Virtual Screening Kids Euro 2021: Summer Rebels (Sommer-Rebellen) (2020), dir. Martina Saková

Summer Rebels © Pluto Film Distribution Network GmbH © Pluto Film Distribution Network GmbH

Sat, 10/09/2021 -
Sun, 10/31/2021

8:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Jonas is excited to spend the summer holidays with his grandpa and hopes to stay there forever. But Grandpa Bernard has changed. Since retirement, Bernard's life has been going off the rails. For Jonas, getting his old grandfather back won’t be so easy.

Directed by Martina Saková. 2020, 92 minutes, Germany/Slovakia. In German, Czech, and Slovak with English subtitles.

This virtual screening is restricted to viewers in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Pre-registration is cost-free and open now; the film will be available to watch beginning at 8:00am Eastern on October 9, 2021. The virtual screening will end at 11:59pm Eastern on October 31, 2021, or when the screening has reached its 300-view limit.

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Summer holidays: fishing, riding in a truck, ploughing through whitewater. 11-year-old Jonas expects lots of fun and action during his school break. But his family, scattered between Slovakia and Germany, haven’t really spoken to each other since his father died. So, this summer, Jonas's mother Beate has prescribed him a healthy sea climate at Aunt Anne’s, instead of going to Slovakia as they used to do.

Jonas is stunned. He promptly packs his bags and sets off, on his own, to visit his cool grandpa Bernard in Slovakia. When he arrives, everything seems to be the same as ever, only grandpa has changed. Without a wife or job, the old railway worker is not in the best of spirits. 

Jonas knows that something must be done, and it’s all up to him to do it. He teams up with Alex, a tomboy who becomes his best friend, and together they develop a series of criminally good ideas. The consequences are soon felt – Bernard has a mysterious date coming up; the police are at his heels, and the children have to cope with a failed business idea. There is a lot to straighten out before everyone can trust each other and be friends again. In the end, nothing will be as before – it will be much better.

Director's Note

Summer Rebels tells a story about longing, friendship, and a couple of unexpected troubles.  

Inspired by fragments of our childhood memories, I wanted to portray smart kids and a witty maverick grandpa on a rollercoaster ride through the summer, putting their friendship to the test.

Jonas and Bernard’s personal story is underlined by the current socio-economic issues in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Dwindling job opportunities, young people seeking employment abroad, all of this has a profound effect on many families. The social consequences are most severely felt by older people, like grandpa Bernard, who tries to keep up the appearance of bourgeois normality. If there is one thing he does not want, it is to change. We draw a lot of comic potential from this tension.

On the other hand, I see a new generation growing up all over Europe that refuses to adapt its needs to the current situation. Like Jonas, this generation is determined to shape reality according to their own designs and to challenge the existing rules with their actions.

In a patchwork family scattered across Europe, Jonas searches for his identity and in doing so not only throws his grandfather, but the whole environment, into turmoil.
Although the film does not shy away from serious topics, the combination of humorous narration, with authentic acting and much intimacy; charming, sun-imbued  photography, and unique, hip and catchy songs makes it a real children's and youth film.


Martina Saková studied film direction at Film Academy VSMU in Bratislava in Slovakia and as a guest student at the Film Academy HFF in Potsdam. In 2007, she established her own production company Projector23 in Berlin. Summer Rebels is her feature debut.

SUMMER REBELS - Trailer from Pluto Film on Vimeo.