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We, Robert Cibis & Lilian Franck, think critically about the society in which we live in since high school. Both of us became filmmakers in order to question truisms through innovative storytelling. In 1998 we joined forces to found OVALmedia in order to make movies and events for the common good.

This mindset is self-evident in two of our most recent projects, Free Lunch Society (2017), which addresses the very real possibility of a universal basic income, and trustWHO (2018), a exposé into the influence of privatization on global healthcare. Over the years we have directed and produced a vast number of films on various subjects. This includes our 2010 theatrical documentary Pianomania, which centres on Steinway technician Stefan Knüpfer as he accompanies world-renowned pianists Lang Lang, Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Alfred Brendel in search of the perfect sound. Among the awards the film garnered was Locarno’s Semaine de la Critique Prize, the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the German Film Award for Best Sound Design. It also had a very successful cinema run, screening in 25 countries worldwide.

Recognizing and adapting to the new media landscape and its ever-developing integration of technology, commerce and art, OVALmedia is now pursuing ideas that transcend fixed media categories and disciplines. The documentary Free Lunch Society for example marks OVALmedia’s first foray into theatrical distribution, with the OVAL team coordinating a crowd-sourced premier event in 2018 that saw the film open in 100 German cinemas accompanied by 100 discussions. The same day several basic incomes were raffled, and the subject spread in TV, newspapers and animation films for Social media. With our major stakeholder in the project, about to recoup their entire investment, we are looking at reaching 25,000 paying filmgoers in Germany alone as the film begins its run in France on 19 September.

Inspired by this experience, we are concentrating on stewarding stories from the concept to both big and small screens, and events in real life. In order to reach this goal, we are establishing strong partnerships and working with social media globally, realizing that a target group – sometimes small in an individual country – can be massive worldwide. From our vast experience knowing the perspectives and difficulties of NGOs, film sales organizations, producers and directors, we help them make the best impact. Ultimately, our intent is to empower humans through understanding.

Robert Cibis Founder
Lilian Franck Founder
Amy Meyer Head of postproduction