Jannis Alexander Kiefer’s tragicomedy Wiesenwood ready for release
by Teresa Vena
- For his first feature, set in the countryside, the German director has focused on the dynamics of rural politics
With Meeting, director Jannis Alexander Kiefer won the Lola for Best German Short Film of 2020. He has just finished the post-production on his first feature-length effort, Wiesenwood, and is already working on several new projects, among which are another feature, Hurenkind (lit. “Child of Prostitutes”), as well as various series.
For Wiesenwood, he previously won the Cine Chromatix Italy Post-production Prize and the True Colours International Distribution Prize at the Bolzano Film Festival, as part of Final Touch #8. The movie is both the director's first feature and his graduation film from the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf.
The tragicomedy takes place in Brandenburg, in a rural location on the outskirts of Berlin. The plot centres on the first female mayor of Wiesenwalde (or “Wiesenwood” in English). Mayor Pauli does everything she can to revitalise the community, which has been in a downward spiral ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, it is difficult to move on from the old customs of East Germany. The village will thereafter be the setting for a new Hollywood series based on German history. Strange things begin to happen, and plots and schemes involving the villagers start to emerge, making it impossible to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Among the main cast members are Meike Droste (Nachtwald [+see also:
film profile]), Monika Lennartz (Whatever Happens Next [+see also:
film profile]), Johannes Scheid Weiler, Roland Bonjour (Club Europa [+see also:
film profile]), Alexander Schuster and the very charismatic Gisa Flake (What the Finn?! – Summer of Surprises, You Tell Me [+see also:
Wiesenwood is being produced by Maze Pictures GmbH in co-production with Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Funding for the film was provided by local TV channel rbb, and the Leuchtstoff funding programme of rbb and Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg. The director’s next film project, Hurenkind, will be produced by young Berlin-based production company Tidewater Pictures and is being supported by Mecklenburg Western Pomerania MV Filmförderung.
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