Documentary Filmmaking: Telling the Story

Thursday 8 November
York Theatre Royal Studio

Spring Films’ portfolio of factual work includes the beautifully crafted, Emmy, Peabody and RTS Award-winning Night Will Fall and Werner Herzog’s Emmy nominated Into the Inferno, as well as Herzog’s latest work, Meeting Gorbachev. Executive Producer Richard Melman offers his extensive experience in documentary production, discussing methods of finding and following a compelling subject, acquiring commissions and producing unique films.

15 Documentaries that could shake up the Oscar race


“Meeting Gorbachev” (A&E/The History Channel with MDR and ARTE)

Werner Herzog and his frequent producer André Singer co-directed this portrait of Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev for A&E’s History 100 series. (Submarine is repping the theatrical sale for this presumed Telluride debut.) German filmmaker Herzog has rarely interviewed politicians over his 50-year career, but “in the case of Gorbachev, admires him,” said Powers, “not least of all for his role in the reunification of Germany. What we get is a portrait of a leader who makes such a marked contrast to the leaders we have today. Gorbachev is a man of grace and wisdom and commitment to peace, and it’s a pleasure to spend time with him, to see someone with so agile a mind as Werner Herzog draw him out on a number of subjects.”


A Mother Brings Her Son to Be Shot set for national release

'Following sold-out screenings at London, Dublin, Glasgow and Belfast International Film Festivals, CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, the Galway Film Fleadh, New Zealand and Sydney Film Festivals, Sinéad O'Shea's new Irish documentary, A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot, is set for nationwide Irish and Northern Irish release on 14 September.

The Irish Film & Television Network

Meeting Gorbachev to Play at TIFF

We are delighted to announce that the Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film co-production 'Meeting Gorbachev' has been accepted for the Toronto International Film Festival.

'Meeting Gorbachev' is directed by Werner Herzog and André Singer and was made for A&E's History 100 and MDR/Arte.

Spring’s Prison is number 1

Channel 4 Press @C4Press

Congratulations to Paddy Wivell and the team. Programme three is still to come - watch this space for updates - it's worth waiting for.

PRISON EP2 – 26th July C4 9PM

This is a remarkable and compelling film that raises many questions.

Thank you to the  amazing team who worked so hard to make it, and to The FARM for their excellent post-production services.





Online editor


Dubbing Mixer



Kesirel Humphries-Allen


Claire Kessie


Peter McInerney and Keith Ashby


Pat Footer


Chris Dale

Dennis Mabry

Saskia Tompsett


Josh Allott


Jack Wood


Chris Nicholls


Kathy Myers

Richard Melman


Paddy Wivell

Werner Herzog and Andre Singer to open DOK Leipzig ’18 with “Meeting Gorbachev”

From Realscreen:


Critically acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog and Emmy Award-winning director André Singer’s latest feature-length documentary Meeting Gorbachev will open the 61st edition of DOK Leipzig on Oct. 29.

The film, which celebrates its European premiere at the Leipzig-set festival, paints a portrait of Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union who brought about changes to end the Cold War, toppled the USSR, and enabled the reunification of Germany. In the documentary, Herzog and Gorbachev engage in an intense conversation about the past and the winding path of history.

The film is a Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film production and is presented by A+E Network’s History Films, in association with MDR and Arte.


Channel 4’s ‘Prison’ Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Rehabilitation

"The Channel 4 documentary series, Prison, that premiered last night shines a vital spotlight on life behind bars – the drug addictions, the violence, and the organised crime that sees prison as a business opportunity. But it also highlights the bravery of our prison staff – the passion, good humour and serious thought they put into protecting the public and rehabilitating offenders.

The prison population is at a ten-year low but it is still high by historic standards and behind the statistics there are real people with often troubling histories. The knock-on effects of crime to communities, to families and to individuals are devastating. If we are going to make meaningful change on this then I accept that we need to focus on rehabilitation.

Watching the documentary last night reinforced for me more than ever that criminals go to prison as punishment, not for punishment – turning their lives around should always be the goal for their time inside. But some prisons are failing to meet the basic standards to do that effectively. That’s why last week I announced a £30million package to start bringing our prisons back up to scratch – so they can become launching pads for rehabilitation."

David Gauke Secretary of State for Justice and Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire

Read the whole article here....

PRISON Overnights at 1.8m

As reported in Broadcast:

"Spring Films’ two-part look inside HMP Durham got off to a strong start, trumping C4’s 1.3m (6.7%) slot average.

The doc gave C4 a 14% share of 16-34s, up from the slot’s usual 10%. It also attracted a more even gender balance than the slot typically attracts: 49% of viewers were male compared to a 41% average."

See ratings here...

The hashtag #prison also trended in 2nd position across the UK with over 4,500 tweets coming in.

Prison – Channel 4

"Compelling viewing, containing unlikely pockets of warmth and humour"  TV Times  ★★★★★ ---

"A first rate documentary"  
The Guardian, Joe Clay, Critic's Choice

"Astonishing frankness"  
Financial Times, Suzi Feay, Pick of the week  ★★★★★

"An extraordinary new Channel 4 documentary"  The Sun, Benjy Potter

"Capturing the reality of life behind bars


Insight at Onsight

André and Werner have been deep in the edit for ‘Meeting Gorbachev’ at Onsight.

This rare photograph was taken when they escaped and were accidentally exposed to daylight.

Sinéad O’Shea named in Top Ten European Women Filmmakers

Irish director Sinéad O’Shea has been included as one of ten outstanding European women filmmakers in 2018 for the third edition of Europe! Voices of Women in Film -  a partnership between European Film Promotion (EFP) and the Sydney Film Festival.

O’Shea was selected for her IFTA nominated documentary - ‘A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot’ - a Blinder Films and SOS Productions film Co-Produced by Spring Films.