One hundred meters down, in the pitch-black darkness of some of the world’s most treacherous waters, a twenty-strong team of elite divers use cutting-edge equipment and revolutionary techniques to create some of the most stunning underwater visuals captured on film. Their mission; to chronicle and pay tribute to the countless war-time wrecks at the bottom of a sea which has never known peace and is, even now, being contested by the world’s superpowers.

  • Markus Blunder
    Autumn Blood
  • Markus Blunder
    Autumn Blood
  • Michael Mendelsohn
    God Is A Bullet
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 30, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden
  • Language:
    English, Finnish, Polish
  • Shooting Format:
    ALEXA LF and ALEXA Mini LF
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Markus Blunder

Invited to direct at David Fincher’s famed ‘Propaganda Films,’ Austrian-born Markus Blunder is an award-winning filmmaker, music video and commercials director and cinematographer. His directorial debut ‘Autumn Blood’ won ‘Best Picture’ at both the San Diego and Hollywood Film Festivals.

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Director Statement

GHOST SHIPS is a documentary film detailing the efforts of an expedition team, comprised of a mixture of filmmakers and elite divers, as they descend the depths of the Baltic Sea. Their mission was twofold; first, to chronicle and pay tribute to the ships and lives lost to wars, fought over centuries amid one of the most militarily contested waters on Earth. Secondly, to use expertise, cutting-edge equipment and radical techniques to not only make filming at such extreme depths possible but to also capture visuals of a clarity and stunning beauty never before produced by underwater filming.
Situated upon three exploration vessels; Fourcault, The Oceanograph and Horyzon and led by the experienced production team of director MARKUS BLUNDER and producer MICHAEL MENDLESOHN, descents to pitch-black depths which tested the limits of human endurance were undertaken by a twenty-strong team of world-renowned divers, headed up by TOMAS STACHURA and MIKKO PASSI.
During a six-week voyage of inspirational and sometimes excruciating hardship, the expedition made a circuit of over two thousand nautical miles, passing through the territorial waters of Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Denmark and Poland, amid a period of growing international tension and a NATO wargames exercise. Working together to overcome obstacles threatening to end the expedition, the production and dive team conduct a series of deep-water descents upon famous wrecks such as the S.S. Aachen, Georg Buchner, the Sevan and the U-745, plus wrecks which have never before been committed to film. The footage captured, combined with the use of haunting music evokes a poetical, transcendental experience.
This expedition was the fulfilment of a dream for many of the divers; the chance to test their skills in not only visiting some of the most famous wrecks known to their community but also to learn how to capture their dives via the most advanced cameras in the business. For the production team, this was an opportunity to create incredible visuals, of what often seems an alien vista, to tell not only stories behind these sunken vessels but also provide an historical overview of a waterway which has scarcely known peace in all human history. GHOST SHIPS is a testament to the need for a kinder world, a timely reminder of the human tragedy behind within the wrecks and an overview of the efforts of an expert team, determined to allow nothing to stand in the way of their paying tribute to the loved and lost.