Development Aid (working title)

The documentary, that is produced for the German TV-Channel “Arte”, takes a look at the efficiency of public-private partnerships in the development sector.  How do less developed countries profit from big private investments into their agriculture? How can you link the demand for profit and the goal to decrease hunger worldwide?


10 Billion - What's on your plate?

German Cinema release: 16th April 2015

How can be produced enough food in the future to feed the expected 10 billion people, that are going to populate our planet? The documentary will take a look at different approaches that claim to know the answer and compare the pros and cons of traditional farming and the industrial food production. more...



A film by Frank Bowinkelmann and Valentin Thurn

Premiere broadcast: ARTE TV, January 9th, 2014 09:45 p.m.

„If a livestock is deseased or threatened by illnesses as for instance the flu, we absolutely  need to have the possibility to come back to antibiotics.” If you ask farmers why exactly such a huge amount of antibiotics is applied in animal feed, this kind of argument is often used. In Germany, over 1700 tons of antibiotics a year are in the field - in France it is even twice the amount. more...


Less is more

A film by Karin de Miguel Wessendorf, length: 52 minutes

Premiere broadcast: ARTE TV, October 1st, 2013 8:15 p.m.

Is there prosperity without economic growth? Throughout Europe, the film searches for examples showing the way towards a post-growth economy. Filmmaker Karin de Miguel Wessendorf wants to find out how sustainable her own life style is. We accompany the author on a trip through Europe. more...



A film by Valentin Thurn, length: 44 minutes

Premiere Broadcast: ARD TV: May 13th, 2013 10:45 p.m.

This is the story of people who are fighting for a different way to deal with food. Farmers, supermarket executives, cooks, design students and completely normal households: all at their points in the production chain, in the course of which over half the food is still being thrown away. They are fighting for a new appreciation of food, an appreciation that, piece by piece, has gone by the wayside in recent years. more...


Taste The Waste

A film by Valentin Thurn, 88 minutes

Premiere at Berlinale 2011
German Release: September 8th, 2011

More than half of our food lands in the dump! Most of it on the way from the farm to the store before it ever reaches our dining-room table: every other head of lettuce, every other potato, and one bread in five. Film-maker Valentin Thurn has researched the extent of this waste on an international scale in the dumpsters at wholesale markets, warehouses and supermarkets. more...


Frisch auf den Müll
Die globale Lebensmittelverschwendung

A film by Valentin Thurn, 44 / 55 minutes

Premiere broadcast: ARD TV, October 20th, 2010
An international co-production lead by Schnittstelle and THURN FILM, (German, English, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Gaelic, Catalan, Greek, Korean)


Essen im Eimer

A film by Valentin Thurn, length: 28 minutes

Premiere broadcast: WDR, October 27th, 2010.
An international co-production lead by Schnittstelle and THURN FILM, (German)



Life In-Between - People between sexes

A film by Dr. Britta J. Dombrowe , length: 52 minutes

Premiere broadcast: Arte TV, 8. Oktober 2010, 10:40 p.m.  
Director and author: Dr. Britta J. Dombrowe, produced by THURN FILM, commissioned by ZDF (German, English, French)

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 the intersexual 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.


The Whistleblower

A film by Valentin Thurn, length: 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...

Video (German, ca. 10 min)


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
The worldwide spread of new superbacteria is making doctors worry. The most wide-spread 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. more...
Video (German, ca. 10 min)


Sperm Donor Unknown
Anna’s Quest to Find Her Father

WDR “Menschen hautnah”, Length: 45 minutes
When Anna (28) 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 father and sisters. more...

Video (German, ca. 10 min)


Food for Thought
Living on Trash

A film by Britta Dombrowe and Valentin Thurn
WDR, Tag 7, Length: 30 minutes, 2008

Huge quantities of food are thrown away every day in Germany. This feature accompanies 3 young people who have left this madness behind for their own reasons and want to be a role model by doing so: They try to survive by living on the rubbish left behind by our ‘throwaway society’. more...
Video (German, ca. 10 min)


Just a Prick of a Needle?

Length: 60 minutes (ARTE, 27 Nov. 2007, 21:40 p.m.)
The discovery of vaccines is one of medicine’s great success stories. Epidemics such as smallpox and polio, which had terrified and horrified mankind for ages, were able to be vanquished thanks to vaccinations. And yet, the victories achieved during the history of medicine were rarely won without undesired side effects or even casualties. more...
Video (approx. 6 min.(German))


The Law of the Jungle Behind Bars -
Ways to Get Away from Violence

Length: 30 minutes (WDR, 2 Sept. 2007, 4:25 p.m. in the series “Tag 7”
In November 2006, inmates at the Jugendgefängnis Siegburg, a juvenile penal institution, tormented a co-inmate for hours and eventually killed him. The penitentiary staff never noticed the agonizing ordeal, despite the lengthy period of time involved. more...
Video (approx. 5 min.(German))


„Not with my daughter!"–
The Circumcision of Women in Europe

Length: 42 minutes (ARTE, 6 Feb. 2007, 8:40 p.m.)
Immigration brought the circumcision of women from Africa to Europe. But more and more black women are making the decision: “Not to my daughter!” Three women from England, Germany and France tell about the day they were circumcised.more...
Trailer (ca. 3 mn) english


Without Proper Papers in Germany

Length: 30 minutes (ARD, 19 Nov. 2006, 5:30 p.m. in the series “Gott und die Welt” / “Tag 7”)
Abelardo lives illegally in Germany. He doesn’t have a residence permit or work papers and is constantly on the lookout for police. Abelardo doesn’t want to go back to Ecuador, back to the slums in the port town of Guayaquil. His mother still lives there, a sick woman but with no health insurance. Abelardo sends her money for medicine. For 6 years now he has made his way in Germany. more...
Video (approx. 10 min.(German))


„I am Al Qaeda" –
The Life Of Zacarias Moussaoui

Length: 54 minutes (ARTE, 29 Aug. 2006, 8:40 p.m.)
Nominated as “Best Feature” for the Deutscher Fernsehpreis 2006 (‘German Television Prize 2006’)

Zacarias Moussaoui is the only assassin who was brought to court on charges for the attacks on Sept. 11th, 2001. It was a symbolic trial for the USA. In May 2006 he was sentenced to life in prison. more...
.Trailer (ca. 3:30 mn) (english)


My Child in Your Womb –
The Shady Business with Surrogate Mothers

Length: 30 minutes (ZDF, 16 May 2006, 10:15 p.m. in the series “37°”)
Being a surrogate mother is prohibited by law – that’s what the lawbooks say. Yet the black market flourishes in the anonymity of the internet. That’s where Hildegard and Anton ran into Sarah. The conception of their child took place in a toilet with the help of an enema syringe. more...

Video (approx. 10 min.)

Inadequacy or Simply a Poor Show
Child Poverty in Prosperous Europe

Length: 55 minutes (ARTE, 10 Jan. 2006, 8:40 p.m.), theme evening: “Poor Children”)
When children live in poverty in a prosperous country, that doesn’t necessarily mean hunger and squalor. But children from poor families are at a disadvantage in many ways. They often suffer from a lack of education, they cannot concentrate during lessons, they abandon their schooling more frequently and are more prone to have health problems. more...

Video (approx. 10 min.)


"My Father Wants to Kill Me"
Women on the Run from Murderers Defending Their Honour

Length: 54 minutes (ARTE, 2 Aug. 2005, 8:40 p.m.)
In this documentary, women who live in Germany tell why they have to hide from their families. Having violated their community’s code of honour in one way or another, they are now threatened by the prospect of death. more...

Video (approx. 10 min.)


Bitter Pills to Swallow

Length: 60 minutes (ARTE, 26 April 2005, 9:45 p.m.)
Also referred to as the ‘silent addiction’ because it’s not conspicuous, nonetheless just as many people are addicted to sleeping pills and tranquilizers as to alcohol: In Germany over one million are addicted to pills, in France as many as 3 million. more...


A Child by every mean

(ARTE 1.2.2005, 20.45 Uhr, 60 mn.)
Fertility tourism and the despair of childless couples urgently looking for a baby: German couples travel to foreign clinics in order to use fertility techniques not allowed under German law, to enhance their chances to get pregnant. more....

Where have all the Children gone...

Length: 45 and 30 minutes (premiere broadcast on ARTE, 16 Nov. 2004, 8:45 p.m.)
Why is the population in some European countries shrinking faster than in others? How have France and Sweden managed to convince young families to have children? more...


Deadly dust

Length: 45 minutes (WDR, “Die Story”, 26 April 2004)
Back in 1991, Dr Siegwart-Horst Günther, a German epidemiologist and specialist in tropical diseases, was the first to point out the highly dangerous long-term repercussions of so-called uranium projectiles. Tonnes of this kind of ammunition were fired by the US Army during the Gulf War.more...
Video (ca. 5 mn) english version


A Family in the Limelight

Length: 30 minutes (ARTE, 14 March 2004)
For Ben and Meret Becker, acting was quasi a birthright. Both mother and father are actors, even their stepfather, Otto Sander. Yet it’s not easy to develop a profile of one’s own standing in the shadow of larger-than-life parents. more...


Daddy Loves a Man
Children and Their Homosexual Fathers

Length: 30 minutes (ZDF, 22 July 2003, in the series “37°”)
The series “37°” narrates how adolescents cope with the situation when fathers are suddenly very different from what one had assumed the whole time and no longer correspond to what is a commonly accepted role model. How does the relationship between father and child change? How do you yourself change?more...


The Trail of the Toros
Bullfighting Steers on a Long Migration

Length: 30 minutes (WDR, 10 July 2003, in the series “Weltweit” [‘Worldwide’])
The focus is on Gerardo, a cowboy, and his employer, Cesar Chico. Cesar owns a herd of steers meant for the bullfighting arena. They spend the winter on their farm in Andalusia, but in the summer when the southern Spanish heat dries everything to a crisp, they hit the trail and migrate to the mountains of central Spain.more...


Planet Knowledge: The Dinosaurs

Length: 60 minutes (SWR / WDR / BR alpha, 31 Jan. 2003)
Dinosaurs dominated life on Earth for more than 160 million years, only to vanish from our planet over a period that lasted just a few hundred thousand years. And with them, more than half of the animals that existed back then.more...


Champion for a Day
A Tale of Winners and Losers

Length: 30 minutes (ARTE, 7 Nov. 2002)
“Lucky Housewife Sweeps Up Millions”, “Schoolteacher Stumbles Over 4th Form Quiz Question – A Disgrace to the Entire School” The stuff that new headlines in the tabloids are made of. These days heroes and dimwits are established for their media impact in fractions of seconds: Highlight or blackout! – Winner or loser!more...


The Story: Death on the Glacier
Whose Fault Was the Tunnel Fire in Kaprun?

Length: 45 minutes (WDR, 17 June 2002)
The wristwatches found on the 150 charred corpses all show the same time: 9:11 a.m. The fire in the narrow tunnel must have spread so lightning-fast that the passengers aboard the cable car on the Kaprun glacier were asphyxiated and burnt to death in one fell swoop. Even those who raced up the emergency stairs to a height of 142 metres. more...


Two Moms and No Dad
When Lesbian Dreams of a Child Come True

Length: 45 minutes (ARD, 20 June 2001)
When Barbara realises in her mid-20s that women are her cup of tea, at first she says goodbye to one of her life’s dreams, the wish to have a child. It takes a while for the idea to gradually ripen: This can happen without a husband, too. Together with Irmgard, her partner, she travels to a clinic in the Netherlands and buys donor sperm. The adventure of lesbian motherhood can begin. more...


"No one was allowed in on the Sabbath"
The Jewish Quarter in Haigerloch

Length: 30 minutes (SWR, 4 Nov. 2000)
The “Haag” is unique in Germany: A Jewish quarter that has remained coherent and completely intact. Around a third of the residents of Haigerloch, a small Hohenzoller town, were Jews. Not all of them lived in the ghetto, but most did.more...


The Lord of the Wolves
A Wildlife Biologist in the Carpathian Mountains

Length: 45 minutes (ARTE, 23 Oct. 2000)
Christoph Promberger rescued two young wolves from a Romanian wolf farm and made sure that no one pulled the wool over their eyes. He explores the behaviour of tame cubs and presents them to eco-tourists who hardly ever catch sight of wolves in the wild. Which brings us precisely to the focus of Promberger’s interest.more...

Video (ca. 5 mn) english version


The Story: "Help, we’re shrinking"
Does Germany need immigration?

Length: 45 minutes (WDR, 22 Oct. 2000)
Today the town of Wilhelmshaven already shows the signs of what all of Germany is going to be facing in 25 years: The population there has shrunk by one fifth. The consequence: Thousands of vacant flats, schools and cinemas have to close, businesses are going bankrupt in droves and the town administration has a hard time making ends meet.more...


Child Labour and Markets for Children in Upper Swabia

Length: 30 minutes (SWR, 5 Feb. 2000)
They were called “Schwabenkinder” (‘children destined for Swabia’) in Switzerland and Austria. Each year in March they made their way to Swabia in Germany to enter service tending livestock. Boys and girls. Their ages: 7 to 14.more...


"All Hands Abandon Ship"
Where the Big Ships Die

Length: 30 minutes (ARTE, 24 May 2000)
They cruise the Seven Seas for German shipowners, but their lives end in southern Asia. Worldwide, three quarters of all oceangoing ships are scrapped on the beaches of India. Hundreds of labourers take these oceanic giants apart by hand without the slightest protection against hazardous substances on board.more...

Video (approx. 5 min.)german

The Desert Reaches Out for Spain /
Spain’s Thirsty Soil

Length: 2 x 30 minutes (SWR, 14 Oct. 1998)
Southern Spain is more and more drying, and the degradation of the vegetation has catastrophic consequences such as forest fires. Some people now try to get back to the arab roots of Andalusia, where the wise use of water had an old tradition. 2 x 27 mn., 1998, author and director: Valentin Thurn, produced and financed by SWR, broadcasted on SWR.

Operation Desert – Concentration Camps in Southern Württemberg

Length: 30 minutes (SWR, 17 March 1999)
“Operation Desert”: Under this cover name the SS erected 7 concentration camps on the foothills of the Swabian Mountains during the last months of the war.more...


Jurassic Alb – Swabian Oil Shale

Length: 30 minutes (SWR, 27 April 1998)
The rocks of the “Schwäbischer Alb”, the mountains of Swabia, were deposited in a shallow tropical sea during the Jurassic Era. That’s the reason why above all fossils of marine dinosaurs are found there today, even those of flying pterosaurs which once occupied the nearby coast facing the Jura Sea.more...


"I’m Blowing the Whistle on My Company"
The Courage of One’s Convictions on the Job

Length: 45 minutes (WDR, 5 May 1997)
In the USA everyone knows what a whistleblower is: Someone who makes the irregularities at their place of work public by figuratively ‘blowing the whistle’ to alert others. There is no name for that here, but plenty of prominent examples.more...


Chernobyl –
On the Trail of Death and Lies

Length: 45 minutes (ARD, 24 April 1996)
Ten years after the nuclear reactor in Tchernobyl exploded there are a lot of consequences throughout Europe coming up: For example highly contaminated areas in England and Wales, and an ongoing controversy about new nuclear power plants in Eastern Europe. 43 mn., 1996, co-author and co-director: Valentin Thurn, produced and financed by WDR, broadcasted on primetime ARD


Clear-Cutting in the Siberian Taiga

Length: 15 minutes (ARTE, 19 May 1995)
Since the breakdown of the Soviet Union the Russian Far East is exploited by japanese and corean timber companies, whose machines only leave blank soil. The forest-based economy of the local indigenous people is threatened. 15 mn., 1995, author and director: Valentin Thurn, financed by WDR, broadcasted on WDR and primetime Arte, produced by Markus Zeugin Filmproduktion.

When the Desert Comes

Length: 45 minutes (ARD, 5 Nov. 1991)
The mediterranean vegetation is a unique ecosystem that accommodates animals such as tortoises, lezards and vultures. Though the brush forests are vulnerable to fires, they regenerate quickly. 43 mn., 1991, authors and directors: Dirk Blumenberg and Valentin Thurn, financed by NDR, broadcasted on ARD, produced by Dirk Blumenberg.


Forays Across the Atlas Mountains

Length: 3 parts, 45 minutes apiece (ARD, 26 July, 2 Aug. and 6 Aug. 1990
The moroccan Atlas mountains are the last refuge of rare animals such as the bald ibis and the barbary macacqe, a monkey species. 3 x 43 mn., 1990, author: Valentin Thurn, director: Gert Wustig, financed by NDR, broadcasted on ARD, produced by Gert Wustig.