In the summer of 2021, we raced to put together a two-hour long film that was aimed at telling the story of the German Society for Nature Photography, a celebration of its 50-year anniversary.
For weeks, we travelled across Germany amid coronavirus restrictions in order to meet the people who had played an important role in the development and expansion of this Society. Not only did we learn about history, about photography or about art; we learned about the beautiful people who make the GDT what it is: a big group of like-minded nature lovers who show the world we live in through their photography.
Here is a summary written by the organisation itself ahead of the first screening:
50 years, a lot has happened in this time in Germany and of course also in the GDT. Since its founding in April 1971, the German Society for Nature Photography has always been a reflection of the social and cultural situation in the country. The reunification in 1989 had just as much impact on the GDT as the new position of women in society. The digital revolution influenced our visual language, and the internet has fundamentally changed the way we consume images. Nine members became 1800, a small members’ festival in Braunfels developed into a major international event in Lünen, and a new competition with a European flavour has managed to establish itself at the top of the internationally respected photo competitions in the last 20 years. What was the role of our most famous founding member Fritz Pölking in this? How did the long road to changing the name of our association develop? Is “Blümchenfotografin” (in German sometimes derogative for flower photographer) an appropriate name? And what is it about the nights in Lünen?
50 years, that’s about the age difference between the youngest and the oldest people who give their opinions on the many topics surrounding the GDT in this documentary. Filmmakers Elena Gyldenkerne and Jon A. Juárez travelled all over Germany and interviewed 27 members and friends of the GDT. From a contemporary witness of the founding event to festival staff, board members, regional group leaders and former presidents to the managing director and representatives of the Tecklenborg publishing house – the range of people interviewed reflects the diversity that makes up the GDT today.