© farbfilm-verleih/barnsteiner-film

Paulas Geheimnis
Germany 2007

Opening 13 Sep 2007

Directed by: Gernot Krää
Writing credits: Gernot Krää
Principal actors: Thelma Heintzelmann, Paul Vincent de Wall, Constanze Spranger, Albert Berisa, Jülide Girisken

Paulas Geheimnis is definitely super for kids who live in Hamburg, since it was filmed there and there is much to recognize. Many of the actors were booked through agencies, but a few were found directly at schools. This story could happen to anyone. Paula’s wallet, mobile phone and diary are stolen on the subway. Classmate Tobi witnesses the theft by a Romanian gang and offers to retrieve the things if she helps him with English. Paula can’t stand him since he is not of her social standing, but her diary is extremely important to her, so she risks working with him. Paula’s world opens up as she switches places with Tobi’s sister during the summer camp holiday. Her fantasy world collapses as she is confronted with the hard, daily lifestyle of Tobi’s family and the street kids. Through Tobi’s courage and the risk the Romanian kids take to return her diary, she realizes how unimportant the diary really is in comparison to the lives of these children. While trying to save them, she herself grows up and recognizes what real life is all about.

This film showed at the 2006 Filmfest Hamburg, and we talked to the stars and the director about the making of this film. They filmed in the summer holiday and did not miss any school, but it was difficult. They had to work long, hard days. The director emphasized to the kids in the audience that being an actor is not as glamorous as one thinks, and this job is not for everyone because you have to memorize lots of lines and put in many hours for it to work out. The actors also have to be team players and respect each other as well as help each other. They also explained that they had to get special permission to film in the subway, actually to rent it for a day, in order to film that sequence. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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