Browse Archive


Lisa Nielebock (photo © Magdalena Hutter)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2011

When Ingo J. Biermann embarked on the idea for the documentary NEUN FRAUEN, he decided to focus the portraits on artists whose work interested him and on people who, like him, were at the beginning of their professional and artistic careers and aged between 25 and 31.

“Above all, I was interested in posing all the questions I have asked myself in recent years,” recalls Biermann who studied at the German Film & Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin until 2010.

“I selected all of the protagonists very consciously and systematically and deliberately tried to coordinate it so that the ten portraits complement and enrich one another,” he adds.

Thus, the line-up includes the theatre director Lisa Nielebock who is currently based at the Schauspielhaus Bochum; the contemporary and abstract dancer Mayra Wallraff, a member of the Berlin-based Wee Dance Company; the composer Birke J. Bertelsmeier who is in her final year of studies at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe; the Leipzig photographic artist Manuela Kasemir; and filmmaker Corinna Liedtke who graduated from the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne in 2010.

“Each of the women speak about themselves and their work – how they work, why they do this work and what motivates them,” Biermann explains. “With this film and these conversations, I wanted to draw attention to the everyday conflicts, problems and issues between earning money and following a profession and self-realisation and making art as well as with one’s private life, family and children. It was therefore important that some of the women had children and others didn’t have any (yet).”

Conversations of around 90 minutes were filmed each of the protagonists, “always in a private milieu or at least in individual familiar spaces like the atelier, family home, living room, bedroom,” Biermann notes.

The portraits concentrate on the conversations with each of the ten women, so that the viewer will not be shown any examples of the artists’ work. Instead, we only see their faces along with silent portraits in the style of Andy Warhol’s famous Screen Tests.

Biermann had filmed about six minutes for these silent portraits with each protagonist, but will likely end up using about two minutes of the footage in the final film. “We will have to find out during the editing how long exactly one can show these parts, probably partly with voice-only interview and partly silent”, he explains.

The making of NEUN FRAUEN is something of an experiment since it has been planned for two forms of exploitation: as an interactive project for the internet as well as a classical feature-length film for the cinema.

While the film version will be able to use ten minutes at most from each conversation, the presentation via the Internet or on DVD/Bluray could use between 30-45 minutes as the users switch between the interviews and thematic or individual preferences or interests.

NEUN FRAUEN is one of three feature documentaries that Ingo Biermann has been working on over the past year to be completed during 2011. The other two projects are the music documentaries NOCTURNE, with the composer Dmitri Kourliandski and the Kairos Quartet, and VOICE - SCULPTING SOUND WITH MAJA RATKJE, portraying the Norwegian composer and performer.

Moreover, Biermann’s five-minute short MISTRESS received its international premiere in German Films’ Next Generation showcase of shorts from German film academies at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Genre Art, Literature, Theater, Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2011
Director Ingo J. Biermann
Screenplay Ingo J. Biermann, Magdalena Hutter
Cinematography Magdalena Hutter
Eva Höppner
Animation Andreas Louis
Producers Ingo J. Biermann, Andreas Louis
Production Company Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB), in co-production with Myrland Films/Berlin
Format HDCAM, color, cs
Shooting Dates March-October 2010
Sound Technology Dolby SR

Myrland Films
Ingo J. Biermann
Eisenacher Strasse 77
10823 Berlin/Germany
phone +49-30-94 88 47 94
fax +49-30-25 75 91 52