The Last Man of the First Hour

Director Katharina Otto-Bernstein, Producers Oleg Dubson and Sabine Schenk
The Last Man of the First Hour


The Last Man of the First Hour is a riveting portrait of 100-year-old CIA spymaster Peter Sichel. From escaping Nazi Germany as a Jewish refugee to becoming the first CIA Station chief in post-war Berlin and a key player in Cold War espionage, Sichel unpacks the obscured roots of many conflicts that shape today’s world.

Phase of Support: Post-Production

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Katharina Otto-Bernstein

Katharina Otto-Bernstein - Director

Katharina Otto-Bernstein is a two-time Emmy nominated writer, director and producer. Most recently she served as a producer of Joyland, winner of the 2022 Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the 2023 Independent Spirit Award. Other works include the HBO documentaries Absolute Wilson, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, The Price of Everything; and the award-winning films Beautopia, When Night falls over Moscow, The Need for Speed, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told, Maalsund. Katharina’s films have been shown at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Sydney, Jerusalem, and BFI etc. She won the Silver Hugo at the International Film Festival of Chicago and the Art Basel Art Film of the Year Award. She’s been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award, Cinema Eye Award, GLAAD Award, and Grierson Award. Katharina is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia University Film School, and a principal at Film Manufacturers Inc.

Oleg Dubson

Oleg Dubson - Producer

Oleg Dubson is Head of Productions at Film Manufacturers Inc. where he oversees the US-based projects. His credits include Joyland (Executive Producer, winner of two awards at Cannes Film Festival); Self (Director and Producer, Berlin International Film Festival); The Return of Tragedy (Actor, Venice Film Festival); and Barrel of Love (Director and Producer, Distrital Mexico City Film Festival). He has worked on distribution campaigns for Jane Campion’s Bright Star, Nicholas Refn’s Drive, Angelina Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, James Wan’s Insidious, and Jean-Marc Vallee’s The Young Victoria among other titles.

Sabine Schenk

Sabine Schenk - Producer

Sabine Schenk is an award-winning producer and line producer based in NY. She co-produced the documentary Ferry Tales, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, and line-produced the New York unit of the Oscar nominated The Reader. In 2019, she line produced the NY sections of the Emmy winning Netflix series Unorthodox. Other productions include Hannah Arendt, Return to Montauk, Me & Kaminski, A Hologram for the King and Letters from Baghdad. She is an executive producer on Katja Esson’s documentary, Razing Liberty Square and on Stephen Moier’s A Bit of Light starring Anna Paquin. She has worked with filmmakers Margarethe von Trotta, Tom Tykwer, Volker Schloendorff and Maria Schrader, among others.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.