Population Boom

a documentary by Werner Boote (2013, 90 min)

A well-known nightmarish vision of the future: The Earth’s population reaches seven billion. Dwindling resources, mountains of toxic waste, hunger and climate change—the results of overpopulation? Who says that the world’s overpopulated? And who’s one too many? 

After the box-office success of “Plastic Planet,” in POPULATION BOOM curious documentary filmmaker Werner Boote travels the globe and examines a stubborn view of the world that has existed for decades. But he sees a completely different question: Who or what is driving this catastrophic vision? 




In Population Boom, acclaimed director Werner Boote traverses the globe armed with a World Bank umbrella to examine the myths and facts about overpopulation. 

Like a contemporary Socrates with a wry sense of humor, Boote questions the conventional wisdom. From Kenya's slums to Dhaka in Bangladesh to New York City, China, Japan and elsewhere, Boote speaks with everyone from demographic researchers to environmental activists, and comes to a surprising conclusion. It is not overpopulation that threatens humanity´s existence.

Rather, it is the developed world´s patterns of over-consumption and constant pursuit of immediate profit that looms over our future. Is overpopulation a myth with the sole purpose of covering up larger and far more important problems, and making the world's population the scapegoat of a far more complex game? "It is not about how many of us there are, but about how we treat each other," Boote recognizes. Population Boom starts with this as the basis for a debate, and becomes a cinematic journey with the masses between myth, facts and politics.


  • BABATUNDE OSOTIMEHIN, Executive Director UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund
  • HU HONGTAO, Director General (National Population & Family Planning Commission of China)
  • Farida Akther, activist
  • WOLFGANG LUTZ, Demographer, IIASA
  • BETSY HARTMANN, Hampshire College (Population and Development Program)
  • Fahmida Khatoon
  • Ndirangu Mwaura, author
  • Obadias Ndaba, president World Youth Alliance (WYA)
  • Benjamin Fulford
  • Francis Kamakia
  • Xie Zhenming, China Population and Development Research Center



Ban Ki-moon, Ted Turner, Babatunde Osotimehin, Enrique Mendoza Morales, Hu Hongtao, Ndirangu Mwaura, Betsy Hartmann, Farida Akhter, Werner Boote,  u.a.

filming locations

Japan, USA, Finland, Austria, Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Italy, India, Mexico

theatrical release

sept. 2013, Austria

international premiere

nov. 2013 @ CPH:DOX, Copenhagen

production company

NGF Geyrhalter Filmproduktion

distributor USA

First Run Features

film sales



• “Powerful!” - Tagesspiegel 

 • “An important film." - NDR Kulturjournal

• "You'd expect this doc to be a dark treatise on our species' impending doom due to overpopulation - except that the filmmaker here is Werner Boote of `Plastic Planet´ fame, and what he finds is quite startling." - Videotapeworm 

 • "Boote is a rather refreshing director, because you may very well think about the likes of a Michael Moore or a Morgan Spurlock while you're watching his film you'll also realize that Boote avoids histrionics and doesn't cheapen his fact-finding by going excessive on the entertainment route. Instead, he takes what could be difficult material and he makes it accessible and entertaining enough to drive the point home."The Independent Critic 

Festivals & Awards

• CPH:DOX Copenhagen, Nov. 2013, Nomination FACT:AWARD • AARHUS, Filmfestival, Nov. 2013 • Max Ophüls Preis, Saarbrücken, Jan. 2014 • Green Me Film Festival Berlin, Feb. 2014, Winner of the GREEN ME AWARD for "Best Documentary" • Eco Focus Film Festival, USA, March 2014 • Cosmic Cine Filmfestival, Switzerland&Germany, April 2014 Nominated for Cosmic Angel Award • Cinema Planeta, Cuernavaca, Mexico, April 2014 • Cluj-Napoca, Transilvania International Film Festival, May 2014 • Cinemambiente Filmfestival Turin, Italien, June 2014 - Nominated for "Best International Documentary" • Green Film Fest Buenos Aires, Agentina, 2014 • Ecocup Film Festival Moskau, Russland 2015


• written and directed by: Werner Boote • edited by: Emily Artmann • photography by: Dominik Spritzendorfer • 2nd camera: Mario Hötschl • sound: Andreas Hamza • original score by: Karwan Marouf • assistent director: Linda Hambrusch • 2nd assistent director & head of research: Myriam Loukili • filming locations: Bangladesh, China, Finland, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Austria, USA • research: Anna-Katharina Wohlgenannt • production office manager: Barbara Kern • production assistent: Daniela Patz, Katharina Posch, Claudia Wohlgenannt • production manager: Michael Meisterhofer • executive producer: Markus Glaser • producers: Markus Glaser, Wolfgang Widerhofer, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Michael Kitzberger • production company: NGF Geyrhalter Filmproduktion Wien • Television investment ORF (Film/Fernseh-Abkommen)• Funding institutions: Austria Filminstitut, Filmfonds Wien, Filmstandort Austria


All questions about this movie: NGF Geyrhalterfilm