Filmscreening Erik Schmitt: Cleo

woman in foreground, two men sitting on a bench behind © Detailfilm

Wed, 26.07.2023

7:00 PM

Goethe-Institut London

Goethe-Kino (Cinema Screening)

If only one could turn back time to change its course! This desire drives the Cleo and propels forward the plot of this quirky film, peppered with visual ideas, which lets us discover Berlin and its history in a whole new way. A story of loss and the weight of the past countered by lightness and imagination.

The imaginative Cleo feels a very special kind of affinity for her home town of Berlin. But her deepest desire is to be able to turn back time - with the aid of a magic clock which was stolen during a robbery in the 1920s and has been missing ever since. She hopes that the clock might help her undo the death of her parents. One day, she meets the adventurer Paul who is living on a houseboat and had recently bought a treasure map at an auction. Cleo is bursting with suspense – might the map lead to the treasure she is dreaming of? Cleo and Paul set off together on an adventurous trip through the pulsating city, where they meet crazy characters, lovable figures, Berlin myths and urban legends.

After several award-winning short films, Cleo is the first feature film by director Erik Schmitt and his way of expressing his special relation to Berlin: “Since I've lived here, I've always had this feeling that there's a certain connection (...). Berlin has experienced a very unique and special history and I wanted to make a film that only this city can tell. In the last 20 years, Berlin has managed to become a symbol of freedom, lightness and creativity, despite traumatic experiences in the past - from the bombs over the city to the building of the Wall, which separated countless families." The film was shot in late summer 2017 at over 100 different locations, paying close attention to detail and coming up with as many visual tricks as possible. A small marathon, but one experienced without effort.

Germany 2019, colour, 99 mins. With English subtitles.
Directed by Erik Schmitt. With Marleen Lohse, Max Mauff, Andrea Sawatzki, Maximilian Befort, Ben Münchow, Fabian Busch, Jeremy Mockridge, Heiko Pinkowski, Canan Samadi, Anna Böttcher.

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Erik Schmitt

Erik Schmitt was born in Mainz in 1980. He directed the short films Nashorn im Galopp (2013) and Berlin Metanoia (2016), both of which premiered in the Generation 14plus section or the Berlin Film Festival. He won the German short film award Lola with the short film Nun Sehen Sie Folgendes (2011). Overall, he won over 100 international festival and film awards with his short films. In 2018 he founded the production company Seven Elephants GmbH together with director Julia von Heinz, director David Wnendt and producer Fabian Gasmia. Cleo (2019) is his first feature film. He is currently working on the sci-fi film Rebel Girl.