coming soon in 2016

A Film by Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger

Directed and Edited by Marcus Vetter Co-Director Karin Steinberger Producers Marcus Vetter, Louise Rosen and Ulf Meyer Line Producer Annette Burchard Director of Photography Georg Zengerling Original Music Jens Huercamp and Michele Gentile Sound Aljoscha Haupt Sound Mix Jonathan Schorr
Sound design Markus Limberger Color Correction Fabiana Cardalda Co-Editors Patrick Wilfert and Michelle Gentile
Comissioning Editors Gudrun Hanke El Ghomri, SWR / Catherine Le Goff, ARTE / Petra Felber, BR / Mette Hoffmann Meyer, DR
Nick Fraser, BBC / Kate Townsend, BBC / Axel Arnö, SVT / Nathalie Windhorst, VPRO
A production of Filmperspektive
in co-production with SWR / BR / ARTE / DR / BBC / SVT / VPRO supported by MFG and DFFF

with the voices of Imogen Poots and Daniel Brühl

"I felt like the hero in Charles Dickens' novel "A Tale of Two Cities", who gave his life for love."
Jens Söring


The Story

Derek and Nancy Haysom found dead in Bedford County

The gruesome murders of Nancy and Derek Haysom in 1985 were an international media sensation. The Haysoms were wealthy, respected members of Virginia society, and the murder conviction of their daughter Elizabeth and her German boyfriend Jens Soering sent shock-waves through the rural community of Bedford County. Elizabeth and Jens had met in a university program for high achieving students. She was a product of European boarding schools, he was the son of a diplomat. After being arrested in London, England, for passing bad checks in 1986, they were both extradited to the United States and have now spent over 30 years behind bars. This beautifully crafted film reveals a mismanaged, or perhaps completely corrupted, judicial process. This was the first criminal trial held in front of TV cameras — was the first high profile, international case tried in a small town.

“Every morning, when I open my eyes and see the thick bars across my window I cannot help but think back to that evening my downfall began.”
Jens Söring


Gail Marshall, former Deputy Attorney General of Virginia, has been fighting for Jens Söring for many years. She is certain of his innocence and says she only had two cases in her entire career where she was firmly convinced that the prisoners were innocent. One is now a free man, the other is Jens Söring.



Tom Elliott, a Catholic deacon and chaplain, who accompanied Söring for many years. He is one of the few that visits him regularly in prison. He is just in the process, together with other supporters, to push once again for Söring’s transfer to Germany.


William Sweeney, the judge who led the Haysom trial. He swore that he was unbiased, even though he had given an interview before the trial in which he said he thought Jens Söring was guilty. In addition, he was a friend of the brother of one of the victims for over 40 years.


Ricky Gardner describes himself as a “lead investigator” in the Haysom murder case. He was there when Jens Söring confessed to the murders in London without a lawyer. To this day, Gardner defends the comparison made in court of Söring’s sock imprint found at the crime scene even though experts later said that this comparison was wrong and misled the jury.


Gail Ball, Jens Söring’s lawyer, hired the private investigator Dave Watson to finally solve the crime.


Chuck Reid was a member of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department and one of the investigators in the Haysom murder case. In an interview, he spoke about a FBI crime scene profile that was created for the case in 1985, but which was not turned over to the defense or mentioned in court. The profile described a female suspect and does not fit the confession of Jens Söring. Reid is confident that there was such a crime scene profile. But Ricky Gardner claims it never existed.


Rich Zorn (right), former Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General and a friend of the Söring family. His son went to the same school as Jens Söring. He supported the family for many years and is committed to the cause of Söring’s transfer to Germany.


Dave Watson, a private investigator who was hired by Gail Ball to reinvestigate the case.


Tony Buchanan, a new witness, who came forward in 2011 to say that, in 1985, Elizabeth Haysom brought a damaged car to his garage, accompanied by another man – not Jens Söring. In the car lay a bloody knife. The witness was never officially questioned.



Carlos Santos, ein Journalist, who followed the case from the beginning.


Steven D. Rosenfield, Jens Söring’s new repatriation attorney, filed suit on January 18, 2011, to enforce his transfer to Germany. On January 12, 2010, the Democratic Governor of Virginia, Timothy M. Kaine, consented to the repatriation of Jens Söring to Germany. A week later, the new Republican Governor, Robert F. McDonnell, sent a letter withdrawing Virginia’s consent to Jens Söring’s repatriation. In July 2012, a court ruled against his repatriation lawsuit; in December 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court refused to even hear the appeal.

“When my love swears that she is made of truth, I do believe her, though I know she lies, That she might think me some untutored youth, unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.”
Sonnet 138, Shakespeare

Coming Soon in 2016

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Behind the scenes

A look behind the scenes during the shooting of the film


Filming Jens Söring's lawyer Gail Ball and private investigator Dave Watson in the evidence room in Bedford.


Marcus Vetter (director) and Georg Zengerling (camera) at a shooting in Bedford.


Aljoscha Haupt (sound) and Georg Zengerling (camera) shooting film material in front of the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Virginia, in which Elizabeth Haysom is detained.


Marcus Vetter (director), Georg Zengerling (camera) and Aljoscha Haupt (sound) shooting film material in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Georg Zengerling (camera) and Aljoscha Haupt (sound) in Bedford, Virginia.


Ricky Gardner in his office in Bedford.


Private investigator Dave Watson with Aljoscha Haupt (sound) and Georg Zengerling (camera) in Cape Charles.


Aljoscha Haupt (Ton) and Georg Zengerling (Kamera) after filming.


Filming with Chuck Reid in Bedford.


Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger at a shooting with Chuck Reid in Bedford.


John and Suzanne Peniche in Lynchburg in front of their home in which Elizabeth Haysom's parents were murdered in 1985.


Aljoscha Haupt (sound) at a filming in Bedford.


The film crew and Jens Söring's lawyer Gail Ball in Virginia.


Private investigator Dave Watson in Washington DC.


Mike Gentile (second camera) and Georg Zengerling (camera) in New York City.


A production of Filmperspektive and Bukera Pictures

Filmperspektive GmbH

Our goal is to create a platform for the independent production of documentaries and fiction films. We are interested in using our unique backgrounds and styles to create feature length films that are high quality and tell stories that people throughout the world can relate to. We strive to do this by focusing on creating material that is  powerful, edgy, provocative, contemporary and must be seen because of its political or social relevance. Our vision is to create a network of filmmakers and commissioning editors around the globe who believe, like we do, that films do make a difference. Our aim is to create a student filmmaking program for young people who would otherwise not have a chance to be educated in this field.

For more information please contact: info(at)

Editorial:karin.steinberger(at) | Tel. +49 (0)89.21 83 86 17
Worldsales: louise(at) | Tel. +1 617.899 66 29
Sales Germany: info(at) | Tel. +49 (0)30.29 77 29 44
A production of Filmperspektive
A film by Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger
In coproduction with SWR, ARTE, BR, DR, BBC, SVT, VPRO
Directed and edited by Marcus Vetter
Co-Director Karin Steinberger
Year of Production 2016
Producers Marcus Vetter
Louise Rosen
Ulf Meyer
Director of Photography Georg Zengerling
Co-Editors Michele Gentile
Patrick Wilfert
Original Musik Jens Huerkamp
Sound Aljoscha Haupt
Sound Design Markus Limberger
Sound Mix Jonathan Schorr
Line Producer Annette Burchard
Color Correction Fabiana Cardalda
Legal Advisor    Albert Kitzler
Commissioning Editors Gudrun Hanke el Ghomri, SWR
Chatherine le Goff, ARTE
Petra Felber, BR
Mette Hoffmann Meyer, DR
Nick Fraser, BBC
Kate Townsend, BBC
Axel Arnö, SVT
Nathalie Windhorst, VPRO
Founded by MFG and DFFF
Distributor, Germany    Farbfilm, Berlin
Worldsales Louise Rosen Ltd.

BRD 2015 / Shooting: April 2014 – Juni 2015
Format: HD/35mm  / Shootingformat: HD
Soundformat: Dolby Digital/ 1:1.85


A film by
Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger
with the voices of
Imogen Poots and Daniel Brühl
Directed and Edited by
Marcus Vetter
Karin Steinberger
Director of Photography
Georg Zengerling
Additional Camera
Michele Gentile
Co-edited by
Michele Gentile
Patrick Wilfert
Location Sound
Aljoscha Haupt
Re-Recording Mixer
Jonathan Schorr
Sound Design
Markus Limberger
Original Music
Jens Ole Huerkamp
Color Grading
Fabiana Carldalda
Assistant Editor
Leon Füngers
Legal Advisor
Albert Kitzler
Line Producers
Annette Burchard
Marcus Vetter
Louise Rosen
Ulf Meyer
(in Order of Appearance)
Jens Söring
Chuck Reid
Ricky Gardner
Susanne Peniche
John Peniche
Rich Zorn
Gail Marshall
Tom Elliott
Dave Watson
Gail Ball
Steven Rosenfield
Judge William Sweeney
Mada Sweeney
Tony Buchanan
Ed Sulzbach

Dialogue Editing
Aljoscha Haupt
Eric Gühring
Foley Artist
Peter Deiniger
Julia Müller-Scherz
Foley Studio
Cine Impuls
Art Director
Michele Gentile
Leon Füngers
Sascha Schmidt
Post Production Supervisor
Georg Zengerling
Additional Legal Advisors
F. Robert Stein, Pryor Cashman LLP
W. Wilder Knight II, Pryor Cashman LLP
English Translators
Dr. Jo Van Vliet
Sarah Jobalia
French Translators
Jeanne Baliteau
Spanish Translators
Dora Melcher
Camera Engineers
Georg Zengerling
Achim Johne
HD Post Production
Bewegte Bilder
Sound Mix
Bewegte Bilder
Post Production Studio
Bukera Pictures
DCP Mastering
Bewegte Bilder
Title and Credit Design
Michele Gentile
Leon Füngers
Graphic- & Webdesign
Second Screen Concept
Ulf Meyer
Cross Media
Pjotr Strokov
Illustration & Posterdesign
Jean-Pierre Kunkel
Gordian Breede
Ulf Meyer

Executive in Charge of Production
Hans-Jürgen Bubser
Associate Producer
Bookkeeping Filmperspektive
Dietmar Neubrand
Bianca Schiller
Julian Schöner
Sarah Jobalia
Johanne Ebel
Niels Bauder
Felix Reiter
Vera Paulmann
Samuel Gentile
Hannah Doll

Elizabeth Klinck
Transcription Services
Julian Schöner
Sarah Jobalia
Niels Bauder
Ulf Meyer
Stringers USA
Decker Campbell
Ann Woodroof Williams
E&O Insurance
Caninenburg&Schouten GmbH
Set Photos
Georg Zengerling
Aereial Footage
Decker Campbell
Ann Williams
Archival Footage
Private Archive Judge Sweeny

With Thanks to
BChristian Hünemörder
Carsten Schuffert
Raul Nino Zambrano
Stephan Klotz
Christoph Klotz
Solidea Valenti
Margit Ketterle
Jan Knollman
Francisco Barata
Dr. Frank Meerkamp
Dr. Bernd Kaut
Milan Stürmer
Hans-Jürgen Guth
Nicola Gentile
Christiane Gentile
Celine Babic
Lia Polotzek
Monika Gossmann
Marc Jacob
Norman Koch
Barbara Kuhls
Laura Preu
Grigori Prokhorov
Andre Reifenrath
Butsarakorn Sorngwong
Daniel Van Eendenburg
Christian Hasemann
Nina Wagner
Arne Wittig
Sabrina Klumpp
Benjamin Rothenbacher
Sina Knoll
Tom Burchard
Walter Bressert
Gesine Füngers
Chris McGinty
Pierre Johne
Denise Kalipciyan
Beate Nonhoff
Brigitte Baur
Timo Baur
Slatko Stürmer
Milan Stürmer
Klaus Graf
Katharina Graf
Franco De Luca
Alexandre Geisselmann
Jennifer Schense
Florence Olara
Daniel Fritz
Hannes Jo Rühle
Jasmin Krist
Katharine Rydlink
Esther Frohnmeyer
Gunnar Hartsieker
Jaqueline Janosi
Mette Lubczyk
Susanne Patzner
Karlinha Pöhläinen
Jana Tolle
Andres Preuss
Holger Spannbauer
Richard Lessau
Charlotte Widmer
Anna Boeckh
Martin Armstrong
Davide Gentile
Gunnar Schmidt
Lisa Schallenmüller
Samuel Gentile
Carina Max
Samira Higham
Dieter Krauss
Dawn Cleaver
David Kussel
Chris McGinty
Beth Avang
Kerstin Rupp
Robert Gehring
Larry Edelson
Nira Bozkurt
Leonore Fisch
Florian Alcantara
Anne Götz
Alexandra Kuhn
Dora Melcher
Ralph Nitz
Nicky Merl
Sandra Vach
Sandor Söth
Gisela Wendel
Leo Ellis
David Marco
Francesca Tummarello
Dedina Dettmers
Frauke Meyer
Frederik Schmidt

Special Thanks to
Bernadette Faber
Dr. Christoph Hauser
Kai Henkel
Petra Hermanns
Terrence Malick
Sibel Kekilli
Christoph Strässer
Jörg Widmer
Martina Zöllner
Commissioning Editors   
Gudrun Hanke El Ghomri, SWR
Catherine le Goff, ARTE
Petra Felber, BR
Mette Hoffmann Meyer, DR
Nick Fraser, BBC
Kate Townsend, BBC
Axel Arnö, SVT
Nathalie Windhorst, VPRO

A Production of

In Co-Production with

Funded by

Distibution Germany
© Filmperspektive 2016

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Filmperspektive GmbH  | Marcus Vetter 

Eugenstrasse 29  | 72072 Tuebingen | Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 7071 36 79 06
Commercial Register number: HRB 23950 | District Court Stuttgart


Editorial: karin.steinberger(at) | Tel. +49 (0)89.21 83 86 17
Worldsales: louise(at) | Tel. +1 617.899 66 29
Sales Germany: info(at) | Tel. +49 (0)30.29 77 29 44


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