A film by Maren Ade. "The Forest For The Trees" celebrated its world premiere at the Hofer Filmtagen and was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Competition.

Year  2003

Length: 81 min

Format:   1:1.85

Country of production  GER

Intro | Synopsis

Bursting with idealism, Melanie Pröschle (Eva Löbau), a young teacher from Swabia, idealistically starts her first job at a middle school in the city of Karlsruhe. She wants to bring a wind of change to school. But the older and experienced members of the teaching staff are irritated by Melanie's educational methods. The students quickly discover her weak points. A boy throws cocoa at her. It isn't easy to start a new life. It isn't easy to start a new life. Loneliness makes its presence felt. Obviously nobody was waiting for her in Karlsruhe.
But Melanie is not discouraged and establishes contact with her neighbour Tina (Daniela Holtz), whose boyfriend recently broke up with her. So any distraction is a welcome relief to Tina. But it soon becomes evident that Tina has enough friends. The more Tina withdraws from Melanie, the more Melanie intensifies her efforts to develop a friendship. With every attempt she makes to get closer to Tina, she oversteps another line, becoming increasingly entangled in lies, false hopes and self-abasement.


Komplizen Film in co-production with SWR TV, Kaufmannwöbke GGR and The Film Academy Munich.


Melanie Pröschle

Eva Löbau

Tina Schaffner

Daniela Holtz

Thorsten Rehm

Jan Neumann


Nina Fiedler

Frau Sussmann

Ilona C. Schulz


Robert Schupp

Lutger Reinhardt

Heinz-Röser Dümming

Renate Pföhler

Martina Eckrich

Gerd Postweiler

Hans Rüdiger Kucich

Elvira Fischer-Walter

Ruth Köppler


Achim Enchelmaier

Mutter Melanie

Monika Hirschle

Vater Melanie

Volker Jeck


Written and directed by

Maren Ade

Director of Photography

Nikolai von Graevenitz


Heike Parplies

Art Director

Eric Segol

Production Design   

Claudia Schölzel

Costume Design 

Gitti Fuchs

Christian Garcia

Original Sound

Jörg Kidrowski

Original Music

Ina Siefert

Nellis du Biel

Commissioning Editors

Sabine Holtgreve (SWR)


Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade (Komplizen Film)


Internationale Hofer Filmtage 2003

Max-Ophüls-Preis Saarbrücken 2004

Cologne Conference 2004

New Talent Films

Tromsø International Film Festival 2004

Toronto International Film Festival 2004


Vancouver Film Festival 2004

Valladolid International Film Festival

Cairo International Film Festival 2004

International Student Film Festival Munich 2004

Opening Film

Kinofest Lünen 2004

Sundance Film Festival 2005

World Dramatic Competition

Göteborg International Film Festival 2005

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2005

International Film Festival of Uruguay 2005

Women's Film Festival in Seoul 2005

Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival 2005


San Francisco Film Festival 2005

Independent Film Festival Lisboa 2005


Newport International Film Festival 2005

Emerging Filmmakers

Sydney International Film Festival 2005


Jerusalem International Film Festival 2005

Los Angeles IFP 2005

20th Cinema Jove International 2005


Munich Film Festival 2005

Cambridge Film Festival 2005


Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2005

Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival 2005

Northern Lights Film Festival 2005

Soluthurner Filmtage 2006