von Joschka Laukeninks
BACKSTORY was an unforgettable and very special project for many of those involved. In one way this was because of the intense and, for a short film, unusually long shoot. In another way probably because of the philosophical questions the film raises that affect us all in some way. We heard from some of the crew that filming had restored their belief in filmmaking and their love for the job. After just a few days of shooting, it no longer felt as if the project was only ‘mine’ - rather that it belonged to everyone. I think that's how it should be!
The film was shown at film festivals all over the world, and won so many awards that at some point we stopped counting - there were definitely well over 50 international awards. But honestly, the most remarkable thing happened after we uploaded the film to Vimeo. We were flooded with messages, and continue to be even to this day. From people writing to tell me that the film had woken them up, not to let life pass them by or to spend more time with loved ones again, to requests to translate the film into other languages, making it accessible to non-English speakers, and really special stories, like a palliative care doctor from Brazil who wanted to use the film to work with his dying patients. I kept a lot of these messages. I think these kinds of reactions to a movie are the reason you start on crazy projects like this!
Regisseur Joschka Laukeninks
Originally the idea was to make a short film that shows the continuousness and finite nature of life, the aging of a person in one seamless, fluid process. Not told in individual chapters, as you know from other movies - but every moment in life should be shown. At the same time, I had a great fascination with showing people from behind and found the experiment exciting, creating emotions without showing a person's face. At some point both ideas merged and became the basic concept of BACKSTORY.
For me as a director, the film has been my most important project so far and it has also opened many doors for me internationally. I am currently writing my first feature film.
The film was often re-cut by strangers and uploaded to Youtube. But there was one very special moment that was really weird: I was sitting at home listening to Radiohead's "Everything in it's Right Place" on my headphones. One of my favorite songs. Exactly at that moment I got a message from a friend with a link.
Someone had re-edited BACKSTORY for this song and uploaded it as a music video on Youtube.
The video was the first result on Google and Youtube when you searched for the song and it had over 3 million views. But the fact that I found out about it at the very moment I was listening to the song myself, that certainly was an interesting coincidence. The account has since been deleted from Youtube - obviously, because in terms of copyright, that is not allowed. It was a nice moment though, the comments on the video (people thought this was an official Radiohead music video) kept you reading for hours. And somehow it's also artistically exciting - you shoot a film and upload it, and it is always reinterpreted and uploaded somewhere else by strangers. It develops a life of its own, that is really nice!
At the age of 31, Joschka Laukeninks has already made many commercials as a director, including for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Barclaycard, AXE, Samsung and OTTO.
written and directed by JOSCHKA LAUKENINKS
produced by BENJAMIN HORSTKOTTE
produced by TOBIAS WICHURA
cinematography by EIKE RIECHE
edited by VERA BERG
starring JAN STAPELFELDT, JESSICA MCINTYRE, XENIA ASSENZA
narrated by PHILIPP MOOG
music GERMAN WAHNSINN
production company THE MARMALADE FILMS
Gaffer Thies Lehmann - Gaffer / Best Boy Sven Edelweck
Electricians Milan Paul - Moritz Lauenstein - Philip Barth - Max Becker
Marvin Hesse - Louis Derfert - Gaffer (club scene) Andy Stein
'BACKSTORY' was shot in Germany in 17 shooting days over a period of 1,5 years. It has been screened at more than 110 festivals worldwide and, so far, has won more than 80 international awards. Our love goes out to all the wonderful people who worked so hard on this film for such a long time! :-)
see the full crew list and more info at backstory-film.com
here is some of the 80+ AWARDS we have won
* BEST SUPER SHORT* at NEW YORK CITY INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL New York City, US
*BEST SHORT* at ORLANDO FILM FESTIVAL, Orlando, US
*BEST FOREIGN SHORT* at TWISTER ALLEY FILM FESTIVAL Woodward, US
*BEST FILM* COLCHESTER FILM FESTIVAL, Colchester, UK
*BEST OF FESTIVAL* at FASTNET FILM FESTIVAL Schull, Cork, Ireland
*ROGER DEAKINS AWARD* at PLYMOUTH FILM FESTIVAL Plymouth, UK
*JURY AWARD* at HAMILTON FILM FESTIVAL, Hamilton, US
*BEST DIRECTOR* at FARM FILM FESTIVAL, Sicily, Italy
*BEST FOREIGN SHORT* at ANOTHER INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL, Wisconsin, USA
*BEST IN SHOW* at CREATION INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Ottawa, Canada
*AUDIENCE AWARD* at OPORTO INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL Porto, Portugal
*BEST STORY* at REVOLUTION ME FESTIVAL, New York City, US
Credits UTIYA Magazine
Translator / Artemis Meereis
Lektorat UTIYA / Ada Delsolco