HEIM Stage Reading

HEIM Stage Reading

Ursula Strauss, Irit Neidhardt, Jesse Albert


»Routines are very important. Taking life step by step, knowing that you take the same steps every day. It is our routines that make us what we are, what we want to be. When life collapses all around us, and our routines collapse along with it, we have no way of knowing who we are,« writes the protagonist of HEIM in his diary in the opening scene.
HEIM is the new Arab Germanism for refugee centre. Liwaa Yazji and Mohammad Abou Laban are well-known authors from Damascus who write TV series among other things. In the past 20 years, Syrian series have dominated the Arab TV market. Ramadan dramas broadcast daily in blocks of 30 episodes are especially popular. After moving to Berlin at the end of 2015, Yazji and Abou Laban together with David Hermann wrote the multi-language series HEIM, their first episodic drama to be produced in Germany. Production has yet to occur.
What does it mean to transfer familiar work to a new environment? How is research carried out? Who is the series written for? Does production in Germany mean the film addresses a German audience? What limitations does an author face when he is not yet familiar with the new system, and what freedoms result from this situation?
– Irit Neidhardt

Portrait of jury member Ursula Strauss

Ursula Strauss

Ursula Strauss studied acting at the Volkstheater in Vienna. She already performed on various theatres in Germany and Austria while still training. Her breakthrough came with the cinema films Free Radicals by Barbara Albert and Revanche by Götz Spielmann.
She has received numerous awards for her acting achievements including four Romy awards for best actress, and two Diagonale awards. She received the Austrian Film Award and was nominated for the German Schauspielerpreis (Best Actor Award). Strauss has worked with film and TV directors such as Barbara Albert, David Schalko, Götz Spielmann, Nikolaus Leytner, Nils Willbrandt and Wolfgang Murnberger. She is president of the Austrian Film Academy.

Irit Neidhardt

Irit Neidhardt, born in 1969, runs mec film (middle eastern cinemas), a sales and distribrution company for films from the Middle East. She works as a curator for Arab film series and is the writer of numerous articles on the subject of cinema and the Middle East. She is co-producer of the multiple award-winning Jordanian documentary Recycle (2007) and the awardwinning Lebanese documentary The One Man Village (2008), as well as dramatic advisor on other films from the region.

Jesse Albert

Jesse Albert (born 1984) is an actor who appears in film, TV and theatre productions. He writes, directs and produces theatre plays and short films. Since 2016, he has also hosted the revue show SpokenWordClub. Albert lives in Cologne.