Shooting has begun on the first docuseries funded by the German Motion Pictures Fund.
Set to air next year, Reeperbahn Series (working title) is a five-episode true crime series about the history of Hamburg’s red-light district in the 1980s, at a time when the notorious district’s “Golden Era” was coming to an end. Battles between rival gangs had intensified with the cocaine trade, while sex work was under increased scrutiny with the arrival of the HIV pandemic.
The series will feature interviews and previously unpublished archive material. It is the first documentary project to be supported by the German Motion Picture Fund, which launched in 2015 and has funded acclaimed dramas in the past such as Babylon Berlin and The Queen’s Gambit. Previously, the fund was available only for fiction series, and only recently became open for high-end non-fiction as well.
Directors on the series include showrunner Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Carsten Gutschmidt and Ina Kessebohm. Florian Fettweis and Christian Beetz are writers on the series with Kessebohm and Tschurtschenthaler.
The project is a Gebrueder Beetz production and is supported by Moving Images North, a public film fund in Northern Germany. Studio Hamburg Enterprises is also a producer and exclusive sales agent for the project with German and international rights, except in North America.
Gebrueder Beetz previously produced the first Netflix non-fiction original out of Germany, A Perfect Crime, which was the work of the same core team as this new series in Beetz, Tschurtschenthaler and Fettweis.
The upcoming series was commissioned by Berlin-based ARD, and is set to air on its online platform in late 2022.
“After having produced the Netflix Original A Perfect Crime we decided to realize our next high-end documentary series together with the German public TV network ARD in Hamburg,” Beetz said.
“The ARD Network’s increasingly popular online platform is perfectly suited for us to also reach younger audiences. Moving Images North Film Fund has supported us in this project from the very beginning, enabling us to maintain international distribution rights and participate in the success of this series.”