Director: Markus Schleinzer

Austria, Drama, 2011, 94 min
Michael is based on the real-life story of a 10-year-old Austrian girl who was kidnapped and held prisoner for eight years by a man she called “Master”. The film describes the last five months of 10-year-old Wolfgang and 35-year old Michael's involuntary life together. Director Markus Schleinzer has chosen a far more tactful approach than presenting an obscene film. Usually very briefly described, the suburban drama focuses on the paedophile’s attempt to continue having a normal life despite having a ten-year-old imprisoned in his basement, in order to suggest the jolting duplicity of his situation. It is a cold, sweat-inducing experience told from the Michael’s point of view, giving rise to the fear that the same thing could be happening behind any door in any community.

About the director:

Austrian film director Markus was born in Vienna in 1971. He worked as a casting director from 1994 to 2010. During this time he participated in over 60 feature-film projects. To mention just a few, Schleinzer directed casting in Jessica Hausner’s “Lovely Rita” (2001), “Hotel” (2004) and “Lourdes” (2009), Ulrich Seidl’s “Dog Days” (Hundstag, 2001), Benjamin Heisenberg’s “The Robber” (Der Rauber, 2010), Shirin Neshat’s “Women Without Men” (2010), and three of Michael Haneke’s films, including “The White Ribbon” (Das Weisse Band, 2009), for which he also cast the children, coached them and worked out their scenes with them. “Michael” is his first feature film.
Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Markus Schleinzer

Dir. of Photography: Gerald Kerkletz

Music: Klaus Kellermann

Cast: Michael Fuith, David Rauchenberger, Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss, Viktor Tremmel