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Storyboard excerpt from "Sascha" (artwork courtesy of eastart pictures)

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 02/2009

Sascha Petrovic’s beloved piano teacher, Weber, is planning to leave the city. Sascha is heartbroken and the only person in whom he can confide his feelings is his best friend, the Chinese girl Jiao. She hopes they can be more than friends but is a strong girl and encourages Sascha to fight for his love.

At the same time, Sascha is grateful that his loudmouthed, criminally inclined, patriarchal and homophobic father, Vlado, believes Jiao is really his girlfriend. But what begins as a useful lie becomes a large and complicated one, especially when Sascha’s younger brother, Boki, begins an affair with her.

Sascha’s youthfully melodramatic struggle for his teacher’s love reaches its climax in a bloody nose from the fist of one of the many competitors’ for Weber’s favor. The next morning sees Sascha vowing never to play piano again, but a consoling telephone call from Weber ends with both of them in Weber’s apartment – and in bed.

But the next morning the lies are exposed and only Boki’s intervention can prevent his father, Vlado, from shooting Weber dead. But the gun still goes off ...

Sascha (working title), Dennis Todorovic’s and Ewa Borowski’s debut film through their recently founded eaststart pictures shingle, cements their intention to create films that “stand out through their political and social engagement... As the young generation of filmmakers, we face the challenge today of reflecting a world increasingly interlinked by migration, globalization and new media, and winning as viewers the increasing number of people whose lives are marked by this interlinking.”

In that noble and self-effacing spirit, Todorovic and Borowski are to be applauded, praised even, for tackling with such youthful enthusiasm and bravado in Sascha the themes of migration, integration, culture clash and incipient youth homosexuality: themes, which contemporary cinema not just requires, but needs, especially in these financially troubled times in which old certainties have been swept away in waves of bonus-fuelled greed, hubris and white-collar criminality.

Genre Comedy, Coming-of-Age Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2009
Director Dennis Todorovic
Screenplay Dennis Todorovic
Cinematography Andreas Köhler
Peter Aufderhaar
Daniel Chour
Cast Sasa Kekez, Pedja Bjelac
Producer Ewa Borowski
Production Company eastart pictures/Cologne
Format 35 mm, color
 German, Serbo-Croation
Shooting Dates Cologne, May - June 2009
Festivals Chicago 2010, Hof 2010
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, BKM, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film

eastart pictures
Ewa Borowski
Vogelsanger Strasse 61
50823 Cologne/Germany
phone +49-2 21-16 90 89 76
fax +49-2 21-16 90 89 79