Naked Animals

Nackte Tiere

Naked Animals

Melanie Waelde

A film about a time when conquering the world seems entirely possible. Five adolescents growing up somewhere in provincial Germany, in a place where having a car and a driver’s licence means freedom. Five adolescents who need to decide whether to stay or go once their final winter together is over and they leave school. Katja, Sascha, Benni, Laila and Schöller run in a pack yet constantly collide, warily circling each other in a relationship beset at once by distance, violence, love and loneliness. For them, closeness and pain are one and the same. In search of stability and themselves they make their own rules, yet after the winter ends and they leave school, their paths will diverge. A farewell, but also a new start that will allow them to leave everything behind for something new and unfathomable.

Naked Animals explores the metaphorical space that is the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Melanie Waelde has chosen a suitably raw and powerful language to describe her characters’ exposed and vulnerable state.

»Naked Animals is a film that functions like an emotion, a memory, a vision of the future. A film that hits where it hurts. Where the heart beats. Where we know we’re vulnerable while trying not to be. A film that inevitably causes pain no matter how well we’re doing.«
Melanie Waelde

Awards for Naked Animals
EWIP ZOOM Medienfabrik Award – European Work in Progress 2019

Director / Script

Melanie Waelde


Fion Mutert


Jessica Schneller


Robert Fuhrmann


Marie Tragousti, Sammy Scheuritzel, Michelangelo Fortuzzi, Luna Schaller, Paul Michael Stiehler


Czar Film, Anja Wedell


déjà-vu film

Portrait of Melanie Waelde

Melanie Waelde

Melanie Waelde, born 1992 in Dachau, studied scriptwriting at the German Film & TV Academy in Berlin between 2013 and 2017. Her documentary Like in Africa won her the German International Young Film Makers’ Award in 2015. Naked Animals is her Academy graduation project. The film debuted at Berlinale 2020 in the new competitive section Encounters. Melanie Waelde is a freelance writer and filmmaker. Her short story »Blessed« was published in the magazine Die Novelle – Headquarters for Experimentalism in 2014.

Films by Melanie Waelde (Selection)
Texter 2017 | Motten 2016 | trust the girls 2015 | Klebriger Wüstenstaub 2014 | Like in Africa, in collaboration with Samuel Hölscher 2013 | Irrdisch 2012 | Großer starker Bruder 2012