With the 207 D on the search for real stories

A yellow van parked in a mountainous landscape

The team of “Stories from Reality” travels through Europe with their Mercedes-Benz 207 D to film portraits of people they meet on the road.

Real stories from the road

Anna Friedrich’s sun yellow Mercedes-Benz 207 D and her team drive slowly through the lush green countryside of North Wales. There is no defined goal. The next destination is determined purely by chance, the group is on the road without any knowledge of the area they are in. The only goal is to offer people in the region the opportunity to tell their story – in front of the camera. “Stories from Reality” must be created: people are randomly approached at the roadside in order to reflect their lives and to present the narrative in terms of content and design, they can set the focus as they want. There is no script – it is supposed to be real. “The most beautiful moments are when nothing is said – the magical break after the last word of the sentence when an almost intangible mood arises and a story has reached an end,” says Anna.

The crew in front their yellow van

The project combines two passions: traveling and filming

Anna Friedrich is the initiator of the project “Stories from Reality.” She started developing the idea in 2013. It was born out of longing to be on the road, exploring the world, experiencing extraordinary things, gathering stories and trusting the moment. “For me personally the project is about the desire to combine two passions: that of traveling and filming,” explains Anna. For the pilot, Anna’s team traveled to North Wales. Another wish of the filmmaker is to tour with the 207 D through an Arabian country. “I am considering traveling along a trade road, in order to go on the trail of past stories,” says Anna. As a rule, however, little is planned. The destination is selected by the power of chance.

In a van you are certainly limited in terms of material and space, but still your own longing for mobility is satisfied.

The dashboard of the van is adorned with several notes, keys and other little things

The 207 D as camper, living space and workplace

Shortly after the idea for the project arose, the appropriate travel companion was sought for. Anna discovered the 207 D in the classifieds. It is not just a means of transportation, but also the team’s home. In the late summer of 2013, the 207 D took shape with the aid of an architect: the old interior was replaced by a new wooden structure, a new electrical system was installed, and a functional kitchen built-in. The highlight of the crew is the integrated mobile workplace. Being on the road in the van is never boring for the team of “Stories from Reality.” “You are certainly limited in terms of material and space, but still your own longing for mobility is satisfied,” enthuses Anna. “My personal highlight in the van? The windscreen wiper fluid pump, which is foot operated. That is keeping it real.”

The yellow van with doors wide open on a gravel path

A collection of real stories

Since the purchase of the 207 D, the “Stories from Reality” team has already been able to gather some stories on voyages with the van. The results can be found on the homepage of the initiative: filmed episodes and the presentation of the team give information about the eccentric project. On a personal level, the initiative has further strengthened the desire of the team members to explore the world and to meet local people. In the future, they want to travel to extraordinary places and focus on the people living there to share these authentic encounters with their own “Stories from Reality”.

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White Sprinter in a mountain with a cloudy sky.

Photos: Anna Friedrich

Stories from Reality