Nele Wohlatz’s “Sleep With Your Eyes Open,” which has its world premiere in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival, has debuted its trailer (below). Rediance has taken world sales rights.
Wohlatz’s fiction debut “El futuro perfecto” won Locarno’s Golden Leopard for the best first feature in 2016, and was invited to more than 70 international film festivals.
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“Sleep With Your Eyes Open,” which is described as “a quiet comedy of misunderstandings,” is set in a coastal city in Brazil. Kai arrives from Taiwan for a holiday with a broken heart. She meets Fu Ang, who could become a friend, but then disappears.
While looking for him, Kai discovers the story of Xiaoxin and a group of Chinese workers living in a skyscraper. Kai finds her own experience strangely mirrors that of Xiaoxin’s story. Over the course of a hot, slow summer, delicate bonds grow between them.
In a statement, Wohlatz says: “Being born in Germany and having lived in Argentina for many years as a foreigner, at the time of making the film, I felt like I had lost my sense of home. I was hoping to make a film that could take place in any city in the world. It would feature people who could go anywhere in the world and still would belong nowhere.”
As well as the rootlessness of the characters, the film is also pervaded by a feeling of threat, which is suggested by the film’s title and mentions of the sharks in the sea. It is the threat of violence, crime, deportation and poverty, among other things.
The film’s lead producer is Cinemascópio, the Brazilian company of Kléber Mendonça Filho and Émilie Lesclaux. The other producers are Violeta Bava and Rosa Martínez Rivero at Ruda Cine in Argentina, Roger Huang and Justine O. at Yi Tiao Long Hu Bao in Tiawan, and Meike Martens and Wohlatz at Blinker Filmproduktion.
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