Archive of films Birthday / Birthday

2000, 91 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2001


This is the story of four friends who meet again after years in order to celebrate their thirtieth birthdays together. It soon becomes clear why they went their separate ways as forgotten emotions and secrets rise to the surface. Birthday has been creatively stylised in the form of a documentary with the main characters sometimes speaking directly into the camera as if taking the audience into their confidence. Bibiana is planning on committing suicide, Harald is afraid he won’t be able to ‘come out’ in front of his friends and Claudio realises more and more how deeply he loves his ex-girlfriend Tamara. The film was shot with the help of digital technology which allowed the director to try out a number of experiments. The entire film was shot in ten days, and the director allowed the actors great freedom to improvise, sometimes leaving the camera on for two hours at a stretch. The result is an original and dynamic film. The story itself comes from the time when director Stefan Jäger was preparing to celebrate his own thirtieth birthday.

About the director

Stefan Jäger (b. 1970, Switzerland) studied direction and screenwriting at Film School while making a living reviewing films, working at a Media Counselling Centre in Luzerne and shooting documentaries (for which he receive an award from IRG, a Swiss television and Radio Company). In 1997, just before finishing university, he set up UP! Film Production, and a year later the town of Luzerne awarded him for ‘consistent and productive work in the area of video and film.’ Birthday is his second feature film, although he has made a number of shorts and documentaries, and written several scripts for features.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Stefan Jäger
Screenplay: Stefan Jäger
Dir. of Photography: Stefan Runge, Knut Schmitz
Music: Angelo Berardi
Editor: Nicholas Goodwin, Oliver Keidel
Producer: Sabine Lamby, Giulio Ricciarelli
Production: Naked Eye Filmproduktion GmbH
Cast: Bibiana Beglau, Tamara Simunovic, Harald Koch, Claudio Caiolo

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