docfilm42 – Who we are and how everything started

Dear Readers,
Today we are launching our website. We are quite euphoric because it is the culmination of over one year of meetings, discussions, planning and execution since our initial idea.

Our first motivation was the desire to help independently produced documentaries gain more visibility in their diversity and quality. We ourselves are independent documentary filmmakers who are passionate about producing films, often under difficult circumstances.

Driven by the conviction that our stories need to be told and are socially significant and engaging, we often pursue the realization of our ideas over many years.

Yet many polished documentary gems are not able to shine with their full radiance. They don’t have big budgets to fund publicity campaigns and are also sometimes challenging, with rough edges and despite, or perhaps because of them, of particular social significance.

Who we are:
Peter Ohlendorf, who turned his back on television because he no longer found a place for his documentaries there. He founded the company FilmFaktum, which he sees as an attempt “to enable productions away from the widespread mainstream thinking in established film and television structures.” With his self-financed film “Blood Must Flow – Undercover Among Nazis”, he has been touring Germany since the film’s premiere the Berlinale in 2012. At a 2018 AG DOK event in Berlin, he dreamed of a “Netflix for left-wing documentaries” – of a platform that gives space to ecologically, socially and cosmopolitan oriented productions.

Susanne Dzeik, a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg regional board of AG DOK, Germany’s largest association for filmmakers, produced her first documentaries for AK KRAAK, a left-wing video collective that emerged from the 1990s squatting movement in Berlin. After six years on the board of Europe’s largest self-organized film school filmArche and working as a cinematographer and director on various independent productions (including as cinematographer for “Nach dem Brand” about the victims of the neo-Nazi arson attack in Mölln in 1992), she now foc on networking documentary filmmakers.

Jochen Hick has independently produced numerous documentaries that have successfully screened at festivals and cinemas worldwide. More than ten of his films were shown in the official program of the Berlinale. He organized an AG DOK event about VOD with Andreas Wildfang, CEO of the streaming platform (today, which was the birth of our cooperation. With great dedication, Wildfang has provided his many years of experience to the new platform. Hick’s films often deal with LGBTQ topics.

Anli Serfontein, is a South African native and documentary filmmaker, journalist and author. She is passionate about the international networking of our platform and social media work, especially the English-language part.

Sibylle Kappes brings an experimental and film as art aspect to our group. Among other things, she produced GE8EN, essay film about the G8 summit in Heiligendamm.

We would like to thank our webmaster and filmmaker Davide Crivelli and our graphic designer Oliver Standke for their wonderful work and great dedication, without which we could never have developed this remarkable website.

In all our individuality and commonality we aim to establish a lively film community where we can exchange ideas, initiate debates, come together and inspire each other. At the moment we are still a small group, unfinanced and with a lot of self-motivation and resources to initiate this project. But we believe in the power of the many, who together can move forward a worthy cause.

In this sense, we look forward to creative times in which all are welcome who also want to contribute to our network with their skills and unique qualities.

The docfilm42 Team