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Filmmaker Interview with Alexander Ratter

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Filmmaker Interview by Chris Olson

Filmmaker Interview with Alexander Ratter

Hi Alexander, lovely to be speaking with you.

Hi Chris, thank you for the opportunity to take part in your filmmaker’s showcase and to open up some insights about my work and my works.

In this quick talk, I want to get to know you a little. I read on your website that Picco is a Germany and Cyprus-based film production company, focused on contemporary narration and highly political relevant topics. What are you currently working on?

We are currently preparing everything for Summer 2024 to shoot our first feature film, "The Heart of Darkness" (WT). We are busy writing the script in our writers' room at Picco-Studio (Comment: see, negotiating with the team and cast, and taking care of the funding. It's an exciting process that we are going through! I can already say: it will be an intense, deeply stunning, and as well for us very special movie!

Only one project?

Of course not! Additionally, we are working on two mainstream series, e.g. one of them about a real worldwide system of still running billion-dollar-scams we undercover investigated last three years, hoping to shoot the first season already in 2024 and developing the other authentic series to be shot by the end of 2025 - as well we intensively work on our second feature: "Caligula", a political satire influenced by the Roman emperor and set in the political landscape of 2028 Vienna, based on our modern societies and their mechanisms.

You’ve got big plans.

Indeed! So far, I can proudly say that we have involved international artists we did not imagine engaging in our projects before! We feel acknowledged for our contemporary approach to developing projects with soul, unique artistic qualities, and relevance in discourse, designed to attract a wide and reasonably relevant number of viewers.

As a filmmaker, I am personally proud that my previous short films seem to have gained interest in working with Picco-Studio and myself. We are now collaborating with a group of extraordinary artists. The kind of artists who seek the "little bit more" in the process and the result. My partners Wolfgang Schlögl (conception, music producer - I-Wolf, Sofa surfers), Andres Jauernick (line producer and strategic consultation – Star Wars, Domink Grafs films), as well as Jan-Stephan Schmieding (dramaturge – Berliner Ensemble, currently Schauspielhaus Köln), along with our creative producers and authors and supported by our valued internship participants, form a strong team on an eye-level that is understood by everyone involved as unique key strength of Picco-Studio and its more and more advancing projects.

Tell us about your shorts. What is the short you are most proud of?

“Flight into Darkness” marked a significant milestone in my personal journey, transitioning from a skilled young director who aimed to please audiences and meet the expectations of artistic directors for quick recognition and business success, to an artist empowered by trusting myself and my taste, cultivated over the years as an assistant in theatre.

I was able to discover my own personal qualities and focus on my artistic judgement and showed me what is possible if a team is open to deep trust and sensitivity, especially between cast and director and including all involved in the process and without fear or power-games enabling everyone's full potential trough appreciation and openness.

What is the film about? It’s based on a novel by Arthur Schnitzler, right?

Indeed. But let’s start from the beginning: "Flight into Darkness" accompanied me for several years. Originally planned as a theatre project in Vienna, involving a male solo performer and short film clips projected in the stage design, the project was unexpectedly cancelled.

It took me two years and an incident in Argentina to finally realise this should be a 27-minute short film, based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1931 novel (written already 1916/1917). Schnitzler, one of Austria's most important authors, described the deconstruction of a personality even before Freud made it world known. In my interpretation, the story follows a young woman from Argentina to Vienna, dealing with instability and seeking to resolve existentially important matters from her past with her brother's help.

The film delves into heavy and breathtaking psychological extremes, exceptionally performed by Martina Greiner. The narrative explores the dynamics of use and abuse between siblings, focusing on a woman's fight for freedom against all odds. Personally, I am delighted with the cast's performance as well as with the photography. This film is an emotionally vibrant experience that leaves no one indifferent.

Why did you want to tell this story?

I was in a phase of my life where I sought to be immersed in deep psychological topics, and I stumbled upon the novel by chance. The concept of deconstructing an entire personality profoundly fascinated me. I was curious about how early he explored this topic, which later became one of the most influential ideas of the 20th century.

You seem like a curious person in general. Why movies?

There are several simple reasons that leave me with no other choice: I aspire to construct conceptually challenging universes that resonate with me, filled with exceptionally sensitive and intense characters.

Yet, there's another profoundly personal motive: It’s the most demanding job I've ever undertaken. One filled with constant change and excitement. It requires fearlessness. Film, being the art form involving the most people, allows me to connect, moderate, and engage with unique individuals and creative minds.

I genuinely love my job, where development is continual, and life is an unending adventure of growth, processing, intensity, and vibrancy.

There's a third reason: my interest in relevant discourses. I strive to connect with the audience, addressing personal questions so that each viewer sees their own film. My goal is to initiate discussions, broaden perspectives, and foster empathy for others. I aim to enhance the culture of discourse and, in doing so, contribute to democracy and enlightenment.

What is your next big goal?

Let´s get straight to the point. We need one more private investor. Does he or she read this right now? Let´s hope so!

Well, this is for real a thing at the moment: we found in 2023 already two private investors, now in 2024, we are searching for one more long-term investor to become a shareholder and join our venture in return for funding of Picco-Studio, alongside myself and my three established artistic partners and our two existing Austrian and Swiss shareholders.

Our aim is as well to provide additional financial support for our feature film, "The Heart of Darkness", in addition to regularly for film with the EU always relevant state funding. The new partner's investment will grant them company shares with full rights, including dividends (projected at 10-14% from 2024/25 onwards).

This financial injection will ensure the stability of our financial roadmap, allowing us to confidently continue our journey in the coming years. If you are interested and would like more information about us, please don't hesitate to contact us at

Watch Flight Into Darkness here.

Or watch other films from Picco-Studio here.

Follow them on Instagram


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