PARCHIM INTERNATIONAL

In the small town of Parchim in northern Germany, a Chinese investor has bought a deserted military airport. He wants to create an international hub for air cargo transport – a new centre for global trade. Sheer megalomania or enviable drive and enthusiasm? A tragicomedy that takes a bitter look at the absurd reality of capitalism.

In 2007 Chinese investor Jonathan Pang bought an old military airport in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. In the small town of Parchim, he wants to create an international hub for air cargo transport between China, Europe and Africa. Mr Pang plans no less than to reroute international commodity flows and turn Parchim into a new centre of globalisation. But is this idea compatible with the north German provinces? The unemployment rate is high, the airport has laid idle for 17 years. A container on stilts acts as a temporary control tower, the runway is crumbling and staff speak no English. While Jonathan Pang’s German adviser Werner Knan gets increasingly bogged down by German bureaucracy, Mr Pang travels the world and with unfailing optimism endeavours to win the support of others for his undertaking. The filmmakers accompanied the investor over a period of seven years, encountering wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs, a German district administrator, a networking member of parliament and finally visiting Mr. Pangs home town in the remote Chinese province of Henan. Will he succeed in turning Parchim into a new centre of global trade?

Genre Feature Documentary, Society, Economy
Length 90' / 52' HD
Film by Stefan Eberlein, Manuel Fenn
Production LEMME FILM in co-production with NDR with the support of DFFF, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig- Holstein, Nordmedia, BKM and Filmbüro Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Original Title Parchim International
Year 2015

 

IMG_7807 Parchim_Knan+Pang+im+Auto
Pang-Businessmeeting IMG_8703

A Chinese investor buys the regional airport of Parchim in provincial north Germany to turn it into a hub for international cargo and passenger transport. Sheer megalomania or enviable drive and enthusiasm?
In 2007 Chinese investor Jonathan Pang bought an old military airport in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany. In the small town of Parchim, he wants to create an international hub for air cargo transport between China, Europe and Africa. Mr Pang plans no less than to reroute international commodity flows and turn Parchim into a new centre of globalisation. But is this idea compatible with the north German provinces? The unemployment rate is high, the airport has laid idle for 17 years. A container on stilts acts as a temporary control tower, the runway is crumbling and staff speak no English. While Jonathan Pang’s German adviser Werner Knan gets increasingly bogged down by German bureaucracy, Mr Pang travels the world and with unfailing optimism endeavours to win the support of others for his undertaking. The filmmakers accompanied the investor over a period of seven years, encountering wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs, a German district administrator, a networking member of parliament and finally visiting Mr. Pangs home town in the remote Chinese province of Henan. Will he succeed in turning Parchim into a new centre of global trade?

Human Interest / Economy / Feature Documentary
Length 90’/52′ HD
Film by Stefan Eberlein, Manuel Fenn
Co-production LEMME FILM with NDR with the support of DFFF, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Nordmedia, BKM and Filmbüro Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Original Title Parchim International

Festivals & awards:
DOK.fest München, kinokino Audience Award, Germany 2016
Visions du Réel, Switzerland 2016 (Regard Neuf)
achtung berlin – new berlin film award, Winner Best Documentary, Germany 2016
DOK Leipzig, Germany 2015