Notes of Berlin

Notes of Berlin“ by Mariejosephin Schneider celebrated its world premiere at the International Film Festival in Warsaw in October 2020 and was awarded three “Beavers” at its German premiere at the 42nd Biberach Film Festival, namely “Best Debut Film”, the “Audience Award” and the “Student Jury Award”.


While the basses in the clubs are still booming, the city of Berlin emerges from the twilight. On a lamp post hangs a note: “For one minute. Please, just stand here in silence and look at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is”. A single drunkard stops and follows the instruction… A not so young “Man with Van” wakes up in the morning with a hangover next to last night’s fling and it dawns on him that it’s time for a change. A Berlin native decides at a bizarre flat share casting to stop participating in all this nonsense. In a Turkish café a young woman confesses her unplanned pregnancy to her mother, which immediately turns into a political issue for the other guests. 

A stray dog and a kitchen help who is tormented by a choleric chef team up, take some time out together and have a good time at the canal. Karma races through the city in an electric wheeear who is rlchair to make cleally entitled to help from above, and a lonely nerd finally gets to know his neighbours after five years thanks to a runaway rabbit.

A grieving mother wanders alone through the busy city, while a bullied girl meets the Queen of Berlin and experiences a fantastic night with her. A gallery owner waits in vain for his artist, who, drunk, takes a taxi ride around the city, and an expectant father, not yet aware of his good fortune, gets into trouble…

We encounter all of them in the fourteen comic, sad and bizarre episodes of Mariejosephin Schneider‘s debut film “Notes of Berlin“. The stories were inspired by real messages found in the streets of the city, which Joab Nist has published on his cult blog . They are typical for the Berlin cityscape, tell of the worries and thoughts of the inhabitants and reflect pure Berlin everyday culture.

Notes of Berlin” strolls with the viewer from person to person, from story to story, from note to note and makes the city its actual protagonist. From the early morning, when the clubbers stagger into the twilight, to the late night, when the city is cleaned by busy hands from the remains of the past day, the film tells 24 hours in the life of a metropolis, where the most diverse people and fates meet or sometimes just pass by each other by a hair’s breadth.

Original title: Notes of Berlin

Director: Mariejosephin Schneider

Co-author: Thomas Gerhold

Actors: (in the order of appearance): Paul Boche, Louit Lippstreu, Lana Ellenrieder (in „Der Unfall“); Gareth Lennon, Olivia Kundisch (in „Man With Van“); Bartholomew Sammut, Axel Werner (in „Ein Hund steigt aus“); Katja Sallay, Zoe Steinbrenner, Matus Krajnak, Ardian Hartono, Malwina Senkiw (in “WG-Casting“), Yeliz Simsek, Jale Arikan, Nisan Arikan, Gizem Cetin, Şükriye Dönmez, Attila Kabuk, Ali Ekber, Hasan H. Tasgin, Helena Abay, Asil Aydin (in „Das türkische Café); Resit Ballikaya (in „“Wir sind Könige!“); Mex Schlüpfer, Stephanie Stremler (in „Das Karma dankt“); Tom Lass, Marko Dyrlich, Maria Mägdefrau, Taneshia Abt (in „Kaninchen/Hase“); Andrea Sawatzki, Leopold Altenburg, Frizzipina Schneider (in „Mutter an der Kreuzung“); Edgar Harter, Marc Philipps (in „Die Vernissage“); Holger Behr, Stella Sai Musall, Sandra Julia Reils, Maximilian Gehrlinger, Jarl Lando Beger, Alucard, Alice D (in „Queen von Berlin“); Gernot Kunert, Sean Black (in „Taxi nach Paris“); Warsama Guled, Alexander Martschewski, Ben Gibson, Frederik von Lüttichau, Nizam Namidar (in „Kleine Diebe“); Richard Dreher, Alaaddin Kemec (in „Was heisst denn Contemplate“)

Producers: Martin Danisch, Clemens Köstlin

Associate Producer: Joab Nist

Image design and grading: Carmen Treichl

Editing: Inge Schneider

Set design: Greta Truetken, Nathalie Panther, Bohdan Adam Wozniak

Costume design: Susanne Weiske, Julia Blazek

Make-up: Stefanie Lewandowski

Music: Rafael Triebel, Fabian Saul

Sound Design: Niklas Kammertöns

Soundmix: Alexandre Leser

Production management DFFB: Andreas Louis

Production management: Clemens Köstlin

Editorial RBB: Verena Veihl, Cooky Ziesche


Year of production: 2020

Genre: Comedy

Country: Germany

Language: German

Subtitles: English


Lenght: 103 Min

FSK: 12

Aspect ratio: 1:1.33

Framerate: 25 fps

Sound: Surround 5.1, Stereo 2.0


2020 Biberach Film Festival: “Best Debut Film” -> Mariejosephin Schneider

2020 Biberach Film Festival: “Audience Beaver” -> Notes of Berlin

2020 Biberach Film Festival: “Student Beaver” -> Notes of Berlin

Label: Darling Berlin

Distribution: UCM.ONE


Theatrical start: September 09, 2021

The blog Notes of Berlin

With up to one million website page views per month and more than 500,000 social media subscribers on Facebook and Instagram, the blog is one of the best known and most widely read in Germany. The blog “Notes of Berlin” was founded by Noab Nist. He was born in Munich, studied Cultural Studies (B.A.) and Cultural and Media Management (M.A.) at the European University Viadrina, the University of Utrecht and the Free University of Berlin. Already during his studies he started the blog “Notes of Berlin” and turned his passion for collecting notes into a profession. Besides his work on the internet, he publishes entertaining non-fiction books, regularly presents a selection of notes on stage and occasionally advises companies as a social media concept developer. He lives in Berlin-Neukölln and likes to ride the underground line U8. 

Joab Nist, the creator and operator of the blog says: “Since October 2010 I have been documenting the most peculiar notes from the streets, hallways and backyards of Berlin on my blog From the very beginning, the messages and notices have been more than mere carriers of information for me, but also mediators of social reality. They bring the sound of the city to the point, unfiltered. Anyone who wants to grasp the character of the capital city can take a look at the numerous regional newspapers and magazines, buy a modern travel guide and visit the recommended hotspots, eat well, drink and party in style or visit museums on the city’s history, but no one can describe the real Berlin more accurately than the Berliners themselves. Because the notes are like the people who live here: direct, loud, creative, tolerant, freedom-loving, bizarre, lonely, romantic and definitely not off the mark. And the topics that are communicated: Simply pure everyday culture in its truest form.

Notes of Berlin’s concept of characterising the city by means of notes from the cityscape has become a wonderful participatory movement: So far, over 50,000 finds from all parts of the city have been sent to me via the blog and the accompanying social media channels.

Notes of Berlin has thus long since become a collaborative project that I have been allowed to curate and moderate for many years. And now the Notes are coming to the big screen. Mariejosephin Schneider‘s film has become what the Notes embody: authenticity, charm and character.“ 

That of all people, a Munich resident who has just moved to Berlin has made it his business to capture the true soul of Berlin, shows once again: In Berlin simply anything is possible!

About Mariejosephin Schneider

Mariejosephin Schneider was born in Berlin. After graduating from high school, she travelled to the USA and Mexico, after which she assisted on various film productions in the areas of production design and production. This was followed by various assistant directorships. During her studies at the dffb she received numerous awards, including the “Golden Transponder” for the longest directing course since the academy was founded. For “Notes of Berlin” she was awarded a record-breaking three “Beavers” at the 42nd Biberach Film Festival.

Selected Filmography

2020 Notes of Berlin (long movie, 105 Min), Director & screenplay
2013 Das Geschenk (short film, 13 Min), Grand Prize Int. Short Film Festival Dresden
2010 Jessi (short film, 33 Min), German Short Film Award ’10 + Nomination European Short Film Award ’11

Director’s note by Mariejosephin Schneider

„When I discovered Joab Nist’s blog “Notes of Berlin” on the Internet, I was immediately fascinated by the notes collected there. To me they seemed like the voices of individual people in Berlin: People who make a wish, who vent their anger, who are desperate. It was so multi-layered, funny, sad, tender and brutal. This was another “Symphony of a Metropolis”! Together with Thomas Gerhold, my co-author, I sifted through more than 5,000 notes from Joab Nist’s archives to retrieve from the depths of this rich fund those who could become the protagonists of our film, because it soon became clear that we would decide against a main character who would take us by the hand to guide us through the cinematic plot. This role was to be played by the notes themselves, for which we then drew up filmic sketches and characters. It was most important to me that all episodes were based on real notes. These should be the true protagonists, which let us meander through the city, through 24 hours in Berlin, our second protagonist. 

The structure remained rather experimental, as the film was supposed to move on from one story to the next. The narrative rule was to never let a protagonist appear more than once, but to still continue telling the stories related to the individual notes. We wanted to keep the visuals as simple and unpretentious as possible. Despite our constant movement through the city, the camera should be reduced, straightforward, modest and concentrated. We knew that we would shoot on location and that we could only reduce and accentuate what we found. We wanted to keep our visual language very simple because the characters had to be characterised and introduced to their situation within a short time. By opting for this unpretentious and clear visual language, the 4:3 format, which was originally inspired by classical portrait photography, felt natural and logical. 

The aim was to completely transport the viewer into this cosmos of notes, so that when leaving the cinema, he or she has a new view of the city and is able to perceive the amount of notes in it as an expression of the diversity of human existence in the city – and to see the countless possibilities to get in touch with all that life in Berlin and perhaps enrich their own life as a result.

For one minute please just stand here in silence, look at the sky and contemplate, how amazing life is!“

About Clemens Köstlin

Born in Berlin, he completed his alternative civilian service in Lima (Peru) after graduating from high school and began studying economics in Zurich (Switzerland). Besides that he did numerous internships and freelance work in the film business. From 2011 to 2018 he studied in the production department at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB), where he graduated with the feature film “Die Einzelteile der Liebe” (Director: Miriam Bliese). Besides his studies he worked as a production manager e.g. for “A Young Man With High Potential” (Director: Linus de Paoli) and for the production and world distribution company Coproduction Office, for which he still works today. In 2020 he was part of the Berlinale Talents. “Notes of Berlin” has been his constant companion since 2014 as a project of the heart.

Selected Filmography

2020 Notes of Berlin (105 min; Director: Mariejosephin Schneider) – long film
2019 Little Joe (105 min; Director: Jessica Hausner) – long film
2019 Die Einzelteile der Liebe (97 min; Director: Miriam Bliese) – long film
2018 A Young Man with High Potential (85 min; Director: Linus de Paoli) – long film

Producer’s note by Clemens Köstlin

The project started in 2014 with a small core team of five people. Since the blog “Notes of Berlin” is designed as a community blog and user participation plays a central role, the idea was born to also develop the script for the film in cooperation with the readers. A separate platform was subsequently established for this purpose: After experimenting with various forms of collaboration through the Filmlab, we found that the best and most effective form of collaboration was through open castings. So we spent the next few months regularly holding open castings while the script for the film was being developed in parallel. During this time we cast more than 2,500 Berliners, looked for them in the city with casting notices ourselves, got to know them and listened to their stories. Many more sent in short online videos in which they answered our only casting question: “What was your happiest or saddest day in Berlin?”

The response was really amazing and this form of collaboration was always a surprising, inspiring and very enriching experience. At the same time it generated a relatively high level of attention for the project and the (not yet shot) film, which is not always easy at such an early stage of film production. However, we are particularly proud to say that many of the actors in the completed film come from these open castings and some of the ideas for moments and dialogue fragments have been developed or refined in these castings, which has helped us to capture a piece of the real city. In terms of narrative, our principle from the very beginning was not to let any of the protagonists appear more than once (i.e. none of the human protagonists, because animals and, of course, notes were allowed to appear more than once). While this is narratively experimental, courageous and appropriate, it has also meant that we have always fought against the sheer numbers: Over 2,500 people were cast for more than 75 roles (the script was developed in parallel with the casting process, so that in the end not all of them appear in the film). The film was shot at 104 motifs in 53 shooting days with a crew of almost 250 employees and helpers – all spread over three years of shooting. Three children were born to the core team during the production period, so life and filmmaking intermingled even more than usual, all on a minimal budget. 

So for good reason we were told from the very beginning that it would not be possible to make this film. But now – six years later – we can finally say: We’re still here, the film is actually finished and we are thrilled to finally share it with the world!

Notes of Berlin | Trailer</p> <p>ᴴᴰ

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Further information

Equipment & technical data

DVD | Aspect ratio: 1,33:1 in 4:3 | Length: ca. 103 Min | Audio format: Stereo und Dolby Surround 5.1 | Subtitles: German, English | Extras: Audio commentary, photo gallery, original trailer, trailer show, reversible cover without FSK | Rating: FSK 12


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