Technotality


TYPE
: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Pre-Production

LOGLINE

Avant-garde 1920’s and 30’s physicians thrust aside all constraints set by the old scientific and religious guards and launch a global movement, as they carry out ghoulish experiments and procedures to reverse aging, achieve immortality, and even to resurrect the dead.

SYNOPSIS

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Tens of thousands receive implants of monkey testicles as a ‘rejuvenation’ cure. Others seek eternal youth by swapping blood with young donors or receiving injections of urine from pregnant women. The world watches in awe as a dead dog’s head is revived, and the inevitable question is posed: ‘if a dog’s head can be brought back, why not a human one?’

 

Sundance winner Daniel B. Gold and writing-directing team Christine Daum-Farber and Nelson Farber join forces on a cerebral feature length documentary, about this bizarre and little-known episode of 20th Century history.

 

‘Technotality’ shows how the radical science is intertwined with the turbulent political and social upheaval of the inter-war period. The researchers and their supporters want to change the world by changing the human body. We explore how the utopian visions are tied into the radical political ideologies of the day.

 

 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

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Our film is an historical documentary about the quest for immortality in the 1920’s and 1930’s that is socially relevant today. The subtext for our story is the barrage of media reports proclaiming immortality to be around the corner -- in the year 2045 to be exact, according to a provocative Time cover on February 10, 2011. Hit movies and TV shows such as In Time (2011) starring Justin Timberlake and Torchwood (“`Torchwood’ recap: Immortality for everyone!” reports the LA Times on July 9, 2011) reflect the current obsession with immortality.

 

The production team finds the time ripe to “go back to the future,” to an age when the belief that life could be radically expanded caused a sensation. This is a little known subject. Most people have a generalized notion about seeking the “fountain of youth,” but few are aware that there were active, organized attempts to radically expand life and even go to immortality in the 1920’s and 1930’s.We do not explicitly draw comparisons between the two eras. But we do hope to stimulate the audience’s thought, imagination and emotion. 

 

As can be seen from our trailer, which focuses on the Russian aspect of our project, we employ a lively pace, weaving interviews with pop culture elements such as clips from feature films. We don't shy away from the outrageous, the macabre, and even the darkly comedic. Our artistic philosophy is to use entertainment as a delivery device to engage our viewers.

 

KEY CREW

Nelson Farber - Co-Producer/Co-Director/Co-Writer

Nelson is a writer, director and producer of narrative and documentary projects, as well as a television journalist. He divides his time between New York City and Berlin. His work has appeared on Aspekte/ZDF, Kulturseit/3sat and Nano/3sat. He is most interested in stories in which people struggle against fixed perceptions and demands of others to forge their own identities.  

 

Born in Bologna, Italy to American parents, Nelson grew up in Port Washington, New York.  After attending Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, Nelson opted for a legal career, graduating from American University Law School in Washington, DC in 1986. Returning to New York, Nelson went on to practice law for many years, receiving particular notoriety for a landmark civil rights case he won in 1991.

 

But Nelson’s interests and passions were evolving. For years, he had been a film junkie, regularly attending New York’s famed art houses, such as Film Forum, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Anthology Film Archives. In a demonstration that a life can have multiple acts, Nelson opted to make film his new career. He started writing screenplays and attending numerous filmmaking courses at The New School and School of Visual Arts, both based in Manhattan. Nelson’s 2008 narrative short film `Final Position,’ shot on 16 mm, was solicited by the on-line `Culture Unplugged’ festival. In 2010, together with Christine, Nelson participated in the prestigious Documentary Campus Masterschool, attending sessions in Berlin, Graz, Krakow, Munich and Leipzig.

 

In late 2009 he and Christine Daum (now Daum-Farber) met, resulting in a burst of creative energy that has led to their collaboration on numerous television and film projects, and shared life and career in New York and Berlin.

 

Christine Daum-Farber - Co-Producer/Co-Director/Co-Writer

Christine is a highly respected TV-journalist and filmmaker. Since 1994, she has been working successfully for the most important German speaking public broadcasters, such as the ZDF, ARD, 3sat, arte, ORF, SF, DW. She also has produced films for museums, foundations, and other companies.

 

Christine grew up on the East side of the Berlin Wall.  After studying Social Psychology at the Friedrich Schiller University in  Jena she elft East Germany, and went to  West Berlin three years before the reunification. There she attended the Freie University Berlin and received a Master of Arts in Film Studies, Philosophy and Psychologe. She worked as an associate lecturer for Film Studies and took classes for experimental filmmaking at the Berlin Hochschule der Künste and began a postgraduate study in Cultural Studies at the Humboldt University Berlin.

 

Christine received numerous grants from the Berlin Senate for experimental films, theatre and literary projects. She translated voice over texts for documentaries and worked as a story liner for Germany’s highest rated daily TV series ‘Gute Zeiten,  schlechte Zeiten’. She had been producing magazine pieces on film, books, art and science for TV and for several radio shows. Christine was a co-founder of the internet platform nachdemfilm.de which was the recepient of the Grimme Online Award, the well-respected German Media  Award. For her TV work Christine also received the Media Award from the Federal Minister of Economical Development and Cooperation Heidemarie  Wieczorek-Zeul.

Daniel B. Gold - Co-Producer/Director of Photography

 

Dan has been a Film Producer and Director of Photography for more than 25 years. He won the Sundance Film Festival’s” Excellence in Cinematography Award” for the feature length documentary Blue Vinyl, which he co-directed. This film also received two Emmy nominations, one for Research and the other for Best Documentary. He has devoted a substantial portion of my career to shooting scientific and medical topics. For example, Blue Vinyl dealt with the public health risks associated with PVC and vinyl. In 2011, he shot a two hour TV special Frontline Medicine about medical breakthroughs during war, for the BBC. Dan was the Director of Photography for the acclaimed A Place at the Table (2012) about hunger in America as well as the Oscar nominated short documentary Kings Point (2012).

 

Daniel Paul Bier - Editor

Daniel’s numerous television editing credits include `Voice of Germany’ – Germany’s highest rated television program. Inspired by having worked as an assistant to Derek Jarman on the filming of A WAR REQUIEM and as an assistant to Robert Wilson's German theatre productions, Daniel went on to become a highly respected editor for tv and cinema productions. His work includes: so leben wir/ RBB, Am Limit/ d: Oscar winner Pepe Danquart, TRANSIT/ d: Angela Zumpe, kulturzeit/ 3sat, aspekte/ ZDF. Daniel has also been a television presenter as well as the director of his own works.

 

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