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Portfolio Heiko De Groot


Denmark - Queen Margrethe and Her Summer Castle



Castle Gråsten is a summer residence of the Danish Queen. Before Margrethe II. goes on vacation in the idyllic South Jutland, every year the royal household and the Danish people make elaborate preparations. The gardeners pretty up the castle's garden, the Royal Lifeguard rehearses the changing of the guards and the ringriders train for the highlight of the summer: the riders parade in front of the Queen.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


The Beardogs of Nevada



A bear on the porch. It is looking for food around humans. This poses potential danger for men and bear. To avoid these bears getting shot Nevada's official bear biologist Carl Lackey came up with an idea. With his Karelian Beardogs he teaches the bears a lesson they won't forget. That keeps them away for a while. Heiko De Groot has followed Lackey at his work.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


America's Natural Wonders - The Adventure



Awarded with the Horst-Stern-Prize for the best Wildlife Film 2016 in Berlin-Potsdam.

This film about a group of wildlife filmmakers shows how much work the cinematographers had to invest to get their brilliant shots of untamed wildlife. With their love for nature they spent three years in different nation parks of the US to film for the eight sequels series of 'America's Natural Wonders'. Heiko De Groot tells their stories and by that produces a portrait of the men and the habitat 'National Park'.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


The Moose Detective



Awarded with Finalist Awards at the New York Festivals, the Deauville Green Awards and the Wildlife Vaasa Festival.

Moose are an iconic species and of great importance to Sweden. That is why the country counts on a very special expert - the moose detective. Recently, a problem has developed on Öland regarding its moose. For a few years now on the island, the moose calves have been dying shortly after birth. It's a mystery. Every effort is made to save them. The island has called upon the moose detective to investigate. He follows several leads. Soon one of the suspects is identified - climate change. But it is not easy to convict the culprit. There are other suspects as well, the food shortage for example. Maybe they have joined hands as accomplices.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


Scotland's Largest Firth - Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth



On the Firth of Forth there lie plenty of Scottish gems, the capitol Edinburgh, the former Queen's Royal Yacht 'Britannia', the largest gannet colony on Bass Rock, the red Forth Bridge and many more. Heiko De Groot has visited the locals and tells their stories.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


50 Years Wildlife in the Living Room - Wildlife Films at NDR



With 'Expeditions into the Animal Kingdom' Heinz Sielmann once started to bring nature and wildlife into the living room. Since then wildlife film has undergone a long process of devellopment. This documentary shows the way from the first black and white images to super slow motion and highly stabilised aerials.
Script and director: Heiko De Groot.


Under the Spell of the Seasons



The 20 sequels series reports on the seasonal changes in nature and follows people who's work and life still depends on the seasons.
Dramaturgical consulting: Heiko De Groot.


daily report - Dramatic Events in the National Park



This three minutes Mockumentary with Andreas Hoppe, Sabine Kaack, Robert Missler and Katharina Schütz reports on the dramatic events in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park and shows how nature can 'move'.
Script and Director: Heiko De Groot.


Bermuda - Crown Jewl in the Atlantic



The Bermudas arte considered 'dream islands'. They are a British oversea territory. A few rocks in the middle of the ocean, where the queen is head of state. Even though the islands are very British, they have their own culture. Heiko De Groot has visited the islands and brought back a caleidoscop of stories from the Bermudas.

... more at NDR Fernsehen.


Royal Mounties - Canada's Mounted Police



The officers of the Royal Mounted Police are affectionately called Mounties, even though today most of them are of course riding patrol cars and are not 'mounted' on horses anymore. Only a small group of about forty men and women with the national police force are still on horses, the Musical Ride. To join the riders applicants have to pass a difficult training. Heiko De Groot has followed a candidate from her last shift in the patrol car to the final decission in front of the Mounties' commission.

... more at Arte and at GEO.


Australia - The Adventure



Australia is gigantic, hot and in its core quite empty. This made the challenge for the four wildlife cinematographers who went down under to film a wildlife series even more difficult. The biggest danger is waiting out on the roads in the middle of nowhere where they could easily die from thirst in the heat, if their car would break down. And to find any animals in this vast country isn't easy either. Heiko De Groot lets the cinematographers tell their stories.

... more at Arte.


With Headscarf and Pistol - A German Police Woman in Afghanistan



For women it is difficult to work outside the house in Afghanistan. It even gets dangerous when they choose traditionally male dominated occupations. But the Afghan police neeeds women for tasks like body searches. Men are not allowed to touch other women.
The German police woman Vanessa is going to Afghanistan to support the training of female Afghan police officers. She is blond, self-confident and used to the liberties of the west. But the female recruits come from a completely different bachground. Relatives often dislike their choice of career and the Taliban threaten the women and their families with death. Heiko De Groot has followed Vanessa while in Afghanistan.

... more at WDR.


Raccoons - Immigrants from the Wild West



When hunters and breeders introduced raccoons to Germany in 1934, they probably didn't consider the extreme consequences. Today many people would like to see the animals leave. But are raccoons really as bad as their image? In this docu-fiction based on a script by Christian Baumeister director Heiko De Groot shows the current state of scientific knowledge about how raccoons live in Germany and how native animals cope withem.


ARTE Discovery - Ireland's Coasts



five part series

Ireland, the green island, is just a quarter of the size of Germany. The five part series takes the viewer all the way around. Along the way we encounter stunning landscapes and warm-hearted people, from a Rugby-Lady to an Eagle-Ranger. Series Producer Heiko De Groot has coordinated the production of the series and went filming two sequals himself, one about the stormy Nothwest and the other about the conflictual Northern Ireland.

... more at ARTE about episode 4 and episode 5. Title track composed by Vince Bahrdt (Murdersound, Orange Blue).


360° GEO Reportage - Scotland - Competition, Clan and Queen



Balmoral Castle is the summer residence of the british Queen. Every year she comes to visit the Highland Games, competitions in tossing caber and traditional dancing. Her neighbour is the Farquharson Clan, with an estate half the size of Berlin. The Chief is 92 years old, but still he has summoned his clan members for a gathering this year. Heiko De Groot follows the gathering as well as the Highland dancer Rebecca Thow and the heavy athlete Greg Walker from their training lessons to the final competitions.

... more at GEO and ARTE.

Broadcast dates
Sa., 07.01.2012, 19:30 pm, ARTE, 45 min.
Su., 08.01.2012, 13:00 pm, ARTE, 45 min.
Fr., 13.01.2012, 07:00 am, ARTE, 45 min.
Fr., 13.01.2012, 11:50 am, ARTE, 45 min.
Sa., 14.01.2012, 10:10 am, ARTE, 45 min.


Wildes Skandinavien - Das Abenteuer



Scandinavia is seen as the last large territory with little civilisation in Europe. In some places nature still remains undisturbed. The fascinating creatures that live there are shown by the seven sequel ARD-wildlife-programme "Wild Scandinavia". Four cinematographers with their teams went out to film for three years in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Greenland. In his "Making Of" Heiko De Groot shows the adventures of the camera crews and tells of their worries about the nature of the north.

... more at ARD.


Manatees Like It Hot - Florida's Seacows



How seamen ever got the idea to call the cumbersome and bearded manatees mermaids can't be answered. But even today this species of the seacows still fascinates people. Underwater cinematographer Thomas Behrend wants to find out more about Florida's mysterious creatures from the expert Bob Bonde. Heiko De Groot has followed him on his journey.

... more at NDR Television.


50 Years Expeditions into the Animal Kingdom



Double Feature

The oldest natural history series in German television is celebrating its fiftieth birthday. Everything startet with Peter Scott's friend Heinz Sielmann in 1960. Today the high end productions like "Wild Russia" are broadcasted all around the globe. In this documentary Heiko De Groot lets Inge Sielmann and a lot of wildlife filmmakers tell of their experiences with animals, of the great scientific discoveries of the series and the smaler entertaining anekdotes.

... more at NDR Television.


360° GEO Reportage - India's Jungle Book Clinic



India's human population is growing while the number of wildlife rapidly declines. By now any individual is important for the authorities to save endagered species from extinction. That's why in Assam together with the IFAW they have founded a clinic and rehabilitation centre for wildlife. The only one of its kind in India. With a lot of personal involvement a married couple of veterinarians Phulmoni Gogoi and Prasanta Boro rescue rhinos, elephants, tigers, panthers and leopards. Heiko De Groot has followed them on their job.

... more at GEO and ARTE as well as in the Making Of.


Serengeti - The Adventure



"The endless land", which is the meaning of the word Serengeti in the language of the Massai, is a paradise for wildlife cinematographers. Bernhard Grizmek once made the place famous, now Reinhard Radke has spend two years there for the first cinema feature film on the Serengeti in a long time. Heiko De Groot shows him at work.

... more at NDR Television.


Giants in the Mediterranean - The Search for Sperm Whales



Nominated for a Goldene Kamera in the category Best Information. [nomination for the Goldene Kamera]

[NDR Interview] [Whale Protection]

Awarded 2. price Environmental Conservation Films at the Wildlife Vaasa Festival 2010 in Finland (in its international fifty minute version Ocean Stories - The Giant & The Phantom.).

Although ancient greeks knew about them, sperm whales in the Mediterranean were forgotten for several thousand years. Only in the 1990ies the were rediscovered so to say. The greek scientist Alexandros Frantzis is surveying the isolated population for more than ten years. Now he is going on an expedition with the wildlife cinematographer and Sielmann-Award-winner Thomas Behrend. They become witness to behaviour which has never been observed with sperm whales. Heiko De Groot has followed them on their journey.

... click here for the video-interview-excerpt with the producer/director. More at NDR Television and here. Soundtrack composed by Vince Bahrdt (Murdersound, Orange Blue).

screenplay and director: Heiko De Groot
main protagonists:
Thomas Behrend
Dr. Alexandros Frantzis

1. camera: Christina Karliczek
2. camera und sound: Tobias Kaufmann
editing: Iryna Tietje
composer: Vince Bahrdt (Murdersound, Orange Blue)
editorial staff: Susanne Lummer
managing editor: Wolf Lengwenus
managing director NDR Naturfilm: Jörn Röver
production: Studio Hamburg DocLights / Blue Planet Film
on behalf of the NDR


Amongst Polarbears - Adventure in the Russian Arctic



Sixthousand kilometres away from Germany, between Russia and Alaska, far off in the arctic ocean lies Wrangel Island. Here on a rock half the size of Schleswig-Holstein the wildlife cinematographer Uwe Anders stayed for four months cut off from the rest of the world. Mainly he wanted to film polarbears. Without a car and without deadly firearms he had to face the bears without protection. Only with a long wooden stick the guiding park ranger would try to keep the animals at distance. Heiko De Groot lets the cinematographer tell his adventure of a summer.


360° GEO Reportage - The Narzissus Island off of Cornwall



The Isles of Scilly lie in the ocean forty kilometres behind the end of the world, the "Landsend" of Cornwall. A microcosm with various habitats for humans as well as animals. Keith Low has been field manager on a narzissi farm in the Scillies for a quarter of a century. Now he is supposed to retire. This will give him more time to fish. But soon there might be strict rules for fishing, if his fellow eco friendly islanders will succeed in having the islands declared a protected marine conservation zone. Heiko De Groot has followed Keith on his last days on the farm until he retires.

... more at GEO and ARTE as well as in the Making Of.


NaturNah - Lord of Gannets and Guillemots - The Birdwarden of Helgoland



Every year Helgoland turns into a roadhouse for migrating birds on their way across the north german bay to scandinavia. It's a busy time for the head of the ornithological station Dr. Ommo Hüppop. Doing his research he has discovered that birds migrate to the north more than two weeks earlier than they used to, do to the climate change. Heiko De Groot shows the scientist at his research on migration and the guillemot high jump.


360° GEO Reportage - The Best Sheepdogs of Wales
360° GEO Reportage - Worldchampion On Four Paws



Border collies are thought of as the most intelligent dogs in the world. Every three years they prove their skills at the World Sheepdog Trials. In 2005 the welsh sheep farmer Nigel Watkins missed to become world champion by just half a point. Heiko De Groot followed the runner up in 2008 all the way from his training in spring until the World Trials in fall, to see, if the farmer would become world champion this time.

... more at GEO and ARTE.


Wild Russia - The Adventure



Awarded 2. price Best German Film at NaturVision 2009.

Awarded with the Vaasa University: International Students Special Award at the Wildlife Vaasa Festival 2010 in Finland.

Russia is the biggest country on earth. Many regions are still cut off from todays civilization. The ARD-nature-series "Wild Russia" set out for these remote places. Over three years more than ten film crews have shot about sixhundret hours of footage. In his "Making Of" Heiko De Groot shows how many dangers and privations the filmers had to conquer. Some of them were lucky to survive.

... more at WDR and NDR as well as in the NDR trailer.


360° GEO Reportage - Alligatorhunt in Florida



Florida's growing civilization is crowding alligators in their habitat. The state is calling on trappers to remove the animals from backyards. But scientists and some civilians now wonder, if it is necessary to kill the gators. Heiko De Groot has followed trappers, scientists and concerned civilians around in Florida.

... more at GEO, ARTE and WDR as well as
in the Making Of.


ARD Zoo-Docu-Series - Wolf, Bear & Co.



In 2006 forty episodes of "Wolf, Bear & Co." were shot for the ARD at the Game Park Lüneburger Heide. Reruns air regularly at the syndicates stations. Eight sequels were created by the author Heiko De Groot: "Those six months were instructive. For example, browsers and grazers can be more dangerous than generally thought of, they aggresively defend themself, while some predators prefer to move out of the way and hide."
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