Documentary, 62 minutes

Giants of the deep


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Documentary, 62 minutes
The sight of a Humpback Whale breaching and the sound of its melodious singing are unforgetable experiences…

» View the documentary „Giants of the Deep“ on VIMEO

Giants of the Deep (English version):

Giganten der Tiefe (German version):

Géants des Profondeurs (French version):

Camera:Andrea Ramalho, Ralf Kiefner
Editor:Sascha/Nick Knieling, Flakefilm Medienproduktion
Script:Ralf Kiefner
Narrator:Reinhard Pede (engl.: Mark Rossman; franz.: Jean Faure)
Music:Highland Musikarchiv
Sound Mix:Detlev Schmitz
Audio Remix:Andrea Ramalho
Schooling Fish Footage:Edward Snijders
Microscope Footage:Friedel Hinz, Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI)
Add. Camera:Leo Mayer
Special Thanks:Barry Bracken
Director:Ralf Kiefner, Peter Spielmann
Producer:Ralf Kiefner, © 2012 and 2020 Ralf Kiefner
Giants of the deep - Humpback Whales

These behemoths of the sea cross the oceans obeying the rhythm of the seasons:

summer – the season to feed
winter – the season to breed.

Quite simple but in a gigantic scale!
Their migration from feeding grounds to breeding grounds can extend up to 10.000 Km. And once they get there they would not feed for the next 8 months! Testosterone guided male humpbacks will sing and fight hard for the females in heat.

While the females that have given birth take care of their young.
Getting back to their feeding grounds they would feed up to a ton of fish and krill per day. Therefore they have developed very efficient hunting strategies. A fascinating and still inscrutable life story.

Andrea Ramalho and Ralf Kiefner have worked for 5 years on this documentary: Every year for 5 weeks in Alaska and for 5 weeks in Tonga. They have produced this documentary completely on their own costs.

Three different versions of the film are available: Giants of the Deep (english version), Giganten der Tiefe (german version), Géants des Profondeurs (french version).


“… a wonderful experience!” „… unbelievable footage…”, „… both films are sensational!”

“… Salmon Forest shows so beautifully in just 1/2 hour the message about the importance of the salmon and the glaciers toward the productivity of this area that I, as a biologist, have been trying to pass on for years. Besides, it is some of the best footage of feeding and redistribution of nutrient that I have ever seen.”

“… Salmon Forest describes the circle of life in a fantastic way… with very beautiful pictures and thrilling story. Well done…”

“… Giants of the Deep, this is a perfect title for this film! It really shows giants! Unbelievable close-ups! One feels like as if he is in the middle of the action! A great film experience… !”

“… I have learnt so much about an ecosystem that was unkown to me up to now…”

“… both films were extraordinary and it was very well derserved that the cinema was sold out! …we would like to watch both films again!”

“… thanks you so much that I could watch both films…”

“… by far the best documentaries that I have ever seen…”

“… unbelievable… we were so close, that we really felt like we have been there ourselves…”

“… a very exciting and dramatic film … I would not have expected this from a documentary about salmon…”

“… today I have learnt so much… thanks a lot…”

“… I still get goose bumps when I think about the film…”

“… I was so fascinated that I would not stand up after the film was already finished…”

“… really a feast of images…”

“… a wonderful evening… thanks a lo!t”

“… just unbelievable footage…”

“… a perfect composition of fantastic footage and pleasant music that provides a perfect background, combined with wonderful sounds of the whales and lots of information…super!”

“… a documentary that is very well successful in all aspects …”

“… impressive, really impressive and fantastic images….”

“… very interesting interesting and informative films…”

“…I have seldom seen something more exciting and still I have learned incredibly a lot!!…”

“… a very impressive documentary…”

“…after all a really educational, but also exciting and entertaining documentary…”

“…a very exciting, dramatic and varied told story…”


Info about the Double-Premiere of the two films in Cinema:


took place on Sunday, 15.4.2012 at 19:30, in the cinema „CINEPLEX“ in Bensberg. Admission fee: EURO 8,-.

The film release of both documentaries was very successful! All 301 seats were sold out!


GRAND PRIX on the 16th International Underwater Film Festival in Belgrade, 2013.

GRAND PRIX on the 10th International Film Festival THE SEA CALLS in St. Petersburg, 2013.

GRAND PRIX on 5th International Film Festival  “THE PEOPLE & THE SHIPS” in Kiev, 2013.

WILD LIVE AWARD on the 10th Anniversary San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, 2013.

Comment from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival: “… two superb filmmakers take us to visit these singing behemoths in their tropical breeding grounds and the frigid waters of their feeding areas.” —SH

Nominated Finalist in Wildlife Vaasa International Nature Film Festival, 2014.

Auszeichnungen Giganten der Tiefe
Auszeichnungen Giganten der Tiefe

Bilder der Premiere...