Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

Culture Files is a European crossmedia project, including a 5×52’ TV series, a comic release and the documentary game. The project brings the life and work of European cultural icons from a range of disciplines reflecting Europe’s cultural identity and heritage to a young audience on several platforms.
2013 the Culture Files about Wagner, Beethoven, Kleist, Pasolini und Zarah Leander were produces. At the moment season twi with Van Gogh and Tschaikovsky are in production.


  • - WAGNER - Graphic Novel (Book)

    2013 – the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner is celebrated one whole year. We take a look at the life [...]

    2013 - the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner is celebrated one whole year. We take a look at the life of a genius musician, told from the view of Hans von Bülow, whose life Wagner influenced a lot. When Richard Wagner died on 13th February 1883 in Venice in the arms of his second wife Cosima, not only the life of one of the most genius men in musical history ended at this point. Also a biography between beguilement, betrayal, escape, adultery, anti-Semitism and a strange relationship with Ludwig II., the excentrically King of Bavaria. Who was Richard Wagner? In which racketeerings was he involved? Is there an evidence of Wagner's double-minded doings? Drawings with love for details and original locations bring the Wagner story close to a younger audience, without losing relevant information. In the content of the CULTURAL FILES, a crosmedia project by gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, the eventfilm the WAGNER Files as well as an App for tablets and smartphones were published. The App compounds the life of the exceptional talent with animation, minigames, his music and animated graphics to a whole new user experience - for young and old.

  • - Good news for fans of THE WAGNER FILES!

    The app of our International Emmy nominated cross media production THE WAGNER FILES made it to the shortlist at the [...]

    The app of our International Emmy nominated cross media production THE WAGNER FILES made it to the shortlist at the Youth Digital Publishing Award Arthaud of Grenoble. Plus, just in time for christmas we have reduced the prices of the app: it is now available on iTunes for 0,89€ (iPhone) or 2,69€ (iPad)!

    App trailer
    Buy the iPhone app
    Buy the iPad app
    Official website

  • - "The Wagner Files" nominated for Emmy Award

    We are thrilled to announce that our production „Wagnerwahn“ is nominated for the International Emmy Awards! Ralf Pleger’s documentary is [...]

    We are thrilled to announce that our production „Wagnerwahn“ is nominated for the International Emmy Awards! Ralf Pleger’s documentary is one out of four nominees in the „Arts Programming“ category and represents our cross media format „The Culture Files“. Winners will be announced on November 24, 2014. The annual International Emmy Awards honour the best TV shows that were produced and broadcasted outside of the US. We’ve got our fingers crossed!

    All nominees


  • Culture Files (WT) (App Series)

  • The Zarah Leander Files

  • WAGNER - Graphic Novel (Book)

  • The Beethoven Files

  • The Kleist File

  • The Culture Files (TV-Series, 5 parts)

  • The Wagner Files (TV)

  • The Wagner Files (App)

Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

The TV Series is an innovative TV format that aims to tell European cultural history to a TV audience aged 25 to 45. It was developed with the support of Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg in 2010. The 5×52 min. TV series utilises a stylish detective-series aesthetic to explore the unsolved mysteries surrounding many of Europe’s great artists and thinkers such as the Russian dancer Richard Nureyev, the Italian intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini, or the French poet Rimbaud.

With its unique combination of glossy crime-fiction aesthetics and the investigative rigour of high-end documentaries, the series will cultivate a distinctive brand design. The viewer will be guided through the series by the off-screen presence of the fictive character of a female investigator. Her voice will provide an element of familiarity and serve as a link between individual “files”. She collects evidence in her investigator’s lab – minimalist in style and equipped with the contemporary paraphernalia of scientific inquiry. Films and photographs are projected on video walls, personal letters, newspaper articles, medical documents, maps and police files are strewn across transparent backlit tables. The visual language of the series is further characterised by animation.

In the course of her investigation, the investigator repeatedly speaks to witnesses and experts. Every “file” will gradually be unravelled with the help of three to five different experts, including biographers, historians, critics, and philosophers. In addition, re-created scenes help to render the human nature of the stories. The individual “files” will be produced as high-end documentary films for prime-time TV and art-themed TV specials.

The comic will be available both as a traditional book and interactive App, merging digital and analogue world as well as the series’ linear story-telling and the game’s style and protagonists. It will thus top the cross-media project off

2013 the Culture Files about Wagner, Beethoven, Kleist, Pasolini und Zarah Leander  were produces. At the moment season twi with Van Gogh and Tschaikovsky are in production.

The Wagner Files (90/52 min)

A film by Ralf Pfleger, starring Samuel Finzi and Pegah Ferydoni
“The Wagner Files” is an innovative and dynamic fusion of music documentary, fictional film and animated cartoon. It critically introduces the life and musical creativity of one of the most famous – and arguably most controversial – German composers in a way that has never been done before. High quality, thought-provoking fictional scenes trace the complex and scandalous relationship between Richard Wagner (Samuel Finzi) and his second wife Cosima (Pegah Ferydoni). The scenes are shot in a modern setting, orchestrated with, and impassioned by, Wagner’s music, referring to classical Hollywood melodramas as direct successors of Wagner’s “Gesamtkunstwerk”. Marking the anniversary of Wagner’s 200th birthday in 2013, the film explores the visionary opus and arguable spirit of Richard Wagner, rediscovering the composer anew for a wide and varied audience.

The Wagner Files – The App

The interactive Graphic Novel WAGNER FILES (App) explores exciting new ways of storytelling: through the fusion of animation, videos, historical letters, music scores and photographs, Wagner is experienced in a completely new light.

Graphic Novel (Book)

A book by Andreas Völlinger with drawings by Flavia Scuderi.
As part of the crossmedia project the WAGNER FILES the book WAGNER written by Andreas Völlinger with drawings by Flavia Scuderi. Wagners extraordinary life is tol in a 43 paged comic adventure told from the view of Hans von Bülow. Additionally the reader gets an insight of the origination process of the remarkable comic.

The Beethoven Files (52/43 min)

A film by Hedwig Schmutte and Ralf Pleger, starring Lars Eidinger and Pheline Roggan
Ludwig van Beethoven’s work is legendary – and already was while he was still alive. He is famous around the world, and yet little is known about the conditions under which his music was composed. One thing is certain: he composed most of his masterpieces AFTER the onset of his deafness. When he composed his famous 9th symphony, he wasn’t able to hear a thing! A deaf composer? How is that possible? 200 years after Beethoven’s death, “The Beethoven File” casts light of one of the biggest mysteries of music history.

The Kleist Files (52/43 min)

A film by Simone Dobmeier, Hedwig Schmutte and Torsten Striegnitz, starring Meret Becker and Alexander Beyer
The death at Wannsee Lake – a spectacular case that has, to date, continued to disturb and fascinate the ensuing ages. The German poet Kleist was found shot – what is that supposed to mean? What exactly happened at Wannsee Lake that afternoon on November 21st, 1811? Who shot Kleist? What is known about the woman that died with him?

The Zarah Leander Files (52/43 min)

A film by Torsten Striegnitz and Simone Dobmeier
Zarah Leander was the Third Reich’s greatest film star. Admired by the Nazis she became the best-paid film diva ever signed by the UFA. Until today Zarah Leander is intrinsically tied to our collective memory. At the peak of her career in early 1943, Zarah Leander suddenly leaves her mansion in Berlin and returns to her home country Sweden. Around the same time, rumours are starting to spread which will ultimately determine the myth of Zarah Leander: a Nazi diva, a non-political actress or a soviet spy. THE ZARAH LEANDER FILES immerses into the life of the Swedish film diva and asks who is is really behind the mysterious look, the frivolous songs and pompous gestures? Who was Zarah Leander really?


The Pasolini Files (52 min)

A film by Andreas Pichler
In the night of November 2nd, 1975, the Italian film director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini is brutally murdered on the outskirts of Rome. The 17-year-old gigolo Pino Pelosi is found guilty of the crime and sentenced to maximum penalty, despite countless contradictions in the evidence. Decades later, Pelosi withdraws his testimony and the case is re-opened, but up till now, the murder of one of Italy’s most famous intellectuals is fat from being solved. THE PASOLINI FILES investigates the circumstances of Pasolini’s murder from today’s perspective and draws a sinister picture of Italy in the 20th century. A film about the intellectual’s role in society and a tribute to the life and work of Pier Paolo Pasolini.

  • The Zarah Leander Files

    svt - Sveriges Television
    15 August 2013 at 8:00 pm

  • The Kleist File

    26 May 2014 at 3:00 am

  • The Wagner Files

    09 August 2014 at 9:00 pm

  • The Pasolini Files

    Spiegel Geschichte
    29 November 2014 at 11:25 pm

  • The Pasolini Files

    Spiegel Geschichte
    30 November 2014 at 6:25 pm

  • The Pasolini Files

    Spiegel Geschichte
    02 December 2014 at 5:35 am

  • The Zarah Leander Files

    14 November 2015 at 11:30 am

  • The Pasolini Files

    Spiegel Geschichte
    13 December 2015 at 5:10 am

  • Holland Film Meeting (pdf)

    "Culture Files, the first cross-media project selected for the Netherlands Production Platform, was developed (...) to adress the problem of younger audiences with cultural, educational and historical contents within a shifting media environment."