Start of shooting: documentary drama series “18 – Clash of Futures”
13. February 2017 - 16:02

Start of shooting: documentary drama series “18 – Clash of Futures”

Premium production of ARTE and ARD / First day of shooting 3rd of April 2017

The end of the First World War on 11th November 1918 was the start of a journey into the unknown for the people of Europe. The war swept away the old order of monarchies and empires. An intense, passionate, and often vio-lent struggle for the best possible of utopias began. Democracy, com-munism and fascism competed for dominance. “18 – Clash of Futures” is the biography of fourteen women and men based on their diaries and mem-oirs, living during those turbulent times. It is the stories of people, their dreams and convictions, that make Europe’s history tangible in all its incon-sistency.

The documentary does not lose sight of its contemporary context: it is well aware that Europe and democracy once again face the threat of crisis. The dramaturgy and narrative style is an achievement of public broadcasting and enhances the field of international documentary production. The pro-duction, by LOOKSfilm together with many international partners of ARTE and ARD, will begin on April, 3rd 2017. The shooting is scheduled until June,16th 2017. The TV broadcast is scheduled for 2018 on ARTE and on Channel One (ARD).

“18 – Clash of Futures” portrays the history of Europe between 1918 and 1939. The multilingual documentary drama series follows the fate of different characters from all over Europe: the communist Hans Beimler; the silent movie star Pola Negri; the future Auschwitz-commander Rudolf Höss; the Austrian female doctor Edith Wellspacher; and French female anarchist May Picqueray, among others.

Characters from a previous documentary drama series, “14 – Diaries of the Great War”, will be revisited, namely Cossack Marina Yurlova and war reporter C.E. Montague. History is experienced through the subjective experience of individuals, without benefiting from the hindsight of knowing how their stories will end.

Show-runner, director and screenwriter Jan Peter said: “We show our protago-nists’ life while it is happening. Without an ultimate judgement, without the smart-alecky view of the later-borns. History is what happens to us daily – with an open end.”

Genre with a complex narrative style
The project “18 – Clash of Futures” represents an advancement in documentary storytelling. It combines fiction and non-fiction elements and unites them into a thrilling drama series. In it the stories of the protagonists are told in a vertical way in the single episodes, and horizontally throughout the whole series. Thus, “18 – Clash of Futures” captures the zeitgeist of the interwar period. The question re-mains: how and why did the mentalities of millions of people in Europe change so dramatically in the course of these 21 years, making this new war possible? The producer Gunnar Dedio met this substantial challenge through intensive coopera-tion with international associates: “By telling history in a trans-national way, we reach a new view of us, of Europe here and now.”

Struggle for utopia
“18 – Clash of Futures” does not remain in the past, but traces the evolution of the world we live in today. Many of the things we take for granted today developed in those 21 years between 1918 and 1939, including democracy with the right to vote, the separation of power, and the freedom of expression. But democracy could only establish itself after a long competition with other powerful utopias. The documentary drama series will narrate the fight between these ideologies and utopias for the hearts and heads of millions of people – hence the title, “Clash of Futures” (“Krieg der Träume” in German).

Significant supporting activities
In addition to the TV broadcast, the series will be premiered online and in cine-mas, and an accompanying book will be published. There will be exhibitions in museums, conferences, a stage play, a web special from ARTE and ARD, and extensive promotion across social media platforms.

Cast and Crew
Actors: Joel Basman (“Unter dem Sand”, “Als wir träumten”, “Homeland”), Roxane Duran (“Das weisse Band”, “Paula”), Rebecka Hemse (“Kommissar Beck”), Jan Krauter (“Himmel und Hölle”), Michalina Olszanska (“Já, Olga Hepnarová”), Nata-lia Witmer and David Acton (both of them: “14 – Diaries of the Great War”). Show-runner, screenwriter and director: Jan Peter, co-screenwriter and co-director: Frédéric Goupil (“Les Revenants”, “The Returned”). Supported by the screenwrit-ers Camilla Ahlgren (“Die Brücke – Transit in den Tod”), Jean-Louis Schlesser and the dramaturg Eva-Maria Fahmüller. Professional adviser: Prof. Daniel Schönpflug and Prof. Johann Chapoutot. Composer: Laurent Eyquem (USS Indianapolis, Rage), music: Filmorchester Babelsberg and Chor der Prager Philharmoniker.

International production and distribution
“18 – Clash of Futures” is a European series production with international partners and sponsors. A coproduction with LOOKSfilm (Gunnar Dedio), Les Films d’Ici (Serge Lalou), IRIS (Nicolas Steil) with Fortis Imaginatio in cooperation with ARTE and SWR plus NDR, WDR, RBB, ORF, CT, SVT, Toute l’histoire, BBC Alba, YLE, NRK, DR, supported by MDM, MFG, Creative Europe, CNC and Film Fund Lux-embourg. The documentary drama series represents a contribution from ARTE and ARD to mark the 100th anniversary of the End of the First World War.

The shooting of the series will take place in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany.