Katholisches Filmwerk – Almost 60 years of work committed to media Tradition and new horizons
Katholisches Filmwerk looks back to a long and very successful work with films in the field of education. Since 1953 kfw has provided media centres and similar institutions with high-quality productions. The selection of feature films, documentaries, and short films is inspired by the search for actual topics of social and religious interest and their perfect realization. The company has its origins in the quest for a genuine media work focussing on socially relevant issues. Kfw originally started with own productions, but then concentrated more and more on the distribution of high quality films from various producers. As an affiliate of Tellux GmbH, one of Germany´s leading independent TV-producers, kfw is also closely linked to the newest high- standard productions concerning cultural topics.
Programme offer documentaries from KFW for international distribution
Monasteries along the Danube 20 x 45´
The Danube river predetermined the itinerary of the Irish missionaries who founded numerous abbeys along the river in order to bring Christian faith to the people. At the same time the Danube was, from Passau on, the most important traffic route towards the East. On its banks numerous monasteries became centres of Christianity, fostering European cultural tradition, economy, and art. The series “Monasteries along the Danube” in 20 episodes aims to show how friars and nuns succeed today in revitalizing the historical and spiritual heritage of these inspiring places. The series also transports, incidentally, the enjoyable experience of a journey along the Danube showing the various beauties of its nature.
The Resurrection of Monastic Life 4 x 45´
This documentary series relates the commitment of four entirely different persons to bring new life to Bavarian monasteries after the secularization: Ludwig I., King of Bavaria, Clara Haselmayr, the charismatic Mother Superior of the Franciscans of Dillingen, Andreas Amrein, the founder of the Benedictine missionaries, and finally Theodor von Cramer-Klett, sponsor of Ettal and other today flourishing Benedictine monasteries. Each part is a complete story and could be broadcast as a separate programme unit.
The Miracle of Holy Places 8 x 45´
Das Wunder der Heiligen Orte
Each of the eight programmes gives a lively and inspiring portrait of a place in Southern Germany and in Austria which is considered to be holy and healing. We visit for instance Altötting, Goessweinstein, Mariazell, and Sankt Wolfgang, places that attract many pilgrims or persons who are in search for inner peace and a new meaning of life. These colourful portraits invite the spectator to share the spirit of the places. Each part is a complete story and could be broadcast as a separate programme unit.
“Camino de Santiago” with Ulrich Reinthaler 1 x 45´
Bis ans Ender der Welt – Auf dem Jakobsweg mit Ulrich Reinthaler
We follow Ulrich Reinthaler, a popular actor in Austria, on his way to Santiago de Compostella. He dedicates his pilgrimage to personal and philosophic reflections: He tries to find answers to two crucial questions, his relationship to his ill father and the future of his marriage. We share the rhythm and the beauties of his solitary experience all along the historical sites of Northern Spain. At the end of his way Reinthaler has found answers and inner peace.
Escape over the Himalayas 1 x 30´
Flucht über den Himalaya (English/French versions available)
Since China has occupied Tibet, the children of the „Land of Snows“ have lost their prospects for the future. The school fees are too high for the impoverished people. The well-planned strategy of the occupiers is to break the resistance of the population: An uneducated Tibetan is easier to govern, and a child without future is not able to carry on the culture of its country. Therefore, many parents decide to send their children over the snow-covered passes of the Himalayas to exile in India where the Tibetan government-in-exile has established a first-class educational system. We participate in the dangerous and strenuous escape of a group of thirteen persons over the world´s highest mountain range until their safe arrival in Dharamsala.
Paradise Gardens 45´/52´
Paradiesgärten (two versions of different length)
A documentary about the meaning and the beauty of gardens inspired by the world religions: the stone garden of the Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto, the gardens of the Real Alcazar in Sevilla and of the Alhambra in Granada, and the Paradise garden of the Melk Abbey. How did the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, and the Christians conceive their picture of Paradise? Why is the Buddhist paradise better symbolized by an austere gravel surface than by the gorgeous flower gardens of the Islamic or the Christian world?
Those who found happiness in these gardens can give us an answer: the gardeners. They illustrate the different pictures of paradise of the world religions and explain their personal approach.
Monasteries along the Inn River 4x45´
This four-part series presents four abbeys in the Inn River Valley: The Cistercian monks of Stam, the Franciscan nuns of Au, the Redemptorists of Gars, and the Capuchins of Altötting.
1. The Cistercian monks of Stams
This documentary paints a vivid picture of every day life in a monastery with one of the richest traditions in the Inn River valley. Although the monastic daily routine is determined by work und prayers, their individual characters are considerably different. This film shows the various contrasts and interactions in the monastery and its surroundings. In the immediate vicinity of the contemplative monks' oasis is a grammar school for young talented skiers, some of which live in the monastery.
2. The Franciscan nuns of Au
When the abbey was founded in 1854, only four nuns belonged to the order. They had the mission to build up a school for girls. Nowadays the abbey runs an educational centre for children with a mental handicap. Even though working for this centre requires the permanent commitment of the 25 nuns, there is, besides work and prayers, still time for maintaining good relations with the people in and
around the abbey.
3. The Redemptorists of Gars
The documentary focuses on the different characters und duties of the monks. They work in different crafts, as gardeners, butchers, or carpenters, and, of course, as pastors. Pater Rehmet, the monastery's abbot, faces day by day the challenge of keeping a community of individualists together. The monks have one thing in common, which is the ability to combine their communication with the
outside world and their retreat into inner life.
4. The Capuchins of Altötting
Altötting is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage all over Europe. In 1934, the Pope canonized Brother Konrad, the porter of the monastery. This documentary retraces his life. Together with Sandro, a 12 years old socially engaged boy, we find out that even a very quiet and inconspicuous life can lead to holiness.
Zwei Folgen 2x30`
Stations of the Cross - Moosbach
This documentary pictures the Stations of the Cross in the little town of Moosbach situated on top of a hill in the Bavaria Forest. The artist who created the fourteen stations as well as several people who regularly search and find peace and harmony there, give testimonies of their personal relation to the place. Ways of the Cross became popular during the 18th century and were also put up inside the churches for those who had difficulties in walking. In Moosbach many people still feel connected to
this Way of the Cross and tell us how they found spiritual help by praying there. The film also shows the creative evolution of the artist who created the Stations of the Cross, as well as the work of a company near Moosbach specialized in replicas of antiques and Christian artworks.
Stations of the Cross – Heiligenkreuz
The baroque Way of the Cross of the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz represents an inspiring combination of architecture and landscape. The fourteen stations were created in the early 18th
century by the Venetian sculptor Giovanni Giuliani who left his baroque stamp on the monastery constructed in the Romanesque and Gothic style. We discover the way with our guide Frater Philipp, a young monk who has been living in the abbey for six years and visits regularly the Stations of the Cross. Other visitors too talk about their very personal connection to this place.
Still guided by Frater Philipp we learn more about the history of the Cistercians who founded the abbey near Vienna 900 years ago. And we take part in the everyday life of the monks whose CD with Gregorian chants recently was an overwhelming success.
St. Peter and the Popes 45´
Simon Peter, a simple fisherman from Capernaum in the Holy Land, was considered to be the first among Jesus' disciples. The Gospels describe him as a very committed and energetic, but also quite impulsive man. Among the twelve apostles he had the exceptional position of the spokesman, also towards Jesus himself. In Church tradition he is said to have met martyrdom in Rome during the Christian persecution in Emperor Nero's reign. This documentary focuses on the role of the popes as the successors of the one who sustains and unifies the Church. Is it justified to designate the throne of the popes as “the Holy See of St. Peter”? Following the question what the splendour of Roman papacy has to do with the life of the simple fisherman, the church history between the poles of political and ecclesiastical power throughout the millenniums becomes comprehensible. The film presents the popes from the last century until today and their respective concerns. At the same time it concentrates on the historical and archaeological knowledge regarding the ministry of the apostle Peter in Rome, giving us a vivid picture of the Eternal City which is so closely related to papacy.
St. Paul in Rome
St. Paul who was born as a Roman citizen in Asia Minor travelled some 30. 000 kilometres on his missionary journeys. Only at the end of his life did he reached Rome. He came as a prisoner to the biggest and most powerful city of the world at that time, yet he still continued to promulgate the teachings of Jesus Christ for two more years. Nowhere else could we find so many traces of his life and work: places where he probably lived and taught, the jail where he was imprisoned together with St. Peter, the place where he was martyred, and finally his tomb which has recently been discovered under the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. In today's Rome we meet people who feel connected to St. Paul and try to life in his spirit. Their testimonies give us a vivid picture of his life and time.
The way the Pope thinks
In this 30min feature Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – today Pope Benedict XVI – talks about questions of faith, the history of the church, and his personal vision of faith. The documentary provides an insight into the way of thinking of the man who has been the leader of the Roman Catholic Church since April 2005. The interview is about the past and the future of the church, topics of the Universal Church and questions of ecumenism. But Joseph Ratzinger's main concern is how the individual deals with the freedom of choice to believe in God or not. The words of the former cardinal are completed by recently taken pictures of Marktl on Inn where the Pope was born on April 16th 1927.
Angel in the Sea – with Mijou Kovacs to Mont-Saint-Michel
Without its abbey Mont-Saint-Michel would just be a huge granite rock jutting 250 feet out of the sea. It was Man’s defiance of the elements and of time to built - amidst an unreal landscape between sea and mainland – a monument of such dimensions. Tall and high. Very high. Seen from distance, the Mont-Saint-Michel has the magic aura of a Fata Morgana that has been attracting tourists and pilgrims for 1000 years. The actress Mijou Kovacs knows the site better than anyone else. She is our guide in discovering this special place with its people and stories.