by Christian Petzold
Country: Germany
Year: 2023
Duration: 102'

A small holiday house by the baltic sea. The days are hot and it hasn’t rained in weeks. Four young people come together, friends old and new. As the parched forests around them begin to ignite, so do their emotions. Happiness, lust and love; but also jealousies, resentments and tensions. Meanwhile the forests burn. And before long, the flames are there.


film director

Christian Petzold

(Hilden, 1960) initially studied German and theater at the Free University of Berlin, and later attended the German Academy of Film and Television in Berlin from 1988 to 1994. As his graduation thesis, in 1995, he directed the film Pilotinnen. After directing several films for German television, he gained international recognition in 2000 with The State I Am In and soon became a prominent figure of the Berlin School, the most significant German film movement to emerge after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He participated in the Berlin Film Festival with Gespenster and Yella in 2005 and 2007, respectively, while his film Jerichow was selected for competition at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. In 2014, he achieved considerable success with Phoenix, which was featured in various festivals such as Toronto, Rome, and San Sebastián. In 2023, Afire won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale.


Pilotinnen (1995), Cuba Libre (tv, 1996), Die Beischlafdiebin (tv, 1998), Die innere Sicherheit (2000), Toter Mann (tv, 2002), Wolfsburg (2003), Gespenster (2005), Yella (2007), Jerichow (2008), Barbara (La scelta di Barbara, 2012), Phoenix (Il segreto del suo volto, 2014), Polizeiruf 110 (ep, tv. 2015-16), Transit (La donna dello scrittore, 2018), Undine (Undine – Un amore brucia, 2020), Roter Himmel (2023).


film director

“This was, for me, the start of Afire, thinking to myself, ‘What happened there?’ The Americans, the French, and the Swedish—like Ingmar Bergman with Summer with Monika —all have summer movies, which are so important. In summer movies, there’s no state, no parents, no school, no factory. We have a break in life, and, in this break, something’s decided. Some things are at work; some things you make wrong, and some things you make right. Love might be at work, or that love could turn out to be a misunderstanding. Germans, we lost our summer. Together with the actors, I thought about summer movies in Germany – and why, in the German summer movies of nowadays, in each picture, there are parents, factories, and policemen. We don’t have our freedom.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY: Christian Petzold. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Hans Fromm. EDITING: Bettina Böhler. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Klaus-Dieter Gruber. COSTUME DESIGN: Katharina Ost. SOUND: Andreas Mücke-Niestyka. CAST: Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Enno Trebs, Langston Uibel, Matthias Brandt. PRODUCERS: Anton Kaiser, Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Simon Ofenloch, Claudia Tronnier, Caroline von Senden, Michael Weber. PRODUCTION: Schramm Film Koerner Weber Kaiser. 

CONTACT: Wanted (Anastasia Plazzotta) anastasia.plazzotta@gmail.com