Friday, October 26, 2012

The best of the best

Prize-giving ceremony in the Russian embassy, Unter den Linden, Berlin. (twb)

During the past year a universe of programmes and productions have been broadcast and published. 235 of them, the very best, made it into this year's competition, 5835 voting sheets and 29.175 ratings were processed. The juries have spoken. These are the best of the best.

Success makes you lonesome they say. That's rubbish of course. You came here alone, and you go home accompanied by a bull. Well done!

CategoryTitleCountry
TV documentary"Meet the Fokkens"Netherlands
TV fiction"We'll Take Manhattan"UK
TV fiction serial"The Bridge"Sweden
TV current affairs"Permission to Engage"Netherlands
TV Iris (best multicultural TV programme)"Special Flight"Switzerland
TV marketplace of innovation"Basta"Belgium
Prix Genève Europe (best TV fiction script)"Inside"Netherlands
Languages Through Lenses (students' short films on learning languages)"Snow White"Netherlands
Radio documentary"Holiday for Life – European Dementia Patients in Care in Thailand"Austria
Radio investigation"Radio Simoom"Sweden
Radio fiction"Category 5: How I Rescued Fats Domino From Hurricane Katrina"Switzerland
Radio fiction serial"1-Minute Small"Netherlands
Radio music (programmes on music)"Warsaw Variations"UK
Radio marketplace of innovation"Hackney Hear"UK
Online"The Art of Pho"Netherlands
Best online innovationdiy.fm – "Radio à la Carte"Switzerland
Prix Europa lifetime achievement awardProf. Regina ZieglerGermany

Snow White


Just in case you do not understand: a) It's all about language learning. b) This blog is in English, Anglais, Englisch, Inglese.

Oh, and c) this short film was done by Wibout Warnaar and Jamille van Wijngaarden, two highly gifted young film makers from the Amsterdam University of  Arts.

Sesame street

"Sesame Street", NDR/ARD
"Sesamstrasse" is the ARD kids' programme about to celebrate its 40th birthday in 2013. Its new website "Sesame Street" ("Sesamstrasse", NDR/ARD) is aimed at preschoolers and meant to be educational and amusing at the same time. A talking navigaion, learning opportunities, educational games, tons of animations and mouseover effects: "Sesame Street", that funny world millions have grown up with, has gone online.

Catching the worm

"Early Birds", Vara, Netherlands
"The early bird catches the worm" (*) they say. "Early Birds" (Vara, Netherlands) is a large online platform for radio and TV shows, for user-generated content (both photos and videos), an interactive (Google-based) map, contests, the "green garden network" and Q&As about environmental matters and nature in general. Well, fresh.

(*) in German: "Der frühe Wurm hat einen Vogel."

Street art 2.0

"Défense d'afficher", France Télévisions
Street art can tell you a lot - about a country, an artist, and about life in general. "Défense d'afficher" (France Télévisions) is a web documentary about underground artists in eight cities around the world. Highly original and carefully crafted, "Défense d'afficher" provides a refreshing view on the making of what we seldom notice and hardly ever consider art.

Which of course is wrong.

Lessons in history

"Farewell Comrades!", Gebr. Beetz Filmproduktion Berlin,
ARD, ZDF
1991. The Cold War is over. "Farewell Comrades!" (Gebr. Beetz Filmproduktion Berlin, Arte, ZDF) was a six-part TV series backed up by a book project and web documentary taking the audience on an emotional journey through the former Soviet Union. It is a project about personal stories visualized by means of dozens of postcards written during the last 15 years of the USSR. Clicking a postcard will launch its writer's video portraits.

A remarkable web doc framed by extensive research: "Farewell Comrades!" is a thrilling history lesson on a former superpower, about everyday life in a country everyone thought it would last forever.

Transitions

"Transitions", DocAbout, Italy
"Transitions" (DocAbout, Italy) is about transgender men and women faced with discrimination wherever they go. The project ties TV and radio doc formats together and makes them a interactive fictional web series the storyline of which was determined by user votings. Touching but rather basic.

Play the game

"On the Ground Reporter",
Butch & Sundance Media, Netherlands
"On the Ground Reporter" (Butch & Sundance Media, Netherlands) is about journalism in areas of conflict and aims at high school students in the first place. The makers' missiion is interactive storytelling, and they consider their production a "documentary game". Videos, audios, 360-degree photos, many choices and a radio show to be made - "On the Ground Reporter" is a state-of-the-art point-and-click game aiming at involving the user in what media making is about.

However: An online game when it comes to Uganda, Afghanistan, Darfur, to famine and to war? Amazing, and yet irritating.

Day six: Multimedia again

Since it's the last day of the contest I'll go back to my favourite place again. Day six: Multimedia once more.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blind date

"Piste Perdu", DR Denmark
A blind date at the ski lift, arranged by a friend: Mia is to meet Martin, no expert skier but an off-slope party king. Martin learns that Mia's sister is undergoing psychiatric treatment, and Mia recognizes him as the man who had raped her sister. Mia makes Martin go down a steep hill, where he darts into a rock, and leaves him there, injured and helpless. "Piste Perdu" (DR Denmark) is one out of ten pieces of a whole "blind dates" series. Short, sparing, and sardonic.

Saving Fats Domino

"Category 5: How I Rescued Fats Domino
From Hurricane Katrina", SRF Switzerland
When the hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the R'n'B and rock'n'roll legend Fats Domino was reported missing and believed dead. A few days later he turned up safe and sound. So much for the facts.

"Category 5: How I Rescued Fats Domino From Hurricane Katrina" ("Category 5: Wie ich Fats Domino aus dem Hurrikan Katrina rettete", SRF) tells the fictional story of Dudeck, a hyped up German hypochondriac who makes it his end-of-life mission to find the Fat Man in the flooded city. A trip from comedy to slapstick and back.

From Russia with suspense

A dead body lies on the floor of a well-respected publishing house, and soon after the police have started investigating, crime scene photos leak out to the internet. They show a decisive detail: an office pass protruding from the dead man's pocket, and the deputy director's hand secretly removing it. "From Heaven to Earth" (Radio Russia): From Russia with suspense.

Forbidden love

1941. Reykjavík is occupied by British troops. "The Situation" (RÚV, Iceland) tells the story of the 16-year old Gudrún falling in love with Bob, a 18-year old soldier, despite Icelandic laws forbidding youths any contact with the foreigners. As Gudrún's and Bob's love persists bad luck is closing in on her.

Doom

"Air", RBB/ARD
Human beings, believed to be creation's crowning glory, are about to dig their own grave. Pollution destroys the earth.

German art students took the four elements earth, fire, water and air, to which they added a fifth, ice. They created five short scenarios of a planet in terminal disorder. "Air" ("Luft", RBB/ARD) takes us to the abandoned zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Few people live here, a couple of militia men and old people waiting to die in their run down farm houses. Maria, pregnant and bleeding, asks Corvin, the young doctor, to help her give birth to her child. The child, of course, is dead.

Abyss

"Foreign Bodies", Polish Radio
Poland in the 1980s. Adam and his friends are fighting for freedom of speech, against the communist regime. Thirty years later, Adam has become Eva, discriminated for her transsexuality, avoided even by her own son. "Foreign Bodies" (Polish Radio) is a blow-by-blow tale of one life, two genders, and the abyss of loneliness.

Day five: Radio fiction

"Hans Flesch": Memorial plate in the Haus des Rundfunks.
"Hans Flesch" is one of the names on the memorial plate in the main hall of the Haus des Rundfunks. Hans Flesch, one of Germany's broadcasting pioneers, produced and aired the first piece of German radio fiction on October 24, 1924. "Zauberei auf dem Sender" can still be listened to (new staging by the Hessischer Rundfunk 1962, mp3). A perfect day for listening to its descendants. Day five: Radio fiction.

Insights II

What does it look like when 1000 European journalists and producers meet, view and listen to each others programmes in order to passionately discuss them? The Berlin-based photographer Julia Zimmermann tells us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

As you like it

"Diy.fm - Radio à la Carte", TPC Switzerland
"Diy.fm - Radio à la Carte" (TPC Switzerland) is, you might say, the online version of a simple radio. It does what any radio does, it allows you to listen to any programme you want. Okay, it does a bit more: It allows you also to combine music from your favourite radio station with the news of another and a podcast of yet another channel or one suggested to you by your friends.

Diy.fm is a radio, more precisely, a do-it-yourself radio. It is a smart audio player, plus a timer, plus a programme and podcast browser, plus a smart interface. Radio reloaded. Impressive.

Whodunnit?

"Tatort+: The Forest Stands Dark and Silent", SWR/ARD
"Tatort" TV whodunnits are being adored by millions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 1970. But one broadcast (aired on May 13, 2012) was different from all the episodes before: It left the audience without unveiling the murderer.

"Tatort+: The Forest Stands Dark and Silent" ("Tatort+: Der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget", SWR/ARD, archived version) extended the story beyond the TV screen and turned the audience into investigators. The extensive (now offline) point-and-click adventure game was massively spread on Facebook and Twitter and proved to be greatly successful. 110.000 users registered, more than 20.000 of them solved the case, in just one week.

(Which by the way was too much. The servers kept going down.)

A kids' world

"Ketnet", VRT
It is a kids' world: "Ketnet.be" (VRT) is a TV channel and an online platform aimed at 6 to 12-year olds, the website providing music, videos, games, polls, events - basically anything you might consider attractive for kids. (Including, of course, social network features.)

The main goal of "Ketnet.be" is to increase children's media literacy in a safe online surrounding. A full-blown kids' website. Uhm, nice.

After the storm

"Grasp the Disaster",
Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company
Science education matters, but it tends to be boring. So the Swedish educational broadcasters decided to go crossmedia. Instead of providing formula they built a platform dealing with real problem solving. "Grasp the Disaster" (Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company) wants to show what science really is about.

Students are getting involved by game-type missions in which they act as squad leaders in an emergency center after a natural disaster (such as severe water pollution, power supply breakdown, food shortages, or heavy storms) has struck the country. Apart from the game engine, the site provides different TV doc formats and loads of thrill. (And some theoretical backgrounds in physics, chemistry, biology of course.)

The world from above

"The Netherlands From Above"; VPRO
"The Netherlands From Above" (Stamen, San Francisco/VPRO) is a 10-part TV series showing the country from a bird's perspective. The online platform adds sophisticated interactive maps to it, providing spectacular data visualizations. Mobility, trade, housing prices, wild animals, travel times and cell phone activity during daytime, even flooding heights in case of catastrophe - every single map can be controlled by sliders and is displayed in real time.

A huge amount of data had to be processed and designed, and the result is stunning. A new dimension of data journalism.

Everyone is an artist

"DR Art Challenge", DR
"Everyone is an artist", Joseph Beuys used to say in the 1960s. For a full year, starting from Januar 1st 2012, every week "DR Art Club Challenge" (DR) invites amateur artists to meet specific challenges by painting, by writing texts, shooting photos and submitting their work to the DR platform. The website itself is meant to be a collective work of art, and the results are being presented in various DR radio and TV programmes. By the end of the year the best productions ("DR Art Club Challenger") will be selected.

For quite some time the DR has been successful in involving the audience in creating art. The "DR Art Challenge" is another fresh attempt of giving yet undiscovered artists the museum Joseph Beuys wanted them to have.

School TV reloaded

"NRK School", NRK
Every broadcaster has a strongroom called archive. For decades programmes, many of which broadcast a single time in history, have been archived and locked away from the public who actually owns them.

Out of the basement and right into the classroom: The Norvegian broadcasting company decided not just to open its archives, but to launch a new educational platform where archive content is properly categorized, tagged and linked to learning targets. "NRK School" (NRK) features about 5000 clips of free radio and TV content, adapted for teachers and students in primary, secondary and upper secondary school. Of course students can create and submit their own content as well.

Public broadcasting reloaded: "NRK School" is an interesting mix of online archive and blended learning.

Cut in two

"Portraits de frontières", Idfabrik, TV 5 monde
Kapikule (between Turkey and Bulgaria), Terespol (between Poland and Belarus), Vaalimaa (between Finland and Russia): These regions have one thing in common: their proximity to the EU border.

"Frontier portraits" ("Portraits de frontières", Idfabrik, TV 5 monde) is an interactive, multi-language documentary offering video portraits of people living near the border. "Normal people have a horizon of 360 degrees", one of the protagonists says. "Here at the border mine is limited to 180 degrees". The portraits are nicely embedded into panoramic photos and interactive maps, but the impressive part is the touching videos of people telling stories of a tough life cut in two by borders of many kinds.

Day four: Multimedia

Today the multimedia jury meets for the first time, and till Friday evening Europe's best online production will be presented and discussed. So what am I going to do today? Make an intelligent guess.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Love after all

"Forever Yours", YLE, Finland
Children taken into custody and being raised in foster families will always keep longing for their biological parents. "Forever Yours" (YLE, Finland) tries to explore these bonds - using the example of a child brought to a shelter home, a teenager's life in a foster family, and siblings about to be moved back to their mother after having been separated from her for five years.

"Forever yours" is s slow-paced, sensitive tale on what ties parents and children together, and a powerful film about love and loss in everyday life.

Painting of a monarchy

"Ballad For a Queen", Arte France
2012. Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee. "Ballad For a Queen" ("Ballade pour une reine", Arte France) attempts to draw an unprecedented portrait of the British monarchy and its relations with the public in the last 60 years. The 90-minutes documentary offers a vast amount of so far unpublished material and exclusive and controversial interviews. Even if the film locks out reality and keeps looping glossy scenes of pomp and glory: It paints an enormously rich, sophisticated, multi-faceted image of an anachronism, a political and social icon for generations, and what remains, one way or another, an anchor of stability in a world changing faster and faster.

Thanks to a 86-year old woman, better known as Elizabeth II.

Skateboarding to freedom

"This Ain't California",
Wildfremd Production
The color of the GDR was grey: the walls, the homes, the uniforms, the Plattenbauten and the Trabis: all grey. "The streets were not for playing", as one of the protagonists puts it. And yet there was a life as colorful as it can be: Skateboarding in a dull and uniform world. "This Ain't California" ("Hier ist nicht Kalifornien", Wildfremd Production, Arte, RBB, MDR Leipzig) is a fresh, funny, yet thoughtful and profound documentary telling the story of a skateboard society, of freedom on little wheels, by means of lots and lots of orignal film documents, original music, and animated cartoons. Stunning.

A full-blown 96 minute documentary on the revolutionary power of skateboarding, and despite the underlying tragedies: I can't get the smile out of my face.

Nightmares of the past

"My Name Is Druillet", Catalonian Television
Philippe Druillet is an French artist devoted to the world of comics. He lost his father when he was a young boy, and he knows hardly anything about him. Yet the few things he has heard about his father, Victor Drouillet, being a French fascist having been involved in the persecution of Spanish republicans during the Franco regime - is enough to start a long and turturing quest for the historical truth. "My Name Is Druillet" (Catalonian Television) is an extensive research, a voyage into a violent past, opulent, maybe overburdened, but dense and disturbing.

PS: Philippe Drouillet will not be able to finish the documentary; the truth about his father proves to be too frightening. And yet he has decided to give his own son his father's name: Victor.

Stuff everywhere

"Stuff Everywhere",
Viewpoint Productions, BOS, Netherlands
A simple question may be the starting point: Where's my mobile? We start emptying our pockets and bags and drawers only to discover how much stuff we actually have. (Except for the mobile we were looking for of course. Murphy's Law, but that's another story.) Author Judith de Leeuw does the experiment on herself. She starts meticulously counting, categorizing, listing and displaying all her furniture, knives and forks, clothes, books, gadgets, toys.

"Stuff Everywhere" (Viewpoint Productions, BOS, Netherlands) asks a few seemingly simple questions: Why do we buy so many things? What do they mean to us? What do they tell others about us? Why do things get broken so fast? What will they do to our planet in the end? And, of course, that nasty simple question again and again: How much stuff do we actually have? The video-style film is witty and weird, joyful and choking, orginal and abysmal at the same time. "Stuff everywhere" is a stunning study on the stuff we keep piling up. Brilliant.

Update: 17.534 is the precise number of things Judith de Leeuw ends up with. So far.

Day three: TV documentary

Berlin is cloudy and grey, it keeps drizzling every now and then - just a perfect day for watching TV. Day three: TV documentary.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Insights I

Here they are: Jan Kopetzk's first photographic impressions of this year's Prix Europa, giving a proper view on the jury work and the passionate discussions of programme makers coming from throughout Europe.

Where is the blogger?

Radio documentary jury, discussing. (Jan Kopetzky)

Picture puzzle: Where is the blogger?

Beloved birds

"Documentary On One: The Secret Chicken Society", RTÉ
We breed chicken, we feed them, butcher them, eat them. But there are others: farmers who love their birds, look after them and spend a whole lifetime breeding even more perfect chicken.

Jenny and Willie O'Mara are Irish farmers about to take part in Ireland's national poultry show. They shampoo their pets in the shower, dry them with a hairdryer (I actually didn't know what hairdryers are for) in order to make them champions. "Documentary On One: The Secret Chicken Society" (RTÉ Radio 1) is lighthearted and brillantly composed, telling an unexpectedly hilarious story of people loving their chickens just because they are beautiful birds. Not just food.

Wrongs of the past

"The Judge and the Victims" - The Ardous battle
for Ghetto Pensions, BR/ARD
Are jews who were forced to live in ghettoes in Nazi Germany entitled to pension? For decades German courts refuse nine out of ten applications. Jan-Robert von Renesse, a judge at the North-Rhine-Westphalian Social Court, was determined to change this. He proved that in most cases the legal requirements were fulfilled, and thousands of former ghetto inhabitants - or their families, as many of them had died in the meantime - came into their own. The insistent judge on the other hand, from one day to another, was taken off all the ghetto cases. No concidence.

"The Judge and the Victims - The Arduous Battle for Ghetto Pensions" (Bayerischer Rundfunk BR/ARD, BR Bayern 2) is a beautifully crafted tale of a penny-pinching bureaucracy, highly reluctant in dealing with the wrongs of the past, and of a rebellious mind with a vision beyond the wording of the law.

Against their will

"Crossing Continents: Forced Sterilisation
in Uzbekistan", BBC
Usbekistan is a country in isolation. Here the meaning of life is having a big family, and the Uzbek population is growing fast. Allegations say that the government is sterilizing women, against their will and even often without their knowledge. An investigation. "Crossing Continents: Forced Sterilisation in Uzbekistan" (BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4) may not be radio art, not even a radio documentary. But it is a shocking report on despotic practices in a forgotten country.

Desperado

"Sense and Sensibility", NRK
Bjarte Berntsen loves driving motorbikes. Fast, way too fast. Long ago Bjarte has been banned from driving forever, but he simply does not care. He is aggressive, a desperado, feared and hated for his ruthless driving. Yet, one man supports him: a well-respected high school teacher, local politician - and his father.

"Sense and Sensibility" (NRK) takes us along Bjarte's long path from ADHD diagnosis to extreme sports, drug abuse and to ending up as a modern outlaw. It lets us look deep down into a troubled mind on the brink of psychosis, to a point where justice and psychiatry are helpless. The story is thrilling, full of almost physical aggression, leaving its listener restless and perplexed.

Driving for a better future

"Let's Drive for Your Native Land", Russia
Moscow, December 4, 2011: Elections for the Russian parliament, the starting point of a political grass-roots protest in Russia. Civil observers move between polling stations, and Mikhail, a former businessman and oppositionist, is one of the drivers. He has grown tired of fighting against oppression, but he keeps driving anyway. Why?

"Let's Drive for Your Native Land" (Foundation for Independent Radio, Webradio Podstantsiya) is a report rather than a radio documentary. Even if its tone remains grave and educational it sheds light on what media refer to as "the opposition" - in a country pretending to be democratic.

Unspoken words

"The price of exile", ACSR, RTBF, La Première
Belgium, land of hope: Rabia, born in Morocco, is determined to reach out for a brighter future and leaves her children and her country behind. Yet paradise is not free of charge.

"The price of exile" ("Le prix de l'exile", Atelier de Création Sonore Radiophonique ACSR, RTBF, La Première) is a carefully crafted programme about great expectations shattering on a social ground we tend to ignore. "On ne parle pas beaucoup", one of the protagonists says: "The price of exile" is a quiet and slow-paced piece about unspoken words, about loneliness, love, anger and grief, and about two worlds seemingly light years apart. Even if a number of underlying stories remain untold: "The price of exile" is a remarkable portrait of a family that has been torn apart.

Day two: Radio documentary

This house gave birth to the German radio documentary half a century ago. In its corridors two doyens of the genre, Peter Leonhard Braun and Aldo Gardini, can be met these days. Therefore day two: Radio documentary.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Up in flames

"Line 32", IDTV Drama,
NCRV, KRO, Netherland 2
A car crashes into a bus full of passengers, the bus overturns and explodes, right in front of a courthouse in which an extreme right-wing politician is about to testify in a controversial case of abuse. An act of terrorism?

"Line 32" (IDTV Drama, NCRV/KRO, Netherland 2) is a thrilling six week journey back in time, untangling the fates of the victims. The amazingly acted eight-part series is set against rising racism in the Netherlands and elsewhere, meant to tell the manifold stories beyond political slogans and newspaper headlines.

The driest place on earth

"Extreme Places With Björnulf",
Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company
Björnulf is a hot-tempered and devoted TV presenter. His project: a series called "Extreme Places". Together with the young photographer Thomas he goes on a journey taking them to the Chilean deserts, possibly the driest place on earth. There things start becoming difficult. Björnulf seems to lose his interest, starts drinking heavily and leaves the work to his friend. So Thomas sets out to explore how the few locals manage to survive in this hostile area.

The abrupt switching between genres and perspectives is irritating and fascinating at the same time. "Extreme Places With Björnulf" (Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company) pretends to be half road movie, half documentary. The series is original and funny, a light-hearted and fast-paced narrative about passion, friendship and about the brinks of human existence.

Merry old London

"Call the Midwife", BBC
London, 1957. Jenny Lee is a nurse and works alongside the nuns of the Order of St. Raymond Nonnatus. Yet the small private East End hospital she believed to work for turns out to be a convent. At first there is a huge cultural shock, but step by step Jenny Lee accepts the poor conditions her fellow sisters live an, but step by step her reserve turns into respect, friendship and love.

Merry old England: "Call the Midwife" (BBC) is warm, bright, light-footed and well-acted, though maybe a bit glossy, a six-part series giving an insight into life in post-war London and the devotion of women dedicating herselves to new-born lives and to charity. (And, of course, to learning to ride a bicycle.)

Note to self

My own TV set has been unemployed for years. I should change that. Seriously.

Between hope and humiliation

"Und alle haben geschwiegen",
Aspekt Telefilm-Produktion Berlin GmbH, ZDF
1964. Like 800.000 children in post-war Germany, Luisa Keller, a 16-years old illegitimate child, is committed to a religious community home. Being reduced to a mere number ("84") she spends traumatic years there which she is to speak about, more than 40 years later, in front of a German Bundestag committee. After a whole life spent in the U.S. Luisa has returned to Germany, not only to unveil the shadows of the past but also to meet Paul again, her childhood sweetheart, an orphan in the same home as well.

"And Everyone Was Silent" ("Und alle haben geschwiegen", Aspekt Telefilm-Produktion Berlin, ZDF) may lack subtlety, but it is a grasping, nightmarish story about heartless authorities, about mental and physic abuse, about humanity and love in spite of humiliation and despotism. "Und alle haben geschwiegen" is shocking, brillantly acted and photographed, leaving the audience speechless and disturbed.

The last things in life

"Clara s'en va mourir", BFC Productions/Arte France
Clara Lilt iis a 43-year old actress on the top of her carreer. And then the evil strikes out at her - lung cancer. She learns that she has two more months to live. It is a short and narrow path she knows well: Her father has died of the same disease before. She decides to put an end to her life out of her own free will.

A plot that might easily tip over and become whiningly melodramatic. It doesn't. Clara's life on stage, as a mother, daughter and sister closely intertwine, and "Clara's Off to Die" ("Clara s'en va mourir", BFC Production/Arte France) is kind of a chamber drama about the last things in life. Even though the plot remains quite linear, the film is straightforward and powerful, yet somewhat distant, maybe overacted and strangely aphoristic, occasionally even shrill and hasty.

Time machine

Haus des Rundfunks, paternoster elevator
Same procedure as every year: As soon as I enter the Haus des Rundfunks I peek around the corner in order to see if it's still there: that fascinating old-fashioned elevator called "paternoster". It must be one of the last of his kind (and unfortunately it is out of order at the moment), but if you can you should not miss using it. It will not only carry you to another floor but through the centuries.

Day one: TV fiction

"Business before pleasure" is a German saying. I am neither puritan nor German, so I freely decide to skip the nasty part and go to the movies instead. Day one: TV fiction.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The festival bible

Prix Europa paperwork.
Here I am, essentially the same (blogger? fool? both?) I used to be last year. The Prix on the other hand isn't. Additional bookshelves have been set up, shiny new panels installed, more than 850 participants have registered, 300 of which will be in the jurys.

Yet, really good things never change. The Prix Europa bible for instance. All those great TV, radio and multimedia productions, the authors, directors, producers, casts - a Who Is Who of media throughout Europe.

And yes, there is that little sheet on top of the pile, with that one remarkable sentence:
"Thomas Weibel will be blogging again during the whole festival week. He is amazingly particular and quick and tends to do rounds in all the categories. If you have anything you need to let all the other participants know - you need to buy him a coffee."
There's hardly anything more to be said. Just these two things you should never forget:
  1. to check out the festival blog (once an hour will do),
  2. the coffee bar at the Haus des Rundfunks.

"Ich bin ein Berliner"

"Ich bin ein Berliner" - soon enough, that is. Prix Europa, I'm on my way.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Set sails!

Get ready for Europe's best TV, radio and multimedia productions: The Prix Europa 2012 sets sails, and the voyage will last from October 20-27. See you at the docks in Berlin!