A DOCUFILM ON THE COMPANY’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY AVAILABLE NOW ON PRIME VIDEO VIA PRIME VIDEO DIRECT
THE COMPANY IN THE FERALPI GROUP RECOUNTS THE REBIRTH OF THE PRODUCTION SITE IN RIESA (SAXONY)
A SHARED STORY OF COLLABORATION, WITH TESTIMONIES FROM PEOPLE WHO TOOK PART IN THIS JOURNEY
Lonato del Garda, 2 February 2023 – The Feralpi Group presents the film “Feralpi Stahl | Steel Reborn”. The content is now available on Prime Video via Prime Video Direct. This first-ever film, produced by Albatros Film and directed by Alessandro Milini, narrates the story of the German company's three decades of industrial adventure that unites Germany and Italy. The 40-minute docufilm reports the highlights, anecdotes and emotions of those who have taken part in this long journey. A sequence of witness accounts which, from chronology to memories, not only defines the recent past but also conveys a message to the new generations.
STEEL BEING REBORN – One of the ways that steel is created is to be reborn from its own scrap. This characteristic means it will always have the potential for new life. Steel has been central to the economy of Riesa (Saxony) since the 19th century. The fall of the Berlin wall changed everything though, in social and in production terms. The Kombinat in what is now the ex-GDR, where the Riesa steelworks is situated, is preparing to close the business. More than 11 thousand people will be losing their jobs.
Feralpi, which has been exporting steel to Germany since that start of the 1970s, sees an opportunity to become a producer in an area featuring significant infrastructure growth. This sparks the idea that would become a reality, that of recreating a facility in the town of Riesa. Thanks to the expertise honed at the Lonato and Calvisano facilities in Italy, the plan involves creating a modern mini mill that focuses on steel production using an electric arc furnace. In the space of a few months the plan is taking shape, and February 1992 sees the start of the story that now bears the name of Feralpi Stahl.
HISTORY AND EMOTIONS – The docufilm not only gives the timeline of events, but also the emotions of the protagonists in the facility's first thirty years in business. These are the people giving their account of the relaunch and progress made by the company over the years. An undertaking, in the sense of a genuine goal, which couldn't have been successful without the decisive role that they themselves have played during its journey. Collaboration, engagement, inclusion, not to mention determination, commitment and passion, are human values that have united Germany and Italy. What emerges is testimony to how, even in difficult times, problems dictated by a different language or culture can be overcome when there's a shared objective. Thanks to all of this, Feralpi and its people have given new life to the world of steel in Saxony. Proof that steel always has another life.
Among the witness accounts in the film is one by Giuseppe Pasini, the Feralpi Group president:
«The people retracing this story are a bit like the fathers and mothers of our German company. Today, 30 years on, we have the responsibility to hand down the legacy of the work that has been done to new generations, so that values such as sacrifice and courage are not lost. This memory, which needs to be safeguarded and passed on, is a reminder of a challenge that belongs to the past, yet also tells us that the goals of the future can only be achieved through cooperation. Feralpi Stahl, and the group as a whole, would not be what it is today if not everyone, from managers to factory workers, had worked together.».
«For us, this film – explains Uwe Reinecke, current Plant Manager at ESF Elbe-Stahlwerke Feralpi GmbH – gives a wonderful insight into contemporary history. But that's not all, it shows how important the people who have accompanied FERALPI STAHL over the past 30 years have been and indeed still are. They had faith in Giuseppe Pasini's entrepreneurial vision and worked hard to make the Riesa steelworks what it is today, an indispensable partner for industry, an environmental pioneer - true to our guiding principle of 'producing and growing with respect for people and the environment' and one of the largest employers in the area. I am really proud to have contributed to this».
«The 30th anniversary – adds Isabella Manfredi, the Communications and External Relations Manager of the Feralpi Group - was an opportunity to share this meaningful and rich history. It was not meant to be a story told by us, but rather by the people who have been part of it. Using docufilms nowadays is one of the most authentic and fascinating modes of communication. Even those who know nothing about the steel industry can be moved by the living testimony. For us, it is also a further way of passing on the corporate culture and values, such as inclusion, which - even 30 years ago - were so fundamental to the company's growth».
«The film “Steel Reborn” - says Alessandro Milini, Albatros Film director and CEO – is not a conventional documentary on industrial production, but rather a journey back in time into the emotions and memories of some of the players who witnessed the birth of Feralpi Stahl. At the production level, the difficulty was recording and understanding more than 10 hours of testimonies (mostly in German with Saxon dialect) and making a selection to condense them into the final 40-minute montage, while making logical sense and respecting temporal events. The result is a coherent narrative that above all conveys the human relationship between two different mindsets that managed to understand and respect each other in this industrial 'adventure’».
The docufilm is available in Italy and Germany