** World premiere at Annecy Festival 2023 **

Annecy 2023 Wettbewerb

Johnny & Me - a journey through time with John Heartfield

The graphic designer Stefanie is in a creative crisis. Boring advertising assignments and a boss who does not value her work. On a visit to a museum, she is magically attracted by the satirical photomontages of the world-famous colleague and Nazi opponent John Heartfield. Then the miracle happens. She ends up in his studio, where she finally picks up scissors and paper again. An adventurous journey through Heartfield's extraordinary life 100 years ago begins.


Bertold Brecht called him one of the most important European artists. Rosa Luxemburg personally handed over the party book to the communist of the first hour in 1918. George Grosz and Kurt Tucholsky are among his closest friends and artistic companions. He gave himself an English name in protest against German warmongering. For the Nazis, however, the father of political photomontage John Heartfield quickly became one of the most dangerous enemies of the state. For years he is a fugitive in Europe, and later finds no safe home even in the socialist GDR.

The graphic artist Stephanie, plagued by a creative crisis and self-doubt, is fascinated by John Heartfield's work, which she discovers in an exhibition. Through a time tunnel, she ends up in a studio where the artist, who has become a cartoon figure, takes her on a journey through his eventful life. A loving friendship develops between the two colleagues. And Stephanie takes up scissors and paper again.

Theatrical release Germany: Real Fiction, Joachim Kühn

Distribution: Newdocs, Elina Kewitz, Luisa Schwamborn

TV stations involved: RBB, Arte, SRF

Duration: 100min

Format: 16:9 (4K, DCP, MOV)

Fertigstellung: February 2023

Genre: Hybrid, documentary Animation


Author & director: Katrin Rothe

DoP: Thomas Eirich-Schneider

Cast: Stephanie Stremler and Manuel Harder

Puppetry and voices: Michael Hatzius and Dorothee Carls

Music: Micha Kaplan and Thomas Mävers

Editing: Hannes Starz and Katrin Rothe

Assistant director: Katharina Biro

Storyboard & Main Designs & Artwork: Lydia Günther, Tonina Matamalas, Caroline Hamann, Gyula Szabo

Design secondary characters: Konrad Weiße (D)/ Benjamin Swiczinsky (A)

Puppet making & costume: Anne-Sophie Réamy, Werner Kernebeck, Lisa Sinram

Animators: Lisa Neubauer, Lydia Günther, Jonathan Schwenk, Malte Stein, Mandy Müller (D)/ Amélie Cochet, Kerstin Zemp, Igor Kuzmic (CH)/ Wolf Matzl, Birgit Scholin, Rosanne Janssens (A)

Production manager: Bettina Morlock (D)/ Susanne Berger (A)/ Sereina Gabathuler (CH)

Producers: Gunter Hanfgarn, Andrea Ufer, Ralph Wieser, Sereina Gabathuler, Werner Schweizer

Production companies: HANFGARN & UFER, Mischief Films, Dschoint Ventschr

Funded by: BKM, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Filmförderungsanstalt, DFFF (D)/ Österreichisches Filminstitut, Fisa, Filmfonds Wien (A)/ BAK, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Studienbibliothek (CH)

TV stations: RBB, Arte, SRF


Making Of Video & Press kit

10 mins about film shoot in Vienna and animation at the Berlin Studio by Angela Christlieb. (Available on request)


German production company



Apostel-Paulus-Str. 6

D-10823 Berlin

T: +49-30-8485 5000

Mail: info@hu-film.de

Austrian production company


Goethegasse 1

1010 Wien

T: +43 1 585 23 24 25

Mail: office@mischief-films.at

Swiss production company

Dschoint Ventschr

Molkenstrasse 21

8004 Zürich

T: +41 44 456 30 24

Mail: office@dvfilm.ch


Katrin Rothe

Franz-Mehring-Platz 1

D-10243 Berlin

T: +49 163 472 4111

Mail: info@karotoons.de

Verleih D

Joachim Kühn

RFF – Real Fiction Filmverleih e.K.

Hansaring 98

50670 Köln

T: +49 221 95 22 111

Mail: info@realfictionfilme.de

TV Distribution:

Elina Kewitz CEO

T: +49 221 1681 9743

Mail: elina.kewitz@newdocs.de

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