Synopsis

Berlin, when the winters were still cold!

Nicola, an Italian living in Berlin, forgets his scarf in the cinema. He immediately goes back to get it, but the doors are already closed and the cinema has strict security rules: no one is allowed in after the central lights have been switched off and the doors are locked. Nevertheless Nicola tries to convince the staff’s manager Mr. Özgür (a Turkish-German) to open: It is too cold outside to walk home without a scarf.
But Mr. Özgür, remains tough, the conflict escalates: Nicola against the inflexible German “No”. Of course: Nicola loses. He is oblige to walk home without his scarf and is supposed to get it the next day.

This incident starts Nicole’s journey. While he, supported by his clever girlfriend Sophia, try to sneak through the loopholes of German rules and keep fighting for his scarf, some interesting questions arise that also have to do with identity and sense of belonging: How German must Nicola become in order to adapt in a city like Berlin? What does this conflict reveal about Nicolas’ relationship with Sophia? And is Mr. Özgür really “more German than the Germans”? But most of all, will Nicola see his scarf again?

Based on a true story, DER SCHAL is a funny comedy about the everyday reality of different cultures living together in metropolis like Berlin. The goal is a new “pluricultural” and “plurilinguistic” society, result of the big melting pot who inhabits this city: Is this perhaps the start of a new quintessential European society?

 

Style

The film will be shot in a simple and minimalist style. We are inspired by authors like Guédiguian or Ozu, with a shooting style that gives the actors maximum freedom to express themselves. At the same time DER SCHAL is not an “impro-film”. All scenes will be extensively rehearsed in advance by professional actors.

For the cinematography of the film we will use a high quality camera (ARRI) to give the film a cinematic look.

In terms of sound design, we orientate ourselves to classical music because we want to give our story a timeless dimension. The canon and gigue in D major by Pachelbel has greatly inspired the process of writing the screenplay and we want to use it in the film.

 

Director’s view

A short comedy which simply goes in the right direction!

Despite his “short size”, this project aims to be an innovative one. It is the attempt to accomplish a Cinema which becomes “immediately European”, above the national border.

With a simple based-on-true-events story-plot , the idea is to portray the new pluricultural social reality which can be found today in many area of Europe, especially in big cities. The “thinning” of boarders have favourite the movement throughout the Union: individuals, friends, families, couples with different cultural background live together, speak different languages, creating de facto a sort of meta-national society. Unlike the migratory and multicultural set-ups this new phenomenon has not been yet portrayed much in films and could be an opportunity for the rise of a new European identity.

It is the case of Sophia and Nicola, the protagonists of the film. They are a couple who perceive itself as European more than a German-Italian one and communicate in European english, the only truly neutral territory between the two.

But this process of “shifting of identity” is not without obstacles. Difference in culture are still evident, and can bring to frictions, clashes or misunderstandings. Residuals of the old national-cultur-based-paradigma are still strong and suddenly re-emerge in those moments in which one has difficulties in understanding “the other”.

Incomprehension and disorientation are constant element of this new social environment. The simultaneous use of several languages increases the level of confusion. Memory and capacity of concentrate gets affected. Objects get lost. There is a need for a new equilibrium. Step by step every language starts covering a specific register: there is a language for the love relationship with the partner, a language for the bureaucratic matters and the language which is more instinctive and recondite, to express his most complicate thoughts, or reconnect with the beloved-ones, who live far away.

This and much more can be find in this simple story. But let’s then not forget the best of all ingredients: love, the only real power which can tear down obstacles and barriers and keep the world moving forward!