RIVAL (RIVALE) New Auteurs


North America Premiere

Following the film, film critic Tyra Martin leads a conversation between filmmakers Marcus Lenz and Gunter Hanfgarn and co-writer Lars Hubrich.

From the opening scenes of a little boy brandishing a huge gun, the audience is immediately drawn in. Bolstered by beautiful cinematography and an evocative score, nothing is predictable about this suspenseful tale of young Roman, his Ukrainian mother working illegally in Germany and Gert, the employer with whom she becomes romantically involved. Director Marcus Lenz weaves a compelling narrative largely from the perspective of a child. In addition, the film raises important questions about the perilous state of undocumented immigrants. This powerful film explores Roman’s endearing bond with his mom, as well as his complex, evolving relationship with Gert. Roman’s fascination with nature is captured in several winning scenes. A mother-son bowling montage to the accompaniment of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” leaves an indelible impression. Audiences will be mesmerized by this intimate three-person saga. –Claudia Puig

Marcus Lenz grew up in the Ruhr area and studied communication design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and at the UIAH in Helsinki. After receiving his degree, he went to the German Film and Television Academy Berlin and studied directing and cinematography. He has directed and shot both documentaries and feature films.

Ismene Daskarolis
Pluto Film


Country: Germany

Year: 2020

Director: Marcus Lenz

Screenwriters: Marcus Lenz, Lars Hubrich

Producers: Gunter Hanfgarn, Patrick Waldmann, Andrea Ufer

Director of Photography: Frank Amann

Editors: Hansjörg Weissbrich, Bernd Euscher

Production Designer: Beatrice Schultz

Music: Caroline Siegers, Evgueni Galperine

Cast/Featuring: Yelizar Nazarenko, Maria Bruni, Udo Samel

Running Time (minutes): 96

Languages: German, Ukrainian