Private Project

Life or Death of a City - A filmic Triptych

"Life or Death of a City" (“Über Leben oder Sterben einer Stadt”) is an experimental documentary about the structural change in Brandenburg, Germany (formerly East Germany) based on the example of a city, which is located 80 kilometres south of Berlin, right beside a biosphere reserve called “Spreewald”.

Once also located there was a coal-fired power station, which, at the time it was built, was one of the biggest coal-fired power stations in Europe. With the construction of the power station at the end of the 1950s, the medieval small town was expanded and transformed into an industrial city.

Since the withdrawal of the coal- and energy industry in the aftermath of political transformation in Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 1990s the city has been confronted with a massive population decline, which forced the town community to undergo extensive structural changes – from that time on the city has built itself back and at the same time modernized itself thoroughly. Nowadays, the city is deemed a prime example of the so called “Stadtumbau Ost” (Urban Redevelopment East).

This filmic triptych documents the life of the city after its de-industrialization as well as the effects on the surrounding area caused by the inactive as well as the ongoing coal mining and the subsequent procedures to regenerate and protect these unique natural areas.

  • Sascha Kloas
    Director
  • Myriam Musolff
    Production Management
  • Christian Obermaier
    Sound Design
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Über Leben oder Sterben einer Stadt - Ein filmisches Triptychon
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 11, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany
  • Language:
    German
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital (C4K)
  • Aspect Ratio:
    19:10
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Berlin University of the Arts
  • Mov(i)e Activism '20
    Berlin
    Germany
    July 15, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Golden Short Film Festival
    Rome
    Italy
    September 26, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Sunday Shorts Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    November 1, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Panorama International Indie Film Festival (PIIF)
    Prague
    Czech Republic
    September 18, 2021
    Official Selection
  • International Migration & Enviromental Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    October 9, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
    Athens
    Greece
    November 10, 2021
    Winner "Best Poster"
  • Festival Angaelica
    Pasadena
    United States
    December 20, 2021
    Offical Selection
  • SENSEI Tokyo FilmFest 2022
    Tokyo
    Japan
    December 12, 2022
    Winner "Best Film Essay"
  • SUBURBINALE
    Groß-Enzersdorf
    Austria
    May 3, 2023
    Offical Selection
  • FilmHaus Berlin
    Berlin
    Germany
    April 24, 2023
    Winner "Best Film Essay"
  • Atlantic Bridge Film Festival
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    June 3, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Aphelion Film Festival
    Rome
    Italy
    August 15, 2023
    Winner "Best International Film", "Best Production Design"
  • CLIMAX Critics Awards
    Madrid
    Spain
    May 26, 2023
    Winner "Best Documentary Short"
  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    August 9, 2023
    Official Selection
  • PlanetCinema

    Spain
    November 24, 2023
    Winner "Best Documentary Short", "Best Documentary Debut"
  • Tokyo International Short Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    October 3, 2023
    Official Selection
  • YETI FilmFest
    Reykjavik
    Iceland
    November 25, 2024
    Winner "Best Short Documentary"
  • F A R O Concurso de Cinema Mediterrâneo e Mundial

    Portugal
    May 29, 2024
    Winner "Best Short Documentary", "Best Student Documentary"
Director Biography - Sascha Kloas

Sascha Kloas was born and raised in a small town in the east of Germany and moved to Berlin at an early age. He studied visual communication at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since his studies he has been working in various fields of visual communication and has participated in several video and television productions.

With the experimental documentary "Life or Death of a City" – the practical part of his diploma thesis – he completed his studies in the field of visual communication at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Sascha Kloas is responsible for the idea, conception, cinematography and editing of the project "Life or Death of a City".

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