One September night, a young female cadet falls overboard a training sailing ship of the Navy. How could that have happened? The starting point of "Kalte Wasser" 's script was a real accident that took place on the night of the 3rd September 2008 when an 18-year-old girl travelling on sailing ship Gorch Fock fell overboard in unexplained circumstances. The script, inspired by a popular science book "Unser Kind ist tot" ("Our Child Is Dead") by writer and journalist Dona Kujacinski, was written by Raymond and Hannah Ley.
The film is directed by Raymond Ley, winner of Grimme-Preis (Grimme Award), one of the most prestigious German TV awards. The cameraman is Dominik Berg, while the protagonist is portrayed by Maria Dragus ("The White Ribbon," "Graduation"), a Romanian actress awarded with, among others, German Film Award and the title Shooting Star (2014). She is accompanied by Lisa Hrdina, Harald Schrott and Polish actors Mirosław Baka playing a journalist who was supposed to report on the cruise but what unexpectedly entangled in the tragic events, Robert Gonera ("The Debt") and Dorota Nowakowska (Polish TV series "Ranczo," "Plebania").
"Kalte Wasser" is produced by Nico Hofmann and Marc Lepetit (UFA Fiction GmbH). It was commissioned by NDR and ARD Degeto for Das Erste and funded by nordmedia Film and Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen mbH. The commissioning editors are Marc Brasse (NDR) and Christine Strobl (ARD Degeto). Production services in Poland are provided by Tempus Film, represented by Jacek Gaczkowski and Piotr Strzelecki.
The filming took place entirely in Poland. It lasted from the 23rd August to the 15th of September in Gdynia by the Baltic Sea (among others at Gdynia Maritime University) and in its vicinity (the Gdańsk Bay), as well as on board three sailing ships: Dar Młodzieży, Dar Pomorza and Horyzont. The German crew was joined by about 20 Polish filmmakers. Extras from Pomerania participated in the shooting. Altogether there were 20 shooting days.
Apart from the TV feature film, Raymond Ley also created a 30-minute-long documentary about the accident of Jenna Böken, on which the story is based. Das Erste will broadcast both films in the first half of 2017.