Her films center on people from all walks of life: she takes to the road with dustmen as well as homeless people in Germany. She has entered the world of the mentally ill, reconstructed the stories of former forced laborers, and tried to understand our general sympathy for gangsters and other scoundrels. She portraits women in a small village in the Ukraine (“Babske Radio”), searches for the leftovers of the Berlin wall (“Where is the wall”) or documents “One day in worldwide Berlin”.
In #MyEscape she reconstructed escape journeys from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea to Europe with user-generated content. The film won several prizes and was screened on festivals worldwide.
“Working on #MyEscape I discovered the power of non-professional videos. It’s not important if a camera isn’t stable if it gives you the chance to get inside an empty gas tank in a bus, the chance to understand what it means to escape from a country searching for freedom in Europe. In a way ‘The war on my phone’ is the second part of the film: A lot of people who could escape are still partly inside the war zone. And again, the material they receive on their phones is very special. It’s not anonymous news, it’s from people with names and faces.”
Camera: Jakob Stark, Kenjami Melina Huppertz, Dieter Stürmer, Oliver Gurr, Marcus Zahn
Jakob graduated from ZeLIG Film School (Italy) in 2010. He filmed a spiritual community in central Siberia (‘13, 14, 15’) and ‘Demi-Vie a Fukushima’ in 16mm, as well as other documentaries like ‘Dal Profondo’, ‘What is Left’, ‘System Milk’ or ‘Ueberall Wo Wir Sind’. His films won several prizes and toured on festivals worldwide.
Janine Dauterich studied film editing at the University of Film and Television „Konrad Wold“ Potsdam Babelsberg. She works on documentaries, fiction movies, music and art films.
„Editing films always gives an intense insight into other peoples lives and experiences. Like binoculars enhance your sight, a film broadens your horizon. Working on ‚#MyEscape‘ as well as on ‘The war on my phone’, and especially meeting the protagonists in person, has really changed my life.”
Pascal Capitolin & Karsten Höfer
The French filmmaker and sound operator Pascal Capitolin has worked on several documentaries, like „Paragraph 175“, from Oscar-winning Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedmann.
Together with Karsten Höfer he is responsible for the sound design – which is an important part of the story telling: the situation of the protagonists torn between the two worlds.
“The War on my Phone was from the very beginning the film, for which I was hoping to create its soundtrack. The protagonists of Elke Sasse are forced to face difficult situations and live in a constant inequality every day.This situation gave me a great possibility to use the sound as a complete design element to reflect their lives, hopes and fates.
Through sounds, music, atmospheres and noises as well as through the absolut absence of sound, me and my colleague Karsten Höfer wanted to make the viewer feel the emotional turmoil of the protagonists and take them in this journey with us, make them feel empathy about these people and share their emotions. With the constant reception of messages from their homeland, the sound of the war opens up a window to the european reality.”
Producer: Holger Preusse, Kristian Kähler
Holger Preusse is director and producer of numerous award-winning films and documentaries. He has developed new formats for public and private TV-Channels in particular “The Philosophy Quartet” for ZDF. His work is focused on high-grade films about culture, science, music and history. He is producer of documentaries for cinema “Kinshasa Symphony”, „’Fassbinder’s been everything for me!’ – The happy victims of Rainer Werner F.” and creative producer for “Hannah Arendt – On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” (nominated for Grimme Award 2017). He is partner in the berlin producers Gmbh and sounding images Gmbh, and CEO of the heidefilm GmbH. He is a member of the German Film Academy.
“When director Elke Sasse asked me if I wanted to produce her new film, I knew that this would be a big challenge. Their responsible and highly sensitive handling of the video material of the protagonists over many months in the editing room, the intensive discussions with Elke and the editor Janine about the stories of the people from Syria have moved me deeply and touch me again and again when I watch the film.”
Marcus Zahn was born in 1992 in Quedlinburg, Germany. After high school he moved to Berlin to start a traineeship in a production company. After working in the post production for one year, he later joined the production stage and worked as a cameraman for several TV broadcaster. Now he studies at the ZeLIG filmschool with specialization in cinematography.
Research and Translation:
Amloud Alamir, Yazan Al Yaseen, Sophie Elmenthaler and Mohamed Sami Habal
The Syrian journalist Amloud Alamir works for amalberlin, Mohamed Sami Al Habbal is part of the Arabic department of Deutsche Welle.
Through their networks they tried to find refugees still in contact with their families and friends inside Syria.
Sophie Elmenthaler studied Arabic and journalism, Yazan Al Yaseen studied English literature in Damascus before coming to Berlin and translating many hours of interviews and messages.