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Die Prüfung

The documentary feature centers on the entrance examinations at the “Staatliche Schauspielschule Hannover”. The film focuses on the work of the nine examiners who have to judge hundreds of performances by aspiring actors.


Dieter Bohlen and others have ruined the reputation of castings. That is why it is all the more interesting not to see self-promoters who judge people on how good they are at promoting themselves. Till Harms peers behind the curtains of an acting school in Hannover in his documentary DIE PRÜFUNG and shows the different entrance exams rounds wherein 10 out of 687 applicants will get a spot. A professional selection process and not a populist one – and Harms goes even further than that. He doesn’t focus on the candidates, but rather on the 9 examiners. They have to grapple with hundreds of small scenes acted by hopeful candidates – short excerpts from classic plays, modern ones, and original ones as well. Not all of them are to their liking, of course. The discussions as well as their short statements show how exhausted, frustrated, and disappointed by what they are seeing they sometimes are.
The selection process is usually not public, but it is safe to assume that getting the applicants to agree to be filmed wasn’t too difficult: they want to be seen, not only by the examiners but also by the public. The fact that Till Harms convinced the acting teachers to be part of this project is due to a long, trust-building process – and is lucky for the viewers. The highlight is being able to take part in the final discussion – the point in which the different opinions about the candidates collide. Each examiner hopes and worries about their favorite candidate – the viewers do too.

Harald Mühlbeyer

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland 2016, 96 min
Genre: Documentary
Director: Till Harms
Author: Till Harms
DOP: Börres Weiffenbach
Montage: Sybille Eckhard
Distributor: Lichtblick Media
Release: 19.05.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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