Sheffield DocFest Nomination for Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface had its UK premiere at this year's Sheffield DocFest and is in competition for the Festival's Tim Hetherington Award, a recognition of the film's powerful insight into a culture of abuse and systemic racism affecting the Sami people in Norway.

Beneath the Surface will be broadcast on the BBC's Storyville strand in the UK and on NRK in Norway later this year.

Director: Alex Irvine-Cox

Producer:  Ingvil Giske

Exec Producers: Fiona Stourton, André Singer, Lucie Kon, Philippa Kowarsky, Mandy Chang

Co-production with Medieoperatørene

Herzog’s LAST EXIT:SPACE lands at Discovery+

We are excited to announce that Last:Exit Space, co-produced by Spring Films with Gunpowder & Sky and Taglicht Media,  directed by Rudolph Herzog and narrated by Werner Herzog is now available to stream on Discovery+

Watch the trailer here

Goodbye 2021

2021 has been an extraordinary year for Spring Films, we were fortunate to kick-off the year with a new CEO at the helm, and end the year with Secrets of the Imperial War Museum, a 6-part series currently being broadcast on Channel 5 with its first episode seeing a 25% increase on the channel's Friday 7pm slot average.  For 2022 we look forward to completing productions for Channel 4 and D+ along with a number of other projects we have in the pipeline, including another Werner Herzog collaboration!

Finally 2021 ended with seeing our very own André Singer receiving his OBE for services to Documentary film and Anthropology from HRH The Duke of Cambridge at Windsor Castle (not a bad pic eh!).

Happy New Year from all at Spring Films x




With unprecedented access to one of the UK’s leading defence chambers – 25 Bedford Row – we will look to  follow the barristers from the moment they are given a case, through the emotionally charged twists and turns of the judicial process, preparing for court and a dramatic, life-changing verdict. At stake could be the next 25 years of a client’s life and devastation for their families.

“It’s the courage to be able to say, this is why the state is wrong. And when that 12-person jury says we accept the state are wrong. Is there anything better?” – Sheryl Nwosu, Barrister

The barristers handle everything from speeding fines to murder, shoplifting to armed robbery, high stakes fraud to drugs conspiracy. Miss a vital piece of evidence and their clients could face years behind bars, make a mistake and you could destroy a life. For the first time we get to see the work that goes into preparing ‘the defence’ – from walking the crime scene to forensic examination – to win their case they are going to have to try harder, and be better, than the police, crown prosecution and the might of that side of the British justice system.

The Defenders marks new territory – following the day-to-day life of a team of dedicated barristers, who turn the old fashioned image of all barristers looking like ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ on its head. We get to know them as people -  their life outside work, their families, friendships, ‘keep sane’ hobbies and late-night heart to hearts. This is a tough, stressful, superficially glamorous world where a sense of humour is essential and loyalty is everything.

What happens when a small cast of characters are faced with a shifting landscape of choice and dilemma, decision and indecision, probability and error, lies and  the quest for truth.

The series has been commissioned as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front project which aims to amplify black stories and voices, and accelerate change in representation.

Richard Melman, executive producer, says :"For almost a year, we've been given a remarkable insight into a rarely seen world of remarkable people who fight everyday for justice in cases ranging from parking to murder. It's been an eye-opening privilege".

Shaminder Nahal, commissioning editor, says: “We’re used to seeing TV programmes about crime – but it’s rare to see what goes on in the world of the barristers defending the alleged criminals. These films will attempt to tell us new truths about the justice system, and how it works - and the people working with in it, and caught up in it. The highly topical series was commissioned as part of the Black to Front project – one of the aims of which is to tell authentic and diverse stories not often heard.”

Executive producers: Kathy Myers and Richard Melman

Commissioning Editor:  Shaminder Nahal

Spring uncovers secrets at Imperial War Museums

Spring Films has been commissioned by Channel 5 to produce a six-part series delving into the outstanding collection of Imperial War Museums (IWM) – one of the most loved and visited institutions in the UK.

This is the first time IWM has given an exclusive ‘access all areas pass’ to its archive of over 30 million objects and 50,000 hours of film covering all aspects of conflicts involving Britain from First World War to Afghanistan and Iraq. From Teddy Bears to Battleships, from rare hundred-year-old archive film to GoPro digital footage shot just months ago, each item in the collection tells part of a dramatic story about ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances.  Secrets of Imperial War Museums will capture these life affirming, and at times tragic stories through the eyes, memories, hard work and of course humour of the people now associated with them.

In addition, the series will capture the final months of development of two new ground-breaking galleries at IWM London, the Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries scheduled to open this autumn, and the reopening of HMS Belfast as she marks 50 years since arriving into her present location on the river Thames.

Co-Executive Produced and developed by the multi award-winning team Kathy Myers and Richard Melman, Richard said “over the many years I have worked with Imperial War Museums I have always been constantly surprised at what’s in the collection, their remarkable curatorial skills and their ability to look at history from new perspectives. It is a real privilege to be given access to their unique world’.

The Series Editor is Chris Parkin who’s made a number of successful series for Channel 5 including Inside The National Trust and Around The World by Train as well as Inside The Factory for BBC2. The series was commissioned by Guy Davies, Commissioning Editor (VP) Factual at C5.

Secrets of Imperial War Museums is supported by global distribution company Blue Ant International and is available for pre-sale internationally.

Production has commenced and the programme will be delivered later this year.




The Two Lives of Li Ermao gets Audience Prize

Voted by the audience of the prestigious Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival,  The Two Lives of Li Ermao, has received the festival's Audience Prize.  Filmed over 17 years across Southern China by director, Jia Yuchuan, this feature documentary co-produced with Doctor Skyfish, follows the intimate and heart-wrenching story of Li Ermao, a transgender migrant worker in search for love and acceptance.  Watch the trailer 

Debut Director Nomination!

We are very proud of the wonderfully talented director of How to Stay Out of Jail,  Jemma Gander, who has been nominated for Edinburgh TV Festival's  Debut Director Award.  Many congrats to Jemma and all other nominees.  You can still catch How to Stay Out of Jail on Channel 4's streaming platform, which you can find here.

Spring Films Appoints New CEO

Spring Films has announced the appointment of Chris Smith as its new chief executive. With Smith’s appointment, company founder André Singer will focus more on creative projects and move to the role of chief creative officer. He will continue to work closely with creative director Kathy Myers and with Figs Jackman, Spring’s head of global development. Richard Melman is retiring from his role as managing director and will now concentrate on executive producing several on-going projects.

Smith, a highly experienced executive in the media and telecoms industry, was formerly managing director, investments, at multinational telecoms giant Liberty Global and has previously worked with several production companies focusing on strategy and business development.

As Spring’s new CEO, Smith will focus on securing investment and developing growth opportunities for the company.

Smith said: “Spring Films has a global reputation for producing award-winning documentaries and I’m delighted to be joining such a wonderful team and excited to see what the future holds”.

André Singer said “Spring has enjoyed great success in recent years, and we are all looking forward to growing still further our impact on the world media stage. I am excited to work with Chris in the months ahead.”

For more information contact

Claire Kessie:

The Tinderbox Catches Fire

The Tinderbox produced and directed by Gillian Mosely has won another award the "BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE" at the New York Tri-State International Film Festival 2020.

The Tinderbox was a Media Lab/Spring Films Production.

Fireball Circles the World

Press around the world continues to enthusiastically cover “Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds” following the global premiere on Apple TV+. The New York Times Film Critic Manohla Dargis considers “Fireball” one of the films she’s grateful for in her round up of the best films of 2020. Discovery Magazine runs Astronomy Magazine’s interview with Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, while WNYC spotlights the film as the “Documentary of the Week."
In Australia, ABC News Breakfast praises the film as “really unique” with “a lot of passion, a lot of spirituality and a lot of humor.” The Screen Show features an interview with Werner Herzog calling the film “absolutely marvelous,” while Nightlife gives the documentary "four out of five stars” and calls Werner Herzog's one of the “most significant and fascinating filmmakers working today.” El Sol de Mexico writes, “Werner found an opportunity to express his love for the Mexican region” in the film, and Revista Dominical (Costa Rica) publishes a three page “tribute to meteorites that is ‘Fireball.'”
Hong Kong’s HK01 features an interview with Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer and commends how "'Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds' explores the science of the meteor from an angle that is both refreshing and humorous.” Mingpao Weekly (Hong Kong) calls the film "another documentary of exceptional standards by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer.”
HardwareZone (Singapore) praises the camerawork noting, “it’s quite stunning to watch an actual fireball streak down from above, and it works as the perfect opener to a movie that seeks to spark your imagination.”
Global Press Sentiment
ABC News Breakfast (Australia) - "Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds"
—“Imagine a David Attenborough film filled with characters from a Cohen Brothers film, and you’ve got the idea of the idiosyncratic tone that Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer have brought to this science documentary.”
—“not your usual didactic documentary”
—“a lot of passion, a lot of spirituality and a lot of humor"
—“a really interesting investigation with these larger than life characters”
—“a really unique little documentary”
—“absolutely marvelous”
The Screen Show (Australia) - "The Screen Show" with Jason Di Rosso
—“both men are good company and they have a sense of humor”
—“a wonderful film”
—“it looks terrific”
—“four stars”
—“Herzog remains one of the most significant and fascinating filmmakers working today."
—“Herzog's enigmatic voiceover (often marked by his signature dark humor) makes this an intriguing global journey.”
—“a rich experience to watch”
—“an event said to enliven the Christmas spirit around the world”
—“if anyone can save this dumpster fire of a year, it’s Carey”
Channel 7 Sunrise (Australia) - "Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special"
—“very impressive guest list”
—“star studded”
 –“A piece that you should not miss as it has everything: incredible mysterious landscapes of the world and Mexico, apocalyptic comets, complicated mathematics, ancient rituals and eccentric scientists.”
Pagina 12 (Argentina) - Intelligence with passion
–"a film where intelligence is at the service of passion"
-“‘Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds' explores the science of the meteor from an angle that is both refreshing and humorous.”
-“Herzog’s signature brand of 'German humor' shines through."
-“Along the film’s narrative, the connection between human civilization and the universe has become apparent.”
-“Relationship between human and nature, a major theme that runs through Herzog’s works, is ever-present in ‘Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds.'”
 –“A piece that you should not miss as it has everything: incredible mysterious landscapes of the world and Mexico, apocalyptic comets, complicated mathematics, ancient rituals and eccentric scientists.”
Pagina 12 (Argentina) - Intelligence with passion
–"a film where intelligence is at the service of passion"
HardwareZone Singapore (Singapore) - In Apple TV+'s “Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds," Werner Herzog turns our eyes towards the cosmos
—"Herzog goes behind the camera in 'Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds,’ carrying us through with his strangely soothing Bavarian-accented narration.”
—"It’s quite stunning to watch an actual fireball streak down from above, and it works as the perfect opener to a movie that seeks to spark your imagination.”
—"It’s clear that the makers of this movie are playing things fast and loose with typical documentary structure, and that’s oddly endearing.”
—"The Mayan cosmogony surprised the filmmakers, and thanks to the link between stars and souls, it gave them a new perspective on life beyond death.”
—"The filming coincided with the Day of the Dead festivities, and the filmmakers experienced this celebration closely so they could appreciate the way in which the current inhabitants have merged ancestral beliefs with modernity.”
Mingpao Weekly (Hong Kong) - Print
—“another documentary of exceptional standards by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer”
—“the film discusses astronomical science with wit and humor”
—"Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer impregnate their enthusiastic voices in this new documentary, which takes us on a journey through numerous atmospheric landscapes."
ABC News Breakfast (Australia) - "Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds"
The Screen Show (Australia) - "The Screen Show" with Jason Di Rosso (starts at 30.32)Nightlife (Australia) - "Nightlife" with Philip Clark, Indira Naidoo


The reviews are in for our latest Herzog/Oppenheimer collaboration which launches tonight on Apple TV +.

—“Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s new documentary has it all..”
—“It’s about as transportive as documentaries get.”
—"A trip to Antarctica... in which Herzog and company hunt meteors across the glaciers with an ebullient member of the Korea Polar Research Institute, is the film’s highlight, replete with a wealth of vast, dazzling vistas.”
—"Crisp camerawork by frequent Herzog collaborator Peter Zeitlinger is excellent throughout.”
—"another nimbly curious and fascinating film"
—"The film ranges far afield and interviews an engaging and eclectic mix of people.”
—"This is a rare example of modern documentary film-making that uses voiceover – that inimitable Herzog growl."


Indian Space Dreams Rockets through the Awards

Sue Sudbury's Indian Space Dreams produced with Spring Films and and Haviland Digital has won the three top awards at Filmcon.

  • Best Picture
  • Best Inspirational Film
  • Best Documentary

Congratulations to Sue and the team for an amazing achievement.