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The short film The Paperbird (original title: Der Papiervogel) tells the love story between two young girls in the early renaissance and how art is able to eternalize the ephemeral.

Perceiving art as a way to capture thoughts, emotions and ideas is not at all new, but it is a beautiful thought worth repeating that intrigued me to turn the story by M. I. Lia into a film.

With a rather small crew and budget we shot The Paperbird during the end of summer 2023 in Hamburg and its surroundings. It was a self-produced work I directed and for which in the course of several months I designed and handmade the props, headpieces and the costumes.


Developing the characters with both lead actresses while taking into consideration the context of the renaissance and its social implications was as important for me as creating the details of the scenery, whether it was rebuilding Caravaggio’s fruit basket or referring to a painting by John Everett Millais. The camerawomen and I tried to give every scene as much attention as if we were creating a painting, having always in mind that every element, small or omnipresent, contributes to the final image.

With                                       Marleen Heidtkamp

                                                Janne Pauline Böhm

                                                Philipp Rieper

Script                                     M. I. Lia

Camera & DoP                     Lisa Schmautz

First camera assistant        Saskia Mayerhoff

Lighting                                Kerstin Reder

Sound                                    Yoshimi Saravia Machida

                                                Mathis Müller

                                                Rafael Sommer

Sound editing                    Christian Witte

Hair & Make-up                Emily Hildebrandt

Production assistance      René Schare

                                              Alina Orth

                                              Sebastian Hempel

                                              Enya Pfauter 

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