who is pong?

Company Profile

pong was founded as a GbR in 2001 and re-branded into a GmbH in 2013 by the Berlin filmmakers and producers Merle Kröger and Philip Scheffner. Both had gathered film production experience during 9 years of participation in the video group dogfilm.

pong stands for the production of creative documentaries on the border to the arts – films in which the filmmakers’ aesthetic and / or political positions are formed and expressed. From 2001 on, pong has been producing documentary films and videos supported by diverse cultural institutions.

Merle Kröger has expertise not only as producer but also as scriptwriter and novelist. She is producer and co-author the award-winning documentary films by Philip Scheffner and Dorothee Wenner. Furthermore, she has written numerous screenplays (e.g. with Indian filmmaker Onir) and has published three novels in the prestigious series of ariadne / argument publisher since 2003. A fourth novel was released in May 2015. Since 2007 she works for the Berlinale Talent Campus (DOK and Script Station). Since 2011 she is co-director, mentor and lecturer for script development at the Professional Media Master Class for Documentary Film in Halle (Saale), Germany, which is funded by MDM and ESF.

Philip Scheffner has been working as a visual artist since 1985. His feature length creative documentaries The Halfmoon Files, Day of the Sparrow and Revision won numerous awards and were positively perceived and acknowledged by international critics. Furthermore, he composes and produces electronic music. As part of pong he also produces films, his focus being, among other things, the editing.

Caroline Kirberg & Alex Gerbaulet, two filmmakers and producers are on board of pong since 2014. After having produced for classical fiction and documentary film companies, Caroline Kirberg specialized in the production of interdisciplinary and innovatively conceived films on the border to the arts. Alex Gerbaulet has a record of many years of practice-based and film-theoretical teaching at different German art schools and has worked as a curator for film festivals. Both have found an ideal new platform in pong, which they are happy to co-shape from now on.

Together we focus on up-coming artists and filmmakers and international co-productions, aiming to expand pong as a platform for moving images as well as sounds, music and text.

Currently pong is producing the i-doc & live event project KINSHASA COLLECTION by Dorothee Wenner and is developing Philip Scheffners first fiction film PLACE DE L’EUROPE. Furthermore pong has three hybrid films between documentary and fiction in development: Ricky Shayne by Stephan Geene, Hotel Medena by Clarissa Thieme, Ideal Home by Susanne Sachsse.

In Produktion

KINSHASA COLLECTION / i-doc by Dorothee Wenner
Co-produced by Goethe-Institut
Funded by German Federal Cultural Foundation (TURN), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

DIE SCHLÄFERIN / Kurzfilm von Alex Gerbaulet
Funded by nordmedia, BKM, Landschaftsverband Stade, Stader Stiftung für Kultur und Geschichte

Track Record

HAVARIE D 2016 / Film by Philip Scheffner
Co-produced by Blinker Film, worklights media and ZDF/ARTE
WP: Berlin International Film Festival 2016 / Forum
IP: FID Marseille 2016
Awards: German Film Critics Award for Best Experimental Film 2016, arte-documentary award / Duisburger Filmwoche, Best international feature film / L'Alternativa Barcelona, Best editing in an international feature / RIDM - Montreal international documentary festival, special  mention - prix georges de beauregard international / FID Marseille

AND-EK GHES D 2016 / Film by Philip Scheffner & Colorado Velcu
Co-produced by rbb
WP: Berlin International Film Festival 2016 / Forum
Nominated for Grimme Preis and German Film Critics Award 2016 (in the sections Documentary and Best Camera)

A HOUSE IN NINH HOA D 2016 / Film by Philip Widmann & Nguyen Dan-Phuong
Co-produced by ZDF/ARTE / funded by FFHSH, MBB
WP: Visions du Réel

THE WORLD, ALMOST D 2016 / Short Film by Caroline Kirberg
Funded by BKM, research funded by Kreis Lippe and Stadt Bad Salzuflen

SCHICHT D 2015 / Short Film by Alex Gerbaulet
WP: International Short Film Festival Oberhausen May 2015 / Main Award German Competition
IP: FID Marseille July 2015 / Main Award First Film
Awards: German Film Critics Award 2015, Best Female Director Award / Vienna Independent Shorts 2016, Jury Award German Competition / International Short Film Festival Hamburg 2016, Best Documentary Film / Moscow International Experimental Film Festival 2016, Best Short Film / L’Alternativa Festival de Cinema Independent de Barcelona 2016

HAVARIE D 2015 / Novel by Merle Kröger
Based on the research for the film with the same title, German Crime Novel Award 2016 (2nd place, national)

CHAURANGA India 2014 / Film by Bikas Ranjan Mishra
produced by: anticlock Films in coproduction with pong (and others)
Awards: Grand Jury Prize Best Film IFFLA Los Angeles, Best Film India Gold Mumbai International Film Festival, Incredible India Award for Best Project at Film Bazaar, Winner Goteborg International Film Festival Script Lab & Binger Film Lab, Selected for Paris Project
Theatrical release in India January 2016

DRAMA CONSULT D 2013 / Film by Dorothee Wenner
Co-produced by Goethe-Institute Nigeria and ZDF/ARTE

GRENZFALL D 2012 / Novel by Merle Kröger
Based on the research for the film REVISION, German Crime Novel Award 2013

REVISION D 2012 / Film by Philip Scheffner
Co-produced by Blinker Film, worklights media and ZDF/arte
WP: Berlin International Film Festival 2012 / Forum young Film / IP: HotDocs Toronto 2012
Awards: Bild-Kunst Award for Editing, Award of Excellence Yamagata Film Festival, Fritz-Gerlich Award Film Fest Munich, Documentary Award GoEast Film Festival, shortlisted for the German Film Award LOLA 2013
World Sales: Deckert Distribution

I AM India 2011 / Film by Onir / Written by Onir, Merle Kröger, Urmi Juvekar http://www.iamthefilms.com/
Produced by: anticlock Films in coproduction with pong (and others)
Awards: Best Hindi Feature Film & Best Lyrics at the 59th National Awards, Best Director at Jagaran Film Festival, Best Film & Best Actress at London Asian Film Festival, NETPAC Award for the Best in Asian Cinema at International Film Festival of Kerala, Audience Choice Award Best Film at River To River Film Festival Florence, Best Narrative Feature at Kashish Mumbai International Queer Festival, Winner of I-VIEW 2010s Engendered Award for Outstanding Contribution (Opening Film)

DAY OF THE SPARROW D 2010 / Film by Philip Scheffner
Co-produced by Blinker Film, worklights media and ZDF/ARTE
WP: Berlin International Film Festival 2010 / Forum young Film / IP: FID Marseille 2010
Awards: Klaus-Wildenhahn-Award of the Hamburg Documentary Week 2010, City of Ludwigsburg Award at the German Documentary Awards 2011

PEACE MISSION D 2008 / Film von Dorothee Wenner
Produced in affiliation with ZDF/ARTE
WP/IP: Toronto International Film Festival / Real to Reel 2008
World Sales: First Hand Films

THE HALFMOON FILES D 2007 / Film von Philip Scheffner
In cooperation with Lautarchiv der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Stiftung Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv
WP: Berlin International Film Festival 2007 / Forum junger Film / IP: FID Marseille 2007
Awards: Documentary Film Award by Goethe Institute, Förderpreis der Stadt Duisburg Film Festival Duisburg, Best Documentary Award Film Festival Mar del Plata, Prix des Mediathèques FID Marseille, Award for best Documentation & Research Memorimage Festival