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From Runes to Ruins - Anglo Saxon Pag...
United Kingdom
By Tom Rowsell
20 Apr 2014


From Runes to Ruins is the first ever documentary film about Anglo-Saxon paganism. Independently produced and funded, it is unique in its emotive and artistic approach to religious history.

All over Britain there are people whose lives are influenced by the largely forgotten culture of the Anglo-Saxon barbarians who founded England. There are landmarks, place names and aspects of our language which are remnants of Anglo-Saxon paganism. It is from Woden, the god of war, that we take the name for the third day of the week, Wednesday (Woden’s day). There are many places around England named after Woden, like the ancient earthwork of Wansdyke which was probably a cult-centre of the god. In this film, Tom Rowsell, an expert in the paganism of early medieval England, travels around the country looking at places like Wansdyke and talking to people whose lives are influenced by the Anglo-Saxons and their pagan religion. The film features all kinds of peculiar characters; like neo-pagans worshipping Thor in Oxfordshire, the leader of the London Longsword Academy and historical re-enactors who like nothing more than to get dressed up in armour and swing axes at each other.

From Runes to Ruins combines amusing and characterful interviews with informative history all presented with beautiful cinematography and an original and haunting synth soundtrack.

Despite the significance of Anglo-Saxon paganism to the history of Britain, no one has ever made a documentary exclusively on this subject. In this film, Thomas Rowsell reveals a forgotten aspect of English history that many are oblivious to, by uncovering paganism in runes and ruins

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Registered Dangerous Trailer
By Transterra Editor
04 Oct 2013

A trailer for Registered Dangerous, a one hour documentary about the criminal underclass in Egypt.
By: Khalil Raof

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"Hidden in the Sand" Trailer
Famagusta, Cyprus and Nicosia, Cyprus
By Vasia Markides
26 Jul 2013

In 1974, a coup backed by the Greek military junta instigated Turkey to invade the nation of Cyprus. They captured almost 40% of the island and displaced its residents, both Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot. Varosha, which was a thriving port city in Famagusta on the east coast of Cyprus, was occupied and all its Greek-Cypriot residents forced to leave their homes. Since then, Varosha has been encircled by barbed wire and kept under surveillance by the Turkish military, which uses the territory as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Cyprus government. Its citizens are still forbidden to return. Over the last 38 years, Varosha went from being “Cyprus’s Riviera”, to a dilapidated ghost city; its former inhabitants watch their houses decay from outside the barricades. Within Varosha’s limits rare sea turtles nest on the beaches, bougainvilleas overtake deteriorating homes, and wild asparagus and prickly pear plants run rampant. As both the maker and a participant, the filmmaker examines the fate of this “city in captivity” and her family’s connection to it. Contemporary scenes of the vacant city are contrasted with archives of the bourgeoning Varosha of the 1970’s. Ultimately though, the film tackles the ugly effects of nationalism, militarism, and propaganda in the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

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By Editor's Picks
16 Jul 2013

TRANSTERRA is becoming more than just a marketplace where producers can showcase and sell their documentaries. We are a resource for archive footage, and a community that provides collaboration opportunities.

The documentaries shown here are part of TRANSTERRA's greater catalog of options. Full-length screenings are available for most, and you can access these by sending an e-mail request to [email protected].

North America
Egypt (6) Libya (1) Morocco (1) Palestine (1)

Sub-Saharan Africa
Central Asia
Southeast Asia
East Asia

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Hollywood Versus Nollywood, Trailer
Lagos, Nigeria
By Preditor Push
04 May 2013

Hollywood Contra Nollywood By Tee Jay Dan

“Critics should be active participants…propound and participate.” BM Dzukogi.

Nothing said in praise of Nollywood, in whatever fashion or design will invalidate the fact that the industry is threatened with poor funding, low quality production, technical ineptitude, piracy and blighted distribution channels. But we must not dwell on the many sins of Nollywood. We should appraise the industry; analyze her with the genuine hope of rediscovering her lost beauty. We must, stakeholders and consumers alike, collectively and jealously trade ideas and criticism; serve as a galaxy of souls to our very own motion pictures enterprise. I am playing my quota by writing this article in hopes that every reader will play their role by spreading the word until the identified defects are righted!

Here’s a little education on how a proper film industry functions. Top on the chain is THE MONEY nearly bracketed by THE FINDERS.

THE MONEY is further categorized into FILM and TV. The FILM category consists of major studios such as Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers e.t.c, whereas the TV category refers to Cable Networks such ABC, FOX, CBS e.t.c. Like every other business, these studios and Networks are structured with CEOs, Presidents, Creative Executives, Assistants and Business Affairs Executives.

THE FINDERS literally refers to professionals who find talents/stories for the studios/networks. The Finders serves as mediators between studios/networks and the products. Since studio execs are too preoccupied to read through heaps of specs/scripts these guys handle the hunt job. They function just like literary agents in the business of publishing.

It is the collation of these two factions; THE MONEY and THE FINDERS that makes up what is known as Hollywood. There is more to the solid structure of Hollywood but this will suffice for lack of space. Sadly, Nollywood strives on the exact the opposites of these dictates! There is no single Studio in Nigeria! The absence of a skeletal framework is Nollywood’s first and major problem. With a functional structure in place, Nollywood will look sexier to potential investors as investment returns will become guaranteed – only then can we bury the old days of financially constrained productions.

It is funny how the lots of producers in Nollywood believe funding to be the most pressing need that must be remedied if the industry is to be revitalized. They often find out albeit painfully so that even with the billions of the world they cannot make mind blowing movies with only money. In this business of ours it is believed that a good film could be made with a bad cast and poor production but no good film can be made with a bad story. There is no gainsaying the fact that our home videos are pretty predictable because the stories made into films are stereotypes! Any good screenwriter could easily hash out two or more stories from a typical Nollywood flick! Do you feel mentally exhausted after seeing a Nollywood film? This is because your brain is busy trying to patch together the unrelated stories/scenes in our home videos. Our producers need to pay closer attention to stories before they give the green light. Here’s an assignment: watch a Chinese, Bollywood or Hollywood movie without the sound then watch a Nollywood film in the same manner – watch the Nollywood clip first if you like. Then return here and share your experience. Please pick films you have not seen before and remember to mute the sound. Yes, that is the power of a good story of the lack thereof!

Recently I joined camp with Balogun Omo Oba Dayo of Ravernsbourne UK; a Nigerian Filmmaker based in the United Kingdom. In the course of our joint venture I learned a great deal. Nigerians making good movies are either independent producers or our brethren in the Diaspora. Movies like DR. BELLO, LAST FLIGHT TO ABUJA, TWO BRIDES AND A BABY, THE LOST NUMBER by Tony Abulu, Obi Emelonye, Blessing Egbe and Kester Nsirim respectively are clear examples. Oh, there are three kinds of filmmakers in Nigeria; the Nollywood filmmakers, Nigerian Filmmakers in the Diaspora and the Independent filmmakers. It is therefore out of good faith that I propose a conscious romance between these three factions of Filmmakers of Nigerian origin.

Funding is a crucial part of filmmaking especially in Nigeria. Here’s a bitter truth. Over 80% of filmmakers in Nigeria source for production money from marketers in Alaba. These marketers go as far as dictating names for films without reading the scripts! Have you noticed some Nollywood flick with a title that clearly conflicts with the storyline? Now you know why. A similar percentage of the technical crew are a bunch of ‘trial and error’ apprentices who self-graduated or were actually sent forth by their ‘masters’ to wreck Nollywood the more. The camera man you hire for your birthday today might be shooting Nollywood’s next ‘block buster’ tomorrow if he knows a producer or if a friend of his wins a lottery and decides to make a movie. As much as lack of funds is a problem, industry veterans should sign up for professional courses. It doesn’t take a lifetime!

We still suffer some shamefully from poor sound and picture quality in Nollywood. Take the just concluded AMAA 2013 event for instance.

Finally, because Nollywood churns out thousands of movies annually is not a yardstick to say it is without blemish. Popularity isn’t necessarily prosperity so goes the saying. A female Nollywood apologist argued that the industry guys are making big bucks alright hence do not need to up their game. This is laughable. See, in Nigeria pirates earn more than the filmmakers. Forget the paparazzi, safe for some side ‘runs’ our movie stars will be dying in penury. To say Nollywood is fine as it is is a terrible misconception. Let’s have a working structure then we can attract investors. Let’s build a tight knit industry and engage in collaborative ventures so we can make superb movies. Deal with Nigerians in the Diaspora, tackle piracy and pirates head on, mend the rift in AGN, and awaken DGN and SWG from slumber then watch Nollywood bloom.

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By U.S. Editor
02 Apr 2013

Repository of produced material

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Sample media
Doc3m - pasteleiro (pilot)
Loures, Portugal
By Vítor Hugo Costa
20 Mar 2013

Documentary series of 17 episodes, 3 minutes each.
In each episode a character is displayed with a way of being optimistic in life, contrary to their current situation.

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Underground Car Races in Adana Preview
Adana, Turkey
By Ibrahim Karci
15 Feb 2013

Adana! Mostly known as the city of Kebab.

People of Adana have reputation of their crazy and chilled lifestyle.

Spacious areas, good spicey food, cool booze and..


00:38 - 00:37
-I can't attend every race because I can't afford it. I can't use LPG during the race and the oil quiet expensive. And each race there is some part broken that has to be fixed or changed. It costs a lot.

This is an opening of another new garage where the racers mostly meet to show off.
And since it is in the middle of the city resident of the neighbourhood is not so happy with the situation.

-It is vandalism. This is not a race track, this is neighbourhood. It is sunday and peple are resting. They don't have right to disturb people.

-Cop is Coming!

And soon after officers arrives upon the complaint of the neighbourhood, as always.

-Take these cars immediately! -Ok sir!

-They said if it occurs again they will punish us so bad.

-Should we go to the highway all together or to the hill ? -To the hill. The highway is also problematic now.

But nothing seems like to be avoid them from racing or gathering up, Because they always have an alternative secret place to gather up and start racing.

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"The forgotten of Nha Trang" - PROMO ...
Nha Trang, Vietnam
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
15 Jul 2012
         Directed by Piero Pomponi

I recognize Ho Chi Minh, the old Saigon from the massacred American war, at the first light of daybreak. I am in line at the airport barely gathered from the much anticipated journey, behind an undetermined number of American veterans that have returned for the first time, or periodically return to the sites where many of their combat companions have lost their own lives. Most of them bear the signs of a devastating conflict, stemmed from the smokes of napalm, paradises of opium and bygone aged tattoos. Everyone marches around with scoured shabby bearded faces, revealing glimpses of a sentiment of remorse of the conscience. A war the American people did not want but one that has left imprinted much regret, and for most, it has become a hellish living nightmare. Despite my slumber, I see the visa office around the far corner of the arrival hall, and succeed to note the fatigue but proud arrogance of the immigration officers engaged in the issuance of visas. The process takes less than a minute, yet for most Americans they await tens of minutes for the release of their signed tourist visa. Perhaps this is the revenge that it is consumed every day at the international airport of Ho Chi Minh, a vengeance that is drowsing, eerie, ironic, painless, done with sarcasm nevertheless, not with napalm.

The intense heat is already scorching in the first hours of sunshine, though I hastily triumph getting into the first available taxi to go straight towards Ga Saigon, to catch the first train bound directly for Nha Trang, 435 kilometers east of Saigon. All is written in Vietnamese, and a peasant that sees me overloaded and burdened with four pieces of luggage I am carrying, in broken English peppered with words that I clearly do not recognize, points towards the door where I can purchase a ticket Saigon – Nha Trang. A few minutes later, with the sweat showering and burning the first layer of my skin, I sprinted onto a carriage of the Saigon Express. There are pictures of the old Ho Chi Minh everywhere, and it seems as if its ghost is following me ever since I landed from a flight originating from Manila. But here “is” another story; few images relate the change of a nation and of the people that fought powerful America, but what Amerika with a k, in the pure disparaging sense. I think and re-think with all the adrenaline running frantically through my veins, of my journey to this suffering land where the wounds have never healed, what will my master path be again, or the story I have now been pursuing for more than six years.

My contact awaits and is aware that upon my arrival it will be difficult to manage my impatience; considering he is Vietnamese and with affection, me “a valuable enemy”, although not American, but an Italian by virtue of birth. It has been over six years I have been chasing the story which in itself is about history, but after studying in particularize all details, I decided “against all odds”; this in the end would be a pleasure trip for sightseeing. But, I undeniably want to enter the psychiatric hospital of Nha Trang, where men and women are living like wild animals, to define it in the realest term. I have been told chains are tied to the necks and feet of patients suffering from schizophrenic syndromes, but I cannot imagine in the new world this cruelty really existing in a mental hospital. I was also told men and women sleep lying on their own excrement and urine, but it is hard to conceive when I think of the constant presence of McDonalds, beaches for Russian tourists hunting for Europeans on holiday, but above all, I think of what I had and have read for years before reaching Saigon in the last few hours: the radical change in a country waving a red flag and yellow star opens to foreign corporations. But maybe it is a cliché, a legacy for hundreds of people landing on the tarmac of the international airports scattered across the vast Vietnamese territory.

Finally, Nha Trang is sitting under the sole of my shoes and after loading my luggage onto an old Minks motorcycle manufactured in Belarus, I was taken to a small motel where my contact had told me to stay. The sunlight is soft, and clouds crying rain drops on the horizon mixed with the smells of a thousand acres of industrial fumes, accompany me to the motel that in the end I find it to be one paid by the hour: a destination for deprived tourists and beautiful young Vietnamese girls, in search of an European or any other tourist, to indulge in a disturbing form, in a night filled with sex, drugs and rock and roll. I am already inside the room, with the only fan suspended from the ceiling above my head. I seem to have lived this scene before, recalling Martin Sheene in the film Apocalypse Now, and now that I remember it well, I really got to identify with him. I take a packet of Marlboro cigarettes out of one of my camera bags, which happens to be my last and have to save it, as I am totally in the dark as to where I can buy other cigarettes considering I have arrived during the night.

It is past midnight, the mood is somber and the pounding sounds from above and around do not help a body delirious from sleep withdrawal, and a mind unsettled and immersed in deep thought to rest. I am choking in the vapors of my own chain smoking and in the stifling high temperatures floating in the space, inebriated by the lack of air the solitary fan radiates from its cranky and almost still rotation. The dance of thought continues engrossed in its own intertwined world of unanswered questioning; I keep interrogating my innermost self, as to what classification of psychotropic drugs these mental patients could possibly be under to cause their caretakers to chain them like animals, and in surroundings that are so brutal and inhumane. The cross-examining keeps debating its usage as it could place in greater jeopardy their mental health and life within an impossible world and whereby scientifically there is also conflicting and lack of clear evidence of its efficacy. But, the real question I am having enormous trouble embracing is, why is there such a dark side to pharmacology; does it have anything to do with cognitive reframing for the sake of someone else’s gain? The night is intensely brilliant, but not even the bright stars stroking their autonomous universe can illuminate the heaviness prevailing in this moment of such mind inquisition. I do not remember falling asleep, but I faintly recall waking-up to the strong beating hums of a manic and energetic door knocking. Phuoc, my Vietnamese contact, has arrived to show me the far sights of Nha Trang.

The heat wave continues to enfold the land as I am savoring my second espresso coffee at a little family owned bakery, in contrast to what I have been tested with so far. My plan is to get closer to the native people and its land, the authenticity of their livelihood, and discover the wonders of the many off-the-beaten-track sites while contemplating the most strategic avenue on how to enter the psychiatric hospital. As the clock keeps ticking in my quest, the anxiety is slowly jetting off to the summit of its reality with the awareness of being potentially able to accomplish the pursuit of much anticipated story coverage. Amidst all the exploring during the two days that followed, the panic got so merciless I had to venture out of my own purposed adventure, in search of a source that could hypothetically supply me with a tablet of Xanax. And so, another mission has evolved in parallel. It is early morning on my fourth day in Nha Trang, and I indisputably need to find a doctor that can prescribe the medication to appease my human engine given the circumstance. In my own despondency I ask around if I can be taken to the psychiatric hospital with the knowledge such platform usually carries this type of anti-anxiety medicine. Eventually, I get hold of a doctor prepared to listen, and upon explaining the drug had been prescribed in 1994 after covering the war in Rwanda, he agreed to lead the way to the dispensary adjacent to the psychiatric hospital.

Every drop of blood begins to pulsate at the thought the conquering of my mission is just minutes away; the terror surmounting the eight kilometer ride on the way to the psychiatric hospital is indescribable; the adrenaline pumping ten thousand beats per minute, feels I am going to fly and disperse in a million fragments of life, such is the strength of my inner trepidation. Mental flashes race back and forth in preparation to this potential story exposure. It is important I stay focused at the same time all this other craziness is prevailing within the fortress of my human system. As I dismount from the old relic motorbike, the doctor shows me the way towards the dispensary where another meeting of minds takes place. A second doctor is introduced and upon explaining once again the story of my being prescribed Xanax, he told me he had another pill that in his opinion is far more effective. In accepting with an affirmation, he stood up and asked everyone to follow to the place where he would get the suggested medication. To my amazement, I am now being led towards the entrance of the psychiatric hospital which is bolted with a thick chain and lock. I am inside following the doctors towards an office where presumably this wonder medicine is supposed to be kept. I have only one thought in my mind, but cannot avoid noticing the commotion displayed in the courtyard en-route. As I am offered the miracle pill, I take it without even thinking knowing any hint of hesitation can lift doubt as to what my real intent was in the first place.

As I am left to tour the hospital with Phuoc free from anyone’s suspicion, I stand in awe with the image that presents before my eyes and inwardly wonder who the mentally disturbed sufferers really are; the caretakers or the inmates made prisoners of their own mental health. On second thought my question is how a native could possibly know the latest medical advancements in mental health treatment, to instigate such turmoil within the human minds of these captive patients. As I begin to record the obscurity of this forgotten world, the sounds of despair echoing through the corridors as I pace, with bouts of raging moans interrupting the ongoing cries of desperation, are but a whisper of hell of all there is to document. Men and women of all ages are chained in their cells like animals on exhibition; a gruesome playground for the observer comprised of caretakers, janitors and other medical hierarchy. The lack of warmth wrapping their naked bodies, the cold world of cement floor setting, in many occasions garnished with excrement and urine, adorned with iron framed windows and walls stained with dried blood frescos, serve as a daily reminder of their surroundings, without reverence being considered as the bear minimum deemed appropriate towards the wellbeing of the human race. With the exception of a small group of volunteers which have not been filmed for the welfare of their own safety, it appears moral responsibility has become but a word disturbed in the world within, where undetermined interests other than the protection of Humanity may have taken a turn in precedence. In spite of the shocking images and chants stemming from pure misery and despair, I spend seven hours in observation with the last two dedicated to recording the story that had been haunting me for more than six years. The cries continue in the far distance of my hearing senses and I suddenly feel in my gut it is time to leave. I hurry to the bathroom to ensure the safekeeping of my memory card from the camera before riding back to the motel to get my luggage and catching the first available train back to Ho Chi Minh.

The ride back is absorbed in deep thought with the pendulum of my reasoning swaying back and forth. I stop by the motel to collect my luggage and exit as fast as I can. I feel mentally drained and physically exhausted as I inhale the remains of a war engraved and spread in different forms. I get to the train station to purchase the ticket Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh and it is revealed the next train will depart in four hours. As I sit in waiting, anxiety restrains my continued inner reflection every time a group of policemen enters the station believing they are looking for me. By the time I boarded the train I am comforted trusting this paranoia of thought will soon be forgotten. Twenty minutes into the train ride I am approached by someone asking who I am; I responded by affirming I am a tourist. After a rapid pause for contemplation he retorted by stating I am not a tourist but a well-known photographer, and left without further announcement. My seat is assigned by the window, and as I try to engage in the palette of colors the countryside offers in the far distance, the visual review keeps being interrupted by the imagery of hopelessness and dejection rolling in the film projector of my conscious mind. I gently place my head on the window, close my eyes and let the motion of the train rock me into a world of new hopes and possibilities, so I believed. The train horn announces the eminent arrival - 5 minutes to Ho Chi Minh City. I fold my thoughts for just a brief moment before gathering my entire luggage ahead of my exodus.

I see the taxi line from afar and advance my footsteps to escape the noise resonating from the crowds at the station and in haste to get into the first vacant taxi to the hotel. In my blurred recollection from a sudden attack by seven men of short but stocky build, two taxi drivers watched in absolute silence and horror the events that proceeded in the rounds of beatings and mugging. With blood overflowing from the left eye dripping onto my shirt, the body battered and bruised from all the lashing and two cameras ripped from the pockets of my trousers along with other personal documentation, I managed to escape this unexpected brutality and while one of the taxi drivers piloted in terror the route towards the hotel, I called my sister in Rome to organize with urgency a ticket on the first flight back home. Upon arrival and as I am getting out of the car after paying the fare ride, I am approached by two other men and before I know it the second round of thrashings targeting both sides of my ribcage followed with a vengeance, before stripping the cell phone hanging on my neck and the one used for the filming in the psychiatric hospital. Prudently, I had downloaded the entire reporting during the train ride from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh. Dripping in blood and with some difficulty in breathing, I enter the hotel lobby and simultaneously receive a call which is my sister advising all is set to leave Ho Chi Minh immediately. Among all the physical pain, the bare minimum left on my body stained with blood, remnants of both assaults, I remember waking up upon touched down at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome.

Will I ever be allowed back in Vietnam? Time will be the champion of justice…



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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
By Mais Istanbuli
11 Jan 2012

In preparation for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro launched a security program called “UPP,” Police Pacification Unit.
UPPs are permanent police posts installed in the “favelas,” the sprawling shantytowns that house most of the city’s 1.2 million residents. Their mission is to eliminate drug trafficking and organized crime within these communities.
While many believe the UPPs have helped to quell the violence and bring prosperity to the favelas, others see the pacification program as a temporary cover-up to Rio’s problems with social disparity.

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Trailer Grocery Store
Tindouf, Southwest Algeria
By Docphot
02 Jan 2011

This HGV trailer has been recycled into a grocery store.

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TTM Documentaries
Beirut, Lebanon
By Beirut Editor's Picks
24 Sep 2010

TRANSTERRA is becoming more than just a marketplace where producers can showcase and sell their documentaries. We are a resource for archive footage, and a community that provides collaboration opportunities.

The documentaries shown here are part of TRANSTERRA's greater catalog of options. Full-length screenings are available for most, and you can access these by sending an e-mail request to [email protected].

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Transition (Part 2 of 2)
Moscow, Russia
By Marina Fonda
03 Jan 2010

Wissam is a Journalism student in Moscow and former Syrian Army officer. After being forbidden by his advisor teacher of writing his final paper on the farce of Russian coverage of the conflicts on Syria, he decides to head back to his homeland to make a film and show Russians what's really going on in his country. But they seem to have already been persuaded by state TVs' official propaganda pro Bashar Al Assad.
This teaser refers to a full HD 50 min. documentary film.