Indie Shorts Awards Cannes

Eléna Weiss

Eléna Weiss grew up in Spain and Germany. She studied acting in Stuttgart and Barcelona and
has been working as an actress since 2012 in German theaters and for film and television. In 2015
she began directing theatre plays. She also started developing plays in collaboration with art
collectives such as the feminist performance BITCH PERFECT. In 2016 she began directing her
first own films. Since 2020 Eléna has been studying directing at Hamburg Media School. Her short
film Flick-a-Cig was shortlisted for the Yugo Student BAFTA. It is currently being screened at
various festivals, such as Max Ophüls, Nordische Filmtage Lübeck and Beijing International Short
Film Festival and was awarded best student short at Venezia Short Film Festival.
2016 ROB&BOB (midlength silent movie, 60 min.)
2020 ALIEN INSIDE (ALIEN IN MIR) (shortfilm, 10 min.)
2021 UNERREICHBAR (UNREACHABLE) (shortfilm, 5 min.)
2021 KIPPENSCHNIPPEN (FLICK-A CIG) (shortfilm, 13 min.)
2022 WAS WIR WOLLEN (OF KISSES AND CAPES) (shortfilm, 26 min.)

You gave your first directing steps in theatre plays, is that right? How was the process into directing your own films?
Yes that’s right, I began directing at the theatre. The first step was actually that a colleague of mine had that crazy idea of doing a SciFi silent movie, and asked me whether I wanted to develop it with him. We had both no clue at all about how to make a movie and we had a team of only 6 people. We wrote the script, directed and played all the parts, which was part of the clue kindof, as well. It was really crazy, so much work for so few people for a 60 minutes film.. But also we got to experiment a lot because the setting was so absurd. That was a really great experience. Also it was kidn of a performance as well, cuase there was some dialogue which we latter dubbed live at the cinemas in which the movie was shown. So it was kind of a smooth transition from theatre to film. Well and then the idea of directing movies did not disappear but only grwe stronger so that is what I did:)
All of the actors seem very talented, how was your directoral experience with them? Are they students at the Hamburg Media School as well?
Working with the cast of FLICK A CIG was a real gift to me. They are not students at Hamburg Media School. We found them in quite an intense casting process. We had spread casting sheets all over schools and young dance companies in Hamburg and other cities and also did some street casting. Marie Rosie Merz came to us trough the advice of Patrick Dreikauss, a german caster who knew her. We had her in the zoom casting and for me there was no second of doubt that she had to play the role. She was so great to work with, she has such a good intution and emotional potential. Also Lea Schmidt, who we found through a casting call at a school in Northern Germany is very gifted and she brings an authenticity and vividness with herself that is stunning. I was also so happy about Sebastian Doppelbauer playing Nikolas. He brings such a warmth, sensitivity and kind of ironic tone with himself and a great talent to improvise, wich I encouraged them to do a lot. Some of my favorite moments in the film came from improvisations. That wouldn’t have worked out without the awesome vibe the actresses and actor had with each other.