Thomas Halaczinsky

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Thomas Halaczinsky
Born3 October 1958
Occupation(s)Filmmaker, producer, photohrapher

Thomas Halaczinsky is a filmmaker, producer,[1] photographer, and writer. He is the youngest child of composer and painter Rudolf Halaczinsky.

Early life and education[edit]

He came to New York City in 1991 and his wife, in 2010.[2]


As a filmmaker, Halaczinsky earned his first critical acclaim as an associate producer for Calling the Ghosts (1996),[3] for which in 1997 he won an ACE award for International Informational Special or Series.[4] The documentary details the experience of Nusreta Sivac and Jadranka Cigelj at the Bosnian Serb-run Omarska camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War.

In 2004, his film "Don't Call it Heimweh" about Holocaust survivor Margot Friedländer[5] premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival.[6] In 2005, it was chosen as the opening film[7] at the Jewish Film Festival in Berlin.[8] The film also got attention by American psychoanalyst Roger Frie, who cites Halaczinsky's view in an essay in "Psychoanalytic Psychology" in 2012.[9] Halaczinsky revisited the film's subject and protagonist a couple of years later, resulting in the follow-up documentary "A long Way home" (2010), which the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle[10] first aired in 2010, simultaneously in German, English, Spanish and Arabic.

Since the late 2000s, Halaczinsky's focus has turned to New York City's waterfront and New York's island world. He produced and co-directed (with Sebastian Lemke) the documentary "Coney Island - A Last Summer[11]" for European television as a co-production of ZDF and arte in 2008. After hurricane Sandy had hit the New York/New Jersey area in October 2012, he produced and directed the short documentary "Sandy's Hidden Damage[12]".

Shortly after that, Halaczinsky began exploring the waters around New York City by sailboat, photographing and documenting the stories of the islands of New York along his journey. One of the results was the photo series "Archipelago New York", which won an honorable mention at Tokyo International Foto Awards in 2016.[13] A video installation about this exploration was featured at the international exhibition “Bitteres Wasser” at Galerie im Hafen Rummelsburg in Berlin.[14]

While sailing the New York island world following the route of historical Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, Halaczinsky also wrote about his search for a sense of place. Combining his photos with his writing, he created the book "Archipelago New York", which was picked up by Schiffer Publishing and was published in 2018.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Halaczinsky is married to journalist Petrina Engelke.[2]


  1. ^ Thomas Halaczinsky at IMDb
  2. ^ a b "Documentary filmmakers want to tell the story of Plum Island". The Suffolk Times. 2023-09-15. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  3. ^ IMDb about "Calling The Ghosts"
  4. ^ Ray Richmond. "HBO leads CableAces with 32 nods" Variety 16 November 1997. Retrieved on 22 October 2013.
  5. ^ Donald Snyder. "Try to make a life': 92-year-old Holocaust survivor moves back to Berlin" NBC News Berlin, 28 September 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  6. ^ Woodstock Film Festival schedule 2004
  7. ^ "Alles auf Suppe! Berliner Morgenpost Berlin, 19 Juni 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  8. ^ Jewish Film Festival schedule 2005
  9. ^ Roger Frie. "Memory and Responsibility" Psychoanalytic Psychology 2012, Vol. 29, No 2.
  10. ^ Deutsche Welle
  11. ^ "Coney Island - A Last Summer". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  12. ^ "NY Sea Grant | NYSG: Coastal Processes & Hazards (Documentary - Superstorm Sandy, Oct'13)". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  13. ^ "Winner - Archipelago New York". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  14. ^ "Bitteres Wasser – On Water". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  15. ^ "Archipelago New York - Schiffer Publishing". Retrieved 2017-11-14.

External links[edit]