A narrative platformer about powerlessness, hope, and resistance

The player is thrown into a divided world. It's our world, a hundred years ago. The Poison War has laid everything to ruin. A single civilization managed to escape and now lives, protected from the life-threatening air, beneath a giant glass dome, high up in the mountains. This is the White City, a seeming utopia made out of cement, glass, and steel. It is powered by coal energy and spits its emissions into the surrounding wasteland, an ever-growing cloud of smoke and steam. In the shadow of this cloud – protected from the air's poisonous fumes by the thick blanket of smoke – a slum has grown. This is Tin Town, cloaked in darkness and painted black by the soot, an improvised heap of tin and rubble clinging to the cold, bright glass. In the mines of Tin Town, armies of workers toil away, providing the White City with its energy. Thus, an unholy co-existence has risen, characterized by rejection, propaganda, and one-sided violence.

In Shadow of Steam, the player takes control of two children, a girl from the White City and a boy from Tin Town. Both want to escape, she from the conformity of a totalitarian society, he from the poverty and cruelty of the slum. For that they need each other's help. Switching between the two children, the player embarks on a dark and epic adventure and leads them ever deeper into a bleak world they must try to escape.

Shadow of Steam twice received funding by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.


Genre: Cinematic puzzle platformer
Mode: Single player with two protagonists
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Engine: Unity 3D and self-developed Tools
Team: Daniel Wagner (Game Director, Lead Artist, Author)
Christian Koschmieder (Lead Developer)
Timo Maier (Co-Author, Sound, Producer)
Roman Roitman (Producer, Test Management)
Holger Schulz (Artist)
Moritz Abeln (Developer)
Neysha Castritius (Character & 3D-Artist, Animations)

An epic, nostalgic, story-driven game experience

A little girl, a broken family and a gloomy magical forest ruled by a witch from ancient times. Wooma is the fantastic story of young Dorothy, who stumbles into a fairy tale brought to life by her powers of imagination. She is forced to deal with old gods gone mad, all the while trying to save her family from falling apart.

In this beautiful hand-painted 2D sidescroller the player is able to control four characters at the same time and use their special powers to play in his very own style. The main character Dorothy has an unique skillset of spells driven by magical melodies to fight against Wooma's witchcraft. But the ancient witch is not the only enemy to deal with: The dark forest itself – habitat of strange creatures – is a living, breathing organism that reacts to the player's actions.

Wooma is designed from the ground up to be both a feature film and a video game, allowing audiences of all ages to explore the world first created in Karol Kalinowski's comic book from different perspectives. While the film is a classical adventure story, the game will expand on this theme of nostalgia with a story-driven genre mix of RPG, platforming action and adventure puzzles.

The game received concept funding by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.


Genre: narrative action/puzzle platformer + RPG elements
Mode: Single player
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Engine: Unity 3D and self-developed Tools
Team: Daniel Wagner (Game Director, Lead Artist), Christian Koschmieder (Lead Developer), Timo Maier (Game Designer, Author), Roman Roitman (Producer, Test Management, Quality Assurance), Moritz Abeln (Developer), Neysha Castritius (Character & 3D-Artist, Animations), Holger Schulz (Artist)

An interactive journey through civil war, greed and political failure

Congo 360 is part of the transmedia project The Congo Tribunal, directed by acclaimed theatre director and author Milo Rau (IIPM) and produced by award-winning documentary director/producer Arne Birkenstock (Fruitmarket). In 2015, the theatre project was called "one of the most ambitious pieces of political theatre ever staged" by The Guardian. It creates an unshrouded portrait of one of the biggest and bloodiest economic wars in human history, which cost up to 6 million lifes so far.

In 2017, a cinematic documentary release and the interactive project Congo 360 will round up the transmedia project with a 3D web experience that will also be adapted into a VR-Installation. You will live through the cases presented to the tribunal from the perspective of a victim – in an interactive narrative which works like a first person video game.

The player is thrown right into the middle of a massacre in the village of Mutarule. Heavily wounded, he tries to escape the slaughter – not to save his own life, but to reach the headquarter of the UN peacekeepers; to get help. He will go on a journey through murderous madness. Caught in a febrile delirium, he will face the crimes of unscrupulous corporations, corrupt politicians and cowardly bureaucrats who are seemingly beyond the power of the law.

The project was funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany's TURN, a program for German-African cooperation in the arts.


Director Milo Rau
Producer Arne Birkenstock
Interactive Director Daniel Wagner
Lead Developer Christian Koschmieder
Lead Artist Yves Kolundwa
Story & Game Design Timo Maier
Interactive Producer Roman Roitman
Developer Moritz Abeln
Visual Artists Neysha Castritius
Holger Schulz

The thin red line between fiction and truth, reality and dream, east and west

The protagonists of Dream Away, who work in the tourist industry of Sharm El Sheikh, are faced with an existential dilemma. In the shadows of the gaudy hotel facades they are forced to live in the no man's land between two worlds. For some of them, western values symbolize the independence they dreamt of since the revolution. For others, the sun-soaked coastal strip that is surrounded by nothing but sand and sea water is nothing but a purgatory full of sinners. Yet for all of them, life in Sharm El Sheikh represents a crawl on the thin line between the deeply rooted traditions of their ancestors and the possibilities of the western lifestyle with its promises of consumption, sex and self-determination.

Walking the streets of Sharm El Sheik is like getting lost inside a theatre play where the stage designer went mad: polished fictitious motto facades side by side with dinosaur dummies and larger-than-life statues of comic characters – it seems that reality itself is only fractured memory. The experimental documentary works like a broken mirror: it reflects the narrative identities of the protagonists, who play their own perceived presents and imagined futures in reenactments right in the middle of the surrealistic tourist stronghold Sharm El Sheikh.

Dream Away is a co-production of Monokel and Fig Leaf with WDR. The film received funding from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Catapult Film Fund (USA), the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Doha Film Institute, the Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund as well as the Berlinale Talents Doc Station Development Grant.

Documentary / Germany, Egypt / 85min. / HD CAM / Colour


Languages: Arabic, Russian, German, French, English
Directors: Marouan Omara, Johanna Domke
Producer: Roman Roitman, Mark Lotfy
Co-Producer: Arne Birkenstock
DOP: Jakob Beurle

A dark comedy about origin, identity and social adaptability

Shortly after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, a Mizrahi Jewish family emigrates from Morocco. Mousa, the insecure head of the family, his wife Rachel and their seven years old daughter Golda try to settle into life in Haifa.

Entering their newly assigned home, the family is surprised by the haste with which the former Palestinian occupants must have fled. Among their many leftovers, the Jewish family finds one that is particularly troublesome – a big talking parrot called Saeed. Like an annoying poltergeist from the past, he haunts the family in their new life. The situation escalates when Mousa invites their neighbors over, hoping to benefit from the social influence of the wealthy Ashkenazi family. The one thing he did not reckon with was Saeed telling stories of earlier days.

Recipient the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung 2015

Short fiction/ Jordan / 18min. / HD CAM / Colour


Languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish
Directors: Darin Sallam & Amjad Al Rasheed
Producer: Roman Roitman, Deema Azar
Screnplay: Amjad Al Rasheed, Darin Sallam & Rifqi Assaf
Cast: Hend Sabry
Ashram Barhoum
Yasmine Ben Amara

The odyssey of a young woman searching for a buried part of her own story

Nadja Bobyleva doesn't know who her father is. She was never allowed to meet him. Over the years, she developed a permanent feeling of being a stranger, which became a strong part of her identity.

After decades of doubts and reservations, Nadja decided to leave her shell and get to know the familiar stranger from her dreams. She's excited – and scared. Will she find him? What if he doesn't want to meet her or if he doesn't accept her as his daughter? Is he even alive? With a troubled mind but an open heart Nadja embarks on a long journey, travelling from Cologne via St. Petersburg, Moscow and Rostow to Charkow in the Ukraine. Her only companion is a video camera to document her journey into the unknown.

Vater. Mutter. Ich. received post-production grant from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

Documentary / Gemany / 80min. / HD CAM / Colour


Languages: German, Russian
Director: Nadja Bobyleva
Producer: Roman Roitman
Art Director: Daniel Wagner
Animator: Yorgos Karagiorgos

Sophia (Feature Film)

Sophia, written by Laura Solbach, is a story about two lost souls who experience for the first time in their lifes, what it's like to have a home worth fighting for.

Ada is highly sensitive, seventeen and desperate. She is runs away from home, mainly from her father, who constantly raped her. What nobody knows, is that Ada is carrying a child. By coincidence she meets the nineteen years old Kevin, a former drug dealer, who just returned from prison. His only wish is to lead, in his words, a normal fucking life. Kevin let Ada stay in his flat and over the time a relationship unfolds between the two of them based on trust, respect and tenderness – a unity none of them had ever before. But there are always leftovers from the past, especially if you made your money in drugs.

Sophia received a funding to develop the screenplay by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.


Awakenings (Feature Film)

From acclaimed writer-director Jure Pavlovic, Awakenings is a beautiful and subtle film about death as a chance of reunion for family that fell apart. 72 years old Anka is mortally ill, living a solitary life in a rural part of Croatia. Still, she has an incredible life force and hides her true emotions behind an austere mask – she sees faults in everyone and everything.

Her daughter Jasna returns home for the first time after ten years, to sign legal papers that would allow forced hospitalization. Yet something unexpected happens: Jasna, despite feeling nervous around the continuously bleating old woman, starts to understand her situation and is slowly dragged into Anka's world.


The Maiden's Pond (Feature Film)

Sixty-five years old Salma is living alone in a village in Mount Lebanon. She survived all these years, protecting her independence, finally reaching her peace by letting go of any attachments or sense of rebellion. But the past did not let go of her. Thuraya, her estranged daughter returns to the village, defeated, divorced and pregnant.

The Maiden's Pond tells the story of a mother and her returning daughter and their attempts to reconstruct their lives with and against each other. What connects these two women is an inheritance of loss, handed down across generations inspite of their rebellions. Bassem I. Breish will be the director of the feature film, who wrote the screenplay as well in collaboration with Ghassan Salhab.

The Maiden's Pond won the ART Award at Dubai Film Connection and received the Development Grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.


Roads into Slavery (Transmedia Documentary)

The interactive narrative tells the stories of people around the world who were forced into slavery. Users are able to explore these tragic destinies on an interactive story map, which reveals in a both intriguing and shocking way the routes and cruelties of slavery today. The map combines high-resolution satellite pictures with audio collages and multimedia, creating an intuitive, yet sober and haunting user experience about a forgotten crime of global proportions.

Raods into Slavery is one part of a transmedia project, which is centered around the feature length documentary Slaves – Auf den Spuren moderner Sklaverei by Marc Wiese, produced by iFage and co-produced by WDR/ARTE.

Roads into Slavery was awarded concept funding by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and was chosen by the DOK.fest München for its Documentary Campus Open Training Session.

No. 09/16 — August 14th, 2016

Monokel @ Gamescom & Respawn

Hey there, Monokel is at this year's Gamescom and Respawn. The prototype of our game Shadow of Steam will be shown at both events. You can visit us either Monday or Tuesday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Indie Game Expo on Respawn or in the Game Area of Medienland NRW (Hall 3.2, Booth C-014/B-015) on Wednesday. Our Technical Director Christian "Koschi" Koschmieder will also do a short presentation on stage at the Respawn Indie Expo on Monday. Looking forward to meeting you there!

Many thanks to the awesome people of Respawn, Indie Game Expo, Mediencluster NRW and the Film- und Medienstfitung NRW, to have us on both events.

No. 08/16 — July 19th, 2016

Our new videogameWooma received first funding

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW supports our new game Wooma with a funding for concept. The game is in an early stage of development. With the funding we are able to bring the ideation to the next level of a worked out concept.

Wooma is designed from the ground up to be both a feature film and a video game, allowing audiences of all ages to explore the world first created in Karol Kalinowski’s comic book from different perspectives. The game will expand the theme of a classical adventure story with a story-driven genre mix of RPG, platforming action and adventure puzzles.

No. 07/16 — July 18th, 2016

Funding for the screenplay of Sophia

Once again, we’ve got a funding from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. This time for the development of the screenplay of Sophia written by Laura Solbach. The feature film is about the touching story of the two runaways Ada and Kevin.

Ada is running from her raping father, who got her pregnant, while Kevin tries to escape from his past as a drug dealer. By coincidence, their paths cross and a relationship of trust and deeply understanding unfolds between the two of them.

No. 06/16 — June 16th, 2016

The Congo Tribunal @ Dokville

The transmedia project The Congo Tribunal was shown as work in progress at this year’s Dokville in Ludwigsburg. Together with the mastermind of the project Milo Rau and Arne Birkenstock of fruitmarket, Monokel’s creative director Daniel Wagner and co-producer Roman Roitman discussed with the acclaimed film director Andres Veiel the importance of the project, the financing and the production.

Monokel’s part in the project is to develop the web-format, a 360° playable graphic novel, which will throw the user right into the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a conflict which cost nearly 6 million people their lifes.

No. 05/16 — June 10st, 2016

Website launch of Asylum in Germany

An initiative of the Cologne Refugee Council together with various Cologne filmmakers and producers decided to support refugees with key information on the German asylum process. The initiative is supported by the Film- and Medienstiftung NRW.

The result is an information film for refugees in Germany translated into 13 languages. The animated short deals with the hearing at the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Monokel did their part and did the technical development and coding of the website.

No. 04/16 — June 9st, 2016

Funding of Congo 360 by TURN

TURN is a Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.

The program established by the Germany’s Federal Cultural Foundation funded the transmedia project The Congo Tribunal, which also means that the production of Congo 360, a web based 360° playable graphic novel and additional VR-installation, is about to begin. We like to thank TURN very much for the support!

No. 03/16 — May 4st, 2016

Transmedia project Roads into Slavery @ Dok.fest München

Our transmedia project Roads into Slavery, which was supported by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, was chosen by the DOK.fest München for its Documentary Campus Open Training Session. Timo Maier and Daniel Wagner had the chance to pitch the project in front of experts from the media industry.

The interactive narrative about people around the world who were forced into slavery received very good feedback from the experts as well as from the audience. Beside from that, it was very nice to meet with old partners and new friends from all fields of the industry.

No. 02/16 — April 1st, 2016

Shadow of Steam @ Quo Vadis

We are happy to announce that the prototype of our game Shadow of Steam will be shown to the public at this year’s Quo Vadis for the first time. From the 18th – 20th of April, the international game industry will come together to pitch and to learn in Berlin. The conference is one of the most important gatherings for game professionals in Europe.

A big thank you to the organizers for choosing our game for Indie Game Expo in co-op with Indie Arena. Three days of pitching and presenting, meetings with great people and inspiring talks lie ahead. If you are at the conference and would like to give Shadow of Steam a try, don’t hesitate and visit us.

No. 01/16 — January 15st, 2016

Dream Away receives support by the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund helps enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their own stories and contribute to a new generation of the African documentary community.

Eight African film projects have been chosen to receive a grant from Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund. Our feature length documentary Dream Away is one of them! Thanks to the Jury, we are very happy and looking forward to the start of the shooting.

No. 07/15 — December 12st, 2015

The Maiden's Pond won ART Award

The feature film The Maiden’s Pond by the Lebanese director and writer Bassem Breiche won the ART Award of this year’s Dubai Film Connection. The DFC is the co-production market of the Dubai International Film Festival. It’s purpose is to raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world.

The Maiden’s Pond is one of our projects in development. The film tells the story of a mother and her returning daughter and their attempts to reconstruct their lives with and against each other right in the middle of nowhere, a little village in Mount Lebanon.

No. 06/15 — September 20st, 2015

Last day of shooting The Parrot

Today we finished the shooting of our short fiction film The Parrot in Jordan. We were very pleased to work with Ashraf Barhom and Hend Sabry, two amazing and important movie stars of the Arab world. The short film, which won this year’s Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, has received much attention in the local media.

We like to thank the whole team for their good spirit and great work. Well done! To take a closer look behind the scenes visit the project’s Facebook Page.

No. 05/15 — September 4st, 2015

Dream Away receives funding from the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

The Film- und Medienstiftung supports the production of Dream Away, our first feature length documentary about young Egyptians and their search for a new identity in one of the most surrealistic places of the world. The documentary by Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke takes the spectator deep into a state of uncertainty between fiction and truth, reality and dream, east and west.

This funding is the last step to close the financing of the project. We would like to thank the jury for giving us the opportunity to tell this extraordinary story.

No. 04/15 — July 30st, 2015

Concept funding for Roads into Slavery

Roads into slavery is an interactive narrative that tells the story of one of the biggest crimes today: modern slavery. Contrary to popular belief, it did not end with its abolition in the 19th century and affects 36 million people worldwide. It’s the only transmedia project which received support in this round of interactive content funding by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

Together with ifage Filmproduktion, we are developing an interactive story map that depicts the cruelties of this global yet forgotten crime. The project is based on the documentary Slaves – Auf den Spuren moderner Sklaverei directed by the award-winning director Marc Wiese.

No. 03/15 — February 11st, 2015

Good Days for Monokel @ Berlinale

What a great week this year’s Berlinale is turning out to be. Adding to the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for The Parrot, our documentary Dream Away received the Doc Station Development Grant at Berlinale Talents!

This grant was given out for the first time. Dream Away was chosen out of ten competing documentary projects. We share our happiness with the film’s directors, Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke. The financing of the project is coming along nicely, we are very optimistic to start shooting in 2016.

No. 02/15 — February 10st, 2015

Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for The Parrot

Each year, the Robert Bosch Stiftung issues three Film Prizes for international cooperation between young German and Arab filmmakers to realize a joint film project. This year, the Jury of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded our short fiction film The Parrot for an original story about displacement and social adaptability.

The film, as the jury acknowledged in their statement, is told from an unusual perspective with lightness and great love for details. With the prize, we are able to finance the project and start shooting in Jordan later this year.

No. 01/15 — January 22st, 2015

Thank you for the sholarship, Mediengründerzentrum NRW

Monokelis among the twelve companies from Nordrhein-Westfalen chosen for a scholarship from the Mediengründerzentrum NRW. The program’s purpose is to connect, support and counsel all kinds of newcomers in the sector of media productions, especially film production and interactive development, covering a broad spectrum including animation, camera work, game development, and interactive arts.

Adding to a wide span of seminars held by media experts from all relevant fields, the Mediengründerzentrum NRW offers coaching and access to a huge network of media professionals in this region. Thanks a lot, dear Jury, for the trust in our idea!

An independent development studio for films, games and transmedia narratives

In January 2015, Monokel was founded with an idea both simple and necessary: Merging the different disciplines of film, game and transmedia production in one company's DNA. Creating extraordinary story experiences for the cinema and the gaming market, for virtual reality and the web. Telling stories worth telling to a curious audience, with all available tools and techniques.

A native transmedia approach to storytelling and production

At the heart of the company are the four founders: Christian Koschmieder, Timo Maier, Roman Roitman and Daniel Wagner are first of all storytellers who got together to start Germany's first native transmedia company. Combining our very diverse toolsets as producers, designers, writers and engineers allows us to develop our projects for an always evolving multi-screen and multi-platform media environment. We're passionate collaborators with the skillset to develop complex ideas into works with purpose and relevance.

Iterative workflow design from
ideation to completion

We work with people from all fields of knowledge, with partner from all over the world. So, when it comes to our processes of production, nothing is set in stone. Every project and team setup is unique and has its own needs. This is why we design our own methods and evolve our workflows from project to project. Our guiding principles are curiosity and common sense, paired with an attitude of openness towards every member of the team. Not just because we're so nice (although we are), but because we believe that if we listen to what everyone has to say, we'll get better results.

The people.

Christian Koschmieder
Technical Director, Founding Partner
Roman Roitman
Producer, Founding Partner
Timo Maier
Story & Strategy, Founding Partner
Daniel Wagner
Creative Director, Founding Partner

The office.

Address Ubierring 43,
50678 Cologne
Phone +49 221 79 00 56 97
Fax +49 221 79 00 56 98
Mail info@monokel.de
Lovingly coded and crafted by Monokel, 2016 | All rights reserved. Legal notice
Betreiber dieser Webseite:

Monokel – Koschmieder, Maier, Roitman, Wagner GbR
Ubierring 43
50678 Köln
Telefon: +49 221 79005697
E-Mail: info@monokel.de

Vertreten durch:
Christian Koschmieder, Timo Maier, Roman Roitman, Daniel Wagner
USt-Identifikationsnummer: DE302465107

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Datenschutzerklärung für den Webanalysedienst Google Analytics

Diese Website benutzt Google Analytics, einen Webanalysedienst der Google Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics verwendet sog. "Cookies", Textdateien, die auf Ihrem Computer gespeichert werden und die eine Analyse der Benutzung der Website durch Sie ermöglichen. Die durch den Cookie erzeugten Informationen über Ihre Benutzung dieser Website werden in der Regel an einen Server von Google in den USA übertragen und dort gespeichert. Wir haben die IP-Anonymisierung aktiviert. Auf dieser Webseite wird Ihre IP-Adresse von Google daher innerhalb von Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union oder in anderen Vertragsstaaten des Abkommens über den Europäischen Wirtschaftsraum zuvor gekürzt. Nur in Ausnahmefällen wird die volle IP-Adresse an einen Server von Google in den USA übertragen und dort gekürzt. Im Auftrag des Betreibers dieser Website wird Google diese Informationen benutzen, um Ihre Nutzung der Website auszuwerten, um Reports über die Websiteaktivitäten zusammenzustellen und um weitere mit der Websitenutzung und der Internetnutzung verbundene Dienstleistungen gegenüber dem Websitebetreiber zu erbringen. Die im Rahmen von Google Analytics von Ihrem Browser übermittelte IP-Adresse wird nicht mit anderen Daten von Google zusammengeführt. Sie können die Speicherung der Cookies durch eine entsprechende Einstellung Ihrer Browser-Software verhindern; wir weisen Sie jedoch darauf hin, dass Sie in diesem Fall gegebenenfalls nicht sämtliche Funktionen dieser Website vollumfänglich werden nutzen können. Sie können darüber hinaus die Erfassung der durch das Cookie erzeugten und auf Ihre Nutzung der Website bezogenen Daten (inkl. Ihrer IP-Adresse) an Google sowie die Verarbeitung dieser Daten durch Google verhindern, indem sie das unter dem folgenden Link verfügbare Browser-Plugin herunterladen und installieren: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de