Moving destinies

Whether it’s extraordinary fortunes or everyday challenges: nothing is more thrilling than life itself. Every person has their story. And we tell them! From the daily life of the zoo to the master business of a traditional skilled trade. 

The East German Railroad belonged to the daily routine of the GDR just like the Trabant car, milk cartons and queues. Founded in 1924, the East German Railroad was a state-run railroad company in the Weimar Republic and during the Nazi regime and in 1949 it turned into the...

GDR Mobile 2-Between the East German Railroad and the Racing Roland, ZDFinfo, 2017

The East German Railroad belonged to the daily routine of the GDR just like the Trabant car, milk cartons and queues. Founded in 1924, the East German Railroad was a state-run railroad company in the Weimar Republic and during the Nazi regime and in 1949 it turned into the state-run railway of the GDR. Although a huge part of the railroad network was destroyed and enormous reparation payments had to be made to the Soviet Union, only two years after the end of the war hundreds of locomotives had already been repaired. The main railroad tracks in the Soviet occupation zone had been repaired and track demolition was stopped. In the 1950s the first steam locomotives rolled off the old manufacturing sites and were built as double-deckers for regional public transportation. By 1980, despite the permanent shortage of raw materials, transport volume had become almost as great as that of the Federal German  Railway although its track capacity was nearly double the size. Commissioned by the East German Railroad, thousands of diesel and electric locomotives were built and the railroad network running on electric lines was enlarged. Despite completely unsound economic decisions and the constant shortage of materials, the East German Railroad turned into the main transportation service for public transportation and freight traffic and the biggest employer in the 1940s in the GDR. We visit sites where to this day people work on old locomotives, where thousands of railroad fans meet and take tours on special trains. We look back on 40 years of public transportation and freight traffic in the GDR and interview railroad experts and passionate fans. 

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Many farmers in Germany don’t know what will happen to their farms once they retire. On the other hand, there are many young and enthusiastic farmers just waiting for the chance to move to the countryside and become a farmer owning a farm. The life of a self-supporter is...

My Dream of a Farm, NDR, 4 episodes, 2017

Many farmers in Germany don’t know what will happen to their farms once they retire. On the other hand, there are many young and enthusiastic farmers just waiting for the chance to move to the countryside and become a farmer owning a farm. The life of a self-supporter is very popular amongst families with children. And right there our program starts: “My dream of a farm” helps farmers to find the ideal replacement for their business. Two teams of friends or family compete against each other and are able to show what they are made of and therefore, are able to prove why they’re the best candidate for the farm. At the same time, they get an impression of what it is like to maintain and own a farm and if what they had in mind concurs with reality. Who will settle the race? Whether it’s clearing out the stables, feeding the chicken, milking the cows, plowing, dusting or threshing: the still-owners are observing every move and therefore the decision on who will be their replacement is not made at the coffee table but in action on the farm. Can the applicants start a conversation with the neighbors at the town fest? Is it a problem if the next supermarket is miles away? Will they include themselves in the sports club, into the fire department or the church choir? “My dream of a farm” accompanies our protagonists while they are designing their new life: On the one hand finally starting their dream life and on the other hand being able to let go and finally retire. The one narrative is built by the old farmers and their daily routine, their passion for farming but also the look ahead. The other narrative is built by the potential successors and how they prepare for the challenge of taking over a farm.  “My dream of a farm” not also shows what’s happening in front of the camera but gives you a behind the scene look when they rise to a challenge or when they clash with each other or learn from each other.

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This empty phrase is as old as the generation conflict: back then everything was better. Back then we children were more modest, freer and more natural. We spent more time outdoors, were able to repair things ourselves and undoubtedly the music was better at that time. Is that...

Back then everything was better, 2 episodes, ZDFinfo

This empty phrase is as old as the generation conflict: back then everything was better. Back then we children were more modest, freer and more natural. We spent more time outdoors, were able to repair things ourselves and undoubtedly the music was better at that time. Is that really true or do the first varifocals blur the vision of the past? From the economic miracle to the fall of the Berlin Wall, from the kidney-shaped table to the perm: The 45-minute documentary “Back then everything was better” examines the good old days carefully and interviews contemporaries and experts: What was better back then? Why do we sometimes believe things were better, easier or prettier back then instead of today even though we know they were not? What actually is nostalgia and how does it affect us? Every decade has brought forth pioneering technical and socio-cultural achievements. What did they mean for our everyday lives? What was our childhood like in the fifties compared to today? Were young people in the sixties more rebellious? Where would we be today if we hadn’t fought for women’s rights, the environment or peace in the seventies and eighties? Every generation associates a certain lifestyle feeling with their youth closely related to fashion, music or political milestones of that era. When we think about it we slip into nostalgic daydreaming. Generally only the positive things stay with us. Memories make us feel warm and secure but at the same time have the bitter-sweet aftertaste that the past is irreversibly gone. Studies show that nostalgia lifts the spirit, lessens the feeling of loneliness and can ban the feeling of fear. We meet people that don’t want to accept that the good old days are over. They have managed to take that feeling of nostalgia and incorporate it into the present and have made that feeling of days long gone by come to life again though their living room decor, their music or simply by collecting memorabilia. “To preserve the good things and cherish them” is their motto. This is exactly what our documentary wants to do: We walk down very personal memory lanes and pay homage to the desire for an irretrievable yesterday. Prominent contemporaries of the past like Karl Dall, Wolfgang Lippert, Winfried Glatzeder, Marie Luise Marjan, Rhea Harder, Maria Ketikidou, Mirja Boes and Heike Drechsler let us have a look at their private photo albums and give us an inside look into their own  personal “back then”.  Historians, cultural scientists, brain researchers and psychologists give us a scientific view of nostalgia. How does nostalgia affect us? How high a percentage of people in Germany think that everything was better back then? The documentary “Back then everything was better” draws comparisons to the present again and again and tries to get to the bottom of everyday clichés like “back then everything was cheaper”, “back then you had more free time” or “back then young people were more much more committed to political activism.

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Timo is from Schleswig Holstein; he is 34 years old and owns a farm in New Zealand. In 2004 he traveled to the green end of the world as a backpacker and stayed. Approximately 15.000 thousand Germans visit New Zealand every year. Timos career as a farmer in New Zeeland began...

Of all things New Zealand - A Farm on the green end of the World, one episode, ZDF, 2016

Timo is from Schleswig Holstein; he is 34 years old and owns a farm in New Zealand. In 2004 he traveled to the green end of the world as a backpacker and stayed. Approximately 15.000 thousand Germans visit New Zealand every year. Timos career as a farmer in New Zeeland began nine years ago. “I started with NOTHING”, Timo says – now he owns 620 dairy cows living on 185 hectares of land that the Maori provide for them. Meanwhile, his puppy love followed him: Jonna, 31 years old who for a long time could not come to terms with giving up her hair salon in Schleswig Holstein, married Timo two years ago and now their baby boy Lewis completes their little family. Timo and Jonna love their lives as farmers and the movie shows exactly that. In New Zealand farmers are treated with respect not only because they are the heroes of the biggest economy branch farming but also because they have a huge workload and are able to maintain their existence. An adventure story with powerful pictures about the dream destination for a lot of Germans that takes you inside the young farmer’s scene. With big pictures, this movie depicts the unique landscape and the people that live and work there.

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Journalist and TV host, Judith Rakers takes the viewers along on a multifaceted journey through Rügen, Sylt and Föhr – cultural, sportive and culinary.  Sylt is the exceptional island where the rich and powerful go shopping in luxurious boutiques and party...

The island report…with Judith Rakers, 3 episodes, NDR, 2016

Journalist and TV host, Judith Rakers takes the viewers along on a multifaceted journey through Rügen, Sylt and Föhr – cultural, sportive and culinary.  Sylt is the exceptional island where the rich and powerful go shopping in luxurious boutiques and party in priceless mansions and where locals are unable to pay for housing space. Those are the clichés many people have about the North Sea island.

On the island of Rügen, no place is further away from the shore than 7 kilometers. Nearly 580 kilometers of coats surround Germany’s biggest island. Judith’s scouting expedition on Germany’s most versatile island includes seaside resorts, sandy beaches, proud standing chalk cliffs, the boddenlascape and Rügens famous beech forest.

The island Föhr is known to be unpretentious. Rustic thatched roofs, distinctive windmills, pleasant maritime climate and all of that right in the middle of the national park mudflat. On this 83 square kilometers big island calm and simplicity are the key factors why many residents of Sylt envy the residents of Föhr.

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The Chiemsee is the hidden star in this new eight-part docu-soap broadcasted on ZDF. With nearly eighty square kilometers the “Bavarian sea” is the third biggest lake in Germany. Surrounded by mountains, forests, and meadows – the home of the Chiemgauer, a...

Lake Chiemsee-Between the Beach and the Alps. ZDF, 2016

The Chiemsee is the hidden star in this new eight-part docu-soap broadcasted on ZDF. With nearly eighty square kilometers the “Bavarian sea” is the third biggest lake in Germany. Surrounded by mountains, forests, and meadows – the home of the Chiemgauer, a loving breed of people with a lot of lifeblood and a sense of tradition. We have them! Paragliders next to restaurant owners, rising music stars next to a brass band, carving family next to organic farmers.  This lake fascinates all kinds of different people: the encouraged Petra Obermeier, who owns her bakery in fourth generation and soon will hand it over to her son Damion; the musician Stephan Keller, who goes by the name “Keller Steff” and tours the world in his leather pants – but always comes back home; or the campgrounds operators Harry and Marina Schmidt, who fulfilled themselves a dream by owning their camping grounds Seehäusl. The docu-soap accompanies these roots loving people and explores the question what makes them unique: what do they love about their Chiemlake? Why do they always come back?

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Churches are empty; communities get too old, traditions break. In Germany, it’s on withdrawal but in many places around the world, religion unfolds a new strength. “What do you believe,” asks Dunja Hayali on her journey through different religions. Is there...

Field work XXL „What do you believe?, one episode, ZDF, 2016

Churches are empty; communities get too old, traditions break. In Germany, it’s on withdrawal but in many places around the world, religion unfolds a new strength. “What do you believe,” asks Dunja Hayali on her journey through different religions. Is there something that unites people from different religions, do we actually want the same things, no matter if or what we believe in? In “Field Work XXL” she visits places like a mountain village in Georgia, Kathmandu, New York City and Vienna. She meets orthodox Christians, Jews, Hindus and Moslems, people who look for god or have already found him. What moves the Georgian mother Nino, a 67-year-old nun who lives alone in a remote cloister and is seen as a “living angel” among her orthodox church? How does the Jew-Hassidic family Freier who Dunja Hayali meets in Brooklyn for Sabbath deal with the strict rules of their religion? Which forces does the Hindu-Festival Shivaratri release? “It’s fascinating for me to see the devotion for their respective gods – a devotion for something you cannot touch”, says Dunja Hayali. In her personal encounters and self-attempts “Field Work” reporter Dunja Hayali encounters the strength that believes can unfold in many different ways: stability, happiness, community. But she also encounters the flipside of religion: exclusion and almightiness.

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The report „The New Neighbors – Refugees in Berlin“ accompanies refugees, helpers and neighbors at refugee shelters and addresses their worries and fears as well as closer relationships and acceptance. In the first quarter of 2016 approximately 180,000...

The New Neighbors - Refugees in Berlin, ZDFinfo, 2016

The report „The New Neighbors – Refugees in Berlin“ accompanies refugees, helpers and neighbors at refugee shelters and addresses their worries and fears as well as closer relationships and acceptance. In the first quarter of 2016 approximately 180,000 thousand refugees applied for asylum in Germany. Their condition is miserable – and their odyssey does not stop here in Germany. The shelters are bursting at the seams. Without countless volunteers the authorities and aid organizations would be in dire straits. The refugees, who are often traumatized, do meet with help and assistance but also come up against prejudice,  rejection and hate. The report accompanies refugees, volunteers and neighbors of refugee shelters in order to depict  reality in Germany in 2015/16. What problems arise when people far away from their homeland try to find a new home and what happens when an asylum application is denied?

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GDR citizens were mobile in spite of a planned economy full of shortages. Traffic was always on the move even if it meant waiting for a car for up to 14 years. The Trabant, Wartburg, MZ and Schwalbe are the vehicles from back then with an enormous cult status to this day....

GDR mobile-Trabbi, Wartburg and Racing Cars of the German Democratic Republic, ZDFinfo, 2016

GDR citizens were mobile in spite of a planned economy full of shortages. Traffic was always on the move even if it meant waiting for a car for up to 14 years. The Trabant, Wartburg, MZ and Schwalbe are the vehicles from back then with an enormous cult status to this day. Mobility in the GDR – that means first and foremost stories about competent and dedicated manufacturers, narrow-minded and incapable officials and crazy, passionate fans. Even today, the automobile scene of Eastern Germany is a comitted community.  Because of them the stories about Trabbi and Co. still exist today.

The Trabant was the symbol of the growing economy in the GDR but at the same time a symbol of its downfall as well.  It was the Volkswagen of the German Democratic Republic and functioned as the backbone of motorization in the GDR. The” cardboard”, as it was fondly called, constituted half of all the cars in the GDR. Starting in 1958 the car was manufactured in series over three million times until discontinuation in 1991. The legend lives on and even today there are vehicles manufactured in the GDR still on our roads, just like Erick Honecker used to say “always forward, never backwards”.

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In the documentary “Judith Rakers in Silicon Valley”, the journalist meets up with successful Germans who belong to ten thousand of digital pioneers that helped build the Silicon Valley we know today: How do you become an Internet Millionaire? Do you need a certain...

Judith Rakers in Silicon Valley, NDR, 2015

In the documentary “Judith Rakers in Silicon Valley”, the journalist meets up with successful Germans who belong to ten thousand of digital pioneers that helped build the Silicon Valley we know today: How do you become an Internet Millionaire? Do you need a certain attitude to life? Luck? Childish simplicity? Persistence? And: What do the nouveau rich do with their money?

Silicon Valley, located on the south of San Francisco is known to be the hotspot of the economic world thanks to the booming IT and high-tech industry. People who work and live here are certain that they can make the world a better place or at least change it. Judith Rakers will accompany the German internet millionaires and visionaries in their garages, the big players, the doers and the successful as well as the critics. She will witness how they work and what moves them. She will be able to get her own personal insight into the cosmos of the doers and visionaries who write multimillion dollar success stories – and how they never lose sight of their humanity.

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Ruhin Ashuftah and his family came to Germany from Afghanistan when Ruhin was only six years old. Today he himself works as a refugee helper, interpreter and therapist. Every day refugees arrive in Hamburg, Germany, some of them are even minors and are unaccompanied by their...

A Fresh Start in Hamburg-From a refugee to a refugee helper, ZDFinfo, 2015

Ruhin Ashuftah and his family came to Germany from Afghanistan when Ruhin was only six years old. Today he himself works as a refugee helper, interpreter and therapist. Every day refugees arrive in Hamburg, Germany, some of them are even minors and are unaccompanied by their families. Ruhin Ashuftah gets to know a lot of those teens and helps them to find their place in Germany. They quickly come to trust Ruhin because he knows their cultural background, history and language. We will meet three of them: Fawad, Feyz and Farhad, who faced unimaginable things back in Afghanistan and are now working on building a new life for themselves in Germany. The 19 year old Fawad Amiri wants to become a carpenter. He therefore started an internship program and is already helping other refugees – “to give something back”. Feyz dreams of becoming an educator – in his spare time he participates in a theater group and Farhad prepares an incredible Afghan meal in his cooking workshop that even impresses Ruhin. The refugee helper is out and about in Hamburg, the central train station, at one of his own therapy centers and visits his charges in school, theater workshops and internships. We find out from him and the teens what really moves young refugees: they want to learn, live, have fun and give back to the community. But despite all their dreams their past always catches up with them – a life between dream and trauma.

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Judith Rakers at the women’s correctional facility in Vechta, Germany – she gets admitted as a prisoner, is subjected to a physical patdown and is put into a cell just 8 meters square. During her imprisonment she gains a candid and personal impression of what it...

Last Chance: Women’s Correctional Facility - with Judith Rakers, NDR, 2015

Judith Rakers at the women’s correctional facility in Vechta, Germany – she gets admitted as a prisoner, is subjected to a physical patdown and is put into a cell just 8 meters square. During her imprisonment she gains a candid and personal impression of what it means to serve jail time. The women she meets have been convicted of robbery, fraud or attempted manslaughter. Some of them even live at the facility with their children. Judith Rakers finds out how these women ended up on the wrong side of the tracks and what role violence and drug abuse played in their childhood. She visits several rehabilitation programs of the correctional facility, from drug withdrawal to the prevention of violence to job training. With the prison director Oliver Weßels she discusses the women’s chances of rehabilitation.

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What must young children and teens endure when they flee to Germany as refugees? How are they able to gain a foothold despite all the trauma they went though and the loss of their families? What do they do to build a future? What obstacles do they have to overcome? What...

Refugee children - with Judith Rakers, NDR, 2015

What must young children and teens endure when they flee to Germany as refugees? How are they able to gain a foothold despite all the trauma they went though and the loss of their families? What do they do to build a future? What obstacles do they have to overcome? What chances do they have of integrating? Judith Rakers tries to find answers to all these questions in the children and teen  group “Blomkamp”.

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A house for the whole family for less than a month’s salary? Yes, this does happen. More and more  people are buying their dream house at bargain prices at auctions or through the internet. But those who have very little money need a lot of luck. Since not all...

With heart and hammer, 17 episodes, ZDF, 2013-2015

A house for the whole family for less than a month’s salary? Yes, this does happen. More and more  people are buying their dream house at bargain prices at auctions or through the internet. But those who have very little money need a lot of luck. Since not all houses can be inspected from the inside, the new owners sometimes have no idea how much money they will have to invest to renovate the allegedly cheap house.

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Farm searches farmer, ZDF two episodes, 2015 The bread farm Waake near Göttingen, Germany as well as the fruit farm in Osteborgen in Lower Saxony – two out of thousands of farms that are in desperate need of young talent. Others, on the other hand, are dreaming...

Farm searches Farmer, ZDF, two episodes, 2015

Farm searches farmer, ZDF two episodes, 2015 The bread farm Waake near Göttingen, Germany as well as the fruit farm in Osteborgen in Lower Saxony – two out of thousands of farms that are in desperate need of young talent. Others, on the other hand, are dreaming about a life as a farmer. Can one of them fulfill his dream? Germany’s farms go extinct. In 1970 approximately over one million farms were in service compared to only 300.000 thousand today. At the bread farm Waake, versatility is key. For over 20 years farmer Hannes von Grafenstein-Lohrberg (58 years old) and his wife Conni (55 years old) run an organic farm near Göttingen. They lovingly run a bakery, own 40 cows, and 20 pigs. Little by little they are thinking of their retirement and are looking for a suitable replacement.  Two pairs of candidates want to turn their dream of a farm into reality: Philipp Peters and Naya Pieper are in their mid-twenties and a have a little daughter. They are still studying agriculture but are planning on taking over a farm of their own. Benjamin Paries and Tim Althaus could be called enthusiastic laymen. Both pairs have to put their skills to the test to convince the owners that they would be their best replacement. Will they succeed?

On the fruit farm in Ostebogen, the requirements are extremely high due to the fact that they farm organically. For 13 years now Jörg Ahrens runs the fruit farm in the Kehdinger countryside. On his 18,5 hectare farm, he cultivates apples, pears, and plums, framed by a dike which 46 sheep call their home. Ahrens invested a lot of effort to shift the farming to organic. Now he looks for a new challenge in life and a potential replacement for him. A diverse group of people competes for the fruit farm: a real estate agent from Siegburg who enters the game as a newcomer; a young family from Berlin who is trained in gardening – and a young man from Hamburg who is fed up with the city life.  They all have one thing in common: the love for nature. But can they prove themselves in the exhausting farming life? And can they convince Jörg Ahrens to be their best replacement? Only one is allowed back to negotiate the selling of the farm.

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Germany’s farms go extinct. In 1970 approximately over one million farms were in service compared to only 300.000 thousand today. And two-thirds of farmers over 45 have no children or have no replacements. The work is exhausting and the proceeds small. Dairy farmer Josef...

Farm searches Farmer, ZDFinfo, 2015

Germany’s farms go extinct. In 1970 approximately over one million farms were in service compared to only 300.000 thousand today. And two-thirds of farmers over 45 have no children or have no replacements. The work is exhausting and the proceeds small. Dairy farmer Josef Lichtenstein and his wife Rosina run an organic farm with 60 cows. Now he is looking for somebody who wants to cultivate the farm with him and maybe in the future even wants to take over. Petra Wähning gives a helping hand. She is an expert in transfer of the farming business and suggests three potential replacements who know exactly what is needed. In each case, they do trail work for a day at the Lichtenstern farm and have to prove themselves. Is the right replacement among them?

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How do the displaced live in Germany? What will become of them? How do we deal with them? What can they give us? Judith Rakers seeks answers to those questions in a refugee shelter in Hamburg-Langenhorn. Here she meets a refugee family from Iran with two small children and...

The fate of displaced people-with Judith Rakers, NDR, 2014

How do the displaced live in Germany? What will become of them? How do we deal with them? What can they give us? Judith Rakers seeks answers to those questions in a refugee shelter in Hamburg-Langenhorn. Here she meets a refugee family from Iran with two small children and becomes acquainted with the life of a refugee in the shelter.  Judith Rakers experiences the dedication of volunteers at first hand and learns what their help means to them personally.

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How do women manage if they have to work a sideline job and still can’t make ends meet? The ARD journalist Judith Rakers wants to find an answer to these questions. She gets to know Tanja Reller, a single mom with multiple jobs and becomes closely acquainted with her...

Destined to fall into the poverty trap-with Judith Rakers, NDR, 2014

How do women manage if they have to work a sideline job and still can’t make ends meet? The ARD journalist Judith Rakers wants to find an answer to these questions. She gets to know Tanja Reller, a single mom with multiple jobs and becomes closely acquainted with her life. In an up close and personal way, Judith finds out how hard it is to hold down multiple jobs and at the same time be a responsible mother.  At the moment more than three million people in Germany work sideline jobs. A lot of them are very close to the poverty line. Judith Rakers searches for a way out.

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Why do people end up on the streets? How do homeless women deal with this situation? What are they afraid of? Judith Rakers dares to try out this kind of life.  For 30 hours she lives as a homeless person in the middle of Hamburg. She has close encounters with the fate of...

The fate of being homeless - with Judith Rakers, NDR, 2013

Why do people end up on the streets? How do homeless women deal with this situation? What are they afraid of? Judith Rakers dares to try out this kind of life.  For 30 hours she lives as a homeless person in the middle of Hamburg. She has close encounters with the fate of the homeless and comes to understand what they really need.

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Can we still trust the banks? The insecurity and uncertainty of people around the globe due to bank failures and economic crises induces group initiatives to trust in the power of their own region. “The money stays in the village” accompanies extraordinary citizens...

The money stays in the village, Servus TV, 2013

Can we still trust the banks? The insecurity and uncertainty of people around the globe due to bank failures and economic crises induces group initiatives to trust in the power of their own region. “The money stays in the village” accompanies extraordinary citizens who have been working successfully with regional financial systems and have invented smart ideas to bypass loans. The activities of these regional rebels are being examined by renowned experts such as the Viennese critic of capitalism Christian Felber and the financial expert Dr. Gottfried Haber, a professor at the Donau University Krems.

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© Sandra Hoever

Hagenbeck zoo is already in its sixth generation of management, and is the setting for a host of funny, exciting and moving stories.

© Sandra Hoever
© Sandra Hoever
© Sandra Hoever
© Sandra Hoever

Leopard, seal and co., ARD, 40 episodes per season, season 1-4

Hagenbeck zoo is already in its sixth generation of management, and is the setting for a host of funny, exciting and moving stories.

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The documentary series „The Buffalo Ranch“ gives the viewer an insight into the turbulent farm life surrounding the water buffaloes – including tough field relocations, hectic mozzarella production, headstrong calves or the hard and intensive harvest time....

The Buffalo Ranch, ZDF, 2012

The documentary series „The Buffalo Ranch“ gives the viewer an insight into the turbulent farm life surrounding the water buffaloes – including tough field relocations, hectic mozzarella production, headstrong calves or the hard and intensive harvest time. One year with the water buffaloes and their “humans”: The docu-series “The Buffalo Ranch” reports on the romance, tragedy, emotions, work and hard calculations – of real farm life.

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© Stefanie Reuter

Michael Bauer has been active as a hotel tester, purchaser and coach for over 25 years. With his Schwabian attention to detail, he puts various spheres of life under the microscope: the German rail service, wellness hotels, amusement parks, car repair shops and much more.

© Stefanie Reuter
© Jill Grigoleit
© Stefanie Reuter
© Stefanie Reuter

Bauer puts it to the test…, SWR, pilot episode, season 1- 3

Michael Bauer has been active as a hotel tester, purchaser and coach for over 25 years. With his Schwabian attention to detail, he puts various spheres of life under the microscope: the German rail service, wellness hotels, amusement parks, car repair shops and much more.

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© Oliver Kratz

This cross-media project follows three trainees who are learning traditional skilled trades from three north German trade masters, in order to preserve the special qualities of these unique crafts. Over a period of three months, the candidates have to prove themselves and show...

© Oliver Kratz
© Oliver Kratz
© Oliver Kratz
© Oliver Kratz

The master touch - traditional trades seek successors, NDR, 6 episodes 2012/2013

This cross-media project follows three trainees who are learning traditional skilled trades from three north German trade masters, in order to preserve the special qualities of these unique crafts. Over a period of three months, the candidates have to prove themselves and show that they have the required talent and passion for their trade. Their efforts are followed on the radio and the internet as well as by television cameras: from the call for applications and the first working day all the way to the first feelings of achievement or also setbacks. ‘The master touch’ is a comprehensive media event which culminates in three TV documentaries.

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© Oleg Welk

Whoever decides to go on a journey aboard the ‘Roald Amundsen’, one of the last great traditional sailing ships, has to muck in with full energy. The reward is the romance of sea travel and a very special sense of community. ‘Holiday, wind and sailing’...

© Oleg Welk
© Oleg Welk
© Oleg Welk
© Oleg Welk

Holiday, wind and sailing, NDR, 4 episodes 2011

Whoever decides to go on a journey aboard the ‘Roald Amundsen’, one of the last great traditional sailing ships, has to muck in with full energy. The reward is the romance of sea travel and a very special sense of community. ‘Holiday, wind and sailing’ shows how the trippers get on during their sea journey from Eckernförde to the South Funen Archipelago.

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© Ralf Wilharm

Johannes Wallow is an estate agent and auctioneer, Heiko Kremer an architect. Together the two East Frisians are on the case around their home city of Norden. With charm, humour and lots of empathy they find solutions to all kinds of property issues: they save livelihoods,...

© Ralf Wilharm
© Ralf Wilharm
© Ralf Wilharm

Two East Frisians with heart and hammer, NDR, 2 episodes, 2010

Johannes Wallow is an estate agent and auctioneer, Heiko Kremer an architect. Together the two East Frisians are on the case around their home city of Norden. With charm, humour and lots of empathy they find solutions to all kinds of property issues: they save livelihoods, auction granny’s inheritance or find that house with a sea-view for fussy customers.

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© Oliver Biebl

Winter is high season for Mayrhofen Campsite in Zillertal. Around 1000 hard-bitten campers brave the icy temperatures each year. For operator Hermann Kröll and his groundkeeper Andy Krupka, winter camping on the 22,000 square-metre plot means one thing: stress. And...

© Oliver Biebl
© Oliver Biebl
© Oliver Biebl
© Oliver Biebl

Camping at the freezing point - Germany’s coolest Campers, ATV, 2010

Winter is high season for Mayrhofen Campsite in Zillertal. Around 1000 hard-bitten campers brave the icy temperatures each year. For operator Hermann Kröll and his groundkeeper Andy Krupka, winter camping on the 22,000 square-metre plot means one thing: stress. And we’re right in the middle of it.

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© Barbara Luzi

In the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, there are major events almost every weekend. For this reason the police have established a mounted division. We follow the police staff as they buy the horses, and from their rigorous training right through to their first major operation.

© Barbara Luzi
© Barbara Luzi
© Barbara Luzi
© Barbara Luzi

The Horse Police - Hamburgs New Mounted Police unit, NDR, 2 episodes, 2010

In the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, there are major events almost every weekend. For this reason the police have established a mounted division. We follow the police staff as they buy the horses, and from their rigorous training right through to their first major operation.

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© Nicole Zimmermann

Many people dream of having their own house, but it doesn’t come true for everyone. Some would-be homeowners go their own way: they purchase their new abode at auction. The property is bought unseen. But what actually happens after the auction? ‘Our Dream House -...

© Nicole Zimmermann
© Nicole Zimmermann

Our Dream House - Special, VOX, 2010

Many people dream of having their own house, but it doesn’t come true for everyone. Some would-be homeowners go their own way: they purchase their new abode at auction. The property is bought unseen. But what actually happens after the auction? ‘Our Dream House - Special’ follows Ulrich Matus further on his courageous scheme.

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© Thoralf Grospitz und Jens Westphalen

Storks, deer, sea eagles – Hamburg is wild, and not only at night on the Reeperbahn. Since 2008 filmmaker Holger Vogt has been gracing the NDR early evening schedule with his ‘NaturNah’: reports from the big city. He heads through the metropolitan jungle,...

© Thoralf Grospitz und Jens Westphalen
© Thoralf Grospitz und Jens Westphalen
© Thoralf Grospitz und Jens Westphalen
© Thoralf Grospitz und Jens Westphalen

NaturNah, NDR, 35 episodes

Storks, deer, sea eagles – Hamburg is wild, and not only at night on the Reeperbahn. Since 2008 filmmaker Holger Vogt has been gracing the NDR early evening schedule with his ‘NaturNah’: reports from the big city. He heads through the metropolitan jungle, encountering people fishing in the river Elbe, city beekeepers and tree preservers on his way. 35 exciting, surprising and entertaining series on Hamburg’s enviable nature have already been made – and the story continues!

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