When the Woodlark Sings

After his bachelor party, a 45-year-old man wakes up in the middle of the forest but cannot find his way out. On the way he meets a young woman with memory problems who knows the way out of the forest despite all the circumstances. They make a deal: he helps her get her memories back and she takes him out of the forest. - But their journey out of the forest together takes them down paths they didn't expect.

iMBD: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10564692

  • Ana Bilic
    Director
  • Ana Bilic
    Writer
  • Danilo Wimmer
    Producer
  • Ana Bilic
    Producer
  • Danilo Wimmer
    Key Cast
    "Alex"
  • Valentina Himmelbauer
    Key Cast
    "Junge Frau"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Wenn die Heidelerche singt
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    Arthouse, Drama, Mystery
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 59 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    Austria
  • Country of Filming:
    Austria
  • Language:
    German
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Bogocine 39 - Festival de cine de Bogotá
    Bogotá
    Colombia
    Official Selection - International Feature Film Competition
  • NewFilmmakers NY
    New York
    United States
    Semi-Finalist - Best Feature Film
  • Top Indie Film Awards
    Tokyo
    Japan
    Best Feature – Nominee, Best Original Idea – Nominee, Best Actress – Winner, No Budget Spirit – Nominee
  • INFLUX Film Awards
    Huntington Beach, CA
    United States
    Award Winner - Best International Film
  • Sydney Australian Film Festival
    Sydney
    Australia
    Official Selection - Best Soundtrack
  • 8 & HalFilm Awards
    Roma
    Italy
    Award Winner - Best Original Score
  • Couch Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    Award Winner - Best Writer, Nominee - Best Actress
  • Milan Gold Awards
    Milan
    Italy
    Honorable Mention - Original Score
  • Crown Point International Film Festival
    Chicago
    United States
    Award Winner - 1st Time Director; Award Winner - Original Score
  • Sweet Democracy Film Awards
    Cannes
    France
    Award Winner - Best Mystery Film; Official Selection - Best Screenplay
  • Europe Film Festival U.K.
    London
    United Kingdom
    Jury Diamond Awards Winner – Feature / Best First-Time Director
  • Tokyo Film Awards
    Tokyo
    Japan
    Golden Award Winner - Best 1st Time Filmmaker
  • Iconic Images Film Festival
    Vilnus
    Lithuania
    Official Selection – Best Female Director; Official Selection – Best Drama Film
  • The IndieFEST Film Awards
    La Jolla, CA
    United States
    Award of Merit – Film Feature; Award of Merit – Script / Writer
  • Rome International Film Awards
    Rome
    Italy
    Award Winner - Best First Time Director; Award Winner - Best Mystery Film
  • Blow-Up Arthouse Filmfest
    Chicago
    United States
    Semi-Finalist - Film Feature
  • Hollywood Gold Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Honorable Mention - Best Original Screenplay
  • 4theatre selection.
    Tempe, Arizona
    United States
    Official Selection – Best Director
  • Florence Film Awards
    Florence
    Italy
    Honorable Mention - Best Original Score; Official Selection - Best Original Screenplay
  • Golden Bridge Istanbul Short Film Festival
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    Official Selection – Best Feature Film; Official Selection – Best Female Director
  • London Movie Awards
    London
    United Kingdom
    Silver Award Winner - Best Original Screenplay
  • Mediterranean Film Festival
    Cannes
    France
    Official Selection - Best Director
  • Stanley Film Awards
    London
    United Kingdom
    Award Winner - Best Original Score; Official Selection - Best Screenplay
  • Digital Griffix Film Festival
    Montreal
    Canada
    Nominee - Best First Time Director
  • New York Neorealism Film Awards
    Rome
    Italy
    Official Selection – Best Original Score
  • Vesuvius International Film Fest
    Campania
    Italy
    Award Winner - Best Feature Movie
  • International Motion Picture Awards
    Brooklin
    Canada
    Award Winner - Best Director
  • Frida Film Festival
    Tempe, Arizona
    United States
    Official Selection - Original Screenplay
  • Hollywood on the Tiber Film Awards
    Rome
    Italy
    Award Winner - Best Original Screenplay
  • AltFF Alternative Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    Nominee - Best Director
  • Madrid International Movie Awards
    Madrid
    Spain
    Award Winner - Best Mystery Film; Award Winner - Best Actor
Director Biography - Ana Bilic

ANA BILIĆ – born 1962 in Zagreb, lives and works in Vienna since 1995. She has been involved with film as a screenwriter and director since 2010.
In 2009 she attended a crash course in acting as part of the VHS programme in Vienna. In the screenwriting workshop „Diverse Geschichten“, organized by Witcraft Szenario Vienna, she was a member in their 1st season 2009/2010. In 2018 she attended the Film Editing and Montage Seminar at the Munich Film Workshop. She attended there in 2019 also the Film Distribution Seminar. Ana Bilić has directed and written the scripts for her four short films: for one short film and three experimental short films. The film „When the Woodlark Sings“ (Wenn die Heidelerche singt) is her first feature film.

2010 - "Home Sweet Home", experimental short film – script, director
2013 - "Talk to me!", experimental short film – script, director, camera
2016 - "About My Man", short film – script, director, performance
2018 - "Tea Party", experimental short film – script, director
2022 - "When the Woodlark Sings", feature film – script, director, camera, editor, production

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Director Statement

I got an idea for the film from my mother: she is a passionate forest mushroom picker and spends a lot of her free time in the forest. Once she got lost in the forest and after a while she began to listen intently into the forest. She noticed that a bird always sang unpleasantly and shrilly when she mistakenly changed direction. She followed the "forewarnings" and came back from the forest unharmed. - In this context, I asked myself what it would look like if two people were left on their own in the forest. Would they adapt to the nature or they act independently of the surroundings? Would they try to enforce their own idea of being together and helping each other? Or would they stumble over their own character traits?
From these questions and the resulting storyline, a certain theme emerged, namely: lack of love as the spiritus movens of human life. The theme is shown in the film as a physical and inner journey: the deeper the film characters go into the forest, the deeper we go into the characters. But the path into the depths of the characters and into the depths of the forest no longer remains linear as it was initially, but soon becoming a labyrinth. I have given the forest a timeless role and as a character I have let it appear in its natural element. The characters in the film no longer remain the model of man, they become the human image of man. With them, no clear line is drawn, nothing is black and nothing is white - as a counterpoint to the visual film concept.