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The Whale and the Raven

Mirjam Leuze
2019 | 101 min

Selections and Awards

  • Opening Film - Official SelectionDok Fest - Munich, Germany (2019)

  • Women in Film and TV Vancouver Artistic Merit Award 2019Vancouver International Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada (2019)

  • Official SelectionPlanet in Focus - International Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2019)

  • Winner Science Communication AwardCineMare Int'l Ocean Film Festival Kiel, Kiel, Germany (2019)

  • Official SelectionAvailable Light Film Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada (2020)

  • Official SelectionReFrame Film Festival, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (2020)

  • Official SelectionDoc Point - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Helsinki, Finland (2020)


Short and Longer Synopses


Director's Statement

Trailer

Clips

Images

Janie Wray, Lead Researcher, BC Whales, and co-founder of the Cetacea Lab on a whale research excursion in the waters off the west coast of Canada.
Hermann Meuter, Whale Researcher at Cetacea Lab, at Whale Point on Gil Island, monitors the underwater noise generated by a passing tanker in an effort to collect data demonstrating the impact of increased tanker traffic on the wildlife living in the area.
Humpback whales off of Gil Island on the west coast of Canada.
Janie Wray, Lead Researcher, BC Whales, and co-founder of the Cetacea Lab, observing humpback whales from land – a unique method of research that is completely unobtrusive.
Hermann Meuter, Whale Researcher at Cetacea Lab, looking out across the waters off the southern point of the uninhabited Gil Island in Gitga'at territory in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada.
A member of the Gitga'at First Nation at a spring harvesting camp looking into the quiet and naturally protected waters off the west coast of Canada where humpback whales, pods of orca, fin whales and countless other wildlife species feed, play and raise their young.
Cetacea Lab – a whale research station originally built by Janie Wray and Hermann Meuter -- at Whale Point on the southern point of the uninhabited Gil Island in Gitga'at territory in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada.

Promotional Materials

Team


Mirjam Leuze
Writer, Director
Biography
Photo
Photo : Bernd Beyer


Mirjam Leuze

Mirjam Leuze, M.A., studied Cultural Anthropology and Film, Theatre and Television in Cologne, Germany, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Working as a freelance journalist for various television stations and as a director at a Cologne-based production company, she gained broad experience in the documentary field through projects filmed around the world. Mirjam’s first feature-length documentary, Flowers of Freedom, premiered in 2014 at the 64th Berlinale and was nominated for the 2016 German Human Rights Film Award and the 2014 Cinema Fairbindet Prize.


Sandra Brandl
Editor, Co-Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Andreas Eckhardt-Brandl


Sandra Brandl

Based in Cologne, Germany, Sandra Brandl is a freelance editor whose documentary work includes Kokolampy by Hajo Schomerus (Dok Leipzig, 2016) and Flowers of Freedom by Mirjam Leuze (Berlinale, 2014). In 2015, Sandra Brandl joined Topos Film, which was founded by director Mirjam Leuze. Together they co-produced The Whale and the Raven, which she also edited.


Marcelo Busse
Producer (Busse & Halberschmidt)
Biography
Photo
Photo : Estelle Klawitter


Marcelo Busse

Producer Marcelo Busse began his career in the film industry in 1994. He participated in films directed by Leos Carax, Enki Bilal, and Werner Schroeter, starring actors such as Catherine Deneuve, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michel Piccoli, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, and Julie Delpy. In 2001, he co-founded Busse & Halberschmidt, an independent film production house based in Düsseldorf. He has since produced and co-produced award-winning feature films and documentaries for international cinema audiences.


Andrew Williamson
Producer (Cedar Island Films)
Biography
Photo
Photo : Yandy Liu


Andrew Williamson

Andrew Williamson is an award-winning producer and the co-president of Cedar Island Films. Andrew has produced the documentary feature The Magnitude of All Things with Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation), The Whale and the Raven, a Canadian/German co-production with the National Film Board of Canada and ARTE, The Search for the CBC’s Documentary Channel, River of Life for ZDF and Mission Canada for ARD Degeto.

He was executive producer of the critically acclaimed doc series Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH for the Knowledge Network/Discovery and High Moon, a pilot co-venture with Universal Cable Productions and executive producer Bryan Fuller. He also produced Gastown Gamble for the OWN Network. Andrew has worked with all the major Canadian networks and public funding agencies.

Previously, Andrew was a principal at Lark Productions, Director of Industrial Relations at the Canadian Media Producers Association, Manager at the Directors Guild of Canada and Director of Development for Keatley Entertainment. Andrew is on the Branch Council of the CMPA – BC Producers Branch and on the Film Advisory Board for Langara College. He’s the founder of Crazy8s and volunteers with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to help educate people about climate change.


Henrik Meyer
Producer (Cedar Island Films)
Biography
Photo
Photo : Yandy Liu


Henrik Meyer

Henrik Meyer has produced film and television for 25  years. Before immigrating to Canada in 2004, he worked as a studio executive, producer, and feature filmmaker in Germany. His first Canadian feature film was Douglas Coupland’s Everything’s Gone Green, which won Leo Awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Meyer has since co-produced feature films such as Gold (Berlinale, 2013) and Shana: The Wolf’s Music, which garnered over 25 awards in 2014-15 and was recently licensed to APTN.

 


Shirley Vercruysse
Producer, Executive Producer
Biography
Photo
Photo : Emily Cooper


Shirley Vercruysse

Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. The studio’s latest projects include the feature-length documentaries The Whale and the Raven and Because We Are Girls; the musical documentary The Road Forward; the animated shorts Shop Class and The Zoo; the short documentaries Way of the Hunter and Now Is the Time; and the Webby Award-winning documentary series True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball.


Christian Vizi
Consulting Producer (VIZION)
Biography
Photo


Christian Vizi

Christian Vizi was born in 1961 in Austria. He studied Psychology, Film & Photo Design before beginning his career as a line producer and film producer. Until 1997, Vizi worked for Schlemmer Film on international co-productions such as Poussières d’amour and The Shoe. From 2000 to 2004, he produced several international films for Troika Entertainment, including 101 ReykjavikThe Iron Maria, and Dream of Floating. With VIZION, his own label, Vizi has produced documentaries such as Spielverderber (Hessischer Filmpreis, 2007), Die Mühen der Ebene (2011) and Flowers of Freedom (2014), as well as the animated short Obon (Sundance Film Festival, 2019).


Sabine Bubeck-Paaz
Executive Producer (ZDF-ARTE)
Biography
Photo


Sabine Bubeck-Paaz

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz is a senior commissioning editor at German public broadcaster ZDF for various documentary slots on Europe’s ARTE channel. She deals with documentary films and series, reportages and cross-media projects on a wide range of topics for the ZDF/ARTE Culture and Music and Current Affairs departments. Sabine’s recent projects include the Oscar®-nominated  international co-productions The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence and Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, as well as award-winning documentaries and cross-media productions such as Drone, netwars, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, Thank You for the Rain and Sugar Coated. She regularly participates in international documentary pitching and training workshops as a mentor. Since 2015, Sabine has been the Head of Studies at the ESoDoc – European Social Documentary training initiative in Bolzano, Italy, organized by the ZeLIG documentary film school.

Additional Documentary Subjects


Helen Clifton
(also known as Granny), Matriarch of the Killerwhale Clan, Gitga'at First Nation
Biography
Photo


Helen Clifton

Helen Clifton (also known as Granny), Matriarch of the Killerwhale Clan, Gitga’at First Nation.  


Spencer Greening
Gitga'at Councillor
Biography
Photo


Spencer Greening

Spencer Greening, Gitga’at Councillor.


Nicole Robinson
Gitga'at Guardian
Biography
Photo


Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson, Gitga’at Guardian.


Archie Dundas
(also known as Bunker), Gitga'at Guardian
Biography
Photo


Archie Dundas

Archie Dundas (also known as Bunker), Gitga’at Guardian.  


Roy Henry Vickers
Gitxaała Storyteller and Artist
Biography
Photo


Roy Henry Vickers

Roy Henry Vickers, Gitxaała Storyteller and Artist.

Credits

With the participation of
Janie Wray
Hermann Meuter

And
Helen Clifton
Patricia Lange
Roy Henry Vickers
La’goot Spencer Greening
Nicole Robinson
Archie Dundas
Marven Robinson
Philip Germuth
Katie Welsh
Julie Bits-Thorsen

Writer & Director
Mirjam Leuze

Editing
Sandra Brandl, BFS

Producer
Marcelo Busse

Producers
Henrik Meyer
Andrew Williamson
Shirley Vercruysse

Co-Producer
Sandra Brandl
Mirjam Leuze

Consulting Producer
Christian Vizi

Executive Producer
Sabine Bubeck-Paaz ZDF/ARTE
Shirley Vercruysse NFB

Senior Story Consultant
Narration and Original Artwork “Orca Chief”
Roy Henry Vickers

Animation “Orca Chief”
Elisa Chee

Director of Photography
Athan Merrick

Additional Cinematography
Mirjam Leuze
Simon Schneider

Underwater Cinematograhy
Tavish Campbell

Drone Cinematography
Mike Dinsmore

Composer
Jesse Zubot

Sound Design and Mix
Andreas Hildebrandt

Sound Recordist
Brent Calkin
Tyler Lucas
Millar Montgomery

Gitga’at Advisory Committee
Chris Bolton
La’goot Spencer Greening
Kyle Clifton

A Germany/Canada co-production of busse & halberschmidt,  Cedar Island Films and the National Film Board of Canada,  ZDF in collaboration with ARTE, TOPOS Film, with the support of the FILM UND MEDIEN STIFTUNG NRW

 

 

 

 



Press Relations

  • About busse & halberschmidt

    busse & halberschmidt is an independent production company known for its outstanding feature films and documentaries. Using a fair production model, it targets the international market and has produced or co-produced titles such as Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories (Berlinale Competition) and Zum Geburtstag / A Pact by Denis Dercourt, which stars Marie Bäumer, Mark Waschke, Sylvester Groth, and Sophie Rois, and was theatrically released in Germany by X-Verleih/Warner and subsequently sold to Netflix. The critically acclaimed documentaries In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions and Kokolampy, by award-winning cinematographer Hajo Schomerus, have been screened at festivals worldwide.

  • About Cedar Island Films

    Bringing together decades of domestic and international experience, Cedar Island Films was formed by Andrew Williamson and Henrik Meyer to produce meaningful documentaries, digital-media projects and feature dramas, with a focus on international co-productions. They recently completed the Canadian/German feature documentary co-pro The Whale and the Raven (NFB/Arte) and are in production on feature docs The Search (CBC Doc Channel) and The Magnitude of All Things (NFB/TELUS), directed by Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation). The company is also in development on Faces: Power of the Portrait (Knowledge Network) and the feature drama co-pro Dragonfly Summer, directed by Marie Clements.

     

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences. NFB producers are embedded in communities across the country, from St. John’s to Vancouver, working with talented creators on innovative and socially relevant projects. The NFB is a leader in gender equity in film and digital media production, and is working to strengthen Indigenous-led production, guided by the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. NFB productions have won over 7,000 awards, including 24 Canadian Screen Awards, 21 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 100 Genies. To access this award-winning content and discover the work of NFB creators, visit NFB.ca, download its apps for mobile devices or visit NFB Pause.

  • About TOPOS Film

    German-based filmmaker and cultural anthropologist Mirjam Leuze founded TOPOS Filmproduktion in 2010 with the aim of independently directing her first feature-length documentary, Flowers of Freedom. Editor Sandra Brandl joined the company as an official partner in 2014. TOPOS Film creates documentaries based on collaborative filmmaking principles and aims to bring the unheard stories of both humans and nonhumans to viewers around the world. We want to inspire our audiences, move their hearts and minds, and contribute to a positive change.