Special Mention, Best Documentary Feature Film, 2017 The larger-than-life story of Kim Dotcom, the “most wanted man online”, is extraordinary enough, but the battle between…
Alexander Behse is a German born New Zealand Film Producer. In 2002 he completed his MA in Producing from the University of Technology Sydney. Behse also holds an MA in European Audio- visual Management from the prestigious Media Business School, Spain (2005) and started Monsoon Pictures International Ltd.
Alexander showed his eye for talent and stories by tapping into an largely untested market. This market was to produce documentaries about the history and culture of the people of the Pacific. He made a string of critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries for festivals and TV; The Flight of Te Hookio (2009), a story of the journey of two chiefs’ journey to Austria. Allan Baldwin: In Frame (2011) an intimate and affecting work profiling Baldwin’s work documenting traditional Maori ta moko. The Road to the Globe: Troilus & Cressida (2012) a story about the Ngakau Toa theatre company’s journey to the world’s largest Shakespeare festival featuring 36 plays from 36 countries in 36 languages. Radar Across The Pacific (2012) a TV series in which presenter Te Radar explores the beautiful culture and rich history of the Pacific Islands. Two adventure series Davey Hughes Untamed (2014) following Kiwi adventurer Davey Hughes as he embarks of nine different and challenging voyages in far flung parts of the world, and Paddle for the North (2015) about six mates epic 1500km adventure through six remote North American rapid rivers. His latest series Radar’s Chequered Past, a dramatised history series is airing mid 2017. Alexander also made his directorial debut with the 2012 documentary Nazi Hunter following the trail of escaped Nazi collaborators all the way to New Zealand.
Alexander produced the feature documentary Ever The Land that premiered at the 2015 NZ International Film Festival, and has travelled to over 30 festivals around the world such as Vancouver, Hawaii, Venice and New York . Alexander teamed up with another German-Kiwi director Sarah Grohnert, to chronicle an architectural and cultural journey towards realising a Tūhoe HQ in Taneatua. The Ngāi Tūhoe grand design, a collaboration between iwi and architects Jasmax, aimed to embody the people’s self-determination, and become Aotearoa’s first completely sustainable “living building”. The NZ Herald’s Peter Calder praised the gentle, observational tone as “enchanting. It’s an impressive little film that deserves attention. And the building’s pretty damn cool, too.” <http://www.flicks.co.nz”>Flicks.co.nz’s Liam Maguren called it “gorgeous, elegant, and breath-haltingly profound.” Alexander collaborated again with director Tearepa Kahi (this time acting as EP) on the one-hour documentary Freezing Works (Dir. Mike Jonathan), the story of a group of New Zealand freezing workers who will join the chain gang during the September killing season in Iceland.
And in 2016 they had a box office hit with POI-E: The Story of our Song, it was chosen to open the New Zealand International Film Festival. Handled by Sony Pictures it became the top 5 documentaries of all times at the local Box Office with 1.2M and went on to its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival 2017 – a Hidden Gem according to the Hollywood Reporter. It was the first song to bring Te Reo Maori to the mainstream, sitting at the No. 1 spot on the charts for four weeks in 1984. Film reviewer Christine Kuntz said Poi E: The Story of our Song “ticks all the right boxes, exploring the history behind that oh-so-catchy tune in a touching and highly entertaining documentary.
Alexander most recent feature doc is by award-winning director Annie Goldson. Kim Dotcom: Caught In The Web has had its world premiere in March 2017 at the SxSW festival in the US. The logline reads: Discover the story of the most wanted man online. It won a Special Jury Mention for Best Feature Doc at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Another film released in 2017 was the Feature Documentary My Year With Helen by Gaylene Preston (one of NZ’s most acclaimed female directors). Gaylene casts a wry eye on proceedings as the United Nations chooses a new Secretary General. Her cameras capture the cracks between the Diplomats, the embedded Press and Civil Society activists, all believing in possibilities for global good while caught up in an ossified system bordering on Medieval.
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