Breaking the Ice (BTI) started with a simple question: What if a group of people could discover mutual ground by relating to each other through their differences? How would members of such a team act with one another when they had agreed on a joint goal? The first peace journey to Antarctica was a massive success in terms of media awareness, recognition by peers and a 90-minutes documentary. The journey of an olive tree in 2006 turned out to be an even bigger adventure in terms of logistics and management.

Pro bono work continued, with involvement by a number of creatives and students, companies and helping hands by other civil society organizations (CSO). Taking stock as of today, the organizational progression of BTI is from "concerned citizens" (Israelis reaching out to Palestinians) over a portrayal of the "clash of civilizations" - and that there is none on the personal level - to the currently evolving "peace economy": the virtuous circle between sustainable economical development and peace.

We focus on content and how it can be represented impactful in media. It is only when storytelling is preceded by "storylistening" that it truly engages viewers and lowers the threshold for participation, engagement, action. With triggering such action, the storytelling of BTI today is "solution journalism" rather than simply "good news" - although of course that's what our work will hopefully be, too. 

In operational terms, a number of local activities in Mozambique are our starting point for engagement in Africa. With the Teran Foundation, we have found the perfect partner to seed us and our projects. Teran Foundation works in and around Mossuril/Mozambique Island since 2004, delivering community development projects from the ground-up.


Torsten Sewing

Managing Director

Torsten worked with Breaking the Ice full-time from April 2003 until February 2004, responsible for media and fundraising of the first project to Antarctica. He continued with pro-bono involvement until, in February 2013, he took on the role as managing director. He now leads the organization to its next stage: assisting a Mozambican non-profit media association to build film infrastructure in northern Mozambique and by this developing a project that will use the power of media to scale micro-enterprise and promote the world's most effective health intervention: hand-washing with soap.

Torsten has worked at the nexus of CSR and development since 2001. Prior to that, he led the corporate communications for a network of start-up ICT-companies, worked for PR-agencies and for German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine. He is a trained journalist and holds an M.A. on coexistence and conflict from Brandeis University.

Doralina Lazar

Business Model Designer

Doralina joined Breaking the Ice after 14 years of consulting work with PwC Romania and Germany, during her sabbatical year 2013. She leads the team on business model generation and projections for L.I.F.E. and SHINE, having being instrumental to reach an operational phase for SHINE activities.

Anna di Gioia

Fundraising Executive

After graduating in Philosophy in Turin, Anna moved to Berlin in 2008, working as a translator and teacher. Passionate of cinema, she also worked as an assistant for the agency of international film publicity “Claudia Tommassini + Associates”. In October 2013, she got involved in the project of L.I.F.E in Mozambique and started collaborating with Breaking the Ice. She translates documents into Italian and takes charge of the fund-raising program in Southern Europe.

Heskel Nathaniel


An Israeli, born in Haifa, Heskel has lived in Germany for the last 15 years and is currently a Managing Director of a real estate investment and development company. Born to immigrant parents from Iraq, Heskel served in the Israeli Defence Forces for over 10 years.

For the first two events, he signed responsible for concept and project management from inception until the final film product.

Bronwyn Cornelius

Board Member

Bronwyn is an award-winning independent film producer and strategic and creative consultant dedicated to and very passionate about global change. Aside from being a board member of Breaking The Ice she serves as Executive Board Chair of Global Girl Media, a nonprofit which develops the voice and self-expression of teenage girls in underserved communities around the world through content creation and digital media training. Bronwyn's previous film experience includes working with a veteran line producer on Academy Award-winning movies such as Jerry Maguire and As Good As It Gets. She also worked as a Sales Trader and VP of New Business Development on Wall Street, covering clients such as Moore Capital, Soros Fund Management, and Tudor Investments, and several years in public relations in Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles, servicing international corporations such as Swire Pacific, McDonnell Douglas, Intel, McDonald’s and Merrill Lynch.

Mike Greenspan

Former team member, film maker 2004-6

Mike, a former CNN-journalist, covered the journey to Antarctica in 2004 and produced the first Breaking the Ice documentary. Today, he continues working as an independent filmmaker, producing and directing documentaries, corporate and instructional videos for international audiences.

Marc Rothemund

Former team member, film producer 2006-9

In 1998, Marc obtained the Bavarian Film Prize as best young director for his first feature film ‘Das merkwürdige Verhalten geschlechtsreifer Großstädter zur Paarungszeit’ (‘Love Scenes from Planet Earth’). In 2002, his TV movie ‘Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt’ obtained many awards, including the Golden Camera and the Grimme Prize in gold. ‘Sophie Scholl – The Final Days’ was Marc’s final international breakthrough. The film received an academy award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and collected numerous awards.Marc joined Breaking the Ice in 2006 as a producer of “Journey of an Olive Tree”, the documentary about the 2006 Sahara expedition.