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Villa Henriette

Childrens- and Youth Film Festival Bielefeld: Best film

12-year-old Marie lives in a rather unconventional house, a building with ivy growing up its mysterious façade and a garden that has been left to run wild, defying the boring uniformity of the modern houses that surround it. Just like her grandmother, Marie is convinced that the “Villa Henriette” has a life of its own. Marie‘s mother, a practical woman who works as a stewardess, doesn‘t have much time for the quirks of life in the villa with her mother-in-law, who puts all her money into inventions that never succeed. Marie‘s father, an archaeologist, lives in Ancient Egypt. His sister Olli, who also lives in the villa, is a wanna-be poet with the permanent attitude of a misunderstood artiste. Grandmother‘s eccentric brother Albert, who is rather deaf and appears to care for nothing but his flowers, completes the extraordinary collection of oddball characters at home. Except that as far as Marie is concerned the talking fridge is also part of the family, just like the neurotic garbage can which thinks it‘s a bus and all the other curious inventions that dominate life here. Granny has just finished work on her new invention: a self-charging electric scooter. She has invested the last of her money in this wonderful machine, so it is her last hope of making some serious money at last - money that is urgently needed to repair the house.

One day a terrible property speculator bursts into the villa and reveals to Marie that it is being put up for auction. Apparently Granny can‘t repay the money she has been borrowing from the bank for years to finance her “ideas”. As if this shock weren‘t enough, now Marie‘s two friends Konrad and Stefan embark on a bitter competition to be her best friend. Marie doesn‘t want to abandon Konrad - she is helping him to re-sit his maths exam at school - but on the other hand she also wants to keep Stefan’s friendship. It soon emerges that Granny has fallen victim to a con man. Her dream of financial success now seems utterly impossible. Her money has all gone. It looks as though the villa will have to be sold. The rest of the family accepts the situation and start looking round for a new apartment. But for Marie the “Villa Henriette” is far more than just a house. She refuses to give up, devoting all her energy and imagination - and benefiting from the help of her friends - in her quest to rescue the beautiful old house from demolition.

Key cast: Hannah Tiefengraber, Cornelia Froboess, Nina Petri, Lars Rudolph, Michou Friesz, Branko Samarovski, Richard Skala, Elias Pressler, Bernhard Jobst, Raymond Li, Michael Schottenberg, Maria Hofstätter, Klaus Pohl, Christine Nöstlinger and “Villa Henriette” with Nina Hagen’s voice

Website DVD
Year of production: 2004
Director: Peter Payer
Screenplay: Milan Dor - nach Motiven des Romans VILLA HENRIETTE von Christine Nöstlinger
Cinematography: Thomas Hardmeier
Art direction: Christoph Kanter
Sound: Patrick Becker
Music: Peter Bräker, Balz Bachmann
Costume design: Anita Stoisits
Production manager: Gilbert Petutschnig
Editing: Britta Nahler
Casting: Markus Schleinzer
Producers: Katja Dor-Helmer, Fiona Meisel
Co-Producers: Erich Lackner - Lotus-Film, Wien; Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler - maximage, Zürich
Austrian Distributor: Filmladen
German Distributor: MFA+
Swiss Distributor: Stamm Film
World Sales: Sola Media GmbH
Supported by: Austrian Film Institute, Vienna Filmfund, ORF, Bundesamt für Kultur, SFDRS, Eurimages
Technical Data: 87 min, German, Colour, 35 mm, 1:2,35, Dolby Surround

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Katja Dor-Helmer
Katja Dor-Helmer Katja Dor-Helmer

Minifilm was established with the aim of developing, producing and promoting audiovisual programs for children and young people. Our audience should have the opportunity to experience their own stories, to see films that represent and mirror their culture and history. Our goal is to reach children and families who love watching films which inspire their imagination, films which are humorous and full of fantasy.

Minifilm is the first production company in Austria that focuses exclusively on this niche market.

Minifilm is looking for partners throughout Europe who share their intention of producing films of high quality in order to create a network of kindred souls.


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A-1080 Vienna
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Katja Dor-Helmer
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