Thomas Wallner

Last updated
Thomas Selim Wallner
Nationality German/Canadian
Occupationfilmmaker/producer/game designer

Thomas Selim Wallner owner of DEEP Inc. [1] is an award-winning German/Canadian filmmaker. [2] [3] Wallner was a co-founder of Xenophile Media in 2001. He has worked with Rhombus Media since 1995. [4] Thomas Wallner is a producer, writer, director and game designer working in feature film, television, games and interactive media. In addition to producing innovative cross-media properties for television, he has written and directed eight award-winning feature documentaries that have been broadcast in more than 30 countries. [4]

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

Rhombus Media Ltd. is a film and television production company formed in 1978 at the York University Film Department, by Barbara Willis Sweete and Niv Fichman and based in based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Larry Weinstein joined soon after. Rhombus Media developed their reputation for producing high-quality, lush art films focusing on music, theatre and dance. The company has received many national and international awards for their work, including: several Emmys, one for Le Dortoir in 1990, one for Canadian Brass: Home Movies in 1992 and one win in 1993 for an episode of the Channel 4 Series Concerto featuring Aaron Copeland in 1993, as well as numerous Canadian Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture in 1993 for Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould and for The Red Violin in 1999. The Red Violin also garnered an Oscar for best original score in 2000. Rhombus also produced the award-winning television series Slings and Arrows, and Sensitive Skin.

A leading figure in the creation of participatory narratives he brought the underground genre of Alternate Reality Gaming into the Television mainstream, culminating in Xenophile Media's Emmy Award-winning Fallen [5] [6] and Regenesis. [7] [8]

An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players' ideas or actions.

In 2007 Wallner developed the story concept for Late Fragment, [9] Canada's first interactive feature drama produced by the NFB and the Canadian Film Centre.

Thomas is a recipient of numerous honours including two Emmy Awards [6] [6] with a total of five nominations, three Geminis, a Rose d’Or, two SXSW Interactive Awards, two Webbys and two CNMA's. [10] [11]

He was nominated for Interactive Producer of the Year at the 2011 CNMA awards. [12] [13] [14]

His documentary, The Guantanamo Trap won the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Hot Docs film festival. [15] [16] [17]

The Guantanamo Trap is a documentary film about four individuals whose lives were changed by their association with the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. The film was directed by Thomas Wallner and won the special jury prize at the 2011 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Wallner described being put on the "no-fly list" in 2005, after declining to submit to an iris-scan when he tried to travel to the USA. [3] He stated this was his inspiration for The Guantanamo Trap.

Selected filmography

Gardenia (2012) – Writer, Director - (In Production) The feature documentary captures the moving story of a group of ageing drag queens and transsexual artists who set out one last time to live the glamorous life of the famous. [18]

The Guantanamo Trap (2011) - Writer, Director – Theatrical Feature Documentary (Swiss, German, Canadian co-production) that tells stories from the U.S. detention camp, not only from the perspective of the captives, but also the captors. Hot Docs World Premiere. 2011 Hot Docs special Jury Prize. 2011 Cinefest NFB best Canadian Feature Doc Award. [19]

Inside Hana's Suitcase (2009) -Writer - Theatrical Feature Documentary about Hana Brady who was a young girl murdered in Auschwitz. [20]

Late Fragment (2007) – Story Concept - North America's first dramatic interactive feature film, a product of the Canadian Film Center and the NFB, lets the audience piece together and experience the cinematic narrative in a number of ways. Late Fragment retains the focus on complex character-driven stories surrounding the impact of violent crime on their lives. [9]

Tropicana (2006) - Writer, Director - The only film allowed to go behind the scenes at the famous Cabaret since the Cuban revolution.

Mozartballs (2005) – Writer - A tribute to Mozart featuring curious personalities that embody the spirit of the composer – from Swiss schoolteacher obsessed by all things Mozart, to an ex-pop musician in Oklahoma who believes that her body is inhabited by Mozart's spirit. [21]

Beethoven's Hair (2004) – Writer – A feature documentary based on the best-selling book that tells the story of a lock of hair cut from the head of Ludwig van Beethoven and its journey through time. Thomas received a Gemini Award for Best Writing of a Documentary Program or Series. [22] [23]

Solidarity Song-The Hanns Eisler Story (1996) – Co-Director, Co-Writer - A feature documentary on the German Communist composer. The film premiered at the Louvre in Paris, where it won the Image en classique award, given to the best arts film in the world over a three-year period. Thomas received two Gemini nominations for Best Writing and Best Directing of a Documentary Program or Series. [24]

My War Years: Arnold Schoenberg (1992) – Associate Director and Co-WriterA portrait of the composer. The film received a Gemini Award for Best Performing Arts Documentary, and Thomas was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Writing of a Documentary Program or Series. [25]

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  1. "Services - deep-inc".
  2. "Documentary holds up four-sided mirror to Guantanamo Bay". Deutche Welle. 2011-08-29. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-18. In Spain, criminal prosecution lawyer Gonzalo Boye, a victim of police torture himself after being sentence to 14 years in prison for allegedly assisting a kidnapping by a terrorist organization, has been working on a case against the Bush administration for unlawful detention and war crimes, including torture.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. 1 2 Joanna Lavoie (2011-04-29). "The Guantanamo Trap is about people, not politics, says its director". Inside Toronto. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-19. Wallner said he first started thinking about this concept when he attempted to travel to the United States, after former president George W. Bush was reelected, to research a film on Mozart. His refusal to give up his biometric data by submitting to an eye scan at Pearson International Airport resulted in an interrogation, the withholding of his passport and his placement on the American "terror list." More than five years later, Wallner's name has now been removed from that list.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. 1 2
  5. "Our Work - deep-inc".
  6. 1 2 3
  7. "Our Work - deep-inc".
  9. 1 2 "It's a pretty serious film. Did you always know that you wanted to make a film about Restorative Justice? :: Late Fragment".
  10. "Award Highlights Archives".
  11. "Clients | Xenophile Media".
  13. "Services - deep-inc".
  14. "Thomas Wallner – NATP 1991-92". Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Thomas also brought his expertise to the creation of the online documentary Beethoven’s Hair, which accompanied the feature film of the same title for which Thomas won a Gemini Award for “Best Writing in a Documentary”.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. "The Guantanamo trap". Hot Docs. 2011-05-26. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-19. Taxi to the Dark Side and Standard Operating Procedure hallmark a growing catalogue of documentaries emerging from the War on Terror. The Guantanamo Trap is a vital addition, highlighting four interconnected biographies that reveal the impact of gross injustice.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. "HotDocs 2011: The Guantanamo Trap". Hot Docs. 2011-05-23. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-18. Not that you need to be completely even-handed when discussing torture, but it’s quite fascinating to hear Diane Beaver (appointed legal advisor to the camp command at Guantanamo in early 2002) talk about why she wrote that initial memo and why she does not believe that any of those techniques bordered on torture (by what she terms as “any definition” of the word you’d care to name). The film itself is quite careful to never explicitly state that any of these methods are actually torture, but it’s hard to escape that conclusion when you hear people who have experienced it talk to the camera about it.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. "Documentaries, Current Affairs & Politics, People & Society". First hand films. Archived from the original on 2011-11-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  19. "Cinéfest announces award winners".
  22. "Beethoven's Hair | Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764: Environmental DVDS and Educational DVDS".
  25. "My War Years | Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764: Environmental DVDS and Educational DVDS".