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CALIFORNIA CITY

CALIFORNIA CITY
photo © Bastian Günther/INDI FILM GmbH

A story about searching and longing. Or, the art of mosquito and vector control.

A nameless character (X) is on a work trip through the post-apocalyptic environment of the housing crisis in the Mojave Desert. His job is to exterminate pests from the pools of foreclosed homes. On the road through this isolated region, everything from dragonflies to tarmac reminds him of Chelsea, his ex-girlfriend.

As the trip progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to find any water. To make matters worse, he is losing contact with headquarters. The landscape he is passing through looks familiar. It is his life – empty, sad and isolated. Lovesick, he stops hunting for pests. He reflects on alternative ways of living and eventually finds himself in his own solitude.

This hybrid film fluidly crosses borders between fiction, documentary and essay. An impressionistic use of images, photos and narration reflects the narrator’s state of mind.


Bastian Günther was born in 1974 in Hachenburg and studied Directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. His thesis film, END OF A TRIP, won the First Steps Award in 2006. He worked as an assistant-director for Christian Petzold and Marin Martschewski. AUTOPILOTS, which he wrote and directed in 2007, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and went on to screen at festivals worldwide, winning the MFG-Star Award for young directors at the MFG Festival in Baden-Baden. In 2012 he shot the international feature HOUSTON (with Ulrich Tukur and Garret Dillahunt) which premiered at Sundance (World Dramatic Competition) and was screened afterwards at festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards. In 2013 he shot the hybrid film CALIFORNIA CITY. He divides his time between Berlin and Austin, Texas. His other films include: ACAPULCO (short, 2002), STAY AT HOME IN SUMMER (doc, 2004), and he is currently working on the development of a feature titled AVALANCHE.
Genre Experimental, Melodrama, Road Movie
Category Docu-Fiction
Year of Production 2014
Director Bastian Günther
Screenplay Bastian Günther
Cinematography Michael Kotschi
Cast Jay Lewis, Dan Peart, Chelsea Williams
Producers Arek Gielnik, Sonia Otto, Dietmar Ratsch
Production Company INDI FILM/Stuttgart, in co-production with ZDF, in cooperation with ARTE
Length 83 min
Format DCP, Blu-ray, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 English
Subtitled Version German
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, MEDIA, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Real Fiction Filmverleih/Cologne

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