About the film
Take a moment and let your mind clear up.
Imagine a life, where no one dares to touch you. Where people are so afraid of you that your own family turns its back and throws you out of your home. Imagine a life so utterly ruined that hope is nothing more than a faint memory of better times. And imagine all this to come down upon you only because you got sick – by an easily curable disease.
Leprosy – the scourge of humankind for millenia. Most of us only know it by name, something from ancient history or maybe the middle ages. It is one of the oldest diseases known to man and it is as alive today as it always was, although only in certain parts of the world. Nepal is one of the hot spots, where leprosy is still part of everyday life. New patients arrive at the hospitals each week and in almost every case, the diagnosis marks a turning point in the person’s life. Being affected by leprosy does not just mean being sick, but rather makes you “untouchable”, barring you from becoming a regular member of society ever again. Most of the diagnosed patients end up as beggars in the streets. It is their only chance to survive.
Fortunately, there are initiatives to help these people. One of them is New SADLE, a Nepali non-governmental organization headed up by executive director Chitra Bahadur KC. Chitra has dedicated his life to helping leprosy affected people and giving them the opportunity for a dignified and productive existence. New SADLE provides medical treatment and living quarters to every person it takes in. Those who can work are offered a job, enabling them to financially support themselves once again. It is this holistic approach which makes New SADLE special, not only providing the affected with acute relief but with a lasting perspective.
There are many whom the work and commitment of New SADLE has given a second chance in life: The young woman who was able to build herself a new existence, who found a new love, started a family and whose daughter went on to study medicine at a Chinese university, becoming a well respected member of society. Or the couple that eventually moved out into their own house, plowing their own fields and rising to some importance in their village community. Or the old people who can now spend their remaining years in comfort and dignity instead of slowly wasting away on the streets.
But there are also some who have lost all hope and pride during their begging career and who have no interest in a structured life whatsoever. Whole families that made the concious decision to rather live in a remote leper colony, only receiving a small amount of rice and firewood in support, than to put even the smallest of efforts into improving their lives.
“Losing Touch” shows you what it can mean to have contracted leprosy in the 21st century. We do not take sides, we do not judge. We just want to make people aware of things happening beyond their respective horizons. Because we – the lucky inhabitants of the so called developed world – have also lost touch …
Meet the team.
You want to know more about the people who make this film? Here you go.
The list might seem a little short, but don’t worry, this is only the core team for now. We will add more people as soon as the respective positions are filled. Currently, negotiations are still going on and the selection process for some positions is not completed yet. Key team members will also introduce themselves to you in our blog in the near future.
Hartmut started his career more than ten years ago as a trainee. He was quickly put in charge of smaller projects, learning the ropes in all aspects of production. In 2004, he left his trainee job and jumped full-time into building up FirstGrade Studios together with Daniel Libertus. Since then, he has realized a multitude of projects in the capacities of director, cinematographer, editor and producer. Travelling has always been his passion and now his job is taking him around the world, doing shoots in places like Peru, Namibia, China and Indonesia. He is also very interested in music and plays the piano, clarinet and saxophone.
Christian’s professional life to this day took place almost exclusively in front of the camera. An actor through and through, he starred in over 120 short and feature films as well as several commercials for clients like McDonald’s, Deutsche Bahn or Sparkasse. He also appeared on many different television formats and entered the stage in theaters all over Germany. “Losing Touch” is his first real endeavor into the producer’s side of film making. But no worries, he will still appear on camera in this film, taking the audience with him on this journey through Nepal and sharing his experiences.
Marie studied directing in Berlin and Cologne, where she graduated in 2015. During this time, she was involved in several fictional and documentary short film projects and realized a theatrical commercial as directress. Her true love, however, belongs to documentary film, where she now presents her debut with „Losing Touch“.
Daniel spent a lot of time at the university studying the law as well as media studies. Having passed the state exam successfully in 2010, he is now officially a legal expert. In 2011, he obtained his masters degree in media studies at the university of Marburg, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate in the same field. Together with Hartmut Schotte, he founded FirstGrade Studios while still in school. As a producer, he mostly takes charge of the organizational aspects of film making, but his deep understanding of creative matters makes him a valuable asset in any production.
Kevin started his career by self-educating himself, growing into quite an expert in audio engineering over the years. After successfully completing his studies at the renowned SAE, he set up his own mastering and freelancer service “Blue Banana Sound” in 2012 near Heilbronn in southern Germany. Since then, he worked for many different film projects as a boom operator and recording engineer and also mastered several music albums, EPs and maxis. In addition to his creative work, he also serves as a consultant for room acoustics and studio recording equipment.
Timo is a freelance camera operator and film editor and has worked for many corporations as well as well-known German TV formats. His job requires him to spend big parts of his working life in dark and gloomy editing rooms, so he uses every opportunity to get out into the fresh air. Since his college times at the medienakademie in Berlin, he spent a lot of time in the world of extreme sports. Being the film editor of “Losing Touch”, he has got the very rewarding job of taking the roughly 19 hours of footage and transforming them into a great film. Timo currently lives and works in Cologne.
Antonio established his own sound recording and dubbing studio LAB SIX ten years ago in Heilbronn. Since then, he translated, recorded and mixed the German language versions of numerous foreign DVD, TV and feature film productions. Besides working as a dialogue director, translator and sound designer, he is also a passionate film and media composer for TV and feature films, short films, image films and commercials.
Markus was already born with his love of sound and has been playing every possible instrument – from trumpet to drums – since the age of six. He studied audio engineering at the SAE in Stuttgart and, after getting his diploma and doing a short stint as a regular employee, founded his own company “Blayze Music & Sounddesign” and went freelance as audio engineer. Since 2012, he is a regular at several studios, working as producer, foley artist and sound designer. By cooperating with local and regional festivals, he found a way to keep music as part of his life as well.
Richie began his life as a fulltime composer right after obtaining his master’s degree from the RWTH Aachen and the Universidad de Cádiz in Spain. He composed filmscores for projects from metropolises like Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Havana, Cairo or Berlin and wrote the music for commercials of prestigious brands like BASF, Sennheiser or AXA-insurances. His filmsong “No quiero besuquear” was nominated for the Jerry Goldsmith Award at the International Film Music Festival of Cordoba in 2013. Other works have received nominations for the European Film Music Prize in 2009 and 2011.
Film made in Germany.
Corporate responsibility with regard to social and ecological issues has played a big part in Firstgrade’s productions for years. Especially clients like hessnatur and VAUDE – both in the textile industry – have a very strong commitment in this field and communicate accordingly. This in turn enabled Firstgrade to realize a number of films documenting projects and production facilities around the globe, travelling to alpaca farms in Peru, organic cotton farmers in Burkina Faso as well as textile factories in China.
For more information and to take a look at some of Firstgrade’s most prominent productions, check out the company’s website at www.firstgrade.de.