StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Killer Virus: Case Studies of co-productions on the AIDS & Ebola epidemics

The challenges of covering the Coronavirus pandemic are anticipated in two of my Case Studies:


  • The Rise of the Killer Virus is a scientific detective story.
  • It traces the pre-history of HIV back to the moment of its origination in Africa around 1908.
  • Key production partners:
    • Director: Carl Gierstorfer
    • Producer: Antje Boehmert, DOCDAYS Productions, Berlin
    • Co-pro partners Fabrice Estève, YUZU Productions, Paris, and Paul Pauwels, CONGOO, Brussels.
  • Funders:
    • Smithsonian Channel (North America)
    • ZDF in collaboration with ARTE (Germany & France)
    • China’s CCTV10 Science Channel
    • Belgium’s pubcasters RTBF (French) & VRT (Flemish)
    • Additional financing from the EU (MEDIA) and the Flemish Film Fund (VAF)
    • PBS International distributed for the rest of the world.
  • Budget: €550,000+

Still from In Ebola’s Wake


  • In Ebola’s Wake reveals the dangers involved in a fast turnaround film.
  • The Berlin-based team: producer Antje Boehmert and director Carl Gierstorfer.
  • They lacked initial financing, and filmed in a very high-risk location.
  • Key partners:
    • Al Jazeera America (since sadly closed)
    • SWR/ARTE: Germany / France
    • PBS International
    • Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • Budget: €300,000+

Read the detailed Case Studies:

Documentary Production Roadmap