Film Info: Tor zum Himmel

Gate to Heaven (Tor zum Himmel)

Gate to Heaven
Scene from "Gate to Heaven" (photo © Veit Helmer-Filmproduktion)

Millions of people pass through the Frankfurt Airport on their way from one city to another; for Alexej and Nisha, however, the airport is a city in itself - their own. With the help of airport technician Dak, Alexej breaks out of the holding area for refugees. Dak puts up the Russian, who yearns to become a pilot, in an underground labyrinth of pipes and vents. The young Indian woman Nisha pictures herself as a flight attendant, but the only time she ever boards a plane is to clean it… The two meet one night inside an empty jet as they are both acting out their dreams. Enraptured, the passionate Alexej offers her his love - and wins her heart. When Alexej finds out that Nisha's dream is fueled by the desire to bring her little son to Germany, he hands Dak his own savings, along with Nisha's, to have the boy smuggled out of India. Their plan runs smoothly until the plane lands in Frankfurt and the boy, mistaken for another child, is put in detention. Alexej promises Nisha to rescue her son - and to do so, he makes his own dream of flying come true…

Shot in English and based on a script by Gordan Mihic (Black Cat, White Cat), award-winning director Veit Helmer (Tuvalu) has created a tender and uplifting tale of love and longing with a mesmerizing cast of actors from ten countries. As Nisha, celebrated young Indian superstar Masumi Makhija brings a vibrant warmth to her role.


Veit Helmer was born in 1968 and has been making films since he was 14. He studied Directing at the University of Television & Film in Munich and co-produced A TRICK OF LIGHT by Wim Wenders. He became known for his offbeat short films which earned him more than 50 awards at numerous international film festivals. His features include TUVALU (1999), which was shown at 62 festivals and won over 30 awards, GATE TO HEAVEN (2003), ABSURDISTAN (2007), BAIKONUR (2011), and QUATSCH (2014).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Veit Helmer
Screenplay Veit Helmer, Gordan Mihic
Cinematography Joachim Jung
Hansjörg Weißbrich
Alexander Manasse
Cast Valera Nikolaev, Masumi Makhija, Miki Manojlovic, Udo Kier, Sotigui Koyaté
Producer Veit Helmer
Production Company Veit Helmer-Filmproduktion/Berlin, in cooperation with ZDF/Mainz, ARTE
Length 90 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Hof 2003, Sofia 2004, San Francisco 2004, Washington DC 2004, Moscow 2004, Ljubljana 2004, Fantasporto 2005
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Hessische Filmfoerderung
German Distributor Prokino Filmverleih/Munich

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