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photo © Martin Menke

What could a timid, technologically inept electrical engineer, a crime novelist stuck in the middle of Central Asia, an aging woman dying of pancreatic cancer, a movie star caught in the whirlwind of a public scandal, and an overweight computer nerd infatuated with a character from a romance novel, possibly have in common?

It all begins very simply: with the purchase of a cell phone. Ebling has never owned one, even though he’s an electrical engineer. Almost immediately, the calls start coming in, but they are all intended for someone else. Meanwhile, the calls that Ebling makes create a domino effect of minor mishaps and major tragedies.

With each escalating incident, perfect strangers begin to drift into each other’s lives. Seeking temporary refuge from the public spotlight, famous actor Ralf Tanner unexpectedly runs into his doppelganger and decides to switch lives. On a book tour across South America, Leo Richter, an acclaimed but highly neurotic writer, begins to see the – sometimes horrifying – effects of the stories he creates. Caught in a web of absurd misunderstandings, Maria Rubinstein ends up in a strange land with no money, no way of communication, and no identity.

Isabel Kleefeld was born in Düsseldorf. She financed her studies at Berlin’s Free University and the University of Arts (HdK) by working as an editorial assistant at broadcaster SFB and later as a production assistant and script/continuity consultant on various films. After graduation in 1993, she worked as a first AD for such colleagues as Detlev Buck, Sönke Wortmann, Lars Becker and Oliver Hirschbiegel before making her directorial debut in 2001 with the TV film SCHLUSS MIT LUSTIG, which earned third place in Studio Hamburg’s Young Director’s Prize. Her 2004 TV film DAS GESPENST VON CANTERVILLE was nominated at the 2005 German Television Prize and won the Bavarian Television Award for Best Director. In 2007, she was awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize for her screenplay and direction of ARNIE'S WORLD (ARNIES WELT). Her other films include: MURDER ON PRESCRIPTION (MORD AUF REZEPT, TV, 2005), UNDER SUSPICION: A NEW LIFE (UNTER VERDACHT – EIN NEUES LEBEN, TV, 2006), UNDER SUSPICION: THE WRONG WOMAN (UNTER VERDACHT – DIE FALSCHE FRAU, TV, 2008), SLEEPLESS (SCHLAFLOS, TV, 2008), MOM'S COMING (MAMA KOMMT!, TV, 2008), FROG QUEENS (FROSCHKÖNIGINNEN, TV, 2009), and GLORY: A TALE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITIES (RUHM, 2011).
Genre Comedy, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Isabel Kleefeld
Screenplay Isabel Kleefeld
Cinematography Rainer Klausmann
Cast Senta Berger, Heino Ferch, Julia Koschitz, Stefan Kurt, Axel Ranisch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Justus von Dohnányi
Producers Tom Spieß, Christoph Friedel, Sönke Wortmann, Claudia Steffen
Co-Producers Danny Krausz, Isabelle Welter, Christof Neracher
Production Companies Little Shark Entertainment/Cologne, TERZ Film/Cologne, in co-production with Dor Film, Hugofilm Productions, WDR, ARD Degeto, ARTE, ORF/Vienna, SFR/SRG, SSR
Length 99 min
Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, German Federal Film Board, German Federal Film Fund, Eurimages, Österreichisches Filminstitut, Zürcher Filmstiftung, MEDIA
German Distributor NFP Marketing & Distribution*

World Sales
Bavaria Media International