FELLWECHSELZEIT

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FELLWECHSELZEIT // TIME OF MOULTING
81′
2020

The FIPRESCI Jury of the 2020 Seville European Film Festival, composed by Enric Albero, Luminita Boerescu and Luiza Lusvarghi, has decided to award the following prize:

ENDLESS REVOLUTIONS BEST FILM AWARD

“The FIPRESCI jury was impressed by the precision and meticulousness, reminiscent of a watchmaker, with which the director Sabrina Mertens evokes the suffocating universe of the family in which her heroine lives. The monotony of everyday life, in the closed universe of the house in which she grows up, her repressed feelings, the obsessive-compulsive depressions of her collector mother, the house like a bunker from which nothing is thrown, not even the slaughtering pigs tools of the grandfather, proudly kept in an old chest, all are analyzed as if under a microscope by the camera, in a narrative unfolding reminiscent of the fixed frame of some photos from an old album. The film surprises! As it unfolds, the viewer is at first amazed, then outraged, shocked, suffocated, but captivated by these people with mental disorders, who live in a micro universe reminiscent of the universal macro in which we all live.”

Festivals and screenings

– Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis (World Premiere), January 2020
– International Film Festival Rotterdam (International Premiere), January 2020
– The EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam, January 2020
– Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal, Canada (online), August 2020
– Randfilmfest, Kassel, Germany, September 2020
– NIGHTSTREAM Festival, USA (online), October 2020
– Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, Germany (online), November 2020
– New Horizons International Film Festival, Breslau, Poland, November 2020
– Cucalorus Festival, USA (online), November 2020
– Seville European Film Festival, Sevilla, Spain, November 2020
– La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain, November 2020
– Final Girls Film Festival, Berlin (online), Germany, February 2021
– Filmfest Bremen, Germany, April 2021
– ARC Filmfestival, Mainz, Germany, September 2021
– REAKTOR International Film Festival, October 2021

Awards

– ENDLESS REVOLUTIONS BEST FILM AWARD at Seville European Film Festival 2020
– BEST VISUAL STORYTELLING AWARD at ARC Film Festival 2021

Cast:
Mother: Freya Kreutzkam
Stephanie: (as a child) Zelda Espenschied
Stephanie: (as an adult) Miriam Schiweck
Father: Bernd Wolf

Camera: Jan Fabi
Edited by: Marco Rottig
Sound Design: Jonathan Rösch, Ole Ohlendorf
Audio Mix: Jonathan Rösch
Sound on set: Willibald Wonneberger, Isabella Forster, Johann Meis
Grading: Stefano Zordan
Producer: Sabrina Mertens, Vera Paulmann, Jan Fabi
Set design and costumes: Sabrina Mertens
Written and directed by: Sabrina Mertens

Synopsis:
The still life of a family in 57 pictures.

Germany in the 70s. Stephanie is an intelligent and lively child. However, she feels that something is wrong in her family, something that cannot be put into words. The unspoken lurks beneath the surface of everyday life.
She leads an isolated life with her parents, which is marked by the symbiotic relationship with her mentally unstable mother Sybille. Sybille has never really left her own childhood behind and lives a life amidst the things of the past and her memories. Stephanie’s father is also not a trustworthy support for the child.
Stephanie withdraws more and more into herself and the passing years bring only aging, but no future with them.
Thus Stephanie flees early from the narrowness and hopelessness into an outlying world of dark fantasies, which are nourished by the traces of past times and belong only to her. One day, however, her secret penetrates into the reality of the family…

Experiences believed to have been suppressed from the past influence the lives of future generations as diffuse moods or atmospheres – the inescapable standstill lies on people’s shoulders like a leaden blanket. Not tangible, not namable but inexorable. Inner abysses form the only escape route for a soul in need.

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