The Wagner Files (TV)

“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.

News

  • 10/2014 - "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 [...]

    emmy

    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


  • 06/2014 - Wagner-Graphic Novel: Andreas Völlinger and Flavia Scudery at Erlangen Comic Salon

    Author of the Wagner Graphic Novel Andreas Völlinger and illustrator Flavia Scuderi will be at the Erlangen International Comic Salon from [...]

    Author of the Wagner Graphic Novel Andreas Völlinger and illustrator Flavia Scuderi will be at the Erlangen International Comic Salon from June 19 to 22 at the booth 33/ 34. They will also have an hour of comic signing on friday at 11 am and on saturday at 3 pm at the booth 59 of Kneesebeck. Additionally they offer a picture of them illustrated by Flavia Scuderi in the style of "Wagner".

    Erlangen International Comic Salon
    Map of the fair
    Wagner - Graphic Novel


  • 12/2014 - 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


Projekte


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    WAGNER - Graphic Novel (Book)

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    The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

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    Culture Files (WT) (App Series)

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    Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

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    The Pasolini Files

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    The Beethoven Files

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    The Culture Files (TV-Series, 5 parts)

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    The Wagner Files (App)

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    The Kleist File


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  • The Wagner Files (TV)

    “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”.

    Each chapter of the documentary is inspired by modern crime drama series. The story lines are examined in a modern investigation room where interviews with world renowned Wagner experts are conducted, including Simone Young (conductor and music director of the Hamburg State Opera), Philippe Jordan (conductor and music director of the Paris Opera), Katharina Wagner (great-grandchild of Richard Wagner and director of the Bayreuth Festival) and Laurence Dreyfus (Professor of music at Magdalen College, Oxford).

    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.

    In addition to the film, the Wagner story is a cross media event told through different media: The “Wagner-App” for smartphones and tablet computer will provide additional material such as animations, mini-games, extracts of the film, texts and music which are integrated into the storyline to offer an immersive and sophisticated user-experience. Furthermore, the Knesebeck Publishing House will release the graphic novel of Richard Wagner in time for Wagner’s anniversary in May 2013.

    Richard Wagner: Samuel Finzi
    Cosima Wagner: Pegah Ferydoni
    Director: Ralf Pleger
    Assistant Director: Hedwig Schmutte
    Director of Photography: Jürgen Rehberg
    Camera Assistant: Jens Mattner
    2nd Camera Assistant: Falco Seliger
    Editing & Sounddesign: Frank Tschöke
    First Gaffer: Martin Handrow
    Gaffer: Christopher Becker
    Gaffer: Thomas Thiele
    Art Direction: Marc-Oliver Lau

    Property Master: Jeremias Urban
    
Grip: Alexander Endrullat
    
Sound: Oliver Stahn
    
Costume Designer: Andrea Schein
    Costume Assistant: Viktoria Deibele
    
Make up artist: Ulrike Borrmann
    Dolly: Hagen Raeder
    
Location Manager: Tom Kretschmar
    Author Graphic Novel: Andreas Völlinger
    Illustration Artist Graphic Novel & Animations: Flavia Scuderi
    Animation: Ina Findeisen
    Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Susanne Radelhof
    Line Producer: Kathrin Isberner

    Production Manager: Nick Pastucha
    Technical Supervisor: Philipp Weigold
    
Camera Intern: Hannes Sternkiker

    
Driver/Runner: Rina Ringl, Anique Roelfsema
    Production Supervisor: Sandra Zentgraf
    Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
    Commissioning Editor: Simone Reuter (SWR)

    Koproduktion

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    Kooperation

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    Förderer

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    • The Wagner Files

      Salles de la Colomière - Visions du Réel - Nyon, Switzerland
      23 April 2013 at 10:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      HFF Audimaxx - DOK.fest Munich
      11 May 2013 at 8:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Oper Leipzig - Leipzig
      14 May 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Philharmonie / Hermann-Wolff-Saal - Berlin
      16 May 2013 at 7:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files (App)

      Bayreuther Festspiele - Bayreuth
      19 May 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      arte
      22 May 2013 at 8:15 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      SRF
      26 May 2013 at 11:55 am

    • The Wagner Files

      SWR
      29 May 2013 at 10:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Classical:Next - Vienna, Austria
      31 May 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files (App)

      Lemesos Int. Documentary Festival - Cyprus
      03 August 2013 at 3:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Festival des Films du Monde - Montreal, Canada
      23 August 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files (Film & App)

      International Media Convention - Berlin
      10 September 2013 at 4:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Lichthaus Cinema / Kunstfest 'pèlerinages' - Weimar, Germany
      11 September 2013 at 12:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      ITF Golden Prague - Prague, Czech Republic
      12 October 2013 at 12:00 am

    • The Wagner Files

      Gasteig - Munich
      13 October 2013 at 3:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      ITF Golden Prague - Prague, Czech Republic
      12 October 2013 – 16 October 2013

    • The Wagner Files (Film & App)

      SoundTrack_Cologne - Cologne
      23 November 2013 at 4:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      13 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      13 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      14 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      14 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      15 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      15 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      16 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      16 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      17 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      17 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      18 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      18 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      19 December 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Carlton Cinemas - Toronto, Canada
      19 December 2013 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Vancity Theatre - Vancouver, Canada
      20 December 2013 – 26 December 2013

    • The Wagner Files

      RPL Film Theatre - Regina, Canada
      10 January 2014 at 12:00 am

    • The Wagner Files

      Broadway Theatre - Saskatoon, Canada
      18 January 2014 – 22 January 2014

    • The Wagner Files

      3sat
      09 August 2014 at 9:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Fudan University, Shanghai - Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
      08 October 2014 at 3:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Tsinghua University, Beijing - Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
      11 October 2014 at 5:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Communication University of China - Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
      22 October 2014 at 7:00 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Shanghai University - Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
      28 October 2014 at 4:30 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      Beijing Normal University - Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival
      18 November 2014 at 6:00 pm

    • Wagner Files

      TV Slovenija 2
      04 December 2014 at 10:10 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      WDR
      27 February 2015 at 11:15 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      3sat
      15 August 2015 at 11:55 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      arte
      24 January 2016 at 11:40 pm

    • The Wagner Files

      SWR
      29 January 2016 at 7:00 am

    • The Wagner Files

      SWR
      20 February 2016 at 8:15 am

    • Hamburger Abendblatt, 22 May 2013

      „The Wagner Files“ is a radical experiment on TV. The film-essay starring Samuel Finzi and Pegah Ferydoni is a must-see. Brilliant images, fast and hard cuts, fancy design. It is literally fantastic. (...) The concept of these „Culture Files“ should be a role model for many public cultural broadcasters.

    • DOX European Documentary Magazine #98

      "The Wagner Files": A Crossmedia Gesamtkunstwerk? (...) The documentary reflects the layering of linguistic codes; it's a hybrif film, mixing docudrama and detextive conventions, interspersed with the animated sequences of artist Flavia Scuderi and enriched with digital maps and split screens.

    • FOCUS online, 22 May 2013

      By the use of words, music and style this documentary that makes people understand the overwhelming and irritating fascination for Wagner even if they are new to this cosmos.

    • infranken.de, 29 May 2013

      The concept and aesthetics of the film are really something different. Rapid cuts, exciting views of nature, impressions of Wagner's residences and the animatic comic scenes reveal that the filmmakers focused on an audience that is younger and has not got in contact with Wagner yet.

    • NOW Toronto, 12 December 2013

      You might not expect a documentary about 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner to borrow techniques from modern espionage films, graphic novels and 1950s melodrama. But Ralf Pleger’s marvellous film – timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth this year – does all of those things and still adds up to a respectful and informative portrait. (...) A must for classical music fans and an entertaining intro for Wagner neophytes.

    • Vancouver Observer, 20.December 2013

      "All this comes out in what is essentially an innovative documentary. Early on, in a surprise anachronism, he picks up the phone and talks to his mistress. They ride in a modern taxi together. There are more phone calls and some parts of the story are told in animation. Experts and musicologists talk too, as much about the dirt as the art. His fondness for donning pink silk dresses for instance. His anti-Semitism, which also gets a thorough airing when he’s lying in a bathtub griping his complaints. The result is an apparently correct and intriguing portrait of the musical giant."