In 1984 Monika Treut and award-winning director and cinematographer Elfi Mikesch founded Hyena I/II in Berlin and Hamburg, a film production company, naming their company after their favorite animal. Together they produced the collaborative SEDUCTION: THE CRUEL WOMAN. In 1992 TREUT founded Hyena Films, Hamburg.
Monika Treut has a fondness for hyenas. You could almost call it a fellow feeling. After all, in hyena society, the female is dominant and moreover, these are beasts which survive by scavenging for scraps, fearlessly standing up to larger predators for a share of the spoils. Such is the life of an independent filmmaker. When, in 1984, Treut and Elfi Mikesch, one of Germany’s leading cinematographers and directors, decided to set up their own film production company, what else could they call it but (Colin Richardson,
Hyena Films? In truth, though Treut has a fearsome reputation, she hasn’t quite grown a full set of canine teeth. Indeed, she is much more the survivor than the tearer of flesh. For many years, she has worked to the point of exhaustion to carve out a niche as an international filmmaker, writing and directing all her films, raising the production finance herself, editing, promoting and even, on occasion, distributing the finished product.
Monika Treut: An Outlaw At Home in: A Queer Romance: Lesbians, gay men and popular uuculture, edited by Paul Burston and Colin Richardson (London, New York 1995)).