Jennifer Reeder heads to Germany to prep latest film All Small Bodies

Jennifer Reeder wiill be in Germany this week for the final casting of her latest movie All Small Bodies. The film is a US/German co-production with Maike Mia of Pink Movies and ARTE in Germany and Laura Heberton of Hot Metal Films and Steven Hudosh of Forevering films in the US. The film will be shot in Germany

Reeder has had a huge profile on the European festival circuit over the past two years. Films including A Million Miles Away and Blood Below The Skin (pictured above) won numerous awards (with Reeder winning Best International Short at Encounters in the UK two years running) while Reeder has been the recipient of retrospectives at festivals such as London, Oberhausen and Glasgow. She will also be the recipient of a retrospective at the upcoming edition of the Tampere Film Festival. Her latest completed film Crystal Lake will have its world premiere at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival as part of the Generation section.

Explaining her decision to film in Germany, Reeder told Cineuropa Shorts:

“As you know, my films are quite popular in Europe - more popular than in the US actually. So it seemed like the best idea to make a film in Europe. I knew that I could not paste the ideas of previous shorts (American Teen culture) onto a European cast/location. I truly love fairytales and so, again, it seemed like the best idea to revise a fairytale and in specific, a German one in Germany. I adapted Hansel and Gretel to fit my own constant themes of female experiences and trauma. All Small Bodies is also set in the distant future which is new for me but an inspiring challenge.

Maike Mia Hoehne was already a supporter of my previous shorts and she is a producer and director as well as a programmer [Hoehne is the curator of Berlinale Shorts where Reeder’s film Blood Below the Skin premiered in 2015]. Catherine Colas has purchased previous shorts of mine for Arte/ZDF. The two are good friends and last year at a short film party for Berlinale we hatched a plan to make a film together. Recently Laura Heberton (Hot Metal Films) came on board to join Steven Hudosh for the stateside producing team.”

All Small Bodies is a feminist, sci-fi take on the Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel. It occurs in the distant future among the ruins of a planetary catastrophe, revealing the abuses of history and technology. In the wake of the chaotic aftermath, there are several resilient survivors including two young girls named Z and Bub. The film follows these curious adolescents who have long been lost and alone in the haunted, other-wordly woods, as they awaken their extrasensory abilities and reclaim their autonomy from a menacing dark presence.

Explaining more about the film, Reeder told Cineuropa Shorts:

“The film will be primarily in English. One of the adult leads is a UK based actor (Tim Plester) and the other is German (Anneke Kim Sarnau). I am casting the lead girls this weekend in Wiesbaden, where we are shooting in April (in adjacent remote/overgrown gardens with nearby woods). Most of the girls we are seeing in the casting process attend the International school, so they speak English. But there are lines in the script in German as well. The crew is Hamburg based.

 This film is being made, very much with a non-American sensibility ( as I see it). There is no sense in making a film in Germany otherwise. It’s a very specific fit of cast, crew and location, which takes into account what it means to make an international co-production. The post will begin in May in the US, which is reasonable since I like to stay to quite close to that process. Plus its effortless to upload drafts of the film on-line for the producers to view from where ever - (I am in Chicago, my editor is in Ohio, Laura is in Pittsburg, Steven is in LA, Maike is in Hamburg and Catherine is in Wiesbaden).”

09 February 2016, by Laurence Boyce