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


  • Wagner-Novel-Artikelbild

    WAGNER - Graphic Novel (Book)

  • artikelbild tschaikowsky

    The Tchaikovsky Files - Confessions of a Composer

  • culturefiles_game_artikelbild

    Culture Files (WT) (App Series)

  • Kulturakte_Artikelbild

    Culture Files (Crossmedia Project)

  • Pasolini_Artikelbild

    The Pasolini Files

  • Die Akte Beethoven_artikelbild_neu

    The Beethoven Files

  • kulturakte_serie_artikelbild

    The Culture Files (TV-Series, 5 parts)

  • wagnerwahn_app_artikelbild

    The Wagner Files (App)

  • Kleist_artikelbild

    The Kleist File


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

  • The Wagner Files

    ORF2
    15 August 2016 at 9:05 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."