Basil Gelpke was born September 10, 1962 in Basel, Switzerland. After his studies in Social Anthropology, Economics and in the production of scientific films Basil soon became fascinated by all kinds of moving images. He is Managing Director of his production house Lava Production AG, www.lavatv.com
He started his career in advertising but soon changed profession to become one of the youngest journalists to ever work for national Swiss Television. Among his first assignments was a highly acclaimed interview with Lisa Minelli.
1990 he moved to Cologne to become the producer of Tacheles, a weekly political talkshow on German television. There he worked closely with host Johannes Gross, a legendary figure in German journalism. Whilst in Cologne he also compiled his first one hour documentary “The Artificial Paradise” on behalf of Germany’s WDR channel. This film, about the history of LSD and its Swiss inventor, Albert Hofmann later got nominated for Germany’s prestigious Grimme awards.
Basil has won a series of awards for his documentary filmmaking such as the 2007 Sol d’Or of Barcelona, the Film Prize 2006 by the City of Zurich, the 2007 Best Doc Award of the Palm Beach Film Festival, and the 2006 Best of Fest Award at Lake Tahoe Film.
Festival amongst others His documentary “A Crude Awakening–The Oil Crash” was the only film shortlisted twice with the 2007 Grierson Awards – Britain’s foremost Documentary Awards and got invited to more than 50 film festivals. In the US it was bought by Robert Redford to launch his “Green” programming strand on Sundance Channel and got sold to over 20 territories.
- 2010 Sacred & Secret: Documentary – Co-Producer, Director, Writer
- 2007 Volcanoes: A Window Into Geological Time TV mini-series – Producer, Director, Writer
- 2006 A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash Video documentary – Executive Producer, Director, Writer
- 2004 Kampf dem Krebs – Hoffnung durch Forschung TV documentary – Producer, Director, Writer
- 1999 Expedition Robinson TV series – Executive Producer