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AMMA & APPA

AMMA & APPA
photo © HFF/BR

Amma and Appa in Tamil means mother and father. This film tells the story of Franziska and Jay’s parents and their first meeting. They are about the same age and both couples have been married for over 30 years. However they are from two very different cultures – but through their children’s love, their lives are about to connect these two families in a rather astonishing way. Their children have not only fallen in love but also want to get married. After two years of living a long-distance relationship, Franziska and Jay have managed to have their mothers and fathers agree on meeting each other. The journey begins in the south of Germany, in Bavaria, where Franziska’s parents make the decision to travel to Tamil Nadu. Jay takes his future in-laws back to his hometown, a typical but small town in the South of India, 170 km away from the city of Chennai. For the German parents, this visit is their very first time in India and for the Indian couple this visit will be their first time ever to meet foreigners. While Jay’s parents’ marriage was arranged and held very traditionally in India, Franziska’s parents married out of love. Understandably having a son want to marry out of love was a huge shock for Jay’s parents. Especially to a white girl from Germany. Jay’s decision made them not only question their own traditions but also their beliefs. Against this background, the film unfolds its story. It is a confrontation of love with cultural boundaries and in some way a search for the roots that define or make love and relationships work. Through observing and researching their parents’ relationships and lives, Franziska and Jay want to build their own relationship and learn from their encounters and mistakes.

What is the secret of a successful partnership? How can a couple live together happily for so many years? And what impact does their wisdom have on us, their children?


Franziska Schönenberger lives and works in Munich as a writer and director. For her work as a journalist in India she received several awards. After her Masters in Media Studies, she worked for major German broadcasters. She is currently studying Directing in the Documentary department at the University of Television and Film Munich. Her films include: FOR ELLI (2010), PROTECT EVERYONE I LOVE (2011) and AMMA & APPA (2014).

Jayakrishnan Subramanian studied Graphic Design at the National Institute of Design after completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Madras University. He is currently doing his MFA in Media Art at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. He is working together with Franziska on his first feature length experimental-documentary PALAI NIZHALGAL – SHADOW OF THE DESERT. His films include: BREATHING WALLS (2010), A BRIDE’S LOST SUITCASE (2013) and AMMA & APPA (2014).
Genre Animation, Family Entertainment, Love Story, Romantic Comedy
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2014
Directors Franziska Schönenberger, Jayakrishnan Subramanian
Cinematography Minsu Park
Cast Christine & Albert Schönenberger, Viruthambal Subramanian, Subramanian Duraisamy
Producers Ferdinand Freising, Cosima von Spreti, Marina Voeth
Co-Producers Sonja Scheider, Natalie Lambsdorff
Production Companies Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF/M), Bayerischer Rundfunk
Length 89 min
Format DCP, HDCAM, Blu-ray, color, 16:9
Original Version
 German, English, Tamil
Subtitled Versions German, English
Festivals Berlinale 2014 (Perspektive Deutsches Kino), Warsaw 2014, Mumbai 2014

World Sales
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF/M)
Tina Janker
University of Television & Film Munich (HFF/M)
Bernd-Eichinger-Platz 1
80333 Munich/Germany
phone +49-89-68957 8510
fax +49-89-6 89 75 99 30 or +49-89-6 89 57 99 40
t.janker@hff-muc.de
http://www.hff-muc.de/