Werner Penzel (Germany)

Werner Penzel was born in 1950 and grew up in the countryside in the South of Germany. In the 1960s, he was engaged primarily with music and poetry, in the early 1970s, his interest became fully focused on filmmaking. He studied at the Munich Film School, he cooperated with the Brazilian Theatre Company Oficina and travelled in South America, North Africa, India and Japan. After his succesfful films Vagabunden Karawane (1980), Adios Al Odio (1986) and others, he and author, film director and fellow traveler Nicolas Humbert founded the production company CineNomad in 1987. Their first major project was the music film Step Across the Border about English composer Fred Frith. Rather than a traditional portrait, the film represents a hymn on the process of creativity and the spirit of inventiveness. Premiered in 1990, the film earned international attention and received awards at numerous film festivals. In 2000, critics from the Cahier du Cinéma magazine ranked it among hundred most significant films of the 20th century.


  • Vagabunden Karawane/ Vagabond's Band
    82´, Germany, 1980
  • Bokra-Piraten der Stille
    50´, Germany, 1983
  • Adios Al Odio
    Germany, 1986
  • Lani und die Seinen-together with Nicolas Humbert
    45´, Germany, 1989
  • Step Across the Border-together with Nicolas Humbert
    90´, Germany/Switzerland, 1990
  • Middle of the Moment-together with Nicolas Humbert
    80´, Germany/Switzerland, 1995
  • Null Sonne No Point-together with Nicolas Humbert
    35´, Germany, 1997
  • Three Windows,hommage a robert lax-together with Nicolas Humbert
    3x45´, Germany/Switzerland/Japan/Finland, 1996
  • Why should I buy a bed when all that I want is sleep?-together with Nicolas Humbert
    45´, Germany, 1999
  • Brother Yusef-together with Nicolas Humbert
    52´, Germany, 2005
  • Lax Readings-together with Nicolas Humbert
    13´, Germany, 2006
  • Lucie et maintenant - Journal nomade-together with Nicolas Humbert&Simone Fürbringer
    86´, Switzerland, 2007

Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.