Director Fred Kelemen

Production year 1999

Length 140min.

Country Germany/Portugal


Nightfall is like a long sad song. Similar to a Portuguese Fado or to a Tango, transformed into images, the film talks about a life in loneliness, about poverty, the futility of love, violence and the longing for redemption. A German town close to the Polish border. Everything has lost its apparently safe place. Unemployment rules like a plague. Also Anton is affected. His girlfriend Leni, who he has been living with for years, works as an ironer in a laundry. She tries to put life against the dark cocoon, Anton has weaved around them. A life that is not obliged to materialism and work but to sensuality, believe and the possibility of love as the ultimate anarchistic and dignified act against a barbarous environment. She tries to follow a longing, bigger than the small being in the narrow world of disintegration, fear, doubts and lethargy.Torn apart at dusk, Leni and Anton fight alone each of them on their nocturnal odyssey through the black of the night and their own souls. Desperately rebelling against their loneliness, they will cross the lives of different people, they will be weaved in the fate of strangers, they will hurt and will get hurt, tumble, fall and get up, and they will face each other again with the taste of darkness and a certainty in their hearts which was unknown to them before.The film speaks of love. Not of love in its beginning when it is still illusionary and charged with romantic dreams. But of love when it is about to end while it had just begun to become essential and demands to fight for it – when it has become a question of life or death.


Fred Kelemen
Fred Kelemen



Alexander Ris


Fred Kelemen

Director of Photography

Fred Kelemen

Production designer

Anette Kuhn, Ralf Küfner

Music by

Rainer Kirchmann


Ronny Schreinzer, Jörg Theil


Ronny Schreinzer, Jörg Theil


Wolfgang Michael, Verena Jasch, Urs Remand, Isa Hochgerner, Adolfo Assor, Thomas Baumann

Production company(ies)

Mediopolis Berlin GmbH. Ellen Bickmeier Buelowstrasse 66, 10783 Berlin/Germany

Fred Kelemen

Fred Kelemen was born in West Berlin/Germany.He studied painting, music, philosophy, religious science and drama studies and worked in various theatres as a director’s assistant before beginning his studies in directing and cinematography at the German Film & TV Academy Berlin (dffb) from 1989 to 1994. For his diploma film Fate he received the German National Film Award in 1995. Since then, he has made a number of films and videos as director and collaborated as cinematographer with several film directors like Joseph Pitchhadze (Sweets, Israel 2013), Béla Tarr (Journey to the Plain, Hungary 1995, The Man from London, Hungary/France/Germany 2007, The Turin Horse, Hungary, France, USA, Germany 2011 ), Rudolf Thome (The Visible and the Invisible, Germany 2006), Gariné Torossian (Stone, Time, Touch, Canada/Armenia 2005). Since 1995, he has worked as an associate professor and has given master classes and lectures at the following institutions: Centre of Cinematographical Studies of Catalania (C.E.C.C.) in Barcelona/Spain, College of Fine Arts (ESBAG) in Geneva/Switzerland, Harvard University/USA, Kidderminster College/England, Latvian Cultural Academy (LKA) in Riga, University of Santiago de Chile - Department of the Arts and Sciences of Visual Medias, Thammasat University Bangkok/Thailand, German Film and TV Academy Berlin (dffb)/Germany, Tel Aviv University – Department of Film and Television/Israel, National School of Fine Arts (ENBA) Lyon/France, Film Factory Sarajevo/Bosnia-Hercegovina and at the HBK Saar in Saarbrücken, Germany. Since 2000, he has directed several plays at different theatres in Germany. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at places like the Anthology Film Archives, New York, the Tate Modern London, the Hungarian National Film Theatre Budapest and at cinematheques, film museums and film festivals worldwide. With his film production company Kino Kombat Filmmanufactur he produced his film Krisana/Fallen (Co-prod.: Laima Freimane/Screen Vision, Latvia, 2005) and he produced or co-produced the films Moskatchka by Annett Schütze (Co-prod.: Laima Freimane/Screen Vision, Latvia, 2005) and Fragment by Gyula Maár (Prod.: Béla Tarr/TTFilmmühely, Hungary, 2007) and Hand in Hand by Jana Marsik (Co-prod.: Laima Freimane/Screen Visison, Latvia - Jana Marsik, Gemany, 2008). Fred Kelemen is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)/USA, the European Film Academy (EFA), the German Film Academy and of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP).


Kalyi (1993), Verhängnis (1994), Frost (1998), Abendland (1999), Krišana (2005), Sarajevo Songs of Woe (2016).

FILMS 2016