"10 Billion" highest grossing documentary in 2015

Valentin Thurn's latest documentary 10 Billion - What's on your plate? has been awarded with the FFA Branchentiger for being Germany's most viewd cinema documentary in 2015.

10 Billion - What's on your plate?

The new documentary by Valentin Thurn "10 Billion - What's on your plate" has successfully opend in German Cinemas in April 2015. The movie is now screened on various international Film Festivals. Here's a list.



"Milkrebels" completed

The filming of DIE MILCHREBELLEN (Milkrebels), a TV-documentary for German broadcaster WDR has been completed. Karin de Miguel and Valentin Thurn immersed themselves in the world of multinational milkcompanies and those who rebel against them. A struggel between David and Goliath emerged.
Broadcast on 3rd November 2014 at 8.15 pm (WDR).
Further information: WDR - Die Milchrebellen (german)


Taste of Heimat – Online Platform

Whilst the new documentary of Valentin Thurn, „10 billion” (working title) is being edited, a new online platform called “Taste of Heimat” (taste of homeland) has been launched. The documentary offers an insight of innovative approaches on how food sovereignty might be guaranteed in the future by returning to a mainly local and regional food production. Obviously, the impact of our eating behavior on the food system is enormous and every one of us actively has a say in what kind of production is going to dominate our future agriculture.
‘Taste of Heimat’ aims to put this belief into practice, since it simplifies the return to local and regional food. The platform can be understood as a direct link between food production and consumption. It encourages the consumer to buy local and regional food, preferably straight from the farmer and offers a direct marketing to local and regional food producers and distributors. On April 4th, the platform was launched in its testing phase for the region around cologne and aims to support regional food purchase nationwide soon.

Link to Taste of Heimat

"Harte Kost" (Heavy Stuff) - New book releases 2014

Until 2050 the world’s population will grow up to 10 billion. Agricultural Companies predict that to feed all of them, we would need to enhance food-production by 70%. Also, this could only work by increasing the use of chemistry, genetic engineering and intensive mass animal farming. But is this really the only way to succeed?

Journalist Stefan Kreutzberger and filmmaker Valentin Thurn go on a worldwide search for a sustainable solution, which treats our nature with care and preserves its resources. On their journey they will meet visionaries of both industrial and sustainable agriculture, organic farmers and food speculates and visit industry abattoirs and farms for insects and genetically engineered salmon.

The stories of our food, which are also going to be presented in a film (10 Billion) are sometimes shocking revelations, which can make you lose your belief in Humanity. However plenty of alternatives show that we have the ability to change the way our food will be produced in the future. But do we want to?

Does quantity also mean more quality?

Less is more - The Limits to Growth and the Better Life

Premier broadcast: 1st October 2013 on arte, theme night starting 20.15 h

A film by Karin de Miguel Wessendorf, 52 minutes, ZDF/ARTE

Is there prosperity without economic growth? Throughout Europe, we were searching for examples showing the way towards a post-growth economy. more...


“Taste the Waste” at Alimenterre festival 2013

Valentin Thurn’s documentary about foodwaste called “Taste the Waste”  has been show in the course of the Alimenterre documentary Festival 2013 in France 174 times with a total of 8408 visitors.73 projections were public and 101 were shown in schools.

For further information visit: Festival Alimenterre

Star-investor Jim Rogers in his elegant office

Hunger for profit

Short film by Caroline Nokel and Valentin Thurn,
Part of the documentary project "Why poverty?"

On one side of the world American star investor Jim Rogers arrives at his elegant offices and explains how large investments and movements of money affect prices. On the other side of the world market vendors in Kenya feel the effects.

see video on youtube


Foodsharing – Online Platform

Based on his documentary “Taste the Waste,” Valentin Thurn brought the online project “Foodsharing” into life, as a practical way for everyone to help solve the food waste crisis. “Foodsharing” is a network of individuals, retailers, and food producers that are tackling the food waste problem in Germany using a new online platform, www.foodsharing.de. Participants post “baskets” of food that is edible but not being used—food that would otherwise end up in dumpsters. The surplus food is reserved and picked up by other registered members, and it is always free.
The website has been very successful since it was launched in January 2013, with over 13,000 registered members as of mid-March and 6 million page views within the first year. According to the website, in just 2 months, over 6000 lbs. (2,755 kg) of food that otherwise would have been thrown away has been shared among participants. Thurn says this figure does not include the food—sometimes large quantities—that is dropped at “hotspots” in cities like Berlin and Cologne, where anyone can take what they will use for free.


Why are we wasting more and more food which is still perfectly edible?

Take a look at our interactive platform:


Taste the Waste

The Global Waste of Food: A Scandal. Why? On what scale? Isn’t there a better way?

A film by Valentin Thurn

We waste almost as much food as we eat, between plough and plate. Every second lettuce is thrown away. In a period of rapidly declining resources and climate change, this situation has to change, and change quickly. Taste the Waste is a television documentary linked to an international campaign via the internet that will allow us to monitor events across the globe. While the website covers the globe, the film will take us into the personal world of the people who are desperately trying to stop this: Hanna Poddig, eco activist from Berlin, Romuald Bokej, dumpster diver from Stockholm, Ahmadou Biyah, garbage collector in Paris and Sarah Wiener, celebrity chef from Austria offer us the small scale examples of the bigger struggle.

Many countries don’t have the slightest idea how much is wasted. Britain made an effort to count the waste pile and came to a staggering 15 million tons of food every year. That means: 484 million unopened yoghurt pots each year, 1.6 billion untouched apples and 2.6 billion slices of bread. We take a look at these stunning quantities with the help of web videos, sent in from all around the globe. More...

Documentary 90 / 45 minutes, production in 2010 and 2011
Supported by Documentary Campus Masterschool
A co-production of THURN FILM and SCHNITTSTELLE

Trailer on Vimeo or YouTube. The filmmakers project on Reelisor

International campaign against food waste:

Website including Blog, Youtube-Channel and Facebook-Site of the campaign

When their child was born, Ralf was told by the doctor it is a boy, but Andrea was told by the midwive it is a girl. Neither is correct.

Life In-Between
People between sexes

A film by Dr. Britta J. Dombrowe

Almost every 5.000th baby that is born is neither man nor woman. In Germany alone there areabout 80.000 intersexual people. But rare is known about their lives "in between" the sexes.
We accompany theintersexual Christiane Völling, who's female internal sex organs where removed in a surgery without her knowledge when she was 17.
The five year old"girl" Inge will have the chance to make her own decision. After her puberty she can decide: man, woman or in between.
Together with the personal stories of affected people filmmaker Britta Dombrowe will explain the origins and causes for intersexuality in the 52 minute length documentary.
Endocrinologist Prof. Olaf Hiort leads an international network of scientists, who brings their knowledge together for the first time. We accompany scientists in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
The history of medicine and intersexuality is more than difficult – many “hermaphrodites” were treated inhuman in hospitals. A lot of affected people today are sceptical about medical research and especially about medical practices like sex assigning surgeries.

Germany, France, Netherlands 2010, documentary, 52 mn.


The Whistleblower

A film by Valentin Thurn, 30 minutes

Premiere broadcast: WDR TV, Sunday, 13 Sept. 2009, 4:25 p.m. (“tag 7”)
Rerun: Saturday, 19 Sept. 2009, 9:30 a.m.

Rudolf Schmenger is a government tax investigator in Frankfurt, the hub for banks in Germany. He tracks down a case of fraud in the millions at a major bank. When he and his colleagues want to take action against it, their hands are tied: by their own bosses at the tax office. But Rudolf Schmenger refuses to give in quietly. He fights: for his convictions and for his conscience, at the cost of his career. more...


Innocent behind bars

It’s a nightmare any way you look at it: The day when a judge pronounces that fateful word “in the name of the people”: Guilty! Yet the convicted person knows: It wasn’t me. But no one believes them. 3 cases form the focus of this documentary. Donald Stellwag, who spent 9 years in jail for robbing a bank. A mere 2 weeks after he was set free, the real bank-robber was caught in the act. Harry Wörz, sentenced to 11 years in prison, released as innocent after 5 and now back in court again because the district attorney still feels that he is guilty as charged. And Andreas Kühn, who is trying to get his case retrialed while behind bars. Convinced that Andreas is innocent, his former boss is helping him along the way.


A guide for life

“I would have become a more self-confident person if I had gotten to know Inge earlier. A lot of things would have been easier. I trust her more than I trust others because her help is honorary, which means it comes from the heart,” says 27-year-old Öznur Demir. She had looked for help towards achieving the German equivalent of a junior high-school diploma. And found Inge Alexy, a 69-year-old pensioner, at the project “Senioren-Lotsen” (‘Senior-Citizen Guides’). The honorary ‘godmother’ helps the young Turkish woman learn German and in her search to find a vacancy for vocational training.


Battling the Superbugs

A film by Valentin Thurn and Sabine Goette
Length: 45 minutes, ARTE 2008, international distribution: Telepool

The worldwide spread of new superbacteria is making doctors worry. The most widespread and dangerous among these hospital germs is called MRSA (multi-resistant staphylococcus aureus). In Germany alone, 15,000 patients are infected with it each year; twice that figure in France. As the name implies, MRSA is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics. And this germ is becoming more and more aggressive. The number of medications that can still be deployed effectively against it is sinking from year to year. MRSA can lead to wound infections, pneumonia, sepsis, and can often be fatal. Throughout Europe, around 50,000 people die due to this killer germ each year.
Superbacteria like MRSA have been around for more than 40 years, but in countries like Germany or France the problem was underestimated for a long time. The consequence: The germ disperses itself so heavily that today clinics can barely keep it in check. Even the strictest preventive hygiene procedures are unable to drop the risk of infection during an operation to zero.
Ever since penicillin was discovered, doctors have relied on antibiotics to effectively fight bacterial infection. Yet as soon as a new drug was found, a few years later strains of bacteria existed that were already resistant against it. Their march onward proceeded fastest above all in those countries in which antibiotics were used as generously as possible. In contrast, fewer supergerms exist wherever they were dispensed more frugally and in a targeted manner.
Film-makers Valentin Thurn and Sabine Goette investigate the question: What is being done at European hospitals to stop the spread of hospital germs? How have doctors and staff in the Netherlands managed to reduce the number of illnesses due to MRSA to almost none? How do these new bacteria spread, germs against which no antibiotic around offers relief anymore? What hope is research offering in terms of vaccines? And: How are patients coping with the fact that they were infected with a superbacteria at a hospital and probably will never be rid of it again?

2009 Journalism Award of the ARGUS foundation for the conservation and development of antibiotics


" My father from the sperm bank" -
The quest for an identity of one’s own

When Anna learns from her mother that she was conceived via a sperm donor, the shock lames her at first. For weeks she gazes at family photo albums, constantly comparing her face in the mirror with those of her sisters and the father who raised her. The question of the stranger in her life won’t let her go. To date around 100,000 children were conceived with the help of a sperm donor. But as young adults, when they want to learn something about their genetic fathers, what they mostly encounter are insurmountable obstacles. And yet, the knowledge about one’s origins forms a key pillar in having an identity all your own. This feature accompanies the young woman on her quest to find the man whose genes she bears.

Food for Thought - Living on Trash

A film by Britta Dombrowe and Valentin Thurn
Length: 30 minutes, Executive Producer: Angelika Wagner (WDR), 2008

“Hey, this bread is just fine!” Hanna exclaims, and she’s right about that. It looks appetising and has been sealed properly in plastic wrap. Nothing is apparent that makes it any different from the other loaves on the supermarket shelves, except that the 21-year-old has just fished it out of the rubbish. It’s been quite a while since Hanna bought her food at supermarkets: She does her food shopping at the dumpsters behind them instead.
“Dumpster diving” is the term these self-appointed recyclers of the left-over and discarded have given to their way of refusing to participate in the consumption cycle propagated by today’s throwaway society. Not out of need, out of personal conviction.
Concrete figures on just how much food is thrown away in Germany do not exist. At the wholesale market in Cologne alone, up to 10 tonnes accumulate on any normal market day. There are various reasons for this: Sometimes the printing on the label is sloppy, other times the refrigeration during transport didn’t comply with the standards. And yet, frequently it’s simply cheaper for wholesalers and retailers to toss out the food and purchase it new than to rent warehouses. “Then all that stuff, and I mean cases of it, lands in the bin,” is a fact that Jens from Cologne knows only too well. His time spent “diving” has meanwhile completely cut him from the ties that bound him to what was once a bourgeois existence. “I don’t have to bend over backwards for anybody, but freedom like this can get to be pretty tough.”
We accompany these recyclers of the left-over and discarded on their forays into “for-free land”. What kinds of freedom has their chosen lives brought them? What types of limits are they confronted with in terms of health, socially or even politically?

Video (approx. 10 min.)