Experiencing Interruptions?

On the line

After the death of her husband 15 years ago, Caroline Nowak started drinking to ease her pain and loneliness. Having left her ten year old son Raphael emotionally alone resulted in him looking for ways to cope with his pain and anger. Unnoticed by his mother, a burgeoning path into the world of drugs only made the two drift further apart emotionally.

Things get worse when Rapha (25) moves in his mother´s apartment after breaking up with his girlfriend. Caroline unable to express her love, tries to act like a mother only resulting in Raphael becoming increasingly angry with her.

At Caroline´s brother´s birthday, she catches Rapha using Cocain and tries unsuccessfully to convince him to go get therapy. The situation is becoming critical when Raphael lies and steals from his mother.

Touching on themes of loneliness, broken hearts, addiction, and relationships, “On the Line” shows the paths that lead to pain if you are unable to get help and take responsibility for one´s actions.

  • Silvia de Leonardis
  • Silvia de Leonardis
  • Silvia de Leonardis
  • Bastian Theurich
    Key Cast
    "Raphael Nowak"
    Unter Verschluss, Klarissa geht ihren Weg, Die verpasste Chance, Warenhaus
  • Silvia de Leonardis
    Key Cast
    "Caroline Nowak"
    Tatort, Die Manns, SOKO 5113, Kuestenwache, Grossglocknerliebe, Der Clown, Die Rosenheim-Cops, Muenchen 7
  • Cecilia Schmidt
    Key Cast
  • Kai Groenwald
    Key Cast
    "Peter Nowak"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    On the line
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 11, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Silvia de Leonardis

Silvia grew up in Munich, Germany as the daughter of a South-Italian father and a German-Russian mother. At a very young age she was awe inspired by the acting of Bette Davis and wanted nothing more but to become as an actress in the United States. In 2017 she got the O-1 Visa for the United States and landed her first role that same year.

After her education, she began successfully playing theatre in Germany and Switzerland and in 1999 she got her first role in the TV series "Der Clown".

Soon after that, she produced and directed her first theatre play “Gretchen 89ff.” by Lutz Huebner in Munich, which was sold out every night.

Followed by appearances in Tatort, Grossglocknerliebe, SOKO 5113, Die Rosenheim-Cops, Pater Castell, Kuestenwache, Unter uns, Marienhof and more. Silvia also became quite successful and popular as a Film-Coach on set.

With this experience and the wish to bring onscreen the images and stories from within her, she started producing and directing her first shortfilm “Kaufkrank” in 2015 and “On the line” in 2018. Silvia loves telling deep stories from the edge of society to comfort people who are in similar situations and to hold gently a mirror up to the audience for self reflection.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I wrote the screenplay “On the Line”, two years ago after my daughter’s eleventh birthday. Failing as a mother was always my biggest fear and when I got the O-1 and went to Los Angeles several times for 2 months, my feelings of guilt became overwhelming.
Being pulled between motherhood, partnership, work, dreams and household, I began to have feelings of inadequacy and thoughts entered my mind like “What if…?“ What if I mess it up and later, when my daughter is grown into an adult and we don´t have a connection anymore? What if she grows to hate me? What if she abuses alcohol or worse, drugs? This terrified me because like many, I know people struggling with alcohol and/or drug abuse unable to handle their lives. My heart suffered from all these questions and fears so I decided to voice my fears through a film.
First I wasn´t sure if the film would be about a struggling alcoholic mother or a struggling drug-addicted son and if it would have a bad or a happy ending. When I thought about it deeper, I realized there is no bad guy or good guy. There is just suffering. So I decided to make a film about a mother and a son, both suffering about the loss of their beloved husband or father. Each of them are easing their pain in different ways, but both are captured in isolation and a hard heart.
So I took a budget of 5.000€ and started to create. Of course with that budget I couldn´t afford a crew, so I did everything by myself, writing, setting, directing, catering, taking care of and coaching the actors, wardrobe, framing, sound, light, prop master and whatever else was needed. And I have to admit, it was a hell of a lot of fun! I felt like electricity. This, that, there, getting into my character, then out into directing, then light, framing. All changing in seconds, because we’ve only had 5 shooting days. It was crazy but this reflected my italian soul, my temperament and my love for people and the art.