We love to tell stories that are overlooked or in danger of being forgotten, mainly from the world of arts and culture, society or history.
Berlin born director, film editor, cameraperson and producer Tom Ehrhardt has been publishing his work under the name con men since 2010. As a freelance filmmaker, he financed his first feature-length documentary, Last Year in Summer (2010), about a toy instrument orchestra touring midsummer Paris for a week. With a regular group of collaborators, he produced various music videos over the next few years, for example for Hanin Elias (ex-Atari Teenage Riot) and the electro-rap duo Mediengruppe Telekommander. The clip This Party Blows for Berlin electronic duo Crime premiered in 2012 at the Pornfilm Festival in Berlin. Afterwards, con men produced stage visuals for the band’s European tour in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014 con men began working on the feature documentary The Forgotten Treasure. In 2015, the project won the Gerd Ruge Scholarship (Film- und Medienstiftung NRW) and was selected for the Documentary Campus Master School in 2017. The German-Brazilian co-production about non-conformist artists in the GDR was financed in 2017 and 2018 with the help of local cultural grants, a successful crowdfunding campaign and the licensing of the film to ARD broadcaster mdr. It premiered at the 2020 Montréal International Festival of Films on Art, was presented on a cinema tour between the corona lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 with Q&As throughout Germany and was recommended by publications such as Süddeutsche Zeitung and DER SPIEGEL. During this time, con men also co-produced the Brazilian music documentary ELETRONICA:MENTES (director: Dácio Pinheiro, 2019), which ran in competition at international festivals, including the 2020 IndieLisboa.
The Forgotten Treasure and ELETRONICA:MENTES were created in partnership with the production company Gore Filmes of the Brazilian director Dácio Pinheiro. The collaboration between the two companies now also includes the feature documentary Lenita: Traces of a Lady, the short fiction film Lair’s Birthday and the hybrid documentary Villa Lobos Artistic Caravan. In addition, Gore Filmes and con men are currently developing the feature film adaptation of Pinheiro’s documentary My Buddy Claudia (2010) entitled Asphalt Flower.
Ehrhardt also works as a writer and in project development, formerly for the music program Tracks on arte, as well as various projects for Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. In collaboration with Ilona Toller, he developed the ten-part podcast Ein Mensch Verschwindet (Podimo, 2021) about the life of German singer and tabloid personality Daniel Küblböck/Lana Kaiser for the Berlin company Bosepark. Despite a paywall, the narrative series made it into the Top 12 New German Apple Podcasts 2021 and was the most successful production of its platform Podimo in the same year.