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GAMING INSTINCT (SPIELTRIEB)

GAMING INSTINCT
photo © 2013 Concorde Filmverleih

What if life were a game? And terrible things could be conjured up by declaring them “just for fun”? Ada could warm to this idea. The brainy but abrasive 15-year-old high school outsider usually takes the sassy way out of life’s annoyances. But when she meets Alev, the school’s new alpha-male, her life takes a completely new turn. Though Alev immediately attracts a following, his soulmate is Ada. With her, he can achieve what he wants: to play with Smutek, the Polish-born German teacher and running coach. He convinces Ada to seduce the unhappily married man. Capturing everything on video, Alev then blackmails him. The seduction becomes a weekly ritual that gets out of hand when Smutek and Ada begin to develop genuine feelings for one another. Life may be nothing but a game, but the players of this game have gone too far, and know that there can be no winner ...

With wide-open eyes and unstoppable momentum, the characters of GAMING INSTINCT run head-first into a tangled drama of cruelty and manipulation, attraction and love. Adapted to the screen by Kathrin Richter and Jürgen Schlagenhof, Juli Zeh’s award winning (Prix de Cévennes 2008) novel has been published in over ten countries, including France and Spain.

“A bright portrait of our bleak times,” wrote DIE ZEIT about Juli Zeh’s novel.


Gregor Schnitzler was born in 1964 in Berlin. During his studies of Communication Design, he worked as a set photographer. Together with Eleni Ampelakiotou, he directed the shorts DAS FENSTER (1991) and SONNTAGE (1992) and the feature FINNLANDIA (1999). His other films include: the episodes UNTERNEHMEN FEUERTAUFE and TÖDLICHER WINDfrom the T.E.A.M. BERLIN series, GEFÄHRLICHE VATERSCHAFT from the BALKO series, and the features WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF FIRE? (WAS TUN, WENN’S BRENNT?, 2001), SOLO ALBUM (SOLOALBUM, 2003), THE CLOUD (DIE WOLKE, 2006), RESTURLAUB (2011), and GAMING INSTINCT (SPIELTRIEB, 2013), as well as over 65 music videos and commercials.
Genre Coming-of-Age Story, Drama, Literature, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2013
Director Gregor Schnitzler
Screenplay Kathrin Richter, Jürgen Schlagenhof
Cast Michelle Barthel, Jannik Schümann, Maximilian Brückner, Richy Müller, Ulrike Folkerts, Sophie von Kessel
Producer Markus Zimmer
Production Company Clasart Film/Munich
Length 104 min
Format DCP, color, cs
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Montreal 2013, Busan 2013, Zurich 2013, Palm Springs 2014, Festroia 2014
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Board, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Concorde Filmverleih

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