Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Helle Nächte

Bright Nights

Florian Koerner von Gustorf (Producer), Georg Friedrich (Actor), Tristan Göbel (Actor), Thomas Arslan (Director, Screenwriter), Moderation: Jenni Zylka

Press Conference at full length
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Austrian civil engineer Michael lives with his girlfriend in Berlin. For years, he has barely had any contact with his 14-year-old son Luis. When Michael’s father dies the two nonetheless travel together to the funeral which is held in the remote north of Norway. At the deceased’s secluded home Michael begins to pack up his late father’s personal items – watched in silence by his son. Two people who barely know each other are suddenly caught in an intimate situation. After the funeral, Michael surprises Luis by suggesting that they spend a few days together exploring the region. A road movie begins that is also a journey into their non-existent shared past. Being together turns out to be more difficult than expected. Never having spent any time with each other on a daily basis, they have trouble handling their relationship. Whilst Michael glosses over this situation, Luis can't hide how hurt he is. His father’s long years of absence stand between them like a wall. When they are in the car together it feels like the calm before a storm. During the long days of the summer solstice, days when the sun never sets, Michael tries to break the repetitive cycle and find a joint way forward.

Thomas Arslan

Germany / Norway 2017

German, English

86’ · Colour


Georg Friedrich (Michael)
Tristan Göbel (Luis)
Marie Leuenberger (Leyla)
Hanna Karlberg (Cecilia)


Written and directed by
Thomas Arslan
Reinhold Vorschneider
Reinaldo Pinto Almeida
Ola Fløttum
Sound Design
Jochen Jezussek, Christian Obermaier, Tormod Ringnes
Andreas Mücke-Niesytka
Production Design
Reinhild Blaschke
Anette Guther
Krisztina Szántó-Konthur
Assistant Director
Cavo Kernich
Ulrike Müller, Nina Erdahl
Production Manager
Elisa Fernanda Pirir
Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Maria Ekerhovd, Svein Andersen, Kjetil Jensberg
Commissioning Editor
Andrea Hanke
mer FILM, Bergen
FilmCamp, Overbygd
WDR, Köln


Thomas Arslan

Born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1962, he attended primary school in Ankara from 1967 before completing school in Essen in 1982. After community service (in lieu of military service) in Hamburg, he moved to Munich. He took up a degree in history and German before transferring to the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin in 1986. After several shorts, he presented his debut feature Mach die Musik leiser (Turn Down the Music) at the 1994 Panorama. A professor of narrative film at the Berlin University of the Arts since 2007, he has often taken part in the Berlinale, most recently in 2013 with Gold in the Competition.

Filmography (selection)

1994 Mach die Musik leiser 1996 Geschwister 1998 Dealer 2001 Der schöne Tag 2005 Aus der Ferne; documentary 2007 Ferien 2010 Im Schatten 2013 Gold 2017 Helle Nächte

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

Schramm Film Koerner & Weber

World sales

The Match Factory