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Scene from SWANS (photo © Flying Moon Filmproduktion GmbH/Walter Wehner)

A father and his teenage son travel to Berlin. The boy has never met his mother who is in the hospital in a coma. The father is confronted by his uncertain past. Both are unsettled by the winter gloom in the unfamiliar big city, and by the hostile environment of the hospital. The mother’s flat where both are staying is equally unwelcoming. They meet a mysterious and beautiful woman there, the mother’s flat mate. While the boy explores the city, the father waits for the mother to recover.

The film evokes an atmosphere oscillating between desire and anonymity, the fear of personal proximity and of death, between boredom and physical excess on a skateboard. It presents an unusual impression of Berlin, involving a fascinating coming-of-age story and of facing up to old age. It is a haunting exploration of the many facets of love and desire.

Hugo Vieira da Silva was born 1974 in Oporto/Portugal. After studying Law at the Catholic University in Oporto from 1992 to 1995, he graduated from the Lisbon School of Theater and Cinema (ESTC) in 1999. His graduation documentary ARTE PUBLICA was awarded with the Kodak Prize for Best Portuguese Documentary in 1998. His following documentaries GRUPO PUZZLE and CONFESSO were screened and curated in several international contemporary art institutions and galleries. After receiving the Nipkow Grant in 2003 he moved to Berlin. His first feature film, BODY RICE, won several awards, most notably in the Best Director category in Buenos Aires (BAFICI-2007) and Mexico (FICCO-2007), a Special Mention in Locarno 2006, Best Cinematography and Best Sound in Fortaleza 2007. Furthermore, the film was selected for more than 10 competitive international sections. SWANS is his second feature film.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Hugo Vieira da Silva
Screenplay Hugo Vieira da Silva
Cinematography Reinhold Vorschneider
Andrea Wagner
Thomas Molt
Cast Kai Hillebrand, Ralph Herforth, Maria Schuster, Vasupol Siriviriyapoon, Eva Kryll, Cornelius Schwalm, Christian Schwarz, Anne Rathsfeld, Robert Lohr
Producer Helge Albers
Co-Producer Francisco Villa-Lobos
Production Company Flying Moon Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Contracosta Producoes/Lisbon
Length 126 min
Format RED, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2011 (Forum), BAFICI 2011, Jerusalem 2011, Torino 2011
Awards Production Award TorinoFilmLab 2008
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Fund, MEDIA, TorinoFilmLab, MC/ICA, Binger Filmlab, Amsterdam Script & Pitch Workshop, ACE
German Distributor Salzgeber & Co. Medien

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