Mikel is a self-confident young man who, after a long journey fleeing from Nigeria, is hoping to finally be able to live a dignified life. At the moment he’s living in the shadows as an illegal labourer for Norbert's painting and decorating company. Norbert is in a great position: the city is being privatised and housing is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. There are long queues of hopeful newcomers to Berlin and speculative buyers. Business is booming. Mikel and his colleague Jonathan are the essential but preferably invisible hinges in this system. Norbert once promised Mikel a residence permit and a fair wage. But that was long ago. Mikel has long since realised that he’s worth much more to his employer than vice versa. But he’s also well aware of his own dilemma: without this job he’d be lost, but at the same time it will never get him where he wants to be. And so he finds himself stuck, a nomad in permanent transit who, in the end, writes a postcard home.
by Cavo Kernich
with Jonathan Aikins, Para Kiala, Frank Leo Schröder, Antonia Cojaniz, Thea Rasche, Robin Dörnemann, Thomas Bartholomäus, Murat Dikenci, Benjamin Elstner
Germany 2017 German, English 31’ Colour


  • Jonathan Aikins (Mikel)
  • Para Kiala (Jonathan)
  • Frank Leo Schröder (Norbert)
  • Antonia Cojaniz (Sandra)
  • Thea Rasche (Anna)
  • Robin Dörnemann (Marcel)
  • Thomas Bartholomäus (Real-estate agent )
  • Murat Dikenci (Salesman)
  • Benjamin Elstner (Homeless person)


Written and Directed by Cavo Kernich
Cinematography Katharina Hauke
Editing Cavo Kernich
Sound Design Jochen Jezussek
Sound Diverse
Production Design Hannah Rumstedt
Casting Cavo Kernich
Production Management Johannes Plank
Producer Cavo Kernich
Co-Producer Svenja Heinrichs

Additional information

With the support of Berlin University of the Arts.

Cavo Kernich

Born in Berlin, Germany in 1989, he began taking photographs as a teenager and secured a place at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) in 2009 with a photographic series taken in Kurdistan. After two years he switched to art and media and studied narrative film under Thomas Arslan. Since then he has been focusing on film direction, including in a semester studying abroad at the Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 2013. He graduated from the UdK in 2016. After directing several short films, Mikel is his first medium-length work.


2012 Das Andere; photographic and cinematographic work 2017 Mikel; medium-length film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017