Nele Wohlatz’s “Sleep With Your Eyes Open,” world premiering in the Encounters section of the Berlin Film Festival, has revealed its trailer (below). Rediance has acquired global sales rights.
Wohlatz's first fiction feature film, “El futuro perfecto”, won the Locarno Golden Leopard for best first feature film in 2016 and was invited to more than 70 international film festivals.
“Sleep With Your Eyes Open,” described as “a quiet comedy of misunderstandings,” is set in a coastal town in Brazil. Kai arrives from Taiwan for vacation heartbroken. She meets Fu Ang, who might become a friend, but then disappears.
While searching for him, Kai discovers the story of Xiaoxin and a group of Chinese workers living in a skyscraper. Kai discovers that his own experience strangely mirrors that of Xiaoxin's story. Over the course of a hot, slow summer, delicate bonds develop between them.
In a statement, Wohlatz said: “Having been born in Germany and having lived for many years in Argentina as a foreigner, at the time of filming the film I felt like I had lost my sense of home . I was hoping to make a film that could take place in any city in the world. It would feature people who could go anywhere in the world and yet would not fit in anywhere.
Besides the uprooting of the characters, the film is also imbued with a sense of menace, suggested by the title of the film and the mention of sharks in the sea. It is the threat of violence, crime, deportation and poverty, among others.
The main producer of the film is Cinemascópio, the Brazilian company of Kléber Mendoça Filho and Émilie Lesclaux. The other producers are Violeta Bava and Rosa Martínez Rivero of Ruda Cine in Argentina, Roger Huang and Justine O. of Yi Tiao Long Hu Bao in Tiawan, as well as Meike Martens and Wohlatz of Blinker Filmproduktion.