Whatever Happens Next

Sure, you could just up and leave. Right now. Just get out of the car, get off the train or the bike and you’re gone. One day 43-year-old Paul Zeise decides to give in to this thought that most people would quickly dismiss. He leaves it all behind: his wife, his job, his entire middle-class existence. From this moment on, he saunters about the country, a friendly good-for-nothing, scrounger and con man. This sees him climb into cars unbidden, gatecrash parties and funerals, collude with a grandmother with dementia and unintentionally scare the living daylights out of one small family by shamelessly barging his way into their life. Hitching a lift to Poland with a student, he wanders homelessly about the streets and temporarily moves into a hospital before falling in love with the slightly loopy Nele (29) who in turn draws him into the wonderland that is her life. Paul has no idea that his wife has hired a private detective who is now hot on his heels.
Julian Pörksen’s film is a comic yet melancholy ramble through our society and a world peopled by beautiful, dubious and lost souls.
by Julian Pörksen
with Sebastian Rudolph, Lilith Stangenberg, Peter René Lüdicke, Christine Hoppe, Eike Weinreich, Henning Peker, Niels Bohrmann, Eva Löbau, Hanns Zischler, Monika Lennartz
Germany / Poland 2018 German 97’ Colour


  • Sebastian Rudolph (Paul Zeise)
  • Lilith Stangenberg (Nele)
  • Peter René Lüdicke (Ulrich Klinger)
  • Christine Hoppe (Luise Zeise)
  • Eike Weinreich (Flo)
  • Henning Peker (Cemetery gardener)
  • Niels Bohrmann (Father)
  • Eva Löbau (Mother)
  • Hanns Zischler (Patron of the arts)
  • Monika Lennartz (Old lady)


Written and Directed by Julian Pörksen
Cinematography Carol Burandt von Kameke
Editing Carlotta Kittel
Music Mahan Mobashery
Sound Design Michael Kaczmarek
Sound Paulina Sacha
Production Design Marie Gimpel
Costumes Rebekka Stange
Make-Up Anne Walther
Assistant Director Emilia Sniegoska
Production Manager Jakob Deutsch
Executive Producer Albert Schwinges
Producer Stefan Gieren
Co-Producer Agnieszka Dziedzic
Co-Production Koi Studio Warschau

Produced by

The StoryBay UG

Julian Pörksen

Born in 1985, he worked as an assistant to Christoph Schlingensief, studied history and philosophy in Berlin and dramaturgy in Leipzig. His first short film Sometimes We Sit and Think and Sometimes We Just Sit premiered at the 2012 Berlinale. In 2013 his non-fiction book “Verschwende Deine Zeit” was published by Alexander Verlag in Berlin and is now in its third edition. It was followed in 2016 by a book of plays, “Wir wollen Plankton sein”; his play of the same name premiered at Schauspiel Köln in 2017. Whatever Happens Next is his debut feature film. He works as a writer, director, producer and dramatic advisor.


2012 Sometimes We Sit and Think and Sometimes We Just Sit; short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018