Madsen and Redford make 3D documentary series

IN PRODUCTION. Six of the world's leading directors present their vision of 'a building's soul' in the ambitious 3D documentary project "Cathedrals of Culture". Danish Michael Madsen is joined by Robert Redford, Michael Glawogger, Karim Ainouz, Wim Wenders and James Marsh.

Six prominent directors will portray six of the world's architecturally significant buildings in six films that will explore 3D as a new language.

Danish Michael Madsen (Halden Prison in Norway), Austrian Michael Glawogger (the National Library of Russia), German Wim Wenders (the Berliner Philharmonie), Brazilian Karim Ainouz (Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris), English James Marsh (the Oslo Opera) and American Robert Redford (the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California) have joined forces in a new large-scale documentary series, "Cathedrals of Culture".

Each of the six filmmakers portrays a prominent building in a 26-minute film. The directors will take the viewer into a piece of architecture they consider especially significant and present their personal interpretation of the building's soul. The films will also explore the social context of the buildings in the interaction between the buildings and their users. If a building could talk, what would it say about us?

The most humane prison of the world

Michael Madsen has chosen to portray Halden Prison in Norway, drawn by the Danish architect company Erik Møller Arkitekter. Despite housing some of Norway's toughest criminals, it has been called "the world's most humane prison" because the construction plan, architecture and interior design are based on principles of rehabilitation: How does it affect inmates if there is art on the walls and a panoramic view of nature instead of barred windows?

The film explores the way people are affected by their environment – can a building be part of a person's rehabilitation and change into a 'better human being'?

3D as a new visual language

Wim Wenders, whose Oscar-nominated dance documentary "Pina" (2011) was critically acclaimed for its innovative use of 3D, is initiator and executive producer of the series. The six films in "Cathedrals of Culture" are produced in 3D and aims to contribute to the development of 3D as a new visual language. The series is produced directly for television. The films will also be made available in a 2D version for those broadcasters that can’t show 3D yet.

Wenders has already wrapped up the shooting of his film, while the other productions will be shot during the summer and fall. Expected TV release is in the spring 2014.

Final Cut for Real is major producer of Michael Madsen's film and co-producer of the other five in the series, with main producer Neue Road Movies. Danish producers are Anne Köhncke and Signe Byrge Sørensen. International sales are handled by Cinephil.

The series has received one million DKK in minor co-production subsidy from the Danish Film Institute.