Advanced Television

Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 in fiction competition of Hamburg Film Festival

October 5, 2022

gebrueder beetz filmproduktion and OneGate Media have announced that their true crime series Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 will be the first documentary series to run in the fiction competition of the Hamburg International Film Festival, on October 6th.

High-end true crime docuseries Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 tells the story of the fight between Special Unit 65 – Germany’s first-ever police unit to fight organized crime – and its illustrious adversaries including the US Mafia, Hells Angels and Germany’s most notorious serial killer. The series is set in the 1980s amidst Hamburg’s notoriously famous Reeperbahn red-light-district, which has been coined “the planet’s most sinful mile” and is the second most famous street in the world after Wall Street.

Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 is the first documentary series in the fiction competition of Hamburg International Film Festival, which reflects a new genre of high-end documentaries with special narrative arcs and elements. Entering the fiction competition is a testament to the fact that, in terms of storytelling, production value and style, the series is comparable with high-end fiction projects and skillfully navigates the challenging balance between documentary and entertainment.

It is the first documentary project to ever be financed by renowned German Motion Picture Fund, which had previously only funded high-profile fiction projects such as Babylon Berlin and The Queen’s Gambit. 

The series was produced by multi-Emmy and Oscar-nominated producer Christian Beetz (The Cleaners) Sundance World Premiere, A Perfect Crime: first non-fiction Netflix Original from Germany) and his production house gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, one of RealScreen’s 100 most important non-fiction producers worldwide. OneGate Media co-produced the series, and has world distribution rights.

The series will celebrate its premiere at Hamburg Film Festival tomorrow as the first docuseries ever to enter the festival’s fiction competition.

Producer Christian Beetz says: ”After our Netflix Original A Perfect Crime, we decided to produce this new high-end docuseries together with German public broadcasters. With Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 they are perfectly set to embark on their counterattack against streamers’ dominance in reaching younger audiences. Moreover, I’m delighted for our series to take a whole new look at the Reeperbahn, “the planet’s most sinful mile.””

Tania Reichert-Facilides, Managing Director, OneGate Media says: ”True Crime has a huge and growing fanbase that is extremely engaged, making it one of the hottest genres right now. The style of this documentary series brings a new dimension to how we tell true crime stories. gebrueder beetz have done an excellent job of crafting a narrative which is produced in the style of a US cop series, and its entry into the fiction competition reflects this. We are very happy to be the co-production partner on this project with them that will appeal to audiences not just in Germany, but around the world.“

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