Pretty Best Neighbours

Michael Kessler goes on a journey in "Pretty Best Neighbours" and gets to the bottom of prejudices and clichés.
"We and the Russians", "We and the Italians", "We and the British" are related stories told from a different angle between Germany and its nearer and more distant neighbours in Europe, a look over the garden fence, not without an ironic wink. Kessler is the expert on the spot and gets into conversation with the people. Historians, political and cultural scientists classify stereotypes, some of them centuries old, and explain which images in people's minds still have a connection to the present - and which do not.

Written and directed by: Oliver Halmburger, Friedrich Scherer, Annette von der Heyde, Annette Koehler, Frank Diederichs
Production: 2019 and 2022 for ZDF
Format: Documentary, 6 x 43min
Drehorte: England, Italien, Russland, Schweiz, Frankreich, Niederlande

Germany's big clans

The Ottos, the Porsche-Piëchs and the Henkels - for several generations they have run companies that have become major corporations and global players. Whether cars, washing powder or consumer goods by mail order - many of their products and brands are known worldwide and have been successful for decades. And yet, the struggle for the leading positions in markets at home and abroad continues to determine the everyday life of companies. Remarkable upswings have been followed time and again by setbacks. Yet little is known about the fate of the men and women who worked or still work behind the scenes, whether the company founders themselves or their heirs. The members of the clans usually shy away from contact with the mass media and are reluctant to show their cards. Some are afraid of becoming victims of kidnapping if they become known. And yet the authors have again succeeded in getting members of the clans to give interviews and gain access to the company and private archives. What is the secret of the business families? Is their model superior to that of other large companies? What sacrifices did the rise demand of the relatives? How did the clans behave in the respective historical-political context? And how are they positioned for the future?

Written and directed by Florian Huber, Annebeth Jacobsen,
Production: 2017 for ZDF
Jörg Müllner, Manfred Oldenburg
Genre: Dokureihe, 3 x 43 Min

Royal Dynasties - The Grimaldis

In the miniature monarchy on the Mediterranean, the high nobility, jet set, stars and starlets cavort. Magnificent balls, Formula 1 races and elegant dinner parties are part of everyday life. But the world of glamour is only part of Monaco's history. Among the rulers of the city-state are pirates, warlords, financial jugglers and playboys - they have one thing in common: they have all contributed to the amazing success of their principality.

Written and directed by: Oliver Halmburger and Ricarda Schlosshan
Production: 2016 for ZDF
Locations: Germany, Monaco
Genre: Documentary series, 45min

Royal Dynasties - The Ottomans

For 600 years, from the Middle Ages to modern times, the Ottomans ruled over one of the most powerful empires in history. The splendour, culture and modern power apparatus at the sultans' court amazed Europeans.
The documentary "Royal Dynasties - The Ottomans" invites the viewer on an exciting journey through the eventful history of the Ottomans. Impressive shots of palaces and mosques in Istanbul reconstruct a world long gone. CGIs and re-enactments bring the most important historical key moments of the former world power at the crossroads between Europe and Asia back to life. Interviews with the descendants of the Ottoman rulers, experts and historians reflect the eventful family history - using outstanding biographies as examples.

Written and directed by Oliver Halmburger
Production: 2015 for ZDF
Locations: Germany, Turkey
Genre: Documentary series, 45min


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