Jarreth Merz is a filmmaker and actor raised in Ghana, Switzerland, the US and Germany. As a director. In 2006 he founded Urban Republic, an award-winning film production company based in Los Angeles. Awards include the EU prize for best documentary in Zimbabwe, the Visions du Réel audience award, the best African documentary award and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award, best American documentary, in Los Angeles. Merz is a TED speaker.

He has worked with ECES for the last 12 years. His work is rooted in observing life as it presents itself in all its complexities -- as shown in his documentary, An African Election co-produced with ECES.

The movie follows the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa. The elections serve as a backdrop for the feature documentary that looks behind-the-scenes at the complex, political machinery of a third world democracy struggling to legitimize itself to its first world contemporaries.

At stake in this race are the fates of two political parties that will do almost anything to win. Jarreth followed the key players for almost three months to provide an unprecedented insider’s view of the political, economic and social forces at work in Ghana. Throughout the film, Jarreth depicts the pride and humanity of the larger-than-life politicians, party operatives and citizens who battle for the soul of their country. In chronicling the rough-and-tumble process of a democratic election, the documentary becomes a meditation on the dream of democracy itself. The film screened in the World Documentary competition at Sundance Film Festival.

The collaboration between ECES and Urban Republic continued with the implementation of the Political Safaris a mobile-cinema democracy and voter education outreach project in Africa. This activity was implemented in Ghana from 2012 and then expanded to other African countries. The Political Safari toured the 10 regions of Ghana with a mobile cinema. Voters across the country had been educated on the electoral processes and inspired to commit to peaceful elections in 2012. The political safaris were than implemented in Kenya (2013), Madagascar (2013), Comoros (2015), Zanzibar (2015) and the Republic of Guinea (2015) also in collaboration and with the support of the ECES via projects funded by the European Union.

Merz, directed, produced and co-produced “Untold Chaos” and “After a Revolution”, documentaries chronicling Libya’s democratic journey from 2012 to 2018 together with ECES, “The Soul of Ashanti”, Glorious Exit” and is currently working on “Mola – Life as a Ritual” and “Lessons Learnt – Kenya’s democratic journey”.

Below the complete resume of his work as actor and director from the IMDb web site.

Jarreth Merz Filmography


The Royal Nanny FBI: International (TV Series) 2022
Infiniti (TV Mini Series) 2022
Zerbrochen - Ein Fall für Dr. Abel (TV Movie) 2019
Zerschunden - Ein Fall für Dr. Abel (TV Movie) 2019
Whiskey Cavalier (TV Series) 2019
Zersetzt - Ein Fall für Dr. Abel (TV Movie) 2018
Titans (TV Series) 2018
Six (TV Series) 2017-2018
The Inpatient (Video Game) 2018
Grain 2017
MacGyver (TV Series) 2016
Ben-Hur 2016
The Young Messiah 2016
Homeland (TV Series) 2015
Der Hamster (TV Movie) 2015
Mousy Brown (Short) 2013
The Fisherman (The Intruder) (Short) 2013
Problem of Evil 2013
The Haunting of Helena 2012
The Swiss Miss Massacre 2012
Länger leben 2010
Dark Streets 2008
South of Pico 2007
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) 2007
The Unit (TV Series) 2007
The Alibi 2006
Sleeper Cell (TV Series) 2005
Nightshift (Short) 2005
Room 411, the Thin Line Between Mania and Depression (Short) 2005
The Passion of the Christ 2004 ER (TV Series) 2003
Joe and Max (TV Movie) 2002
Offroad TV (TV Series) 2001
Taking Sides 2001 Alphateam - Die Lebensretter im OP (TV Series) 2000
Chill Out (TV Movie) 2000
Fake - Die Fälschung (Video) 1999
Curiosity & the Cat 1999
Heinrich Heine: A Birthday Video (TV Movie) 1997
Propellerblume 1997


Life as Ritual (Documentary) Mousy Brown (Short) 2013
An African Election (Documentary) 1997
The Soul of Ashanti (TV Movie documentary) 1997


The Guardian: Documentaries (TV Series documentary) (executive producer - 1 episode) 2021 Foodies (TV Series) 2016
Mousy Brown (Short) 2013
Nightshift (Short) 2005


HN Hermann Nitsch (Documentary) 2009


Max (Short) 2009


HN Hermann Nitsch (Documentary) 2009
Glorious Exit (Documentary) 2008
The Big Question (Documentary) 2004