While studying at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, Eric Bouley (*1990) and Christopher Sassenrath (*1991) produced several short films, among them the science fiction short “Kryo”, which won the main prize as best genre film at the 2016 Genrenale in Berlin and was also nominated for the producers’ prize at the Sehsüchte student film festival. In late 2014, they founded handwritten Pictures GmbH.
In 2016, Bouley and Sassenrath won the Prime Time Award from ProSiebenSat.1 for a TV movie concept. They were honored twice with the RTL Start-Up prize: in 2016 for a sitcom concept and in 2017 for a series concept. In 2018, they received the first SKW Schwarz stipend within the framework of the Berlinale. In 2016, handwritten Pictures provided German service production/production management to the Austrian-German feature film “The Best of All Worlds,” which won the “Kompass-Perspektive” award at the 2017 Berlinale Festival and five Austrian Film Awards, among other honors.
In 2017, handwritten Pictures co-produced the ZDF/Arte TV-film “Ein Kind wird gesucht” (“A Child is Missing”), based on a true crime story. The film was directed by Urs Egger, while Heino Ferch, Silke Bodenbender, Johann von Bülow and Felix Kramer played the lead characters. Its first broadcast on Arte on December 15, 2017, reached a sensational 1.81 million viewers in Germany and 1.26 million in France, breaking a number of Arte records. “A Child is Missing” is currently ranked second on the Arte’s all-time leaderboard of audience ratings since its first broadcast in Germany. The main broadcast on ZDF on October 22, 2018, reached more than 5.4 million viewers.
In 2018, handwritten Pictures co-produced – in the same composition behind the camera as “A Child is Missing” – another TV-film inspired by actual events for ZDF and Arte. “Die Jagd” (“The Hunt”) will likely be broadcasted in late 2019.
Since 2018, handwritten Pictures GmbH is a 51-percent subsidiary of X-Filme Holding GmbH.