Monolith:

In his existentialist film drama “Monolith“, director and author Julius Schultheiß tells of the loss of control and self-dissolution of a driven, dispassionate man. UCM.ONE is marketing the award-winning essayistic film noir on the Darling Berlin label.

Summary

Samir is part of a social circle of friends. One evening, his friend Basil suddenly leaves the group and doesn’t return. Shortly afterwards, Samir’s night shift begins, he gets into a cab and we follow him for 24 hours: he sets off on a road trip through Berlin at night, one eye always on his smartphone to show him the way. The next day, while searching for Basil, Samir meets people who make him more and more aware of his dwindling existence. When he realizes that he can’t get anywhere on his own, the mysterious Henry appears and offers him a solution that requires sacrifice.

Director’s commentary by Julius Schultheiß

“Due to a loss in my personal environment, I had the basic idea of making a very calm and existentialist film. It was to be a drama, but also contain aspects of a crime story. I was keen to limit the action to 24 hours and to follow a single person without interruption.

His highly acclaimed debut “Lotte” premiered in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in 2016 and won the main prize at the achtung berlin film festival in 2016. In 2023, his second feature film “Monolith” was also awarded the main prize at the achtung berlin film festival.

About Julius Schultheiß

Julius Schultheiß was born in Marburg/Lahn in 1985. After graduating from high school, he did community service at a school for sick pupils, also in Marburg. He then completed internships at Film & Television in Berlin and Munich in the areas of production/editing and set management.

Bild: Eva Maibaum
Bild: Eva Maibaum

From October 2007 he studied Visual Communication in Film & Television at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. Since graduating in May 2013, he has lived and worked in Berlin and Hamburg.

His highly acclaimed debut “Lotte” premiered in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in 2016 and won the main prize at the achtung berlin film festival in 2016.

In 2023, his second feature film “Monolith” was also awarded the main prize at the achtung berlin film festival.

Original title: Monolith

Director: Julius Schultheiß

Screenplay: Julius Schultheiß

Cast: Thomas Halle (Samir/Levent), Susana AbdulMajid (Seynep), Ali Berber (Basil), David Bredin (Henry), Marc Ben Puch (Bruckner), Maxi Geithner (Maren), Thea Rasche (Täterin)

Producer: Julius Schultheiß, Patrick Schorn

Associated producers: Gerold & Ulrike Dukat, Karin & Hans-Georg Schultheiß, Dr. med Sami Watad, Gerd & Heidrun Schultheiß, Andreas Behrendt. Ruth Glörfeld, Christa Meyszner, Margareta Bloom

Cinrmatography: Lukas Eylandt

Editing: Julius Maibaum, Robert Falckenberg

Sound: Luis Burkhardt

Costume design: Eva Maibaum

 

Production company: Finderlohn

Year of production: 2023

Genres: Drama, Mystery-Thriller

County: Germany

Language: Germany

 

Length: 72 Min

Rating: FSK 12 (Deskriptoren: Threat, language)

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Projection format: DCI 2K F-178

Resolution: 1920×1080

Sound: Stereo 2.0

Award:

2023 achtung berlin: Best Feature Film -> Monolith

Film label: Darling Berlin

Theatrical distribution: UCM.ONE

Theatrical start: October 12, 2023

About Thomas Halle (role: Samir / Levent)

Thomas Halle was born in Berlin in 1987 and graduated from high school here. He completed his civilian service in the psychiatric ward of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Berlin-Weißensee. After working as a stage design assistant at the Berlin Volksbühne on the 3rd floor with stage designer Maike Storf, he began studying philosophy and art history at the Martin Luther University in Halle in 2006.

Bild: Jean Marie Gilles

In 2007, he transferred to the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. During his studies, he played Hamlet at the Deutsches Theater Berlin under the direction of Andreas Kriegenburg, the leading role in Sven Regener‘s “Der kleine Bruder” at the BAT Studiotheater under the direction of Leander Haußmann and realized study projects with directing students Robert Hartmann and David Czesienski, among others. He also took part in the film adaptation “Gegen die Wand” at the Heidelberg Theater, directed by Mareike Mikat.

In Karlsruhe, he performed in “Die Hermannsschlacht“, “Fiesco” and “Auf Kolonos“, among others. In the 13/14 season, he appeared on stage as Ferdinand in “Kabale und Liebe“, Hasan in “Verrücktes Blut“, Camille Desmoulins in “Danton’s Death” and the architect in “Richtfest“, among others.

About Ali Berber (role: Basil)

Born in Saarbrücken in 1986, he trained as an actor at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover. Since then, he has had numerous engagements in Hanover, Göttingen, Heidelberg and Saarbrücken, among others.

Among other roles, he played the lead in the production of “Othello” and Danton in “Danton’s Death” at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken. In 2012, Ali Berber won the ensemble prize and the students’ prize at the Theatertreffen deutschsprachiger Schauspielstudierender.

Ali Berber has also gained a foothold in the film and television industry. In addition to various “crime scenes”, he can be seen in the feature film “Tod einer Polizistin” and in various short films (“Anni“, “Store Wars“, “Yuri“, “Weiße Neger“).

Bild: Christine Fenzl

About Susana AbdulMajid (role: Seynep)

Born in 1990, the actress with Iraqi roots grew up in Heidelberg. She lives and works in Berlin. After studying acting, she initially performed street theater throughout Germany, worked at the Goethe Institute and in various asylum homes, where she performed choirs in Arabic and German with women from Syria and Iraq. Her first collaboration with Thomas Bo Nilsson and Julian Wolf Eicke at the Schaubühne Berlin took place in 2014.

This was followed by further engagements at the Schauspielhaus Vienna (2016), the Schaubühne Berlin (2017) and the Berliner Ensemble (2018). She was also part of the collective Zentrum für Politische Schönheit from 2014 to 2016 and was involved in numerous works and actions, including at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin.

Bild: Robin Kirchner

Susana AbdulMajid is co-founder of the cultural format “Poetry Nights Berlin“, where she and gallery owner Anahita Sadighi present Middle Eastern poetry with live music. She writes short texts and. She also starred in the film “Jibril” (2018) by Henrika Kull.

About David Bredin (role: Henry)

David Bredin was born in Lüneburg in 1973 as the only son of a painter and goldsmith and the graphic artist, sculptor and designer Achim Bredin. From 1998 to 2001, he studied acting at the European Theater Institute in Berlin. In 2004, David Bredin played the leading role of the music producer Chabo in the play “Gierig” by Nicolai Borger.

His gap in his teeth, his tough looks and his humor quickly landed him roles in feature films such as “Status Yo!“, “Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei“, “Free Rainer – Dein Fernseher lügt” and “Deutschland 09“. In addition to his cinema successes, Bredin also regularly supports German series formats such as “Der Tatortreiniger“, “Küstenwache“, “SOKO Leipzig” and “Tatort“. David Bredin lives in Berlin.

Bild: Caroline Scharff

Monolith | Trailer (German) ᴴᴰ

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Comments on the movie

“Muslim life in Berlin, mysteries and threats: the cinema drama “Monolith” by Julius Schultheiß charges the mystery genre with a great deal of seriousness. (…) It looks like it’s about surveillance. “Monolith” follows the protagonist through a day, and through Berlin. Step by step, an emergency situation becomes apparent (…) Could it be that Samir is involved in an attack plan? (…) The fact that Schultheiß works with the facets of Muslim terrorism gives “Monolith” an urgency that could also be seen as speculative.” (Bert Rebhandl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

“(…) Schultheiß stages the events in mostly raw images with subtle tension. For the most part, the audiovisual realization is close to reality; occasionally, however, slow motion, accompanied by dramatic music, is used to alienate the whole. In Monolith, he takes us into a very lonely parallel world in the middle of vibrant Berlin. The group we experience at the beginning seems to be one of the few points of reference for Samir to an everyday life, to an existence outside the darkness. We see a person who threatens to lose himself more and more within 24 hours.(…) (Andreas Köhnemann, kino-zeit.de))

“(…) “Monolith”, compressed into a narrative time of 24 hours, is borne by nervousness and stasis, but these energies do not always translate into a relationship of tension. Some stylistic devices – such as the repeated slow-motion shots – also seem a little arbitrary. Overnighted, a pursuer who nevertheless appears to be pursued himself thanks to his erratically observing camera angles, Samir drifts through the city. His cell phone is constantly ringing, sending him on some kind of trail. Between his assumed role and his broken life, his own existence increasingly slips away from him. (…)” (Esther Buss, Filmdienst)

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UCM.ONE is bringing the award-winning film “Monolith” to German cinemas on the Darling Berlin label from 12 October 2023. In this existentialist film drama, director and writer Julius Schultheiß tells the story of a driven, characterless man’s loss of control and self-dissolution. Monolith is an “essayistic film noir” (according to director and author Julius Schultheiß)…

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