The Invisible River


In the Upper Rhine Valley it’s not only the Rhine that’s flowing. Out of sight, there’s another river slowly making its way northwards. The biggest groundwater reservoir in Europe forms a vast underground river. It gives rise to wetlands of matchless beauty, home to rare animals and plants. The award-winning underwater cameraman Serge Dumont reveals this unknown world – pike and great crested grebes hunt their prey directly in front of his lens. This wildlife filmmaker has captured behaviour patterns of fish, birds and insects never previously observed.

The wetlands in the Upper Rhine Valley owe their existence to the constant influx of clean groundwater. But this is being increasingly polluted by the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. These small, earthly paradises are under threat. “The Invisible River” shows for the first time the extraordinary biodiversity supported by pure groundwater. And the great importance of protecting it.

Directed and photographed by: Serge Dumont // Written by: Serge Dumont, Frank Nischk // Film editor: Isabelle Albert // Graphics: Stéphane Potier, Jean-Luc Weimar // Music: Amaury Chabauty // Foley artist: Alexander Weuffen // Narrators: Philipp Schepmann (German), Paul Bendelow (English) // Producer: Frank Nischk // Production management: Katja Sträter (Längengrad), Agnès Divoux (Seppia), Ingrid Eckerle (SWR) // Executive producers: Thomas Weidenbach and Sarah Zierul (Längengrad), Pascaline Geoffroy and Cédric Bonin (Seppia) // Commissioning editors: Martin Schneider (SWR), Claudia Schwab (SWR), Klaus Kunde-Neimöth (WDR)

– Grand Prix PAF Tachov Festival 2021, Czech Republic
– 1st place, ‘Galathea d’or’ at the Galathea Festival, Le Festival International du Monde Marin in Hyères/France
– NaturVision Filmfestival 2019, German Biodiversity Film Award and NaturVision Youth Jury Award
– Nomination at the International Naturfilmfestival GreenScreen in the category „Best Camera“
– Nomination at the Darsser Naturfilmfestival 2019
– Nomination at the Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam, 2019
– Nomination at the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, 2019
– Nomination at the Festival International de Film Nature & Environnement – FRAPNA Isère, Grenoble/F, 2019
– Main award ‚Palme d’or’ at the 32nd Festival ‘Fête Européenne de l’image Sous-Marine et de l’Environnement’ in Strasbourg/France 2020
– Palme d’argent, Cimasub – Ciclo Internacional de Cine Submarino de Donostia, San Sebastiàn, Spain
– First Place Professional Category, International Underwater Film Festival Belgrade 2020

  • CLIENT SWR/WDR/ARTE/France Télévisions
  • YEAR 2019
  • LENGTH 30/45/52 min
  • DISTRIBUTION Albatross World Sales