Browse Archive


photo © Juri Tschabanow

Production Report featured in
German Films Quarterly 01/2013

Kazakh-born director Anna Hoffmann has taken a very personal story for her feature debut POKA (GOOD-BYE) which also marks the first feature film production for producer Stephan Grobe’s Ludwigsburg-based company Jolle Film.

“We made two short films together at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy, but I hadn’t realized that Anna came from Kazakhstan because she didn’t have any accent,” Grobe recalls. “In conversation, she told me that more than 4 million immigrants from Kazakhstan live in Germany, but they are so well integrated into life in Germany that people aren’t aware of them.”

This led to them making the award-winning documentary WHERE IS THAT HOME NOW? as Hoffmann’s final year project in which she accompanied her uncle and father by train from Bielefeld via Moscow to Almaty to re-visit the family home after 15 years in Germany.

Hoffmann’s roots in Kazakhstan also provided the inspiration for her debut feature, the love story POKA (GOOD-BYE), which is set in 1990 when the wave of so-called ethnic Germans began moving back to Germany.

The German Georg and Lena, the daughter of a Communist functionary, have fallen in love, but Georg is about to leave for his homeland, just as Lena learns that she is pregnant...

The project was selected for the Baltic Bridge East by West (B'EST) program last year, and Grobe then used the platform of Tallinn’s Baltic Event at the end of November to look for potential partners to provide completion funding. He also plans to screen a rough cut to interested parties during the Berlinale.

Speaking about POKA (GOOD-BYE), Hoffmann, who received a Special Lola in 2009 for THE HOUSEMAID, says “this story is about who we are and where we come from.”

In addition, she is fascinated by the playing with language since “the mixture of German and Russian languages is very typical for the immigrants. They use it as slang, and I think this slang will enrich the film. Dominik Graf’s IN THE FACE OF THE CRIME is a great example for me in this context. That’s why it has a great DVD success among Russian-Germans.”

Genre Romantic Comedy
Category Feature
Director Anna Hoffmann
Screenplay Anna Hoffmann, Oliver Haller
Cinematography Andreas Höfer
Cast Natalia Beltiski, Pasha Antonov, Thomas Papst, Karin Hanczewski
Producers Stephan Grobe, Oliver Haller
Production Company Jolle Film/Ludwigsburg
 German, Russian
Shooting Dates October-November 2012
With backing from MFG Baden-Württemberg, ZDF

Jolle Film
Stephan Grobe