Private Project

I am Leo

Wide meadows, romping in the woods and building cabins. Leo (12) spends the autumn holidays with big sister Noémie and cousin Emil on Grandma Marlies' farm. However when Leo is surprised by what Grandma Marlies calls big news, Leo faces an identity crisis.

"I am Leo" immerses itself into the emotional world of a child who is on the way to discover their gender identity. A film about expectations that overwhelm, about thoughts that restrict and about the courage to find yourself.

  • Tajo Hurrle
    Director
  • Tajo Hurrle
    Writer
  • Patrick Büchting
    Producer
  • Sky Arndt
    Key Cast
    "Leo"
  • Sarah Goebel
    Key Cast
    "Noémie"
  • Aaron Goebel
    Key Cast
    "Emil"
  • Ute Lubosch
    Key Cast
    "Oma Marlies"
  • Thapelo Mashiane
    Key Cast
    "Lukas"
  • Marius Kast
    Director of Photography
  • Lea Agmon
    Casting & Editing
  • Franziska Schuchmann
    Production Design
  • Anja Giele
    Production Design
  • Magdalena Hartung
    Costume Design
  • Jochen Wolkersdorfer
    Sound Recording
  • Frederik Herre
    Sound Design
  • Frank Hurrle
    Composer
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Weil ich Leo bin
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Youth, Coming-of-Age, LGBTQ+, Children
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 12, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany
  • Language:
    German
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Hochschule Darmstadt
  • Vancouver Queer Film Festival
    Vancouver
    Canada
    August 12, 2021
    Online Premiere
  • Chicago International Children’s Film Festival
    Chicago
    United States
    November 5, 2021
    USA Premiere
  • Reelout Queer Film Festival
    Kingston, Ontario
    Canada
    January 28, 2022
  • Vancouver International Women in Film Festival
    Vancouver
    Canada
    March 8, 2022
    Best Short Film, Impact Award
  • BUFF Malmö Filmfestival
    Malmö
    Sweden
    March 19, 2022
    European Premiere
    The Region Skåne Short Film Award
  • Filmfest Dresden - International Short Film Festival
    Dresden
    Germany
    April 7, 2022
    German Premiere
    Kids Program
  • Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival
    Boston
    United States
    April 7, 2022
  • Psaroloco International Children's & Young People’s Film Festival
    Pireaus
    Greece
    April 16, 2022
    Greek Premiere
  • Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival
    Potsdam
    April 22, 2022
    Future Teens
  • Translations: Seattle Trans Film Festival
    Seattle
    United States
    May 5, 2022
    Special Mention Narrative Short
  • Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Germany
    May 10, 2022
    Regional Short Film Competition
  • Kurzfilmtage Thalmässing
    Thalmässing
    Germany
    May 14, 2022
  • Deutsches Kinder Medien Festival Goldener Spatz
    Gera & Erfurt
    Germany
    June 1, 2022
  • Bundesfestival Junger Film
    St.Ingbert
    Germany
    June 2, 2022
  • Werkstatt der Jungen Filmszene
    Wiesbaden
    Germany
    June 4, 2022
  • Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival
    Hartford
    United States
    June 10, 2022
  • Korea Queer Film Festival
    Seoul
    Korea, Republic of
    June 10, 2022
    Asia Premiere
  • Bundes.Festival.Film
    Augsburg
    Germany
    June 25, 2022
    nominated for German Youth Film Prize
  • Thessaloniki International G.L.A.D. Film Festival
    Thessaloniki
    Greece
    October 14, 2022
Director Biography - Tajo Hurrle

Tajo Hurrle was born in 1998 in the south of Germany. They directed their first short film at the age of eight. From 2017 to 2021, they studied Motion Pictures at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt with a personal focus on screenwriting and directing as well as working with children and youth.

Tajo Hurrle's first student short film "Fisch-Bowle" ("A Fish in a Punch Bowl") won the German Youth Film Award 2019 and screened at international film festivals.
Their second film „Bandsalat" ("The Purple Child") premiered at the LUCAS Filmfestival, Germany’s oldest film festival for a young audience and won "Best Youth Film" at Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival.
Tajo Hurrle successfully graduated in 2021 with the short film "Weil ich Leo bin“ ("I am Leo“) which had its German premiere at the Filmfest Dresden.

They are currently a scholar of the academy for children's media and the STEP program of HessenFilm.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I once read the quote "You can't be what you can't see" by Marian Wright Edelman. This sentence immediately resonated with me because it is so true for me.
When I was little, I was told I was a girl. But as soon as I got a sense of self, I felt that I wanted to be something other than a girl. I expressed that by cutting my hair short, wearing clothes meant for boys, and acting rebellious. I had a faint idea that trans people existed, but I had never heard the term non-binary. That was in second grade. It took me 14 years to realize that what I felt was called being non-binary. The reason for that is simple: I had never heard of, let alone seen, non-binary people in my life.

When it comes to gender identities, there is still a lot to be done in terms of representation. With my short film "I am Leo," I want to contribute a small part to the visibility of trans and non-binary children. All children deserve to see themselves on screen - and to be seen. I hope to start a discussion between children and caregivers about gender identities. And just as this film helped me discover my identity, I hope it will help other people find theirs.