email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+


Max Milhahn • Producer

“The structures of televisions are not up-to-date anymore”


- An interview with German producer Max Milhahn of Telekult, one of the participants of Jihlava's 2018 Emerging Producers

Max Milhahn • Producer

An interview with German producer Max Milhahn of Telekult, one of the participants of Jihlava's 2018 Emerging Producers.

Why do you produce documentaries? Do you believe that they have the power to change the world?
Max Milhahn: 
It’s my passion to produce documentaries because I love to deal with topics of social and political relevance with all their contradictions over a long period of time. Also I like to have the opportunity to develop my own position on several different topics and, most importantly, to give in to my curiosity.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Good documentaries are able to point the finger on grievances, initiate and push public debates and inspire people to think outside the box and the status quo. Whenever films touch us and make us feel and identify with the protagonists, they are thought provoking and, in the best case, make us take action.

What do you think is the future of distribution of documentary films?
These days, the production and distribution of documentaries in Germany depends very much on public television, but the demand for VoD increases constantly. Although there is still no existing market that refinances the products, I am convinced that the structures of televisions are not up-to-date anymore and are going to be replaced by distribution via online-platforms. The big task now is to develop strategies for these internet-based providers to reach a global audience with curated high quality content and exchange information with them.

I also believe in the potential for theatrical release of certain documentaries. Therefore, we have to involve younger audiences at an early stage, for example, in financing and distribution, to be able to create special events. It is possible to reach a fairly large audience by releasing a single documentary in cinemas all over the country and having it presented by the director of the film or organising screenings at foundations within the sector of education or in other interest groups.

What projects do you have under way?
- Who’s afraid of Rosa Luxemburg (Austria), 52 min. documentary, director: Inga Wolfram, commissioned by Radio Bremen / ARTE, in production
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg’s death in 2019 the film will not only focus on the life and achievements of the Grande Dame of the Socialists but also expose the increasing importance of Rosa Luxemburg’s ideas and theories, especially against the background of current global developments.

- Jürgen Friedrich Mahrt (Austria), 90 min. documentary, director: Sönje Storm, funded by FFHSH, Filmbüro MV, in financing
A film about the pioneer of documentary photography.

- Crowley (Austria), 90min. / 15 min., documentary, director: André Hörmann, commissioned by ZDF/KiKA, in financing
A classic long term verite documentary about the coming of age of little Cowboy Crowley, growing up in the hardships of the prairies of Colorado.


Emerging Producers is a promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Deadline for applications to the Emerging Producers 2019 edition is 31 March, 2018. Click here.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.