Winter’s Daughter

Feature film, children's film
2010

Production: schlicht und ergreifend Film GmbH
Co-production: Pokromski Studio, Warschau
Distribution: Zorro Film

Director: Johannes Schmid
Script: Michaela Hinnenthal, Thomas Schmid
Dramaturgy: Nora Lämmermann
Producers: Philipp Budweg, Thomas Blieninger
Co-Producers: Mikolaj Pokromski
Broadcasters: rbb, BR, MDR, NDR, SWR

Main Cast: Nina Monka, Ursula Werner, Leon Seidel, Maxim Mehmet, Daniel Olbrychski, u.v.m.

Camera: Michael Bertl
Set Design: Dorothee von Bodelschwingh
Wardrobe: Walter Schwarzmeier
Make-up: Waldemar Pokromski, Anette Keiser und Anna Duda Zacharewicz
Editing: Thomas Kohler
Sound: Marc Meusinger
Casting: Daniela Tolkien

It’s Christmas eve when Kattaka (11) discovers that her biological father is in fact a Russian sailor whose ship is docked in the port of Gdansk. She embarks on an adventurous journey across Poland with Lene (70) who was born in Masuria. It leads the one to her father and the other to her own past.

Katharina, called Kattaka, is looking forward to Christmas eve. The only thing missing is a Christmas tree. And they are about to go get one! Knäcke not only lives next door, he is also a really good friend. Old Lene Graumann doesn’t talk much, constantly puffs cigarillos and rides around the neighbourhood in her old Barkas minibus. But she knows a thing or two about chopping down Christmas trees. Now everything is ready for Christmas. Life should always be like this. The telephone rings in the middle of the most beautiful Christmas celebration and Kattaka finds out that Daniel isn’t her biological father, but a certain Alexej, a Russian from Vladowostok. Kattaka’s parents have lied to her all this time. Kattaka it’s daddy’s daughter at all and her baby sister is Daniel’s first child. Kattaka has a quite different father, a stranger who has absolutely no idea that she even exists. Her world breaks down.

There is so much anger, doubt and disappointment in Kattaka that she isn’t speaking to Daniel and Margarete any more. She just wants to leave and go in search of her biological father. This search is also her escape from her innermost fear of not belonging to this family any more. Kattaka’s Russian father works on a container ship that is currently docked in the port of Szczecin. She wants to find Alexej there and tell him that she exists.

Kattaka’s parents are mortified with worry, but Lene Graumann is deeply impressed with Kattaka’s bravery. Lene herself has been running away from her own past for all her life. She has suppressed all memory of the war, her escape from Masuria and the loss of her parents although she carries the key to her childhood on a necklace around her neck.
Lene and Kattaka set of to Poland in the Barkas minibus.
But there is a stowaway on board – Knäcke! He wont leave Kattaka to look for her father without him.
When they arrive in Szczecin, the container ship has already left for Gdansk. The further east they travel, the more Kattaka senses that Lene is burdened by a secret that has to do with the key around her neck.
The Polish boy Waldeck (13) and his grandfather (17) run the pub “Zur Fledermaus” in the shipyard in Gdansk and help in the search for Alexej.
After and exciting New Year’s Eve Kattaka and Lene are standing on the Barkas’ roof. An important journey lies behind them, a new year begins. Kattaka now knows where she belongs for sure – and what the Russian word for father is.

Awards

  • Kindertiger 2008 for best script
  • German Film Prize 2012 in the category of Best Children’s Film
  • Label: Particularly valuable
  • Children’s film price for best script at the Children’s film festival “Goldener Spatz” 2011
  • Special recommendation/ Zirbelnuss of the parent’s jury at the Augsburger children’s film fest 2011
  • YOUNG GENERATION AWARD at the Fünf-Seen-Festival 2011
  • EMO for best young actor (Leon Seidel) at Kinderfilmtage Ruhr 2011
  • 1. Price “Live-Action Feature Film” at the CICFF – Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2011
  • “Golden Butterfly for the Best Director” at the International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults Isfahan/Iran 2011