Schlauchboot auf offenem Meer


On 14.09.2012 at 2:56pm, the cruise liner „Adventure of the Seas” reports to the Spanish Maritime Rescue Centre the sighting of a dinghy adrift with 13 persons on board. From a YouTube clip and biographical scenes evolves a choreography reflecting the past, present and future of the voyagers on the Mediterranean.

The coordinates 37°28.6'N and 0°3.8'E mark a point in the Mediterranean – 38 nautical miles from the port city Cartagena in Spain or 100 nautical miles from the Algerian port city Oran – depending on the narrator’s perspective. Observing the sea from this point, the whole world is water, sky and boundless horizon. A “sea of possibilities”, charged with the hopes, fears and dreams of the voyagers.

On 14th September 2012 at 2:56pm, using these coordinates, the cruise liner „Adventure of the Seas” reports to the Spanish Maritime Rescue Centre the sighting of a dinghy adrift with 13 persons on board.

Visual contact. 90 minutes.
Waving. Waiting.

The radio traffic between the cruise liner, the Cartagena port authorities, the rescue cruiser “Salvamar Mimosa” and the helicopter “Helimer 211” structures the soundscape of the film.  Visually, the cinematic space contracts to a single, unedited sequence arching over the total duration of the film. It is a short YouTube clip which seems today as the very essence, the condensation of the situation in the Mediterranean. In single frames, the dinghy with 13 figures on board becomes an icon of the daily news images. We are forced to watch.  From the recordings with tourists and officers of the cruise liner, with the crew of a container ship, with the Harraga, les bruleurs – “who burn their passports”, and their families the biographic traces of the documentary material are extended into a cinematic imagination. 

A choreography emerges reflecting the past, present and future of the voyagers: Will another, a new potential space become visible when they meet again - in a cinematic space?


France Rhim Ibrir Algeria Abdallah Benhamou, Houcin Ouahiani, Houria Kourad Container Vessel „Smaragd“ Leonid Savin, Dmitriy Simonov, Oleg Vashchenko, Artem Zaporozhets, Oleksiy Shelyakin, Sergiy Isayev, Vicente Bautista, Osmundo Fuertes, Mardion Arong, Johnrey Alvarado, Ryan Magdua, Clark Jhun Cantoria, Ron Toledo, Danilo De Leon Cruise Liner „Adventure of the Seas“ Guillaume Coutu-Lemaire, Emma Gillings Northern Ireland Terry Diamond, Jackie Kelly

Script Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner
Director/Editor Philip Scheffner
Director of Photography Terry Diamond, Bernd Meiners
Sound Pascal Capitolin, Volker Zeigermann
Sound Design Volker Zeigermann, Alexander Gerhardt, Philip Scheffner
Sound Mix Florian Marquardt
Colour Grading & Mastering Matthias Behrens

Producers Merle Kröger, Caroline Kirberg
Meike Martens, Marcie Jost, Peter Zorn
Commissioning Editor ZDF/Arte Doris Hepp

Produced by pong

In Co-production with
Blinker Filmproduktion, worklights media production
and with ZDF in collaboration with ARTE

Research funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung
Development funded by FFA Filmförderungsanstalt
Production funded by
Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg   
Deutscher Filmförderfonds   
Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
Film und Medien Stiftung NRW

Contact Theatrical Distributor (Germany)
Real Fiction Filmverleih
Tel: +49 (0)221 9522 111
Email info(at)

Contact World Sales
Email: sales(at)
Tel: +41 (0)44 312 20 60

Contact Production pong
Caroline Kirberg
Email: kirberg(at)



  • festivals

    World Premiere: Berlinale Berlin International Film Festival | Forum 2016
    International Premiere: FID Marseille 2016

    Other Festivals (selection):

    • European Media Art Festival Osnabrück
    • New Horizons Film Festival Wroclaw
    • Split Film Festival
    • Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
    • L'Age d'Or Festival Brussels
    • Underdox Festival München
    • Carthague Film Festival Tunisia
    • Inconvenient Films Festival Vilnius
    • Duisburger Filmwoche
    • Festival of German Cinema Beijing
    • Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal
    • DOKfest Kassel
    • L'Alternativa Festival Barcelona
    • Torino Film Festival
    • Museum of the Moving Image, New York City
    • SANFIC - Santiago de Chile
  • awards

    • Special Mention | Prix George Beauregard International | FID Marseille 2016
    • ARTE Documentary Award | Duisburger Filmwoche 2016
    • Best International Feature Film | L'Alternativa Barcelona 2016
    • Best editing in an international feature | RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Festival 2016
  • the novel

    HAVARIE | Merle Kröger | novel
    published by Argument Verlag Hamburg, Mai 2015

    The research for the film HAVARIE was starting point and inspiration for the novel of the same title, written by Merle Kröger. The book received the Radio Bremen Crime Novel Award 2015 and the German Crime Novel Award 2016. Kröger: "Reality is much more dramatic, violent and incomprehensible than fiction. I decided to take the encounter between the ships as the cause to freeze time, to create a 3-D model from this situation which I can observe from all perspectives. In this kind of model space I now step into each character's role and try to let him or her think and act on the basis of their individual biographies.

    • KrimiZeit Top List 1st place (June, July & August 2015)
    • Hotlist 2015
    • Radio Bremen Crime Award 2015
    • German Crime Award 2016, 2. Platz (national)

  • fact sheet

    Country of production: Germany
    Year of production: 2016
    Length: 93 minutes
    Image format: DCP, 4:3, color
    Sound format: 5.1 / stereo
    Available languages: original with English, German or French subtitles 

    Available on DVD at Filmgalerie 451