Foto ©Josh Shinner

Sophie Okonedo

English narration

Tony & Evening Standard Theatre Award-winning, and Emmy, Academy, BAFTA & Olivier Award-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo was born in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Sophie has worked in a variety of media including film, television, theatre, and audio drama. She received an OBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours and received a CBE on 26 February 2019 from Her Majesty the Queen.

Sophie began her film career in 1991 in the British coming-of-age drama YOUNG SOUL REBEL before appearing as Wachati Princess in ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS (1995) and Stephen Frears’ DIRTY PRETTY THINGS (2002). She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tatiana Rusesabagina in the 2004 film HOTEL RWANDA. Sophie also received a Golden Globe nomination for the miniseries TSUNAMI: THE AFTERMATH (2006) and BAFTA TV Award nominations for the drama series CRIMINAL JUSTICE (2009).

Sophie made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of A RAISIN IN THE SUN and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Ruth Younger.

Sophie Okonedo is currently seen alongside Kenneth Branagh in his latest Agatha Christie adaptation, DEATH ON THE NILE, and will soon star alongside Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke in Apple Studios’ film RAYMOND AND RAY.

Katja Riemann

German narration

Katja Riemann, born and raised near Bremen, is one of Germany’s best-known actresses. She has appeared in numerous feature films including Bandits (1997), Rosenstrasse (2003), Runaway Horse (2007) and Fack ju Göhte 1 to 3 (2013-2017). She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Volpi Cup, the German Film Award, a Bambi and the Adolf Grimme Award. She has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2000, supports humanitarian organisations such as Plan International and Amnesty International, and advocates for an open society. Her commitment to human rights has been recognised with awards including the German Federal Cross of Merit in 2010 and the Bad Iburger Courage Prize in 2016. In February 2020, her book Everybody has. No one shall. Project travels was published.

„Mirjam von Arx has made a moving film that addresses a subject we don’t generally like to address – because of our fear of fear. I am happy and grateful to have been a part of this project.“

Director, Emotional Brain Institute, New York University

Renowned American neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux has spent more than 30 years researching the neural basis of fear, during which time he has gained fundamental insight into the human fear response. He is one of the founders of the biological field of emotions research and studies how profound experiences become burned into our memory. LeDoux is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at New York University and head of The Ledoux Lab in the (NYU) Center for Neural Science and the director of the Emotional Brain Institute. In his comprehensive book Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety, LeDoux explains the latest research findings – many of which come from his own laboratory. He is the author of numerous other publications and international bestsellers, including Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are and The Emotional Brain.

Joseph LeDoux is also vocalist and lyricist for the band The Amygdaloids, a successful rock group of scientists who write and perform songs about the mind, the brain and mental disorders.

Head of Neuropsychology University of Zurich, Switzerland

Lutz Jäncke researches how the brain influences our thoughts, actions and feelings. In his book Ist das Hirn vernünftig? (Is the brain reasonable?), the world-renowned neuroscientist and neuropsychologist uses enlightening experiments and the latest scientific knowledge to explain the effect of our subconscious on our thoughts and actions, how we make decisions, and how memory works.

Lutz Jäncke studied psychology and neuroscience at the universities of Bochum, Braunschweig and Düsseldorf. Since graduating, he has completed research internships at the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard University in Boston, received a Heisenberg fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG), and was appointed as a full professor at the University of Magdeburg. Since 2002, he has been professor of neuropsychology at the University of Zurich. Jäncke has authored numerous scientific publications and is one of the most cited scientists worldwide in his field. Jäncke is also known for his lecturing skills, which have won him the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching (from the University of Zurich) as well as the Golden Owl – a prize awarded to lecturers by students at ETH Zurich.

Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam, Germany

Ortwin Renn is an internationally recognised risk researcher who understands why we fear the wrong things. His research examines which risks we overestimate and which we underestimate. He also looks at how fear helps shape the processes and structures of community life.

Prof. Ortwin Renn is scientific director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam and professor for technology assessment and environmental sociology at the University of Stuttgart. He holds, among other titles, an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Ortwin Renn’s publications include over 30 monographs and edited anthologies as well as more than 250 scientific articles. Prominent works include his 2014 book Das Risikokoparadox. Warum wir uns vor dem Falschen fürchten (The risk paradox. Why we fear the wrong things) and his 2019 work Gefühlte Wahrheiten. Orientierung in Zeiten postfaktischer Verunsicherung. (Perceived truths. Orientation in times of post-factual uncertainty).

Cognitive linguist

Political communication expert Elisabeth Wehling was born in Hamburg in 1981. She studied sociology, journalism and linguistics in Hamburg, Rome and Berkeley, where she became a cognitive researcher at the International Computer Science Institute. Here, Wehling led research projects on ideology, language and unconscious opinion formation. In her book Political framing. How a nation persuades itself to think – and makes politics out of it, she demonstrates the impact of language in politics and how it can influence us. She examined the influence of the post-9/11 Bush administration on political and public discourse in the US, and analysed the presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton from a linguistic standpoint.

Clinical psychologist, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Psychoanalyst Peter Schneider lives and works in Zurich. He studied philosophy, psychology, and German language and literature. After graduating, Schneider went on to work as Privatdozent (PD) for psychoanalysis and professor of developmental psychology at the University of Bremen, and as a lecturer in the history and epistemology of psychoanalysis at the International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin. Since 2014, he has been PD for clinical psychology at the University of Zurich. He has also worked for many years as a satirist and columnist, and is the author of numerous books. Peter Schneider has written widely on the themes of fear and security.

Director, Institute of Science, Technology and Policy, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Thomas Bernauer’s research focuses on society’s desire to minimise risk. He sheds light on the driving forces behind our (utopian) desire to live risk-free and examines, for example, whether this societal demand for ever greater security can overwhelm state and political systems.

Bernauer is a Swiss-Canadian political scientist and full professor of international politics at ETH Zurich. He previously worked as a research assistant at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and is the author of numerous books and articles.

Extreme athlete

Evelyne Binsack is a qualified mountain guide, helicopter pilot, extreme mountaineer, adventurer and best-selling author.

After leaving school, Binsack trained as a sport’s equipment salesperson while pursuing a career in athletics – but then she discovered her passion for mountaineering. She quickly learned that, in order to survive on a sheer rock face, it is essential to respect the laws of nature and to relentlessly train both the body and mind. In 1991, Evelyne Binsack was one of the first women in Europe to become a qualified mountain guide. She climbed Mount Everest in 2001 – the first Swiss woman to do so – and has scaled the north face of the Eiger three times (1990, 1994, 1999), including solo. She has also conquered the highest peaks of the Himalayas and the Andes.

Binsack is the only person to have reached the South Pole (starting on her doorstep in Switzerland) using muscle power alone. Over a total of 484 days, she passed through 16 countries and covered 25,000 kilometres – by bike, on foot, by ski and by sled. In 2017, she took on another extreme challenge that she documented for THE SCENT OF FEAR: on 12 April 2017, after 11 months of planning, a first aborted attempt and an expedition lasting 105 days, she reached the North Pole.

Face model

Noëmi Manser was born in Basel, but spent her childhood and early teenage years in New Zealand. At the age of 15, she returned to Switzerland and began a successful modelling career, which gained her international recognition. Today, Manser lives in her adopted home of New York and devotes more time to her art. Part of her practice involves painting faces with her left and right hand simultaneously – a project she calls “Connecting Brains”. This technique connects the two halves of the brain, i.e. the emotional and rational sides.