After getting caught in a fight, Vahid needs to sell one of his kidneys to avoid a prison sentence of many years. While waiting for the liberating call from a buyer, a wish for a better life starts to grow within him.

  • Julian Dieterich
  • Milena Schäpers
  • Martin Herold
  • Till Aldinger
    Sound Recording
  • Richard Kretschmar
    Sound Recording
  • Mustafa Manjil
    Sound Recording
  • Lambert Regel
    Supervising Sound Editor
  • Leander Ott
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Internationale Hofer Filmtage 2020
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • AISFF Seoul 2020

    International Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Minsk International Film Festival Listapad

    Best Film - Film School Competition
Director Biography - Julian Dieterich

Julian Dieterich (*1996) lives and works as director and filmmaker in Berlin. He made his first major short film "unterwasser IST ES STILL" in 2016 in the Scottish Highlands and received several awards at European film festivals.
After working as 2nd assistant director for various German television and film formats, he began studying directing at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. In addition to smaller exercises, he created the short films "MÄANDER" (2017), which broadcasted on rbb, and "HEDON" (2019), with screenings at the Achtung Berlin Festival, the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival and the Sehsüchte Studenten Film Festival. 

The short documentary film "THE VOID INSIDE", made during an exchange program in Iran, will celebrate its premiere at the Hofer Filmtage 2020.
Julian is currently preparing his 30-minute fictional graduation film "REIZSTOFF (AT)".

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Director Statement

The short documentary film THE VOID INSIDE, shot in 2019 in Tehran, accompanies 19-year-old Vahid as he tries to sell one of his kidneys for a profit. After a brawl he has to pay blood money to the victim to avoid a long prison sentence.

On a visual and auditory level, the film is designed as a feverish dream. We follow Vahid through the nightly Tehran, watch as he advertises his kidney on house walls, gets advice from a doctor, and follows his hard work in a car repair shop. And above all there is the tension that the call of salvation might be coming right away.

When finally the incredible happens, and the victim of the brawl is satisfied with much less money, Vahid suddenly has the chance to put his life back in order. But in the meantime he has become friends with the thought of having a lot of money at once. And then there is also the dream car that he could finally buy... How much is he willing to give for the hope of a better life?

Because of the legal possibility to sell organs in Iran, many people are facing a difficult decision. The exploitation of their own bodies is often the only way out of financial problems and the only salvation when prison is imminent. By telling the story of Vahid in a very subjective way, we want to find out what it feels like to have to make a decision that is unavoidable and yet has such far-reaching consequences.