aspect-ratio 10x9 Thomas Heise

Thomas Heise, Photo: Inge Zimmermann (© Akademie der Künste)

Stau - Jetzt geht's los - A documentary film by Thomas Heise

The filmmaker, director and author Thomas Heise passed away in Berlin at the end of May. He directed more than 20 documentary films, which were internationally successful and won awards. As Professor of Film, he left his mark on the HfG Karlsruhe's Media Art course and the people around him.

To mark the occasion, the HfG is organizing an evening with film screenings in the Blauer Salon on July 9 from 7 pm. University members, alumni and interested parties are cordially invited to attend.

Admission from 7 pm, movie at 8 pm

The film Stau - Jetzt geht's los will be shown, running time 85 minutes, Halle-Neustadt, 1992.

Director Thomas Heise accompanies five right-wing extremist youths from the former socialist model housing estate with his camera at a time that was characterized by great uncertainty for many people. He conducts lengthy interviews with them and investigates the causes of their political orientation, refraining from any classifying commentary or judgmental statements.

Heise's film presents the young people in their family ties, at work and in their leisure time Shortly after the end of the GDR and long before the NSU's series of murders, Heise thus becomes an important chronicler of our time. (tba)

Afterwards: Moderated film discussion and exchange about Thomas Heise's work as a whole and in the context of the HfG. Impulses by Constanze Fischbek, Ludger Pfanz and Laura Morcillo in collaboration with the Blauer Salon team.

Thomas Heise was Professor of Film in the Media Art program at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design from 2007 to 2013. During this time, he curated, among other things, the CD/DVD edition “Measure” with selected radio plays, documentaries and feature films from the Media Art / Film department. In 2009, he initiated the Kino im Blauen Salon, which is still alive today as the university's own cinema with a diverse and regular program.

His former students particularly remember the seminar project “Menschen auf der Suche” and “Menschen auf der Arbeit” - a short film series with film miniatures that were shot in Karlsruhe. Another significant example of his work dates back to 2011: at the Karlsruhe Silent Film Festival, black-and-white observations by HfG students were shown in collaboration with composition students from the Karlsruhe University of Music, who composed the film music and accompanied the public film screenings live.

Thomas Heise was particularly interested in the personal and artistic development of his students. The success of his work with them was demonstrated time and again when the results of his work received national and international attention. Thanks to his initiative, there were screenings of student films at the DOKfest in Munich, such as the film “Der Tag, an dem die Dummen verschwinden” in 2013. Heise also took students from his department to the Crossing Europe film festival in Linz every year, which then showed its own highly acclaimed block of five student films and an audio image from Karlsruhe in 2012. In the same year, films by HfG students were presented at the newly established Goethe-Institut in Mexico City.

As a professor, Heise attached great importance to his students observing patiently and attentively, taking notes and planning with great precision before they began filming. It was important to him to document people with an attitude of respect, without judgment. This approach and his concise style, also in texts, have left a lasting impression on many of his students.

Heise is one of the most important German documentary filmmakers. His films have received numerous awards. He worked as a freelance author and director and was a master student at the Berlin Academy of Arts from 1987 to 1990. From 1990 to 1997, Heise worked with director Fritz Marquardt at the Berliner Ensemble. During the directorship of author Heiner Müller, Heise also directed there himself. Heise was accepted into the Berlin Academy of Arts in 2001. He has been director of the film and media art section there since 2018. After his professorship at the HfG Karlsruhe, he taught film at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

The HfG honors Thomas Heise's memory as a formative professor and outstanding personality. We are grateful for his special influence and his lasting services to the next generation of filmmakers at the HfG.

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