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While You Are Here (Solange Du hier bist)

While You Are Here
Scene from "While You Are Here" (photo © Kunsthochschule fuer Medien Koeln)

Sebastian, a young male prostitute, is one of Georg’s few remaining chances to break through his hermit-like everyday life in exchange for a few fleeting moments of being together with someone – at least for a few hours. Georg loves Sebastian’s easy-going and playful manner. He loves the absurd stories that the boy spontaneously comes up with and Georg never knows whether to actually believe all of them or not. And it looks like today Georg’s long cherished dream will finally come true: this time the boy asks him if he can stay overnight – of his own free will.

Georg does everything to fully enjoy the rare and valuable moments – he hopes for more. Yet the more Georg dares to get closer to the boy, the more Sebastian breaks off contact with him. Within a short space of time, the boy seems to age by many years. He is looking for help. Georg’s hopes are shattered. They start arguing.

However, that very same evening, Sebastian is standing in front of his door again. He has come to say goodbye. By the light of a torch, the last remaining night becomes a declaration of love to the time they spent together and to all the people encountered for a short and fleeting moment – a moving revolt against life’s transitoriness!
Genre Melodrama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Stefan Westerwelle
Screenplay Stefan Westerwelle
Cinematography Bernadette Paassen
Huynh Trang Lam
Martin Lesniak
Christina Freye
Cast Michael Gempart, Leander Lichti
Producers Christof Groos, Stefan Westerwelle
Production Company Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM)
Runtime 77 min
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Stereo
Festivals Locarno 2006 (Filmmakers of the Present), Montreal 2006 (In Competition: First Films), Hof 2006, Thessaloniki 2006, Anger 2006, Rotterdam 2007, Goeteborg 2007, Berlin 2007 (German Cinema)
Awards Special Mention Locarno 2006
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Kulturteam Detmold

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Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (KHM)
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Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM)
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