J E S S I
A film by Mariejosephin Schneider Cinematography Jenny Lou Ziegel
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SHORT SYNOPSISEleven-year-old Jessi lives with a foster family while her mother is in prison. In search of self-identity and comfort, she runs away, back to the small village she grew up in. Not until Jessi reveals her inner world to the outside does she understand that there is no way for her to pick up her old life again.
SYNOPSISEleven-year-old Jessi longs for the place of her childhood. She carries responsibility for her mother Rosa, incarcerated several months ago, acting as Rosa's sole connection to the outside since Bibi, Jessi's older sister, broke off contact. Jessi lives with a foster family in the city. Her relationship with her foster mother, Claudia, is strained: Claudia wants everything to be perfect, pressuring Jessi and unconsciously building a rivalry between herself and Jessi's real mother.
Today is Bibi's birthday: Jessi visits her mother in the corrections facility, bringing telephone money so that her mother can give her sister a call. Her mother refuses. So Jessi decides to fight for her family again, coming up with a plan to get back to her home village and give her sister a present in her mother's name. Her plan succeeds: for the first time in months, Bibi asks how their mother is doing.
But Jessi can’t stay long with her sister: Bibi's life has changed as well. She has moved out of their old house and in with her boyfriend Kevin in his tiny apartment. Tucked in on the sofa that night, Jessi hears the two of them making love. Jessi sneaks away, riding her bike home to her mother's old house.
Jessi must reveal her inner world to the outside to understand that there is no way for her to pick up her former life. Retur ning to the comfort of childhood is impossible. She has to make her own way, find her place in the world and in search of someone who can make her “me” a “we”.
J E S S I
Germany 2010, shortfilm, 31 minutes, color, shooting format super16 mm, screening format HD Cam, screen ratio 16:9, sound format LT/RT, German with English subtitles
“The basis of this film was the desire of director and cinematographer to develop the visual and content levels of the story concurrently. The pictures should come to us both simultaneously through our work on the script and visiting locations as we developed the material. We wanted to tell the story close to the figure of the girl and to trust our young actress to carry it. We placed importance on not psychoanalyzing or judging but on observing. The o b s e r v a t i o n a l p o i n t o f v i e w s h o u l d a l l o w s p a c e t o e n g a g e w i t h t h e protagonists. Through Jessi we meet adults who are not bad or evil, but cannot give her foundation. Jessi fights to have a family and tries, with the means she has, to better her situation. Unfortunately, the plan does not work out. The adults, trapped in the world of their own needs, worries and perspectives, can't understand Jessi's initiative, her fight for the paradise she has already lost. The first person to satisfy Jessi's need for intimacy without demanding anything in return is the woman with whom she hitchhikes to the village. The woman whose head everyone wants to caress.
So when Jessi comes out of the bathroom with a shaved head, she is not only naked in a mythological sense, but uses a known gesture of teen culture in a totally different context: instead of hiding in a group of other shaved-headed teens, she shows herself. She wants to be seen in a way that doesn't end with the surface of her body. She says what she feels inside: “Touch it, it's soft.” and means both her body and soul.
Our actress had to have as much courage as Jessi did in the story, we didn't have a stuntman for moments like that. We looked for our actress for a long
CAST & CREWC A S T J e s s i L u z i e A h r e n s B i b i S o p h i e R o g a l l J e s s i s M u t t e r J a s m i n R i s c h a r P f l e g e m u t t e r M i c h a e l a H i n n e n t h a l F r a u m i t P e r ü c k e A n j a S t ö h r K e v i n P i t B u k o w s k i Vo l l z u g s b e a m t i n n e n E v a G ü n t h e r A n n e t t e B o r c h a r d t J u n g e R o b e r t E r n s t A r z t D i e t r i c h D e l e k a t B a b y Va l e n t i n o K o s s m a n n CREW W r i t e r / D i r e c t o r M a r i e j o s e p h i n S c h n e i d e r C i n e m a t o g r a p h e r J e n n y L o u Z i e g e l P r o d u c t i o n D e s i g n K e r s t i n E i c h n e r C o s t u m e D e s i g n S u s a n n e W e i s k e M a k e - u p A r t i s t A d r i a n a M e t z l a f f S o u n d B e n n y D u n k e r M o n t a g e I n g e S c h n e i d e r P r o d u c t i o n M a n a g e r N i c o l a i Z e i t l e r -
BIOGRAPHY + FILMOGRAPHY
Born 1998 in Berlin. First screen appearance in Michael Haneke's “The White Ribbon”.
Bor n 1976 in East Berlin. Following her secondary school examinations, she traveled to Mexico and the U.S.A. Back in Berlin she assisted in the areas art p r o d u c t i o n a n d p r o d u c t i o n , f o l l o w e d b y a s s i s t a n t directorships for Maria Speth, Oskar Röhler and Marc Meyer, among others. Student at the dffb since 2002. Directed numerous shorts during the course of her studies, whereby her social spot LOVE HUR TS (a collaboration with Döndü Kilic) ran successfully at inter national festivals.
•ACTION THEATRE IN BANGLADESH, Documentary, Short, 13 min, HDV Color •LOVE HURTS, Social Spot, Co-director: Döndü Kilic, 1 min , 35mm B&W -57. Berlinale Section Panorama: Teddy Jury Special Mention
JENNY LOU ZIEGEL
Born in 1980 in Frankfurt/Main. Following secondary school exams in 1999, she spent 18 months in Mexico, thereafter studied comparative literature for three semesters in Giessen. She moved to Berlin in 2001, inter ning with various film productions. Camera student at the dffb since September 2003. Rosa Luxemburg Foundation scholarship recipient.
S E L E C T E D A W A R D S :
Jenny Lou Ziegel´s collaboration with director Roberto Anjari-Rossi in "In T irana“ was awarded the 2008 S h o r t T i g e r S p e c i a l P r i z e o f t h e J u r y. F o r h e r cinematography in "Zur Maloche" she received the
"Special Award" at the 29. Manaki Brother Cinematographers Film Festivals in Skopje. The short film "Gestern in Eden", by director Jan Speckenbach, was invited to screen in the Cinefondation section at Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
Born 1947 in Ermsleben, Inge Schneider knew her choice of profession by age 14. After secondary school and practical experience as assistant editor, she learned her trade at HFF Babelsberg. From 1986 t o 1 9 9 4 s h e t a u g h t f i l m e d i t i n g a t t h e d f f b . Collaborative work with her daughter Mariejosephin Schneider since 2001.
S E L E C T E D A W A R D S
:2000 Special Mention for Montage at the German
Camera Awards for the film "Nach dem Fall". "Film+" editing award, given for the first time from the magazine "SCHNITT" for her work on Andres Veiel's "Spielwütigen“ in 2006. "Prinzessinnenbad" (2008, Documentary, Director: Bettina Blümler), "Dancing W ith Myself" (2004, Documentary, Director: Judith Keil und Antje Kruska), "Kinderland ist abgebrannt" (1997, Documentary, Directors: Sibylle T iedemann and Ute Badura).