Der Wald Vor Lauter Bäumen


2003 | 35mm | 1:1.85 | Dolby SR | 81 min


Bursting with idealism, Melanie Pröschle (Eva Löbau), a young teacher from Swabia, idealistically starts her first job at a middle school in the city of Karlsruhe. She wants to bring a wind of change to school. But the older and experienced members of the teaching staff are irritated by Melanie's educational methods. The students quickly discover her weak points. A boy throws cocoa at her. It isn't easy to start a new life. It isn't easy to start a new life. Loneliness makes its presence felt. Obviously nobody was waiting for her in Karlsruhe.

But Melanie is not discouraged and establishes contact with her neighbour Tina (Daniela Holtz), whose boyfriend recently broke up with her. So any distraction is a welcome relief to Tina. But it soon becomes evident that Tina has enough friends. The more Tina withdraws from Melanie, the more Melanie intensifies her efforts to develop a friendship. With every attempt she makes to get closer to Tina, she oversteps another line, becoming increasingly entangled in lies, false hopes and self-abasement.


Melanie PröschleEva Löbau
Tina SchaffnerDaniela Holtz
Thorsten RehmJan Neumann
BineNina Fiedler
Frau SussmannIlona C. Schulz
TobiasRobert Schupp
Lutger ReinhardtHeinz-Röser Dümming
Renate PföhlerMartina Eckrich
Gerd PostweilerHans Rüdiger Kucich
Elvira Fischer-WalterRuth Köppler
BerndAchim Enchelmaier
Mutter MelanieMonika Hirschle
Vater MelanieVolker Jeck


Written and directed byMaren Ade
ProducersJanine Jackowski
Maren Ade
TV Producer Sabine Holtgreve (SWR)
Director of PhotographyNikolai von Graevenitz
Set DesignClaudia Schölzel
Art DirectorEric Segol
Costume DesignGitti Fuchs
Christian Garcia
EditingHeike Parplies
SoundJörg Kidrowski
MusicIna Siefert
Nellis du Biel


First Steps Award: Nominated for Best Feature Film
Media Award Babelsberg: Best Film
Cologne Conference: Best Film

Nominated for the German Film Award: Best Film
Sundance Film Festival: Special Jury Award
Newport International Film Festival:
Best Feature Film
Best Actress Eva Löbau
Cine Jove Valencia Film Festival: Best Feature Film
IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival: Best Feature Film Grand Prize
Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival: Best Actress Eva Löbau

Theatrical Release

Germany - Time Bandit Films (
USA - The Film Movement (


Internationale Hofer Filmtage (Film Festival)

Max-Ophüls-Preis Saarbrücken
Cologne Conference: New Talent Films
Tromsö International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival: Discovery
Vancouver Film Festival
Valladolid International Film Festival
Cairo International Film Festival
Internationales Studentenfilmfestival München: Eröffnungsfilm
(International Student Film Festival Munich: Opening Film)
Kinofest Lünen (Film Festival Lünen)

Sundance Film Festival: World Dramatic Competition
Göteburg Film Festival
Hong Kong International Film Festival
International Film Festival of Uruguay
Women's Film Festival in Seoul
Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival: Competition
San Francisco Film Festival
Independent Film Festival Lisboa: Competition
Newport International Film Festival: Emerging Filmmakers
Sydney International Film Festival: Competition
New York BAM: Best Film of Year 2005
Jerusalem International Film Festival
Los Angeles IFP
20th Cinema Jove International: Competition
Munich Film Festival
Cambridge Film Festival: Competition
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Northern Lights Film Festival

Soluthurner Filmtage (Film Festival)

Distribution/World Distribution

Distribution: Time Bandit Films (
World Distribution: Atrix Films (