Private Project


The film by Uli M Schueppel embarks on a poetic-abstract journey from breath to breath. Through the Berlin night, we encounter people in diverse situations and accompany them for a short while as they each move within their own realities. Short scenes, verses emerge. The breath sets the rhythm for each “chant”, with one breath flowing into the next.

Each encounter is treated as a “verse/chant”, both visually (cinematography: Cornelius Plache) and musically (music composition: Christina Vantzou), in such a way as to elevate it and set it apart from its purely documentary context.

We hear the stories of those portrayed. Each person describes an existential experience that changed (or could’ve changed) “everything”. Something that caused them to hold their breath, where everything came to a grinding halt, a complete standstill. It is the suspension of movement, of all time, of their own existence, due to fear, due to pain, due to sorrow, panic, joy or even just an inkling of it all.

At some time, somewhere, it happens to all of us: that moment before it all starts back up again.
This endless movement (of breath), these chants from inside the darkness of the city of Berlin.

  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 30, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    English, French, German, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 69. Int. Film Festival Berlin
Director Biography

Uli M Schueppel studied German, Romance studies, and linguistics in Heidelberg, and subsequently studied directing at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie, Berlin (DFFB).

Along with a number of short films, numerous music videos, and animations (i.a.: Berlinale-Trailer/ Opener since 2001, Delphi- & DFFB opener), he was the author, director, producer, and occasionally even cameraman of 14 full-length films ranging from feature films, essay films, and music films to documentaries (see filmography).

Schueppel received the “Special Jury Award” (Montreal 1988), the “OCIC”-Award 1993, the “NewBerlinFilmAward 2008″, the 2009 “Underground Spirit Award” from the European-Film- Festival (Palic) for his “extraordinary accomplishment in independent film production”, as well as the 2014 “Lifetime Award” at 5.SPFF (international music documentary festival, Croatia) “for outstanding accomplishments in the music and music industry documentary genre“.

Schueppel also works in the field of new media art (video installations & photography) and presents his projects in various national and international exhibitions. His films and projects have been presented in worldwide important museums and art-exhibitions, among others at ‚MOMA‘-New York, ‚ICA‘-London, ‚Louvre‘-Paris, ‚Haus der Kunst‘-Munich, ‚Singapore Art Museum‘ or at ‚Documenta14‘-Kassel.

Exhibitions of all his works or retrospectives have been presented at Greek-Cinematheka, Athens (in Coop with Goethe-Inst.), at Festival „Internacional de Cine“ (Mar del Plata, Argentina), and at „European Film Festival“ (Palic, Serbia).

Since 2003, Schueppel has also worked as a guest lecturer, teaching direction and documentary film at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (DFFB) and the Nederlandse-Filmacademie, Amsterdam. He has given numerous master class workshops on the topics of “music documentary”, “independent filmmaking”, and “digital storytelling“.

Schueppel is member of the art-collective project TEMPS ZERO “which gathers a new generation of visual & sound artists reacting on signs and echoes of the present time”. 

Schueppel has been a member of the EuropeanFilmAcademy (EFA) since 2002.

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