10th HARD:LINE Film Festival: April 6th until April 9th 2023


Director: Michael VenusGermany 2019102 minutesFSK 18 (unchecked)
Ostentor CinemaFri. 25.09.202019:00Highlight German Cinema

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That is what it is about

Another nightmare. Am I awake? Marlene can't say for sure. All of life seems to be a nightmare. A world that is not what it pretends to be. When one day she finds the hotel from her dreams in a brochure, she decides to go there. A journey to the middle of rural nowhere. When Marlene is found in a comatose state, her daughter begins to investigate. And slides deeper and deeper into a quagmire of murder, violence and retribution.

What you should know

With its bold quotations from the horror genre, SLEEP makes it persistently clear what it is knitted from. Michael Venus lets his characters trudge darkly and grimly into the horror of small-town life. His film takes no account whatsoever of the past or present and unleashes its full force as a genre film by skilfully playing with different levels of reality in the Lynchian manner. A clever film and indeed the best German genre film this year.
Original title: Sleep
Rights holder: Edition Salzgeber
Language: Original with English subtitles
Cast: Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Sandra Hüller, August Schmölzer
Film Festivals: Berlinale, Fantasia Film Festival, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, Slash Film Festival


Michael Venus is the brightest star in the German genre sky this year. But who is the Jena-born director actually? He first studied visual communication at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and later graduated in directing from the Media School in Hamburg with the short film ROENTGEN. After several projects in the short film sector, in advertising and music videos, he presented his feature film debut in 2020 with SLEEP and was promptly invited to the Berlinale.
Sleep, Director

Audience Award

Schlaf was voted 2nd place (4.14 points) in the feature-length category by our audience at the HARD:LINE Festival 2020.

The evaluation was based on a five-point system (1 = Nope!, 5 = Yeah!).

Picture gallery