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Saturday, May 18, 2024

behind the tree | Curated Arthouse + Independent Films

Editors’ Choice

Behind the tree is the first German streaming platform for arthouse and independent films that is curated by German film professionals and thus puts the film industry in a new light.

Die Initiatoren Frederick Lau und Nicolàs Solar LozierFoto Carsten Beier

The aim of behind the tree is to present films that do not (have to) correspond to the taste of the masses. The programme is made up of about 1/3 German films, 1/3 Scandinavian films and 1/3 films from the rest of the world. The categories range from love stories and comedies to dramas, action, documentaries, horror and classics, including films with Klaus Kinski or Romy Schneider.

75 % of the revenue generated by the streaming platform directly benefits the filmmakers. The concept of behind the tree does not rely on the classic subscription. Instead, you pay for each film individually, currently 3 EUR per film.

The films to be selected are not chosen by algorithm and suggested to the audience by machine, but are hand-picked by people who know the medium of film very well by virtue of their profession. The curators are, for example, Jessica Schwarz, Frederick Lau, Jan Köppen, Kida Ramadan, Trystan Pütter and Nilz Bokelberg. The respective person selects films according to his or her taste and the interested viewer can then watch these recommended films. Or browse through the categories themselves. The films are each briefly described in terms of content and a preview is available free of charge.

Mitinitiator und Kurator Frederick Lau, Foto Carsten Beier

You won’t find Hollywood productions or works by major German production companies at behind the tree. Instead, there are arthouse and indie productions, short films and works by partly completely unknown filmmakers that were shown at festivals, for example, but were never seen anywhere afterwards.

DEEDS WORLD NicolasSolarLozier-Portrait-film-byCarstenBeier-behindthetree
Mitinitiator Nicolàs Solar Lozier, Foto Carsten Beier

Founded by Nicolas Solar Lozier, Frederick Lau and Cromatics in 2016, behind the tree started with 20 films and gradually built up the platform and its functions. In the meantime, the database is so well filled with over 500 films that behind the tree can now be presented to the public. Even in communication, behind the tree focuses on the highest possible individuality and, for example, has banners designed exclusively by hand by graphic artists:


In addition to the classic streaming-on-demand service, behind the tree offers other formats that allow viewers to experience selected arthouse and independent films in depth and in a contemporary way from home. Behind the tree is accompanied by the two podcast formats BEHIND THE TRESEN and Wood Talks.

In the film podcast BEHIND THE TRESEN, filmmakers talk about films in their favourite pub with behind the tree makers. The format is published monthly. The makers call their podcast honest and passionate like the films they make, the city they live in and the bars they visit. There are also plans to go on tour with the podcast. Not on big stages, but directly in the pubs, where the listeners can then sit at the bar.

Wood Talks is the podcast of FIRST STEPS and behind the tree. During walks through Berlin parks, the former artistic director of FIRST STEPS Andrea Hohnen gets to the heart of filmmakers she has met over the last 20 years at FIRST STEPS. Directors and actors, authors, musicians and producers such as Soleen Yusef, Maryam Zaree, Axel Ranisch, Edin Hasanovic, John Gürtler and many more reflect on their first cinematic steps, inspirations, formative encounters and current works – always on the move. This format is also published monthly.

Five film tipps by Frederick and Nicolàs

Of Fathers and Sons


Searching Eva


Die Chinesin




Symphony of Now


The long-term goal of behind the tree is to also address an international audience and to inspire and enthuse them for German film.


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