Crossing Borders

Jakob Preuss:

Jakob Preuss, born in Berlin in 1975, studied law in Cologne and Paris and European studies in Warsaw. In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Preuss worked as CIS secretary for the human rights organization “Reporters without Borders,” and since 2008 he has worked for the Berlinale festival in the Panorama Dokumente series. The Other Chelsea is his feature film debut.

World premiere: November 19, 2010, IDFA – First Appearance Competition
The Other Chelsea – Eine Geschichte aus Donezk (The Other Chelsea – A Story from Donetsk)

Donetsk is the capital of the Donets Basin coal mining region deep in eastern Ukraine. Most of the people here – just like Sasha and Valya – work for little money in dilapidated mine shafts. Sasha and Valya both wish that the golden days of the Soviet Union would return. A few people have earned a lot of money since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This includes Kolya, who became rich conducting shady real estate deals. Officially, he is the Donetsk city council president in the “Party of Regions,” a traditionally pro-Russian party that regularly gets over 90% of the vote in Donetsk, but there’s no way he could afford his lifestyle on his salary alone.

For both sides of the social dividing line, one thing is clear – if you come from Donetsk, you’re an enemy of the Orange Revolution and fan of the local soccer team “Shakhtar Donetsk.” Billionaire Rinat Akhmetov invested generously in the team, and they achieve unexpected wins in the season that the film follows. But the sports successes made possible thanks to the money from the richest man in Ukraine make the political and social stagnation in the country only appear more stark. Outside the stadium, there is little hope for change ...

Written and directed by: Jakob Preuss
Camera: Eugen Schlegel, Pawel Kazantsev, Roma Jelenski
Editing: Markus Schmidt, Philipp Gromov, Lena Rem
Music: Dominik Sprungala
Producer: Kloos & Co Medien GmbH
HD, 16:9, 88 min. dialog language: Russian, commentary/subtitles: German or English
2012 Grimme Prize
The Other Chelsea was awarded the "Adolf Grimme Preis 2012" in the category "Information und Kultur / Spezial".


Picture Gallery

Film opening in Donetsk
The filmmaker traveled to Donetsk three times in 2007 and 2008, found his protagonists there, witnessed the political elections in the fall of 2007, and received permission from Shakhtar Donetsk to film during a Champions League match.