Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

Culture Files is a European crossmedia project, including a 5×52’ TV series, a comic release and the documentary game. The project brings the life and work of European cultural icons from a range of disciplines reflecting Europe’s cultural identity and heritage to a young audience on several platforms.
2013 the Culture Files about Wagner, Beethoven, Kleist, Pasolini und Zarah Leander were produces. At the moment season twi with Van Gogh and Tschaikovsky are in production.


The TV Series is an innovative TV format that aims to tell European cultural history to a TV audience aged 25 to 45. It was developed with the support of Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg in 2010. The 5x52 min. TV series utilises a stylish detective-series aesthetic to explore the unsolved mysteries surrounding many of Europe's great artists and thinkers such as the Russian dancer Richard Nureyev, the Italian intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini, or the French poet Rimbaud. With its unique combination of glossy crime-fiction aesthetics and the investigative rigour of high-end documentaries, the series will cultivate a distinctive brand design. The viewer will be guided through the series by the off-screen presence of the fictive character of a female investigator. Her voice will provide an element of familiarity and serve as a link between individual "files". She collects evidence in her investigator's lab – minimalist in style and equipped with the contemporary paraphernalia of scientific inquiry. Films and photographs are projected on video walls, personal letters, newspaper articles, medical documents, maps and police files are strewn across transparent backlit tables. The visual language of the series is further characterised by animation. In the course of her investigation, the investigator repeatedly speaks to witnesses and experts. Every "file" will gradually be unravelled with the help of three to five different experts, including biographers, historians, critics, and philosophers. In addition, re-created scenes help to render the human nature of the stories. The individual "files" will be produced as high-end documentary films for prime-time TV and art-themed TV specials. The comic will be available both as a traditional book and interactive App, merging digital and analogue world as well as the series' linear story-telling and the game's style and protagonists. It will thus top the cross-media project off 2013 the Culture Files about Wagner, Beethoven, Kleist, Pasolini und Zarah Leander  were produces. At the moment season twi with Van Gogh and Tschaikovsky are in production. The Wagner Files (90/52 min)
A film by Ralf Pfleger, starring Samuel Finzi and Pegah Ferydoni “The Wagner Files” is an innovative and dynamic fusion of music documentary, fictional film and animated cartoon. It critically introduces the life and musical creativity of one of the most famous – and arguably most controversial – German composers in a way that has never been done before. High quality, thought-provoking fictional scenes trace the complex and scandalous relationship between Richard Wagner (Samuel Finzi) and his second wife Cosima (Pegah Ferydoni). The scenes are shot in a modern setting, orchestrated with, and impassioned by, Wagner’s music, referring to classical Hollywood melodramas as direct successors of Wagner’s “Gesamtkunstwerk”. Marking the anniversary of Wagner’s 200th birthday in 2013, the film explores the visionary opus and arguable spirit of Richard Wagner, rediscovering the composer anew for a wide and varied audience.
The Wagner Files - The App The interactive Graphic Novel WAGNER FILES (App) explores exciting new ways of storytelling: through the fusion of animation, videos, historical letters, music scores and photographs, Wagner is experienced in a completely new light. Graphic Novel (Book) A book by Andreas Völlinger with drawings by Flavia Scuderi. As part of the crossmedia project the WAGNER FILES the book WAGNER written by Andreas Völlinger with drawings by Flavia Scuderi. Wagners extraordinary life is tol in a 43 paged comic adventure told from the view of Hans von Bülow. Additionally the reader gets an insight of the origination process of the remarkable comic. The Beethoven Files (52/43 min)
A film by Hedwig Schmutte and Ralf Pleger, starring Lars Eidinger and Pheline Roggan Ludwig van Beethoven’s work is legendary – and already was while he was still alive. He is famous around the world, and yet little is known about the conditions under which his music was composed. One thing is certain: he composed most of his masterpieces AFTER the onset of his deafness. When he composed his famous 9th symphony, he wasn’t able to hear a thing! A deaf composer? How is that possible? 200 years after Beethoven’s death, “The Beethoven File” casts light of one of the biggest mysteries of music history.
The Kleist Files (52/43 min)
A film by Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte and Torsten Striegnitz, starring Meret Becker and Alexander Beyer The death at Wannsee Lake – a spectacular case that has, to date, continued to disturb and fascinate the ensuing ages. The German poet Kleist was found shot – what is that supposed to mean? What exactly happened at Wannsee Lake that afternoon on November 21st, 1811? Who shot Kleist? What is known about the woman that died with him?
The Zarah Leander Files (52/43 min)
A film by Torsten Striegnitz and Simone Dobmeier Zarah Leander was the Third Reich’s greatest film star. Admired by the Nazis she became the best-paid film diva ever signed by the UFA. Until today Zarah Leander is intrinsically tied to our collective memory. At the peak of her career in early 1943, Zarah Leander suddenly leaves her mansion in Berlin and returns to her home country Sweden. Around the same time, rumours are starting to spread which will ultimately determine the myth of Zarah Leander: a Nazi diva, a non-political actress or a soviet spy. THE ZARAH LEANDER FILES immerses into the life of the Swedish film diva and asks who is is really behind the mysterious look, the frivolous songs and pompous gestures? Who was Zarah Leander really?
The Pasolini Files (52 min)
A film by Andreas Pichler In the night of November 2nd, 1975, the Italian film director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini is brutally murdered on the outskirts of Rome. The 17-year-old gigolo Pino Pelosi is found guilty of the crime and sentenced to maximum penalty, despite countless contradictions in the evidence. Decades later, Pelosi withdraws his testimony and the case is re-opened, but up till now, the murder of one of Italy’s most famous intellectuals is fat from being solved. THE PASOLINI FILES investigates the circumstances of Pasolini’s murder from today’s perspective and draws a sinister picture of Italy in the 20th century. A film about the intellectual’s role in society and a tribute to the life and work of Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Trailer & Bilder


Holland Film Meeting (pdf)
"Culture Files, the first cross-media project selected for the Netherlands Production Platform, was developed (...) to adress the problem of younger audiences with cultural, educational and historical contents within a shifting media environment."
WAGNERWAHN Film bei iTunes

Links & Downloads

Ansprechpartner / Produced by

gebrueder beetz filmproduktion Hamburg
Heinrich-Roller-Straße 15
10405 Berlin
Tel:+49 (0) 30 695 669 10
Fax:+49 (0) 30 695 669 15