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Whatz up? (Was lebst du?)

Whatz up?
Scene from "Whatz up?" (photo © ICON Film/Bettina Braun)

Ali, Kais, Ertan and Alban are good friends. They are youths who feature in the picture of our daily lives and of whom there are hundreds of thousands in Germany. Nevertheless, we hardly have contact with them on an every day basis. With their macho behavior and “street talk” they confirm prejudices that we rarely question. But on second view, they break the cliché. Self-projection and poses disappear and are made fun of with a knowing irony. What is revealed then are the boys’ natures, full of conflict but also profound and warm-hearted. The four friends meet regularly at the Cologne ‘Youth Center Klingelpuetz’ where they have found a second home since their early youth. They come from Moroccan, Tunisian, Turkish and Albanian backgrounds. But being part of a minority in Germany ties them together and is stronger than the differences of their nationalities. Loyalty and respect predominate their being together despite the often rough manner.

Bettina Braun studied Graphic Design at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in London and pursued post-graduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne. Since 1993, she has been working as a freelance director and designer for various broadcasters in England and Germany and since 2004 has been instructing Audio-Visual Media Design. A selection of her films includes: Bodies & Borders (experimental short, 1996), Sprech ens aanstaendich (documentary essay, 1997), Women's Nature is Different (Frauen sind im Wesen anders..., documentary, 1999), Behind the Camera is in Front of the Camera (Hinter der Kamera ist vor der Kamera, documentary, 2000), and Whatz up? (Was lebst du?, documentary, 2004).
Genre Coming-of-Age Story
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2004
Director Bettina Braun
Screenplay Bettina Braun
Cinematography Bettina Braun
Gesa Marten, Bettina Braun
Ali El. Mkllaki, Amin Aman Saleh
Cast Ali El. Mkllaki, Kais Setti, Ertan Dinc, Alban Kadiri
Producers Herbert Schwering, Christine Kiauk
Production Company COIN FILM/Cologne
Length 84 min
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
Festivals Duisburg 2004, Berlin 2005 (Perspectives German Cinema), Cologne Conference 2005, Turkish Filmfest Nuremberg 2005, Crossing Europe Linz 2005, Emden 2005, Sheffield 2005, Kassel Doc & Video 2005
Awards Audience Award Duisburg 2004, Phoenix Prize 2005, Best Documentary Nuremberg 2005
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
German Distributor Real Fiction Filmverleih/Cologne

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Herbert Schwering, Christine Kiauk
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50667 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-32 20 53
fax +49-2 21-32 20 54