In 2001 Merle Kröger together with filmmaker Philip Scheffner founded the production house pong. Since 2007, pong works predominantly in the production of documentaries for cinema. pong released „The Halfmoon Files"(Berlinale 2007), "Peace Mission"(Toronto International Film Festival 2008) and „Day of the Sparrow"
(Berlinale 2010), awarded at the German Documentary Award 2011. pong's production "Revision" had its world premiere at the Berlinale 2012. "DramaConsult"- directed in 2012 by Dorothée Wenner - is its latest production.
pong was founded in 2001 by the Berlin filmmakers and producers Merle Kröger and Philip Scheffner.
Both had gathered film production experience during nine years of participation in the video collective dogfilm (Tina Ellerkamp, Jörg Heitmann, Ed van Megen, Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner). From 1991 to 2000 dogfilm produced numerous short films, two theme nights (ZDF/ ARTE), two feature length documentaries (ZDF/ Das Kleine Fernsehspiel) as well as essays and video art for ARTE, 3Sat, Kanal 4, a.o.
pong, a multimedia platform, is not restricted to the medium of film. It also features music compositions (Scheffner), crime novels and scripts (Kröger), as well as exhibitions.
A focus for both the founders has always been the concept and implementation of transnational projects, getting to know cultural traditions and methods beyond the borders of Germany and Europe. Starting with an exchange between artists from Berlin and Beirut (1994), the creation of a network of film- and video makers from eight countries entitled "Hungry Minds Think Alike?" (1998), it lead us to the interdisciplinary project "Inport Export - Cultural Transfer between India and Germany, Austria" (2003-2005). Since 1996 we temporarily have been living and working in Mumbai/ India.
From 2001 on, pong has produced artistic films and videos supported by different cultural institutions such as Volksbühne Berlin, Francke Foundation Halle, Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany, Cultural Capital Funds Berlin.
The feature length documentary "The Halfmoon Files" by Philip Scheffner, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival 2007/ Foum of Young Cinema. The further distribution was successfully granted by film festivals around the world, as well as in cinemas and as part of the DVD edition of the Goethe Institute. The film received several awards.
Produced in affiliation with ZDF/ ARTE, the documentary „Peace Mission"had its international premiere at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival/ Real to Reel. From there, it started its tour through many international festivals, and is being distributed by First Hand Films World Sales.
The documentary „Day of the Sparrow"by Philip Scheffner, a coproduction with Blinker Filmproduktion and Worklights Media Production, as well as ZDF/ arte, was supported by seven funding institutions. It had its world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival 2010/ Forum of Young Cinema, and its international premiere at FID Marseille 2010. It was released in German cinema by arsenal distribution in April 2010, and received the Klaus-Wildenhahn-Award in 2010 and the City of Ludwigsburg Award at the German Documentary Awards 2011.
A new documentary by Philip Scheffner entitled "Revision", another co-production with the same partners, will have its world premiere at Berlin International Film Festival 2012/ Forum of Young Cinema.