Heimat Is A Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit) directed by Thomas Heise.
Heimat Is A Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit) directed by Thomas Heise. Courtesy Icarus Films

Thomas Heise’s Berlin Film Festival award winning (Caligari Film Prize) documentary Heimat Is A Space in Time (Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit) will be making its North American Premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

In this powerful cinematic essay, shot in luminous black and white, director Thomas Heise explores “heimat,” his family home and homeland, through the upheavals of 20th-century German history. The film picks up the biographical pieces of a family torn apart through the end of the 19th and into the 20th century. It is about people who by chance found each other, only then to lose each other. Now it is their descendants, their children and grandchildren who are beginning to disappear. The material used in this film is what remains of my family.

“The remnants of those I knew, whose circumstances I had been part of or had otherwise experienced. Remnants that mirror history. A history that is just as much my own.” 

Thomas Heise

Born in 1955 in Berlin, GDR/Germany, Thomas Heise trained as a printer. In 1975, he began work as an assistant director at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films in Potsdam-Babelsberg, and in 1978, enrolled at the Academy of Film & Television. His first film, the documentary Why a Film About These People? (Wozu denn über diese Leute einen Film?) (1980) – produced entirely with materials bought on the black market – was banned from public screening. Heise broke off his studies. Since 1983, he has worked as a writer and director in the areas of theatre, audio drama and documentary film. Until the end of the GDR, however, all his documentary work was either blocked, destroyed or confiscated.  Heise found an artistic home in the theatre, where he cooperated closely with author and director Heiner Müller. In 1990, Heise earned his MA at the Berlin Academy of Fine Art. Until 1997, he was a member of the Berlin Ensemble, where he acted as contributing director for numerous productions.  In 2007, Heise began working as a Professor for Film and Media Art at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. In 2013, became a Professor for Art and Film at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria. Since 2018, he has been the director of the Film and Media Arts section at the Academy of Arts Berlin-Brandenburg, Germany.

TIFF Screenings:
Press & Industry 1 – 09/05/19 – 5:15PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
Public 1 – 09/06/19 – 1:00PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 
Public 2 – 09/15/19 – 12:45PM – Jackman Hall

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