Hannes Stoehr • Director
by Martin Blaney – German Films
Thoughtfully entertaining rather than sermonizing – that's the goal of director Hannes Stoehr whose latest feature Berlin Calling [+see also:
film profile] had its world premiere on the Piazza Grande at the Locarno International Film Festival in August 2008.
"I see myself as more of a clown than a priest," says Hannes. “I love solid storytelling which is based on research. Reality is complex, the main thing is to find the right angle for your story. And the right tone: I prefer tragicomedies.”
Hannes was born in Stuttgart and grew up in Hechingen Baden-Wuerttemberg.In 1994, he moved to Berlin, where he became part of an underground-style filmmaking movement in the reunified capital, "which was really anarchic, low budget and of course without any shooting permits. Everything was possible then because there was such a great energy in the air."
His application to Berlin's German Film & Television Academy (dffb) was accepted in 1995 where he studied until 1999, making such films as the documentaries, Lieber Cuba Libre, Gosh – Live In Paris, and a 15-minute short version of his 2001 feature debut Berlin is in Germany.
Berlin is in Germany stirred things up winning the Panorama Audience Award at the 2001 Berlinale, the German Film Critics Prize for Best Film 2002 and many others, including four international first film awards. This feature debut played in the here and now of 2001 Berlin whereas subsequent films about the recent German past, such as Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives Of Others [+see also:
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
interview: Ulrich Muehe
film profile], were set during the GDR or in the autumn of '89.
His feature One Day In Europe – which had its premiere in the Official Competition of the Berlinale in 2005 – he describes as his response to "a historical European moment coming from this chance of the fall of the Wall" with interwoven stories set in Berlin, Moscow, Istanbul and Santiago de Compostela. The overall theme of the film was languages in Europe.
And looking back now, Hannes says that he can see his three feature films as forming a trilogy: "Berlin is in Germany shows Berlin viewed from the alien perspective, One Day in Europe shows Berlin in the European context, and Berlin Calling is now the view from within."
At the moment, he is promoting the release of Berlin Calling in Germany and is invited to several international festivals. Berlin Calling portrays the world of an electronic music composer, a tragicomedy in the Berlin of today, starring Paul Kalkbrenner, Rita Lengyel, Corinna Harfouch and Araba Walton. “Our main role and musician, Paul Kalkbrenner, is an internationally known electronic music artist, so we have a worldwide audience on all continents around the globe. We are trying to also reach our global community by net guerilla activities through My Space, Facebook and YouTube. The Internet gives you a great opportunity to promote your film without having so much money,” Hannes adds. “We live in a time where global storytelling is possible. This is a great opportunity.”
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