SMILE

2019 | Feature film (81 min.)

Nineteen-year-old Mercedes meanders through life with no clear direction, except for one compelling dream: attending the immense and fabled electronic music festival, Heimat. Her aspirations extend beyond forging friendships and seeking life-altering experiences; she is determined to meet Boy, a DJ with whom she’s been corresponding on Social Media. However, the exorbitant ticket prices force her to resort to using her mother’s credit card to gain access. Upon reaching the festival, she discovers that Boy is already at an exclusive backstage party, reserved for those with coveted golden wristbands. Left stranded, Mercedes decides to forge her own path. Enter wild child Bella, who boasts of connections to the party’s doorkeeper and becomes Mercedes’ companion. However, Bella’s claims unravel when Mercedes’ mother blocks her credit card, revealing Bella’s lack of genuine influence. Frustrated, Mercedes contemplates leaving Heimat, only to realize her credit card-linked wristband thwarts her departure. As she grapples with the constraints of the festival, a Faun-costumed employee offers her a ubiquitous happy pill, leading Mercedes to reluctantly embrace the festival’s rules.

To attain her ultimate goal, Mercedes must confront the hidden malevolent forces lurking beneath the surface of this seemingly utopian world. Her journey becomes a battle not only for freedom but also for the preservation of her identity. A film about life in contemporary hypercapitalism, set between Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno.

CAST

Mercedes Müller | MERCEDES

Hanna Hilsdorf | BELLA

Mehmet Sözer | BOY

Christoph Bach | ZYLINDER

Julia Dietze | HEIDI

GiGi Fantasio Spelsberg| ISIS

CREW

Director  |  Steffen Köhn 

Producer  |  René Frotscher

Screenplay  |  Silke Eggert, Steffen Köhn, Prodromos Antoniadis

DoP  |  Mario Krause

Editor  |  Leo Franke, Andi Pek

Sound  |  Lorenz Fischer

Music   |  Johannes Klingebiel

SCREENINGS  (SELECTION)

ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel

Galway Film Fleadh

Achtung Berlin – New German Film Award

other Work