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Scene from COMBAT GIRLS (photo © Jonas Schmager)

Marisa, a 20-year-old German girl, hates foreigners, Jews, cops, and everyone she finds guilty for the decline of her country. She provokes, drinks, fights and her next tattoo will be a portrait of Adolf Hitler. The only place she feels at home is with the Neo-Nazi gang she belongs to, where hate, violence, and hefty parties are the daily rules. When 14-year-old Svenja joins the group, Marisa is like a role model to her: she fits the purest idea of a combat girl, fighting for the group's ideology. But Marisa's convictions will slowly evolve when she accidentally meets a young Afghan refugee. Confronted with him, she will learn that the black and white principles of her gang are not the only way. Will Marisa ever be able to get out of this group?

David Wnendt was born in 1977 in Gelsenkirchen and grew up as the son of a diplomat in Islamabad, Miami, Brussels and the German town Meckenheim. He made his first forays into the world of theater and film production working in a variety of jobs, such as lighting technician, editor and production assistant. After graduating in Business Administration and Journalism from Berlin Free University and completing a one-year film course at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he was accepted at the renowned University of Film & Television “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 2004. While still a student of the university’s Directing program, he won an award at the International Short Film Festival interfilm Berlin in 2006 for his short film CALIFORNIA DREAMS. Wnendt‘s first medium-length feature film SMALL LIGHTS starring Rosalie Thomass was broadcast on ARTE in 2008. Wnendt‘s powerful graduation film, COMBAT GIRLS, which he both wrote and directed, was met with great acclaim: the drama, depicting the right-wing scene in eastern Germany, won three German Film Awards shortly after its cinema release in 2012: in Bronze for Best Feature Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actress for Alina Levshin. Wnendt also received the Bavarian Film Award for Best Young Director, the Young German Cinema Award, the Prix Genève-Europe for Best Screenplay and the First Steps Award for Best Full-Length Feature Film. His other films include: HANNA’S HOBBY (doc short, 2005) and WETLANDS (2013).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director David Wnendt
Screenplay David Wnendt
Cinematography Jonas Schmager
Cast Alina Levshin, Jella Haase, Gerdy Zint, Sayed Ahmad Wasil Mrowat
Producers Eva-Marie Martens, René Frotscher
Production Company Mafilm Martens Film- und Fernsehproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Length 103 min
Format 35 mm, color, cs
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Munich 2011, Zurich 2011, Warsaw 2011, Sao Paulo 2011 (New Directors Competition), Molodist Kiev 2011, Dubai 2011, Plus Cameraimage 2011 (Cinematographers' Debuts Competition), Tallinn Black Nights 2011, Sofia 2012, Rome Independent Film Festival 2012, Zlin 2012, Cambridge 2012, BUSTER Copenhagen 2012, Reykjavik 2012
Awards Förderpreis Deutscher Film Best Screenplay & Best Leading Actress Munich 2011, First Steps Award 2011, Best Actress Sao Paulo 2011, Bavarian Film Prize 2011 Best Newcomer Director & Best Newcomer Actress, German Film Award 2012 (Best Film: Bronze, Best Screenplay, Best Leading Actress)
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung
German Distributor Zauberland Filmverleih/Dresden

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