong Kong
This goes for the Chinese, as well as the foreigners who live and work there, and who came to Hong Kong attracted by their hope of one day living in the lap of luxury. But not all of them came of their own free will, as the story of one Austrian living in Hong Kong reveals.
The Slovakian Roma Bohumil falls in love with the Australian Roma Malvina, Schlomit leaves Vienna to be with Paul in Luxembourg and the Turkish woman Fetihye struggles humorously for survival in the USA, as she meets Benny, the love of her life. All of these couples met over the internet and have left behind fulfilling lives, their homeland, lifestyle and previous relationships, for their new loves. These are their very personal stories. They tell of the beginning of their romances on the net and their attempts to reconcile their personal ambitions with their new lives - showing that the path of true love never did run smooth.
The Most Wonderful Day Of Your Life
This film depicts various ways of celebrating this unique event. We experience a Jewish wedding and meet an emergency doctor and a nurse, who plan to say «I do» under water. We also accompany a married priest who, against all the teachings of the Catholic Church, marries divorced couples with the blessing of God and a wedding planner organising the «perfect wedding» 100 times a year.
Gurbet - Away From Home
Spending the majority of their lives in Austria they have now reached pension-age. In Turkey, they are strangers, but has Austria really become home to them? This exemplary historical filmchronicle collects the memories of their time in Turkey before their departure into working life abroad and later the present days as «guest workers» in a foreign land.
The Jungle is Calling
A third of the forests here have already been irreparably destroyed; 66 per cent of the clearing is illegal and the people that need the forest for hunting and fishing are being forced out. "Here, war is being waged for land, wood and profits," says Thomas Schweiger, a Greenpeace activist. He was on board the Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" with a group of activists from 16 nations to battle the illegal activities of the timber companies. And the ORF camera team was there to witness it all.
Tuareg - Desert People in Transition
When these states became independent, the land of the Tuareg was split into individual sectors, making them a minority with few rights of their own. As a result, the Tuareg depend on traditional structures to ensure their survival. Agadez in the north of Niger bordering on Algeria is one of the larger Tuareg cities, where Eva Gretzmacher, an Austrian, lives and acts as a point of contact for travellers and artists from Europe. She also looks after various development projects in her capacity as representative of the Society for Threatened People.
Sodade Means Longing
More and more people are looking to find their fortune by emigrating. Of Cape Verde's total population of 1.1 million, some 700,000 live abroad, most of them in the US. This film attempts to capture their feelings torn between hoping for a better life abroad and the greater love of their homeland. Hopes like these are expressed in music. There is hardly a song that does not tell of «sodade», for «sodade» means longing.
Six persons, who were involved in the discovery of the famous iceman "Ötzi" in the Alps in 1991, have died mysteriously. Paraphysicians contribute their deaths to the curse of the mummy. Paranormal phenomena like these are the essence of our Mystery series, telepathy, communication with the dead, and lots of ghosts...
Society Reporters - A Life for Rumours
This documentary accompanies a society reporter and gossip columnist on her daily work. She reveals the secrets of this profession and the various ways to get the information and interviews that interest her readers. The omnipresent camera makes the viewer a voyeur who experiences the private life of those who constantly observe and describe the privacy of others. The Society Reporters is a documentary whose fast pace and continual change of position before and behind the spotlights makes the line between appearances and reality disappear.
New Life Blooms in the Desert
In the course of the Sphinx project he encountered the desert for the first time. His invention has also helped to make the desert green and suitable for growing crops. Several projects are now in the works, including one in Senegal, one of the countries south of the Sahel zone hardest hit by the drought. The local population now plants and cultivates crops it has never seen before.
Modest Prosperity - China, Away from the Economic Miracle
Booming mega-cities, garish advertising, shopping centres full of consumer goods: this is the image of China we are constantly presented with on television. In fact, only the cities in the East of China are really profiting from the boom. However, more than half of the Chinese population lives in the country and has nothing to do with this «new» life. This documentary shows Chinese village-life, where people live the perfect communist dream with all its drawbacks: itinerant workers, discrimination against women and an ailing health care system...
Vaclav Havel - My Prague
In an exclusive interview, Vaclav Havel describes his relationship with his home town. He talks about his family, his favorite places, forays the city's history and comments on its current development. But also narrates his life and evolution from «number one enemy of the state» to President. He accompanies the viewer through the theatres in which he had memorable performances as an actor, the prisons he was held captive as political rebel and gives exclusive insight into his country estate in Hradecek. Furthermore, Vaclav Havel introduces friends and family-members, as for example Dagmar, his wife, his brother Ivan or Karl Schwarzenberg, his former counselor at the beginning of his presidency, who have known him intimately.
Biljana Srbljanovic - My Belgrade
Orhan Pamuk - My Istanbul
Petros Markaris - My Athens
Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican
Veit Heinichen - My Trieste
Ian Rankin - My Edinburgh
Inuit - The Night of Shamanism
Numbering around 900, the residents of this village on the Arctic circle survive mainly on welfare and hunting. Shamanism, the backbone of their culture over thousands of years, was practically wiped out by the missionaries. Today, only a few initiates have knowledge of this healing power. The film follows Jacky Qrunnut in his search for the last Inuit Shaman and depicts the current situation of the Inuit people.
Special Forces 'Cobra' - Training the Hard Way
This unique documentary gives exclusive access to the inner circle of the anti-terrorism unit «Cobra», showing its rigorous training methods and selection criteria as well as portraits of individual members. Using videos filmed by Cobra members on duty and studio reconstructions, viewers are given an up-close, realistic experience of dramatic operations carried out by the special-forces unit. Additionally the diverse responsibilities of the task force, both currently and over the past decades, are presented from the perspective of officers, victims and offenders. With unprecedented access to the secret archives of the anti-terrorism unit, the film maker was, for the first time, able to document at close proximity the security measures for the Pope's last visit to Austria.
Veit Heinichen - My Trieste
Best-selling author Veit Heinichen presents «his» Trieste, his adoptive city for the past fifteen years. The author not only takes viewers to the different scenes of his novels, but also forays the city's multi-faceted history. Like inspector Proteo Laurenti, Veit Heinichen too appreciates the region's culinary highlights, which reflect the different influences the city was exposed to at different periods of its history. Together with top chef Ami Scabar, his long-time companion, Veit Heinichen serves the audience a menu of Trieste's cultural history from antiquity to the present.
Biljana Srbljanovic - My Belgrade
Orhan Pamuk - My Istanbul
Petros Markaris - My Athens
Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican
Vaclav Havel - My Prague
Ian Rankin - My Edinburgh
The Land of the Yellow Mountain
Here, centuries-old villages have preserved their original appearance. After decades of grinding poverty, the inhabitants of the region are trying to maintain a firm grip on their traditions while hoping that tourism will boost their economic prospects. On location, Klaus Hipfl and his film crew discovered a region that reflects the fortunes of China as a whole - a people in search of a new identity while walking the fine line between preserving their centuries-old culture and succumbing to the temptations of a globalised economy.
This film takes the viewers from the Cape of Good Hope to the beautiful Cape Town. Travelling along the postcard-like garden route past breathtaking beaches, our journey takes us to the village of Knysna, famous for its oysters, and to the ostrich farms of Outshoorn. One of the highlights features a safari trip in a private nature reserve.
Grossglockner Rush, The
Too many names inscribed in the copper plates - mountain climbers all of them, doomed to death on the Großglockner in tragic accidents ever since it was first conquered back in 1800. Scientists and scholars in the early days, mountaineering enthusiasts later - and the masses of people today: they have all attempted to climb the 3798m summit. The camera team watches the doings of the mountain climbers for three days - on the summit and in the much-feared "Glocknerscharte" - often not believing their eyes: up to 50 people at times, simultaneously pushing for the top of the narrow crest - solo climbers without a rope or any other precaution, people with a fear of heights and no experience whatsoever, men and their dogs...
Wines should be able to tell you about their history.»If this piece of winemaker's wisdom also extends to South Africa, then the wines of the Cape region should have a bitter aftertaste - a taste of slavery, exploitation and inhumane working conditions. The new South Africa is constantly trying to rectify this. Black Economic Empowerment is supposed to bring long denied social justice to black people, even in the area of wine growing. The documentary gives an account of this long and difficult path to justice and shows, with intimate images, the daily lives of wine growers at the other end of the world.
Available in 1x30 / 1x52 / 2x45 min.
The Salt Caravan
Hundreds of dromedaries and their drivers spend 10 months of the year walking through stone and sand to pick up the treasured salt. In April and May the caravan guides cannot withstand the sun anymore. 50 degrees Celsius in the shade and barely anything there to create shade. The dromedaries are so heavily laden that they would be crushed if they stopped walking. Everything has to be taken with them. The fodder for the animals, the food for the drivers, additional food such as rice tea and sugar to exchange for the white gold: salt. Earlier the government sent all dissidents here. Taoudenni was an absolutely closed area from which practically no one came out alive. From 1990 to 1995 civil war raged in northern Mali. The Tuaregs rose up against the government. 80.000 people fled to the neighbouring countries. They came back slowly to take up their lives in Mali again. Even today the northern part of Mali is not safe. Bandits attack cars. Nobody pays any attention to laws.
Jerusalem - Thou Holy City
The worldly and the celestial Jerusalem become a unity in an area of less than 1 square kilometer. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the three monotheistic religions which regard Jerusalem as their spiritual center. What is it that makes Jerusalem so holy? What exactly is at stake in the bloody fights between Palestinians and Israelis - is it religion or power? This documentary explains why Jews, Christians and Muslims love this city in which daily life constantly fluctuates between normalcy and the burden of holiness.
Hainan Island - China's Tropical Paradise
For centuries the Chinese considered it the breeding ground of poverty and barbarism - the island of Hainan, China's southernmost province once thought to be the «end of the world». Today, Hainan Island stands for one of the world's most attractive beaches; this tropical paradise has long been considered an exotic tourist destination. Now that China's new middle class can afford to go on holiday, the local population, primarily farmers and fishermen, has been caught up in an economic boom thanks to the influx of rich tourists. Werner Fitzthum documents the tourists' activities, as well as the daily life of the island's inhabitants and the national Li minority.
The Angel of Thailand's Slums
Born herself into Klong Toey, over the last 20 years Prateep has built up her own school system, affected changes in legislation and given children the opportunity to live within the law and to have access to education. This documentary goes back to 1979 and shows important milestones in the life of the 48-year-old senator.
Damascus - Arab Capital Of Culture
It appears as though Damascus is reluctant to show off its own culture to the outside world but would rather bring in western artists - a consequence of the cultural isolation suffered by "rogue state" Syria. This documentary traces its ancient culture over millennia and compares the Arab model for a cultural capital with the European concept as seen in cities like Graz and Cork.
A Nobleman's Home is His Castle
They were the Lords of Czech Republic: The Salms, the Schwarzenbergs or the Waldsteins. That is, until 1945 when they were expropriated. Now they have returned and have taken up the fight to win their property back. The Czech government is «not amused» and has made restitution as difficult as possible for these aristocratic families. The courts have denied most of their claims - the state still holds the reins on these enormous assets in Bohemia. But these families are refusing to give up.
Life is a Drama - Drama for Life
It shows the pensioneers' way of how to cope with this period of life. Some of the problems of living together seem not to have changed even 60 years later and yet all of them would still love to be on stage ... and competition amongst them still exists. The protagonists themselves narrate most of the film and play their own roles, giving an intimate and touching insight into their living.
Fiaker - Cruising Vienna's Streets at 2 HP
Horse-drawn carriages known as «Fiaker», Vienna's turn-of-the-century answer to the taxi, are now filled with tourists and those looking for a fancy backdrop for celebrating special occasions. Despite its French origins, the word «Fiaker» evokes images that are Viennese through and through. Vienna just wouldn't be the same without the some 100 horse-drawn carriages dotting many of the city's squares, cruising the Ringstraße boulevard and clopping along quaint little winding streets. This film takes a look at Vienna's Fiaker, from their origins to the present day.
About a Sundance
For a century the Piercing Sundance, a sacred ritual of the First Nation people to sacrifice one's self to the Great Spirit, was forbidden in Canada. It was almost forgotten when the farmer Morris Crow had the vision of bringing back this ritual of his ancestors. 29 years later this Sundance is an established sacred event for many of the First Nation People in the west of Canada. For the first time ever a camera was allowed to document a Sundance during which 16-year-old Morris Jr. got his initiation...
Summer in Yalta - Rooms for Rent
Until the days of Perestroika, the Soviets built sanatoriums and convalescent homes along the peninsular shores; these were financed by the national trade unions, which issued travel vouchers, so-called "Putyovka", to their members. For the inhabitants of Crimea, who rent rooms during the holiday season, summer is the only time of the year in which there is work - for as everywhere in the former Soviet Union, Ukrainians are left to themselves by a corrupt and bankrupt state.
Of Medicine Women and Priest Sorcerers
Noted personages such as Navajo medicine man Francis Mitchel, a direct descendant of Manuelito (the famous leader during the wars of resistance), or "shaman mother" Kim Keum-Hwa, who is widely known in Korea and has passed on her knowledge to the popular Korean shaman priestess Hi-Ah Park, have admitted to being interviewed on their tradition.
Rastafari - Peace, Love and Justice
Ever since, some people on the Caribbean island of Jamaica have considered the only globally acknowledged black ruler of the time as God Jah, the Redeemer, henceforth calling themselves Rastafari or Rasta. For them, Jamaica was but the imperial slum of Great Britain, while Africa was their ancestors` home, and reggae their powerful medium.
Tazara - The Iron Path to Freedom
The camera climbs aboard to document a typical voyage from Zambia to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), along the way capturing the vast natural beauty of the countryside, the fascination of modern technology and the personal stories of individuals whose lives have been impacted - and simplified - by the railway.
Lech - The Last Wild River
The fate of the Lech River was identical with that of most others: embankments and dams have tamed its wild waters. In Bavaria, between the Austrian border and its confluence with the Danube, the river has been turned into a cascade of 30 storage and run-of-river power plants. In summer you can hear a striking buzz along the banks of the Lech. Everybody knows where it comes from - the grasshopper. The grasshopper is the symbol of the Tyrolean Lech Valley. Sitting, it is a commonplace creature, in flight it turns itself into an astonishing beauty. Only along the Lech's upper reaches in Austria does the Lech still run untamed, meandering through a mountainscape of indescribable beauty - the last big wild river in the Alps.