What Kobalt does ?

Kobalt was founded in 1997 by Stefan Mathieu, Tita von Hardenberg, and Michael Khano. Since then, the firm has been representative for the development and production of high-quality television formats and creative programmes. Kobalt broke into the television broadcasting market with “Polylux” (1997-2009), a highly innovative news magazine reflecting the spirit of the times. Other defining cultural and pop cultural programmes followed, complemented by documentaries, reports, and series on relevant and contemporary topics. Today, Kobalt is one of the leading independent production firms of Germany.

A separate branch of the firm, Kobalt Kreation, focuses on corporate videos and image films, broadcast design, and advertising. In 2015, another subsidy was founded that focuses on the production of documentaries and international co-productions: Kobalt Documentary.

The goal of the by now 60-person team of content producers and editors, camerapeople, cutters, designers, directors, and internet specialists is to transcend the production of quality alone: Kobalt views itself as a cross-format trendsetter and publisher of contemporary, first-rate journalism. We are a source of inspiration for all those interested in the pulse of their time.

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TIMELINE KOBALT

1997

  • Stefan Mathieu, Tita von Hardenberg, and Michael Khano found Kobalt Productions Film- und Fernseh GmbH in Berlin.

  • Development and launch of the TV programme "Polylux" (ORB).

  • Development and launch of the TV programme "TRACKS" (Arte).

1999

  • Establishment of the subsidiary firm Kobalt Kamera, headed by Michael Khano. The first company apprenticeships are established.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ORB), TRACKS (Arte).

2000

  • Establishment of the subsidiary firm Kobalt Postproductions, headed by René Päpke.

  • Acquisition of the first editing station. Here, too, apprenticeships are soon established.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte)

2001

  • "Polylux" is taken on by Germany's main public television broadcaster, ARD, and added to their regular programming schedule.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte).

2002

  • Kobalt moves with its entire staff and crew to its current space on Torstraße in Berlin-Mitte.

  • Development and launch of the youth political magazine "Absolut" (Arte).

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Absolut (Arte).

2004

  • Kobalt takes over the production of "Foyer", the only German theatre programme (ZDFtheaterkanal and 3SAT), hosted by Minh-Khai Phan-Thi, Esther Schweins and Theo Koll.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Absolut (Arte), Foyer (3SAT).

2006

  • Reorganisation of the subsidiary firms into Kobalt Images GmbH, for post production and camera, and Kobalt Kreation, for high-end image processing and broadcast design.

  • Michael Khano leaves the firm.

  • Set up of a department for live reporting and coverage.

  • Broadcast of the German theatre prize "FAUST" (ZDFtheaterkanal/3SAT).

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Absolut (Arte), Foyer (3SAT).

  • Films: Jesus' Young Guard – The Call (ARD), Always on the Ball – The World Cup in Berlin (RBB), Dance in August (3SAT).

2007

  • Joins in the production of the daily lifestyle programme "Chic" (Arte).

  • Kobalt wins the Grimme Online Award for the debate portal "Polylog".

  • Realisation of diverse live broadcasts from the Berlinale, the Berlin international film festival.

  • Modernisation of the firm's entire production technology with a central server and internal hard drive camcorders.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Absolut (Arte), Foyer (3SAT), Chic (Arte).

  • Films (selected): Second Life – My Digital Twin (RBB), Berlin's High Society (RBB).

2008

  • The Kobalt team grows to a salaried staff of 40.

  • Development and launch of the programme "Farmer Wants Culture", with Dieter Moor (RBB).

  • Comprehensive updating and expansion of the in-house technology to eight Avid editing stations and ten complete ENG kits.

  • Creation and set up of an in-house VFX department and TV studio.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Absolut (Arte), Foyer (3SAT), Chic (Arte), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB).

2009

  • Expansion of our live news reporting with the broadcast of the "Movimentos Dance Prize" and the spectacle "The Giants Are Coming" for Arte.

  • Broadcast of diverse cultural round tables for 3SAT (e.g., "The Price War" with Tita von Hardenberg).

  • Conversion of all technical units to HD.

  • Programmes: Polylux (ARD), TRACKS (Arte), Foyer (3SAT), Chic (Arte), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB).

  • Films: Hong Kong's Rooftop Slums (Arte), Theatre of Change – The Theatre and the Revolution in the GDR (3SAT), Freedom Fighters – The Freedom Theatre in Jenin (Arte).

2010

  • Development and launch of the weekly Europe current affairs magazine "Yourope" (Arte).

  • Establishment of a department focusing on international documentaries, headed by Katrin Sandmann.

  • Programmes: TRACKS (Arte), Yourope (Arte), Chic (Arte), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB).

  • Films: Born in 1968 – Children of the Revolt (3SAT), Theatre of the World in Mühlheim and Essen (3SAT).

2011

  • Development and launch of the live concerts programme "BERLIN live" (Arte/ZDFkultur).

  • Development and launch of the weekly culture programme "ZDF Culture Palace" (ZDFkultur).

  • Programmes: TRACKS (Arte), Yourope (Arte), BERLIN live (Arte/ZDFkultur), ZDF Culture Palace (ZDFkultur).

  • Films: Management Issues – Sabine Christiansen Underway (n-tv), Boot Camp (N24), Churches Cantatas Kowalski (RBB).

2012

  • Kobalt celebrates its 15th anniversary.

  • Joins in the production of the weekly culture programme "Metropolis" (Arte).

  • Development and launch of the 3SAT series "Culture Warriors" focusing on artists in conflict areas, moderated by Katrin Sandmann.

  • Launch of the live concerts programme for up-and-coming music acts, "Introducing" (Arte).

  • Programmes: TRACKS (Arte), Yourope (Arte), ZDF Culture Palace (ZDFkultur), BERLIN live (Arte).

  • Films (among others): Michael Jackson – A Life between Black and White (ZDF/Arte), Yangon Calling – Punk in Myanmar (ZDFkultur), Let's Talk Yourope – How Are Europe's Youth Doing? (ZDF/Arte).

2013

  • The weekly programme "Culture Palace" is nominated for a Grimme Award.

  • Development and launch of the 360° programme "House Concert" (Arte/Arte Creative).

  • Programmes: TRACKS (Arte), Metropolis (Arte), Yourope (Arte), Culture Palace (3SAT), BERLIN live (Arte), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB).

  • Films (among others): On the Road with Jack Kerouac (six parts) (Arte), We Are Democracy (ZDF/Arte/WDR/ORF/SRF), Meret Oppenheim (ZDF/Arte/SRF).

2014

  • Expansion of the international coproduction and marketing structure. The four-part series "London Calling" is broadcast in 84 countries.

  • Development and launch of the programme "City, Bike, Dog", hosted by Bettina Rust (RBB).

  • Launch of the 18-episode documentary series "Culture Warriors" focusing on culture in conflict areas, moderated by Katrin Sandmann (3SAT).

  • Programmes: TRACKS (Arte), Metropolis (Arte), Yourope (Arte), Culture Palace (3SAT), BERLIN live (Arte), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB).

  • Films (among others): The Era of the Supermodel (Arte), Myanmar – A Nation Looks to the Future (3SAT), Lebanon – Future Wanted (3SAT/Deutsche Welle).

2015

  • Establishment of the subsidy firm Kobalt Documentary, headed by Katrin Sandmann.

  • Kobalt forms a production consortium with Spiegel TV and Eco Media. Group production of two Arte current-affairs theme nights focusing on the refugee crisis, "Fleeing to Europe". (Nomination for the Grimme Award.)

  • In cooperation with Arte and BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group), a new form of public-private partnership is created: "BERLIN live" immediately becomes an internationally marketed and broadcast programme.

  • A five-parter spanning five continents: for the new Arte series, the reporter Julia Held travels the world to find out "Who Is Beautiful?"

  • Programmes: BERLIN live (Arte), Metropolis (Arte), Yourope (Arte), TRACKS (Arte), Culture Palace (3SAT), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB), City, Bike, Dog (RBB), Arte House Concert (Arte).

  • Films (among others): Saudi Arabia – On the Far Side of Oil (3SAT), ZERO HOUR – The Art Movement "ZERO" (Arte), Björk! (Arte).

2016

  • Grimme Award nomination for the Arte theme night "Fleeing to Europe – Why Now?"

  • In cooperation with the EU Parliament, Kobalt coaches the journalists of tomorrow at the European Youth Event (EYE) in Strasbourg (Facebook and Arte INFO).

  • Together with Spiegel TV and Eco Media, Kobalt produces a third current-affairs theme night, this time on: "Right! Two! Three! – Is Europe Drifting?" (Arte/ZDF).

  • As the first camera crew from the West, Kobalt reporters and their team are permitted to move freely around Iran for the five-part Arte documentary "Iran in Our Hearts".

  • Programmes: BERLIN live (Arte), Metropolis (Arte), Yourope (Arte), TRACKS (Arte), Culture Palace (3SAT), Farmer Wants Culture (RBB), City, Bike, Dog (RBB), Arte House Concert (Arte).

  • Films (among others): Udo and I – Totally My Thing: Friends and Fans Celebrate Lindenberg (3SAT), Dried Out – Brazil's State of Emergency (3SAT), A Man, A Dog, A Pickup Truck (ZDF/Arte).

2017

  • Launch of subsidiary "Bleu Kobalt“, Paris for international formats focusing on France

  • Launch of subsidiary "Kobalt Wien GmbH“ for TV productions within the Alps-Adriatic region

  • Development and launch of ARTE Re:, the European report for Arte on work days

  • Development and launch of YASHA'S FRIENDS, a web-only documentary series about street art

  • Programmes: ARTE Re: (Arte), BERLIN live (Arte), Metropolis (Arte), TRACKS (Arte), Culture Palace (3SAT)

CONTACT PERSON

Françoise Aldozo
Office/Accounting

+49 (0) 30 240 896-10

 francoise.aldozo@kobalt.de

Katharina Maus
Production/Editorial Office

+49 (0) 30 240 896-21

katharina.maus@kobalt.de

Julia Schmejkal
Production/Creation

+49 (0) 30 240 896-22

julia.schmejkal@kobalt.de

Kerstin Päpke
Production/Camera

+49 (0) 30 240 896-13

kerstin.paepke@kobalt.de

Miryam Hauf
Postproduction

+49 (0) 30 240 896-59

miryam.hauf@kobalt.de

CONTACT

Office

Kobalt Productions GmbH

Torstraße 105-107
10119 Berlin

+49 (0) 30 240 896 – 0

+49 (0) 30 240 896 – 12

produktion@kobalt.de

Contact

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