Lasse (Richard Kipp) has had enough of online dating once and for all. Only reluctantly does he decide to go on a date with Nina (Lea Mahler) in order to escape the endless questions from his work colleagues and especially his best friend Janosch.
However, the encounter takes an unexpected turn when the virtually impossible happens: Nina is not just incredibly funny, but charismatic at the same time - in short: absolutely captivating. The two of them totally hit it off from the start.
Lasse is absolutely enthusiastic about her. Every hour, minute, in fact, every second with her seems infinitely precious to him.
When Lasse learns that Nina will be travelling to the other side of the world for six months the following day, he is overwhelmed by his emotions. He has to make a decision: stand by his feelings or leave Nina in the past.
A year later, the consequences of his decision still haunt him.
He is still struggling to find closure - and still trying to understand how Nina turned his life upside down forever on that particular evening a year ago.

  • Philip Neuer
  • Max Reiners
  • Max Reiners
  • Horst Müller
  • Philip Neuer
  • Richard Kipp
    Key Cast
  • Lea Mahler
    Key Cast
  • Jessica Cecilia De Jong
    Key Cast
  • Leon Pront
    Key Cast
  • Scarlett Gerwin
    Key Cast
  • Rikako Watanabe
    Key Cast
    "Airport Girl"
  • Victoria Winkler
    Key Cast
  • Lisa Schneider
    Key Cast
  • Simon Niedermaier
    Director of Photography
  • Dorothea Klein
    Costume Design
  • Sophia Isa
    Production Design
  • Arne Herrmann
  • India Rose Fleuchaus
    Color Correction
  • Leyla Roy
    1. AD
  • Walter Schimon
    1. AC
  • David Brenner
    1. AC
  • Johann Schimon
  • Ludwig Nagel
  • Constantin Graf
  • Jan Reiners
    Dolly Grip
  • Florian Lampl
    Production Sound
  • Dominik Scheitinger
    SFX Make-Up
  • Anna Scheitinger
    SFX Make-Up
  • Klaus Reiners
    Production Driver
  • Debbie Reiners
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Romance, Comedy, Dramedy
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    8,500 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, German
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Philip Neuer

When Philip saw his first film at the cinema at the age of 6, his passion for film was ignited. As early as his school days, his love of film was so intense that he persuaded his parents to take him to the cinema at at least once a month. While most people were particularly impressed by the images and sound, for Philip it was always the motivations behind the characters' actions and the message of the film that fascinated him the most.
His path to becoming a film director led Philip via a four-month internship as an assistant director at the ADK-Ulm to studying media technology in Stuttgart. During his time in Stuttgart, he directed several shorter stage productions, as well as the full-length stage production "Apfelblüten" (Apple Blossoms).
During this time, he also gained experience in production and worked as an assistant director on projects for the ADK Baden-Württemberg, among others, as well as serial formats for German broadcasters SWR and ARD.
After studying to become a social worker, where Philip combined his media and theatre experience with educational content, he has been working in a Youth Culture House since 2020, where he realises various film projects with young people. In addition, Philip is in charge of the "Hacker Attack" workshop on the topic of hate speech in schools for the Baden-Württemberg State Agency for Civic Education, which won an award in the state's ideas competition.
Philip's path is proof that one can follow one's passion, even in what at first glance appears to be an unconventional way, and combine it with one's education. He looks forward to further exploring the world of film and using it as a tool for education and social change.

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Director Statement

The film project "Once" is a tragicomedy that aims to illuminate the close link between humour and tragedy in life in a subtle and entertaining way. The film follows Lasse, who secretly longs for a partner but is unable to go on dates because of his fears and insecurities.
It is particularly important to me to show with "Once" that Lasse is superficially dismissive of the possibility of finding happiness. He hides behind excuses and statistics in order not to change anything in his life. Lasse feels lonely, misunderstood and insecure, and this loneliness extends not only to the lack of a relationship, but also to the fact that no one notices his innermost feelings.
Lasse is a searcher who longs for depth and hopes that other people can recognise his inconsistency. The paradox in "Once" lies in the fact that Lasse opens himself up to online dating, of all things, although it corresponds to the opposite of what he is looking for at the core. In doing so, we use the anonymity of the internet and the lack of emotional connection to other people as a contrast to what people might hope for and experience.
However, we show Lasse approaching online dating with extreme caution and mentally protecting himself from being hurt and rejected, both by friends and his date. His behaviour in the digital world is mirrored in his analogue life. In my personal environment, I observe an increasing normalisation of online dating and digital social interactions. It is often emphasised that it is a good way to find new people or potential romantic partners. However, I notice that it is often less about committing to one person and more about expanding possibilities and options. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of rejections and trauma that often fades into silence and is not adequately acknowledged. It is a topic that has not been addressed enough in the public sphere.
The variety of options can make people less willing to commit to a long-term relationship and instead look for the next, supposedly better option. The rejection others experience as a result often ends in a silent emptiness.

I think it is important to talk about this silence and raise awareness about it. We should recognise the emotional impact of online dating and the importance of mindfulness and honesty in our digital interactions.

In our film "Once", I want to address this issue and address the silence that often accompanies online dating and digital social interactions. I hope that the film will help us learn to look more closely and develop more understanding and empathy for each other, because even a brief moment can resonate for a long time.
We want to take the audience on an entertaining and emotional journey that shows the complexity of human life and our relationships. The audience should feel this film, laugh and cry and be inspired to seek and value their own happiness.