Berlin Bouncer

The biographies of three legendary bouncers – Frank, Sven and Smiley – are a bit like a map of the paths and detours this divided city has taken in its transformation into a party metropolis. This film chronicles an exciting piece of Berlin’s cultural history – from the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall up to the pulsating present. In the late 1980s, Frank Künster came from West Germany to Berlin, where Smiley Baldwin, an American G.I., was guarding the border to East Berlin and Sven Marquardt, a young punk and photographer on the other side of the Wall, was surprised to see it fall. It was not long before all three found themselves caught up in the city’s wild nightlife of the 1990s, where they soon became the legendary ‘guardians’ of the city’s hippest clubs.
Director David Dietl establishes a special relationship of trust with his three protagonists, all of whom allow him to take a look behind the legends for his film. A real-life story about growing up at the age of 50 and the diversity of our paths through life, appropriately accompanied by the infectiously pounding club sounds which have become a kind of second heartbeat for the protagonists.
by David Dietl Germany 2019 German,  Subtitles: English 87’ Colour & Black/White, 2K DCP World premiere Documentary form


Written and directed byDavid Dietl
CinematographyRaphael Beinder, Eric Ferranti
EditingStefan Oliveira Pita, Laura Heine, Thomas Krause
MusicBasti Schwarz
Sound DesignGregor Junghans
ProducerMartin Heisler
Co-productionRundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin

Produced by

Flare Film

Berlin, Germany

+49 30 7623977370

World sales


Berlin, Germany

+49 30 24628156

Additional information

In collaboration with Arte

David Dietl

Born in Los Angeles, USA in 1979, after graduating from high school he gained extensive experience in the film industry before going on to study at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin. He not only directed but also wrote his graduation film and cinema debut, König von Deutschland. In 2016, he directed the television film Ellas Baby, starring Benno Fürmann and Katharina Schüttler. His comedy Rate Your Date will be released in German cinemas in spring 2019.


2013 König von Deutschland 2017 Ellas Baby 2019 Berlin Bouncer; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019


Feb 10 22:30

CinemaxX 1

Ticket code 100021

Code for ticket purchase at the ticket counter
Feb 11 22:00

Colosseum 1

Ticket code 110371

Code for ticket purchase at the ticket counter
Feb 16 20:00

CinemaxX 1

Ticket code 160021

Code for ticket purchase at the ticket counter