SCHWARZMOLL

SCHWARZMOLL is a live-action family drama short film that tells the emotional connection between a 7-year-old girl and her grandmother, who suffers from dementia, and deals with the tragedy of the subject in a tender, subtly melancholic way. In the spirit of a coming-of-age fable, the young girl initially resists the decisions made by the adult world, but just like her grandmother, she has to accept them.

Karla is a crafty second grader who loves drawing, her best friend Nele, and most of all: spending time with her grandmother – who, more and more, keeps seeing things that don’t exist.

Despite her young age Karla understands what everyone around her doesn’t seem to: while her grandmother’s perception might be different, it feels just as real. When she overhears her mom Astrid talking about a nursing home, she understands the impending threat.

Proof is needed to avoid losing her grandma, but Karla’s plan doesn’t go unnoticed…


is a live-action family drama short film that tells the emotional connection between a 7-year-old girl and her grandmother, who suffers from dementia, and deals with the tragedy of the subject in a tender, subtly melancholic way. In the spirit of a coming-of-age fable, the young girl initially resists the decisions made by the adult world, but just like her grandmother, she has to accept them.

is written and directed by filmmaker Alessia Mandanici. The film shot in Rheinhessen, Germany and is undergoing post-production in NYC. Alessia partnered with the Berlin-based production company Tidewater Pictures, as well as several other talented individuals in New York and Germany, to tell this important story.


Alessia Mandanici is a writer and director of German-Italian origin. Her cinematic work is strongly influenced by her enthusiasm for intra-family, inter-generational structures and dynamics, as well as her profound musical and aesthetic understanding. 

Born in Mainz, Germany, she discovered her passion for film during her bachelor’s degree in design at RheinMain University in Wiesbaden, Germany. She deepened her visual skills during her freelance work as a cinematographer, editor and designer in Berlin while gaining experience in various areas of film production, among others for clients such as Google, ARD einsplus and the Staatsballett Berlin.

Alessia’s films were screened at prestigious film festivals around the globe, including the Berlin International Film Festival, Stony Brook Film Festival, and Austin Film Festival.

Alessia is currently in her final thesis year of her MFA Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Nathan Hasz is a film & television supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer and sound designer. He has worked on the sound of 75+ projects since his transition to media in late 2017. He is an executive producer of the short film Berlin (2023), as well as an associate producer of the award winning short film Lentini (2021). He is currently Manager & Technical Director of Gigantic Studios in New York City.

He has helped craft the sound of projects selected for dozens of prestigious film festivals. Clients he has done sound work for include Amazon, ARTE, Aston Martin, Cartier, CNN Films, Discovery, Google, Gravitas Ventures, Hallmark, HBO, Hulu, IEEE, IFC, Lifetime, Magnolia Pictures, Netflix, NHK World, Oxygen, PBS, and Showtime.

Nathan is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In 2019, he received a Primetime Emmy nomination in Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming as the Supervising Sound Editor of Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. You can discover his sounds in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. at the Family Table exhibit.

Paula Elina Klossner grew up in Hanover, Germany. Directly after graduating from high school, she gained experience in a film production company in Sydney, Australia. She then completed her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Management in Magdeburg, followed by studies in Film and Television Production at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf.

Already during her studies, Paula worked for various production companies and enriched her theoretical knowledge with diverse practical experience, as production assistant, production manager and junior producer. Most recently, she worked as a production manager on the feature film Orphea in Love by Axel Ranisch.

With the foundation of the company Tidewater Pictures, Paula Klossner is involved in the development and financing of fictional works and acts as a producer.

Stephan Buske works as Director of Photography in the field of feature films, documentaries and commercials. During his studies at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf he shot numerous short and medium-length films, which were awarded with various national and international prizes.

In 2016, his bachelor’s degree film Am Ende der Wald won the Student Oscars in Silver, in the category Best Foreign Feature Film (Student Academy Award; Best Foreign Narrative). In 2019, Stephan graduated with the film F for Freaks by Sabine Ehrl. This won numerous international awards and screened, among others, at the German Short Film Award and at the most important film festival for cinematography, Camerimage in Poland.

Stephan was born in Rostock in 1990. Since founding the company Tidewater Pictures, he has also worked as a producer for fictional material.

Daniel Alfie Knussmann is a creative bombshell born and rooted in Rheinland-Pfalz. 

Since his design BA at Hochschule RheinMain in Wiesbaden, where he first met Alessia, he chose his path as a filmmaker, working as a director, art director and storyboard artist on commercial projects for clients such as Adobe and Adam Hall.

In 2018 he founded COOP Collective  where he gathers filmmakers in the Rhein-Main region to spark ideas and experiment freely within the medium.

Fascinated by social dilemmas and human behavior you can find him both, behind and in front of the camera. His acting credits include Luden – Hamburg Hustle, an Amazon Original Series, which will release 2023.


When my grandmother developed hallucinations out of the blue a few years ago that remained medically unexplained, my family and I were suddenly overwhelmed and at a loss. My grandmother, a robust and amazingly stubborn 82-year-old Sicilian woman, saw absolutely no reason to adjust her lifestyle to the new situation, which drove my father (her son) and my aunt (her daughter) crazy.

The stories I was told of her were difficult for me to reconcile with the image I had of my supposedly healthy grandmother. My opinion changed when, during one of my visits home, she was convinced that she had seen a black animal under her walker and asked me to “go hunting.” I didn’t know it yet, but the idea for    was born at that moment.

The poetics of this story lie in Karla’s desire to make the invisible visible and the sincere, unshakable childlike belief that she can save her grandmother by doing so; the focus is not on naming, or accurately portraying a neurodegenerative disease, but on how a young person deals with the confrontation of one. Karla’s guileless openness to the illogical and her willingness to find creative solutions to exactly that makes her a fascinating and inspiring character for me.

  is not only a coming-of-age fable in which a child must face adult reality, but also an appeal to the adult to remember the child they once were.

Alessia Mandanici


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