AS WE WERE DREAMING
by Andreas Dresen
Daniel, Mark, Rico, Pitbull and Paul. A group of East German friends grow up in the early 90s. The first years of reunified Germany – when everything was colliding, when everything seemed possible. From boyhood to rough-and-tumble teenagers, the Leipzig suburbs were their whole world. Daniel was in love, Rico was the greatest boxer. And Starlet was the prettiest girl they had ever known. They party, they riot, they run a techno club, run from neo-Nazis, their parents and the future. They are coming of age in a time of anarchy.
Andreas Dresen was born in 1963 in the town of Gera. He comes from a theatrical family and began making amateur films in 1979. From 1984 to 1985 he worked as a sound engineer at Schwerin Theatre. He then completed a traineeship at DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme (East Germany's state film studio) and worked as an assistant director to Günter Reisch. From 1986 to 1991, Dresen studied directing at the Konrad Wolf School of Film and Television in Babelsberg, Potsdam. Since 1992, he has worked as a writer and director. Dresen lives in Potsdam and is a founding member of the German Film Academy, as well as a member of Berlin's Academy of Arts and the European Film Academy.
Dresen's debut fiction film, Silent Country (1992), a tragicomedy about the impacts of German reunification on rural East Germany, won both the Hessen Film and Cinema Prize and the German Critics' Prize. He then directed prizewinning television films such as the sensational drama Changing Skins (1997), about two East German students who kidnap their head teacher, a loyal government supporter. The screening of the episodic film Night Shapes at the 1999 Berlinale brought Dresen his breakthrough: it won numerous prizes including the German Film Award in the Silver category. Dresen's next film, Policewoman (2000), which follows a young, idealistic police officer in the north German city of Rostock, won the Grimme Award in the Gold category. His next major achievement came two years later with Grill Point, an entirely improvised tragicomedy about two couples in the town of Frankfurt an der Oder. The film was a hit with audiences worldwide and won numerous accolades, including the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Bavarian Film Award and the German Film Award in the Silver category. Dresen's 2003 documentary, Herr Wichmann von der CDU ("Mr Wichmann from the Christian Democrats") was followed in 2005 by Willenbrock, a screen adaptation of Christoph Hein's novel of the same name. In January 2006, Dresen's tragicomedy Summer in Berlin hit the cinemas and, in the same year, won the Ernst Lubitsch Award. Dresen went on to win the Bavarian Film Award for Best Director, and screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase won Best Screenplay at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Cloud 9, an improvised drama about love and sexuality in old age, had its German theatrical release in 2008. The film won a number of awards, including the Jury's "Coup de Coeur" Prize in the "Un Certain Regard" section of the Cannes International Film Festival and the main "Prize Trieste" at the Trieste Film Festival. The German Film Awards recognised Ursula Werner as Best Leading Actress and Andreas Dresen as Best Director, and Cloud 9 also won a bronze "Lola" for Best Film.
In Whisky with Vodka (2009), Dresen shone a comedic light on the film industry, its idiosyncrasies and vanities. The film won Best Director at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
In 2011, Dresen's film Stopped on Track screened at the Cannes International Film Festival. The drama about a father diagnosed with terminal cancer won its section's main prize, the "Prix Un Certain Regard". The German Film Academy also recognised the film with four "Lolas" in the categories Best Film, Best Leading Actor (for Milan Peschel), Best Supporting Actor (for Otto Mellies) and Best Director. It went on to win three Bavarian Film Awards - Best Actor (for Milan Peschel), Best Actress (for Steffi Kühnert) and the Producers' Prize (for Peter Rommel) - as well as the German Film Critics' Award in the categories Best Film and Best Actor (for Milan Peschel).
Andreas Dresen has also been active in theatre. In 1996, he staged his first play, a production of Goethe's Urfaust at the Staatstheater Cottbus. This was followed by further theatrical work at the Schauspiel Leipzig and the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, where the director staged debut productions of his own play, Zeugenstand ("Witness Box") in 2002 and, in April 2006, of Horvath's Kasimir and Karoline. Dresen has also directed an opera, Mozart's Don Giovanni, which premiered in Basel in February 2006.
In 2015, As We Were Dreaming will be the third of Dresen's films (after Night Shapes in 1999 and Grill Point in 2002) to screen in competition at the Berlinale.
2015 As We Were Dreaming
2012 Henryk from the Back Row
2011 Stopped on Track
2009 Whisky with Vodka
2008 Cloud 9
2005 Summer in Berlin
2002 Herr Wichmann von der CDU ("Mr Wichmann from the Christian Democrats")
2001 Grill Point
1999 Night Shapes
1997 Changing Skins
1994 Das andere Leben des Herrn Kreins ("The Other Life of Mr Krein")
1992 Silent Country
Merlin Rose - Dani
Joel Basman - Mark
Ruby O. Fee - Starlet
Julius Nitschkoff - Rico
Frederic Haselon - Paul
Marcel Heuperman - Pitbull
Directed by Andreas Dresen
Based on the novel by Clemens Meyer
Written by Wolfgang Kohlhaase
Producer: Peter Rommel
Cinematographer: Michael Hammon
Editor: Jörg Hausschild
Production Designer: Susanne Hopf
Costume Designer: Sabine Greunig
Make Up: Grit Kosse, Uta Spikermann
Sound: Peter Schmidt
Sound Mix: Ralf Krause
Co-Producers: Andreas Dresen, Andreas Leusink, Tom Dercourt
Production: Rommel Film
In Co-Production with: Iskremas Filmproduktion, Cinéma Defacto and Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Arte France Cinéma
Format: DCP / Color / 1:1.85 / Dolby Digital
Length: 117 min.
Original Language: German
ORIGINAL TITLE: ALS WIR TRÄUMTEN