Our Company

Company profile

One couldn’t think up all the unbelievable stories that reality has to offer. Whoever understands this will have no problem finding new topics and amazing people all around the globe any given day to report about.

Be it talk shows, features, documentaries, or docusoaps – at sagamedia, we take great care regarding the form and style in which we capture on film and present people and their lives, their individual experiences and adventures.

Since 1988, Iris Bettray and Jutta Pinzler have been producing features, documentaries and non-fiction series together. In February 2005, together with an experienced team of filmmakers and journalists, they founded sagamedia Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH.

The company’s name says it all: “We tell the stories of people that thrill us, arouse our compassion, make us laugh, and just captivate us with their authenticity.“  

The sagamedia team was one of the first to successfully establish the docusoap genre in German television. Finding suitable protagonists with straight and genuine personalities is the most challenging and yet rewarding task filmmakers have to accomplish, says Stefanie Schwalfenberg, managing editor at sagamedia.

Together with Iris Bettray, she produced the very successful and high-rating daily RTL docusoaps “Mein Baby“ (My baby) and “Meine Hochzeit“ (My wedding) for five years. The secret to their success: To grasp the protagonists‘ uniqueness and give them enough space, time and attention to present themselves.

Other ZDF, RTL, VOX and ARTE features produced by sagamedia, which focused on difficult and sensitive issues, were also acknowledged by the audience with high TV ratings.

Iris Bettray: “Whenever we look into bizarre family relations, witness an inheritance turning into an apple of discord, or reveal the downsides of winning millions, it is essential to stay close to the protagonist and to capture the various aspects of the respective topic with journalistic alertness and psychological intuition“.

During her many shoots in Germany and abroad, and especially with her award-winning documentary “Die toten Töchter von Mexiko“  (Mexico’s dead daughters), Jutta Pinzler has covered various political issues. “We need to be journalists and story-tellers at the same if we want to inform, entertain and, most of all, move our audience.“

 

Our driving force

Since 1988, Iris Bettray and Jutta Pinzler have been producing features, documentaries and non-fiction series together. In February 2005, together with an experienced team of filmmakers and journalists, they founded sagamedia Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH.

The company’s name says it all: “We tell the stories of people that thrill us, arouse our compassion, make us laugh, and just captivate us with their authenticity.“ 

Iris Bettray

Iris Bettray was born in 1963 in Emmerich in the Lower Rhine region. Her journalistic career started at the regional newspaper NRZ while she was still in grammar school. After school, she went on to study history, literature and politics in Munich; and during her studies worked for many years at the Goethe-Institut in Munich and Manchester, and in the Public Relations department of Intel.

In 1990, she completed a traineeship at the Schnitzler publishing house and subsequently worked as an editor at the PRIBAG Fernseh GmbH, where she anchored the "Wirtschaftsforum" consumer program (SAT.1)  as well as "Top-Etage" (SAT.1), a talk show on economic topics, which she ran as editor-in-chief for the PRIBAG Fernseh GmbH from 1993 to 1996. After the birth of her son Justus, she joined RTL as managing editor where she first was in charge for the talk show "Kreuzfeuer" (Cross fire), and, from 1997 on, also for "Greenpeace TV" and the "Reportage" segments of RTL’s evening news broadcast.
In 1998, following the birth of her daughter Felicitas, she went to work with the center tv channel as managing editor. In the following years, she made it to editor-in-chief, managing director and board member of the production company, which was renamed to AZ Media AG. During this time, she developed the first successful docusoaps ("Mein Baby", "Meine Hochzeit" for RTL) and helped establish AZ Media TV as one of the major TV production companies presenting high-rating features, documentaries, docusoaps, series, magazines, talk shows, and event programs.

Jutta Pinzler

Jutta Pinzler was born in 1968, and studied Romance philology, English language and literature and Ibero-American history in Cologne, Buenos Aires and La Plata. During a scholarship granted by the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft, she worked for a development aid project in Argentina. Following her graduation, she completed a traineeship with the VOX channel where she worked as an assistant to the editor-in-chief. In her position as writer and managing editor, she developed and produced various programs and series, including numerous productions abroad, such as "wolkenlos" (cloudless), "Rund ums Mittelmeer" (around the Mediterranean), and "voyages, voyages".

To get into the news sector, she switched to WDR in 1998 – a public broadcasting institution where she was a reporter for the studio in Düsseldorf. During this time, a journalists‘ bursary granted by the Heinz Kühn Foundation took her to Bombay where she did research on India’s caste system. Since 1999, Jutta Pinzler has been producing features and documentaries as a freelance writer and producer, mainly for ZDF, RTL, Spiegel TV, VOX and ARTE.