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Category: Edition 2005


Berlin, 1942. The Hitler regime is at the peak of its political and military power. Friedrich, 17, from the working-class, is a gifted boxer. He receives an offer to study at an elite school, the NAPOLA, which trains the future leaders of the German Reich. Friedrich sees this as the chance of a lifetime to free himself from the restrictions of his class and, against the will of his parents, enrols in the school. Friedrich makes friends with the sensitive Albrecht, the son of a high-ranking official. Albrecht is critical of the Nazi ideology. After the students are forced to take part in a raid against Russian prisoners of war, Albrecht writes an essay condemning the Nazism. Friedrich starts to see that there is no room here for anyone unwilling to follow the party line. Albrecht’s fate will force him to make an important decision, one that will also mark the end of his youth.

Original Title NAPOLA
Category Official Competition
Section Y Gen
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 110'
Production Year 2004
Nationality Germany
Directed by Dennis Gansel
Screenplay Dennis Gansel, Maggie Peren
Script Dennis Gansel, Maggie Peren
Director of photography Torsten Breuer
Editor Jochen Retter
Production Design Matthias Müsse
Costume Design Natascha Curtius-Noss
Sound Eckhard Kuchenbecker
Music Angelo Badalamenti, Normand Corbeil
Main cast interpreti/leading players
Max Riemelt (Friedrich Weimer)
Tom Schilling (Albrecht Stein)
Jonas Jägermeyr (Christoph Schneider)
Leon Alexander Kersten (Tjaden)
Thomas Drechsel (Hefe)
Martin Goeres (Siegfried Gladen)
Produced by Molly von Fürstenberg, Viola Jäger, Harald Kügler

napola regDennis Gansel

Born 1973, Hanover. He studied in the film and telefilm section of the Academy of Television & Film (Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film) in Munich. He first attracted the public’s attention with a number of short films (THE WRONG TRIP, 1995; LIVING DEAD, 1996; IM AUFTRAG DES HERRN, 1997) and made his feature film debut with THE PHANTOM (2000). It was awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize. Gansel scored his first theatrical hit with GIRLS ON TOP (MAEDCHEN MAEDCHEN, 2001), seen by 1,8 million viewers in Germany. NAPOLA is his second joint scriptwriting project with Maggie Peren after THE PHANTOM. Together with his co-author, he won the German Film Prize 2003 for the best script yet to be produced.


Director’s statement

“I first came into contact with the Nazis’ special schools through my grandfather Fritz Gansel, who was an instructor at the Reichskriegsschule Hannover in 1940 at the age of 24. He told me about drill methods and hard military training, but also about the camaraderie which he continued to cultivate with many former cadets until his death”.

Olga Film
Tengstrasse, 20, 80798, München - Germany
phone +49 892782950
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World sales
Festival contact
Bavaria Film International
Bavariafilmplatz, 8, D-82031, Geiselgasteig - Germany
phone +49 8964992686
fax +49 8964993720
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