Carolina Hellsgård     WANJA
  Biography   Feature film, 4K, 87 Min., Germany, 2015
Thunder in My Heart
Prata Sannita
Portrait Project
Thicker than Water
Goodbye Randy
museum 32


The former bank robber Wanja is released from a long prison sentence. As her feelings
of loneliness escalate, Wanja sets out to find work and hereby a new identity.
Against all odds she lands an internship at a horse race track. In the stable she gets to know
the troubled teenager Emma, and a strong friendship develops between the two women. When
Emma slips deeper into her own drug abuse, Wanja decides to rescue her.



WANJA (2015) is available on DVD




WANJA marks the feature debut of its director Carolina Hellsgård, who seems keen on maintaining a certain non-judgemental distance
between audience and leading character, that allows her to be all the more real, in an unflinching portrait of a woman that is far from

The heartbeat of this film is Hellsgård’s script; with its simple and sparse dialogue, it is able to show and never tell.
The creation of Wanja is excellent, a blend of strength and uncertainty. (...) The use of Wanja’s relationship with animals is
exceptionally crafted and expresses her as a character far better than pages of dialogue ever could. This is a great film,
with a protagonist not yet ready to give in, a masterly shot urban landscape and an eye on keeping the viewer engaged

German Press about WANJA

"Am unteren Ende" SWR2
von Julia Haungs

Bayern 2 FilmFavorit

"Wanja" - eine Frau wagt einen Neuanfang" NDR Kultur
von Katja Nicodemus

"Wanja braucht den Kick" in der taz. die tageszeitung
Anne Ratte-Polle im Interview mit Jenni Zylka!5308575/

"Fremd in der eigenen Haut" im Tagesspiegel
von Christiane Peitz

"Unter bissigen Stuten" auf SPIEGEL ONLINE
von Carolin Weidner

"Einfach da. Anne Ratte-Polle ist in "Wanja" eine Entdeckung" im BR - Bayerischer Rundfunk
von Moritz Holfelder

Wanja bei Knut Elstermann

Anne Ratte-Polle bei Volle Kanne im ZDF

"Ich hatte Lust auf eine geheimnisvolle Frau" auf Deutschlandradio Kultur
Carolina Hellsgård im Interview mit Susanne Burg

"Wanja" im kulturradio vom rbb
von Carsten Beyer

"Wanja" auf radioeins
von Anke Leweke

Kritik zu Wanja in der epd Film
von Alexandra Seitz

Berlinale Interview with Carolina Hellsgård about WANJA - by Helene Hegemann (in German)



Festivals & Screenings 

Goethe-Institut Toronto
6th of October, 2016

Goethe Institute Stockholm
21st of April, 2016

Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden
29 Jan - 8 Feb, 2016

Internationales Filmwochenende Würzburg
28-31 January, 2016

Filmmoor Women’s Film Festival on Wheels, Istanbul
12 - 20 March, 2016

Tbilisi International Film Festival, Georgia
30th of November – 6th of December

South American Premiere:

São Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil
October 22nd to November 4th, 2015
New Filmmakers Competition

US Premiere:

Austin Film Festival, US
Saturday, October 31 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Wednesday, November 4 • 9:45pm - 11:45pm

Biberacher Filmfestspiele, Germany
Best first feature competition
4 – 8th of November

Cork Film Fest, Ireland
6 – 15th of November

UK Premiere:

Goethe-Institut London
Tuesday, 8 September 2015, 19:00 h
In collaboration with the 35th Cambridge Film Festival.

Cambridge Film Festival, UK
Contemporary German Cinema
Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 22:00 h

North American Premiere:

Montreal World Film Festival, Canada
Focus on World Cinema 
Friday September 4, 2015 - 11:30 AM - CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15
Saturday September 5, 2015 - 08:40 PM - CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 15

Asian Premiere:

Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
9-18th of October 2015


Official Competition at the Valletta Film Festival, Malta
15-21 June 2015

Official Competition at the Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove, Spain
19-26 June 2015


WANJA premieres at the Berlinale –  Perspektive Deutsches Kino
nominated for Berlinale Best First Feature Award!
7-15 Februar 2015



--> WANJA Presskit (English)

--> WANJA Presskit (German Online Version)
--> WANJA Presskit (German Print Version)
--> WANJA Plakat
WANJA Stills

Supported by


Funded by




Main cast

Anne Ratte-Polle (Wanja)
Nele Trebs (Emma)
Viktor Minich (Rudi)
Marko Dyrlich (Ulf)
Michael Baderschneider (Otto)
Mehmet Yilmaz (Nicolas)
Jan Bülow (Kevin)
Tim Blochwitz (Robbe)
Hauke Petersen (Dennis)
Joachim Schönfeld (social worker)
Florian Anderer (social worker, job center)
Rike Eckermann (social worker, job center)
Cornelius Schwalm (robber)
Laura Kiehne (nurse)
Stefan Dietrich (drug user)
Katharina Blaschke (group leader) 
Karin Tomzik (veterinary)


Writer/Director: Carolina Hellsgård
DP: Kathrin Krottenthaler
AC: Vlad Margulis
Production sound: Robert Fuhrmann
Production manager: Andrea Giesel, Johanna Aust
Production supervisor: Sandra Gürtler
Unit production manager: Cristian Obst, Peggy Rieckmann, Katja Berls, Paul Scharf
Assistant director: Anna Kremser
Set photographer: Aline Reinsbach
Gaffer: Sebastian Fuhrmann
Lighting technichians: Benedict Aufzug, Leon Kuklinski, Tillmann Both
2nd AC/DIT: Leonhard Kairat, Leonard Schmidt
Editor: Carolina Hellsgård, Antonella Sarubbi
Scenography: Nadin Meister, Lea Walloschke
Props: Heather Purcell
Costume design: Elena Neuthinger, Lena Nienaber
Make-up: Jessica Krause
Child supervision: Uta Hörmeyer
Animal trainer: Thomas Wamser, Katja Elsässer
Costume design assistant / Fundus: Anne Makarov, Christian Röhrs
Casting: Christiane Lilge, Carolina Hellsgård 
Sound design: Christian Obermaier
Dialogues & Sound mix: Jochen Jezussek
Foley: Martin Langenbach
Mastering: Chaussee Filmton
Music: Steffen W. Scholz
Image Postproduction: Chroma Media GMBH & CO KG, Deli Pictures GMBH
Postproducer: Christoph Stingel
Color correction: Oliver Schumacher
VFX-Artist: Patrick Firmansyah
Title Design & Graphic: Kathrin Krottenthaler
Extras: Mecon Media Concept Ltd.
Editing advisor: Astrid Rieger, Szilvia Ruszev
Dramaturgical advisor: Gabriele Brunnenmeyer, Agnes Schruf
Location scouting: Andrea Giesel, Iris Czáck, Sandra Gürtler
Research: Jutta Geray, Ulla Loge
Project advisor: Katja Morgeneier, Irene von Alberti

Produced by FLICKFILM GbR
Producer: Johanna Aust
Co-Producer: Kim Neumann, Jürgen Schaum, Sebastian Wolters / STORYTELLERS GmbH & CO KG

Technical info: RED 4K, 90 minutes
Film technic from Chroma Media GMBH & CO KG, Media TV GMBH, Dino Wunderlich Videoequipment Verleih,
Cine Service Mausolf, 25p *Cine Support, Kortwich Filmtontechnik

Project development supported by Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
Production funding from BKM, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film
Production and distribution funding from the nordmedia – Film- und Mediengesellschaft Niedersachsen/Bremen mbH