Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Director, producer, writer, and cinematographer, Nikolaus Geyrhalter was born in Vienna, Austria in 1972. Geyrhalter's static-camera, well-paced observational films tackle their subjects head-on, whether it's exploring the terrain in Chernobyl, Ukraine (Pripyat), tracing the route of the Dakar Rally (7915 Km), or investigating the production of processed foods (Our Daily Bread).

At 22, Geyrhalter started his production company, Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion (NGF).

He made his first film, Eisenerz, in 1992. Two years later Geyrhalter shot his first documentary, Washed Up (Angeschwemmt). Audiences, jurors, and critics took notice of Geyrhalter with Pripyat (1999), which won the SCAM Award at the Cinéma du Réel Festival and the Grand Prize at Diagonale Graz. He followed Pripyat with the epic four-hour globe-hopping documentary, Elsewhere (2001). The film screened at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Jihlava Film Festival, and won a Special Jury Award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA). His next feature, Our Daily Bread (2005), also won a Special Jury Award at IDFA.

In the following decade, Geyrhalter examined night labor in Europe with Abendland (2011) and landscapes of urban decay across the world in Homo Sapiens (2016). The latter film played at the Berlinale Forum, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Cinéma du Réel Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and the Viennale.

In 2015, Berlin's Arsenal Cinema programmed a retrospective dedicated to his work. The 38th Cinéma du Réel Festival programmed a sidebar on his documentaries. Geyrhalter's films have also screened at the Museum of Modern Art's Doc Fortnight.

Geyrhalter illustrates the world's endless struggle to gain control over vast amounts of trash in his 2022 film Matter Out of Place, which won the Green Leopard Environmental Prize at Locarno Film Festival 2022.

Icarus Films is proud to distribute three of Nikolaus Geyrhalter's films, as well as a boxset in partnership with KimStim. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.

"With their fixed-frame camerawork, meticulous composition, and patient, nonjudgmental gaze, these films stake out a territory all their own: clearly documentary, but in no sense expository."—Michael Sicinski, The Village Voice


An epic journey through voices and sounds from elsewhere. Landscapes, outlooks on the world, outlooks on life: Desert, snow, valley, jungle, ice, rainforest. An homage to humanity at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Nikolaus Geyrhalter | 2010 | 240 minutes | Color

Nikolaus Geyrhalter follows waste to the shores, mountains, and ocean floor.

Nikolaus Geyrhalter | 2023 | 105 minutes | Color | English | English subtitles | Closed Captioned

A spectacular visual essay composed of epic tableaus, a haunting vision of our modern food industry, and the methods and technology utilized for mass production.

Nikolaus Geyrhalter | 2018 | 92 minutes | Color

Geyrhalter’s films are nothing short of startling works of art.

Nikolaus Geyrhalter | 522 minutes | Color | English subtitles