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


Director: Achmed Abdel-SalamAustria 202390 minutesFSK 18 (unchecked)
East gate cinemaSat. 08.04.202317:30Highlight German Cinema (Plus)International Premiere

By loading the video you accept YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

That is what it is about

When her father dies, Michaela takes up residence with Hanna in the empty family home. It's the ideal place to get away from it all and work on her relationship with her daughter. After their joint car accident, Michaela stops drinking. She is finally sober. Once again. The rural seclusion is now supposed to help. But here in the middle of nowhere, the past is waiting for Michaela. At first they are only shadows, but soon they reach for her and tear her down... and with her Hanna!

What you should know

It must inevitably be taken as an ominous portent that the English word "smother" contains the word "mother". Overprotective motherly love can certainly have a "suffocating" effect. Yes, the genre knows these patterns. Abdel-Salam, too, knows where to place his directorial debut and cleverly plays with familiar images to use them in his film. Thus, classic ghost motifs meet innovative currents of genre art and combine to create - for us - the most exciting German-language horror film of 2023.
Original title: Heimsuchung
Rights holder: Picture Tree International, Tiberius Film
Language: Original with English subtitles
Cast: Cornelia Ivancan, Lola Herbst, Heinz Trixner
Filmfestivals: Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film


Achmed Abdel-Salam was born in Vienna in 1983 and studied screenwriting and dramaturgy at the Fachakademie in the capital from 2010. Abdel-Salem acts, writes, directs and is the proud father of two sons. Perhaps that's why he also worked as an illustrator for a children's book. His short film ADAM & ESRA won in 2018 at the Austrian Film Festival in the category "Best Love/Romance Film". SMOTHER aka HEIMSUCHUNG is his feature film debut.
Smother, Director

Our guests at the film screening

Achmed Abdel-Salam, Lena Weiss, Alexander Dirninger

From the Danube to the Danube, Achmed Abdel-Salam travels from Vienna to our cathedral city. His debut shows that people in Austria are a bit more courageous than in this country. Abdel-Salam does not hide the root of his story in the arthouse, but boldly follows the genre path to its end. In doing so, he does not forget to ask important questions. Which questions exactly are struggling for answers here, we explore together with him!

In addition to Achmed Abdel-Salam, Viennese producer Lena Weiss and cinematographer Alexander Dirninger will also travel to Regensburg for the international premiere and provide exciting insights into the "behind the scenes".

Picture gallery